Carla joined FHLI as Vice President of Programs in December 2018 to guide and support the work of existing programs, as well as develop new program opportunities and partnerships. She was named Acting President and CEO of the organization in March 2020. 

Prior to joining FHLI, Carla served as director of Care4Carolina from February 2017 to December 2018. Care4Carolina is a statewide coalition with the mission of closing the health insurance gap.

An NC Department of Insurance veteran of 32 years, Carla managed the state Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) from 1992 to 2010, before serving as Senior Deputy Commissioner of the Consumer Assistance Group. Carla is a dedicated supporter and advocate for the senior citizens and disabled persons of our state and has served on numerous boards and advisory committees related to these groups. She is currently a Board member of Care Share Health Alliance. Carla holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University. She lives in Fuquay Varina with her husband, John Obiol, and two daughters, Alex and Mary.

Palma Fouratt joined FHLI as Finance Director in September 2018. In this role, Palma will strengthen and align the fiscal functions of the Foundation, including budgeting, accounting, audit compliance and internal records, payroll, human resources, and contracting. Prior to joining the Foundation, Palma has worked in both nonprofit and corporate environments and has significant experience in fund accounting.  She most recently served as the Director of Finance and Administration at Engineering World Health, a non-profit organization that brings biomedical solutions to developing countries. Palma holds a BA in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton and an MBA from Golden Gate University. She has also completed the Duke Non-Profit Management Program.

Communications & Media Relations


Marni Schribman joined FHLI as its Director of Communications and Public Relations in October 2019, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit, government and high technology arenas. Marni joins FHLI after serving as the Advocacy Communications Manager for the North Carolina Healthcare Association (formerly the North Carolina Hospital Association) where she provided a united voice in advocacy for our state’s hospitals, health systems and affiliated care providers. In addition to working in all areas of legislative communications, she developed a wide variety of materials and messaging to improve the public’s understanding of why hospitals are vital to the health and economic prosperity of their community.

Before joining NCHA, she served the State of North Carolina in various leadership roles at the Department of Insurance, Office of State Fire Marshal, and the Department of State Treasurer.

Brady Blackburn joined the Foundation in 2019 as Communications Associate and Content Marketing Specialist for the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative. Brady brings significant experience in nonprofit and caused-based marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, social media management, video development, and marketing.

Prior to joining NCOHC, Brady served as the key communications specialist for Representative Joe Sam Queen, both in his successful campaign for the North Carolina House of Representatives and in his legislative office. He has also managed marketing and communications campaigns for The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina.

Brady holds a Master of Arts in Media and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Nel joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Executive Assistant in June 2019. In this role, she supports the President/CEO in administrative aspects of the position and assists with special projects. Prior to joining the Foundation, Nel worked as an Office Administrator at Junior Achievement of NJ, as well as an instructor at Mercer County Community College teaching workforce development courses. Her most recent assignment was the Excelling at Princeton program, where she taught computer skills to Princeton University employees.

Nel has earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Rutgers University and an MBA degree, with a concentration in Finance, from Rutgers Graduate School of Business.

Bernstein Programs

Hugh TilsonHugh Tilson is the acting director of FHLI’s Bernstein Fellows Program, director of the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Program, associate dean and assistant professor in family medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. Hugh has extensive experience in health care, including particular experience in hospital and provider issues, health policy development, and North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Hugh has served in roles of increasing responsibility at the North Carolina Hospital Association. He first joined the organization in 1996 as director of legal and regulatory affairs, eventually becoming the group’s executive vice president and chief operating officer and ultimately spending a year as interim president of the organization. Upon his departure, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Roy Cooper for his proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Most recently, Tilson operated Tilson Solutions, offering strategic planning, public affairs, and other consulting services to a range of clients.

As director of NC AHEC, Hugh provides overall direction for the statewide program, oversees the organization’s budget and program office, manages health workforce planning and development initiatives across a range of health professions, fosters collaboration among academic programs and organizations across the state, and represents the organization on the state and national level.

Tilson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law. He holds a Master of Public Health from Harvard.


Tom joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as the Director of the Bernstein Fellows Program in October 2015. In his role, Tom oversees the strategic direction of the fellowship, sets goals for the Fellows’ educational schedule and programming, and provides one-on-one support for their project development. Prior to joining the Foundation, Tom served as the Executive Associate Dean and NC AHEC Program director at the UNC School of Medicine from 1996 until his retirement in 2013.  His academic and career interests are in health workforce development, and he currently serves as Senior Research Fellow in the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC. Tom is a graduate of Eckerd College, holds a master’s degree in demography from the University of Chicago, and has a doctorate in health policy and management from the UNC School of Public Health.

Center of Excellence for Integrated Care


Dr. Muse became the Director of the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) in October 2018. In her role, she oversees the day-to-day activities of COE, facilitates internal development and research, and manages overall productivity of staff. She has been with COE since February 2016, as an Integration Consultant and subsequently as the Director of Operations (May 2017-Oct 2018).

Prior to joining COE, Dr. Muse worked as a behavioral health clinician in a variety of medical settings serving underserved populations in eastern North Carolina. Her area of research is focused on the implementation and evaluation of integrated behavioral health care programs.

Dr. Muse received her doctorate degree in Medical Family Therapy and her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Sara Herrity joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Specialist in March 2017. In her role, she provides training, on-site support, and resources to medical and behavioral health providers working to integrate their services to provide higher quality care to patients and the community. Prior to joining COE, Sara worked at a community mental health agency called Turning Point Family CARE as an outpatient therapist for clients with Medicaid or no insurance, as well as some private insurance. She has also previously worked with a local church to provide pre-marital and marital counseling as well as with a middle school to provide mental health services. Sara received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lisa Tyndall, PhD, joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Specialist in June 2016. In her role, Dr. Tyndall provides technical assistance for integrated care program development to a variety of medical practice settings. Her responsibilities include shadowing and one-on-one consultation, offerings of trainings, webinars, regular phone consultation and provision of resources and reference materials.

Prior to joining COE, Dr. Tyndall spent six years working as the Family Therapy Clinic Director for East Carolina University. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she has over ten years of experience serving in various research, instructor, and clinical positions related to both marriage and family therapy and integrated care in North Carolina. Dr. Tyndall holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a doctorate in Medical Family Therapy, both from East Carolina University.

Health ENC


Will Broughton became the Program Director for Health ENC in May 2018. In this position, Will coordinates a regional community health needs assessment in 33 eastern North Carolina counties while working to build coalitions and partnerships to address health issues identified in the assessment process. Prior to this role, Will served as the Coordinator in the Office of Health Access at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC. He is experienced in engaging stakeholders around health outcomes, managing projects, and compiling and disseminating data.

While living in Greenville, he also volunteered with various community organizations, including serving as Chair of Friends of Greenville Greenways (FROGGS) for three years. Will holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in Anthropology from East Carolina University, and received a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Davidson College.


Chris Scarboro, Senior Program Manager,

Chris joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as senior program manager for NCCARE360 in October 2019. Chris is an experienced leader with extensive knowledge in the healthcare, technology, for-profit and non-profit arenas.

For the past four years he has been working with Duke Life-Point as Director of Information Services for Wilson Medical Center, where he was responsible for system strategy and the daily operation of information services, clinical Informatics, enterprise service center and telecommunications. Chris also served as Senior Administrator for the facility’s Wound Care Clinic. Before joining Duke LifePoint, Chris worked at Community Care of North Carolina as Manager for Information Exchange and Strategic Development, which included leading the North Carolina Health Information Exchange. Prior to that, Chris served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sampson Regional Medical Center.

NC Oral Health Collaborative

In December 2018, Zachary Brian joined FHLI as the Program Director of the NC Oral Health Collaborative. In this role, he will lead NCOHC in strategic planning and partnerships, and will manage the activities of the program including evaluation and capacity-building.

A passionate advocate for oral health equity and access, Dr. Brian recently served as a Dental Director leading initiatives for Fair Haven Community Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center in New Haven, Connecticut in partnership with Yale University. Prior to this role, Dr. Brian served in Indian Health Service as Site Director for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Dr. Brian has spent both his clinical and administrative career in public health, and is particularly interested in issues surrounding health equity, access, integration, and collaboration. Committed to community outreach and partnerships, Dr. Brian is a sought-after speaker on dental-medical integration, oral health equity and systems change, as well as the oral-systemic connection. In 2018, he re-established the Connecticut Dental Directors Task Force to share best practices and lobby for legislative change. Leveraging these partnerships, Dr. Brian oversaw the expansion of school-based oral health programs, implemented integrative protocols, and secured funding to increase access to diagnostic technologies for underserved population groups.

Originally from rural Kentucky, Dr. Brian knows firsthand the challenges to oral health access in the southern United States, and is excited to lead the NCOHC in tackling this critical issue in North Carolina. Dr. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Murray State University, and earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Louisville. He is currently a candidate in the Master of Health Administration program at Central Michigan University.

Kelsey Ross

Kelsey Ross Dew joined FHLI in 2019 as Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative. In this role, Kelsey is responsible for project management, ensuring that NCOHC initiatives and events run efficiently and achieve stabled goals. Kelsey is the primary point-of-contact for NCOHC partners, working to effectively engage the community and promote improved oral health outcomes for all North Carolinians.

Prior to joining NCOHC, Kelsey worked with the Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health program, a school-based childhood obesity initiative, with which she gained experience in program management and evaluation.

Kelsey holds a Master of Public Health from East Carolina University, and she received her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance

Ray Riordan

Ray joined joined FHLI as Program Director of the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance in May 2020 and leads the network of health leaders and experienced practitioners as they work together to foster strategic partnerships, promote education, and develop nonpartisan solutions that will ultimately improve access to care for our rural communities.

Prior to joining FHLI, Ray served as the Vice President of Operations at The Carolinas Center (TCC). He joined TCC after serving as the North Carolina Director of Grassroots Lobbying and Advocacy for the American Cancer Society. In this role, he developed and implemented strategic volunteer engagement and legislative advocacy campaigns that were designed to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority on the local, state, and national level.   

Before joining the American Cancer Society, Riordan served in the North Carolina Office of the Governor where he worked with non-profits, faith-based, and local government organizations across the state to develop and implement community volunteer programs that helped meet unmet community needs. Ray currently serves on the Board of Directors for the NC Coalition on Aging and was recently appointed to serve on the NC License to Give Trust Fund Commission.

Practice Sights

Jackie Fannell

Jackie Fannell joined Practice Sights as Program Manager in April 2012.  In her role, Jackie provides technical assistance and training for the Practice Sights Clinician Recruitment and Retention Management System. Additionally, she is responsible for the coordination and collaboration of project activities between participating states and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research for the Practice Sights Retention Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Practice Sights, Jackie was responsible for coordinating with the NC Office of Rural Health and the Sheps Center to pilot and then manage the ongoing collection of retention data. As a Coordinator for the NC Medical Society Foundation’s Community Practitioner Program, she administered questionnaires to physicians and medical practices to evaluate the program’s impact on retention.

Jackie received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management in 2015 from Duke University.

Rural Forward NC

Calvin Allen became the first Rural Forward NC director in October 2014, co-creating RFNC’s programmatic approach and structures in ten rural counties across the state. Beyond overall program and staff supervision, Calvin manages RFNC’s “Beyond Local for Local” portfolio, initiating and strengthening key state and national relationships through coaching and technical assistance for our local Healthy Places NC partners. 

For more than 25 years, Calvin has worked in the nonprofit sector as an administrator, trainer, facilitator, advocate, and consultant, primarily around organizational development, rural economic development, leadership, equity, and conflict management. Most recently, he worked for the Golden LEAF Foundation’s community grantmaking programs as a program officer. He also served as deputy director at the Southern Rural Development Initiative, director of the National Community Forestry Service Center at the Conservation Fund, and associate director at the Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County. Calvin graduated from Duke University in 1992, and is also a 1994 graduate of Leadership Durham. He received a certificate in nonprofit management in September 2004 and is a 2003-2005 graduate of the William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.

Calvin believes strongly in the power of asset-based community development, participatory approaches, and creating greater equity across people, cultures, and systems.

Tracy Chellis

Tracy Chellis joined FHLI’s Rural Forward NC program as its lead partnership manager in May 2020. Tracy works to strengthen the leadership infrastructure in Healthy Places NC counties by providing a range of consulting services; managing statewide and regional policy opportunities that provide opportunities for stronger local voice; and to assist the RFNC Director with the overall management of the program. Tracy serves as principal for county-based work in Halifax County and manages our work on leadership development.

Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Tracy spent 18 years working as a scientist to protect the planet at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. During her time at the EPA, she worked with states and tribes to protect water quality and oversaw the clean-up at one of the largest hazardous waste sites in the country. Tracy also trained others on the power of giving and receiving feedback to support their career growth, and coached staff and managers to grow themselves and move into senior positions.  Additionally, Tracy built and supported highly engaged teams that solved complex, entrenched problems. Most recently Tracy had her own leadership coaching business where she empowered her clients to understand, build on, and own their strengths to grow into thriving leadership roles and achieve happiness in all areas of their life.

Tracy is a passionate supporter of work that makes a difference in the world. One of her proudest accomplishments was helping to form a nonprofit to support her local animal shelter. She served as a board member and volunteer for five years where she chaired the organizations first two auctions and helped to develop the board.

Marquis Crews

Marquis Crews joined Rural Forward NC as a Partnership Manager in May 2020. In his role, Marquis serves as principal in the Healthy Places NC counties of Nash and Edgecombe. With a passion for working with rural communities and providing support for organizations in need of increased capacity, Marquis leads our work on rural community development.

Prior to joining RFNC, Marquis worked at the Golden LEAF Foundation, the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, as well as the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Community Assistance and Rural Grants and Programs.  In these organizations, Marquis served as both a Program Officer and Grants Manager, managing a portfolio of infrastructure, economic development, education, health care access, agri-business, workforce development, and community development projects.  After working in the private sector for almost a decade, Marquis intentionally transitioned to the public sector to do more meaningful work. 

Marquis received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management from Fayetteville State University in 2002. Marquis has also received a Master’s in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University in 2014 and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University in 2012. Marquis is from Henderson, NC, and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.


Kathryn Gaasch joined Rural Forward NC program as a partnership manager in July 2018.   In her role, Kathryn works to strengthen the leadership infrastructure in Healthy Places NC counties, primarily in western NC.  She provides a range of consulting services, including facilitation, training, coaching, relationship brokering, program planning, and grants development. 

She has particular expertise in evaluation systems and data management, and leads our work on clinical connections, such as general behavioral health, substance use, and access to care issues.

Prior to joining RFNC, Kathryn worked with a variety of nonprofits and organizations providing community-based support domestically and internationally, ranging from built environment initiatives in rural western NC to climate change adaptation solutions for coffee farmers in Latin America.  A former consultant working across the mid-Atlantic region, Kathryn provided environmental assessments and recommendations. 

Her passion for community-based work drove her to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, with a certificate in community-based environmental management after attaining her bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech. She currently calls Asheville, NC home.

Hetal Patel

Hetal joined the Rural Forward NC team as a partnership manager in May 2020 where she works to support local leaders to amplify their work in community. In her role, she provides many services such as facilitation, consultation, and leadership coaching to rural leaders.  Hetal serves as principal for our work in the southeastern counties of Robeson, Columbus, and Bladen. 

Our lead on healthy eating and active living, Hetal is particularly passionate about food insecurity, bringing equity into spaces, relationship building, and amplifying the voices of community leaders. 

Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Hetal worked in Rockingham County, engaging with grassroots organizations in food systems and nutrition education programming through Cooperative Extension. Hetal also worked within the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors where she dove into work surrounding systemic poverty, early childhood education, racial equity, youth development, and adverse childhood experiences. She graduated from East Carolina University with a BS in Nutrition Science.

Phillip Sheldon joined FHLI’s Rural Forward NC program as our program support administrator in August 2019. Phillip provides administrative management and programmatic support, both in the field as well as toward maintaining our RFNC systems at FHLI.

Phillip is also principal for our community wealth-building work where he leads our Earned Income Tax Credit in Rural NC research project in partnership with the Jordan Institute for Families, Together Transforming Lives, ncIMPACT, and the NC Budget and Tax Center.

Facilitation of community partners is not new as Phillip helped develop two separate programs with community partners to help low-income renters avoid eviction and/or gain leadership skills, building upon repeated input from families experiencing homelessness. He has experience with volunteer coordination, as well as experience providing management support for the manager of Davie County. Phillip cites these experiences leading to his understanding about the power and potential of community partnerships to tackle complex problems in rural areas.

Phillip graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Sociology. Pursuing a career in community development, Phillip attained his Master’s in Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2019.


Andy joined FHLI’s Rural Forward NC team in September 2019. In his role, he provides technical assistance to develop and amplify the impact of rural leaders, organizations, and coalitions as principal for Rural Forward NC’s county-based work in Beaufort County. Andy also manages RFNC’s statewide coalition to create a more inclusive and equitable disaster recovery system, the NC Inclusive Disaster Recovery Network (NCIDR).

Andy is passionate about bringing people together across boundaries to solve problems. Prior to joining the RFNC team, he led a facilities team at a summer camp and retreat center, taught cross-cultural communication in Austria, organized international exchange programs for legislators and diplomats, and helped Zebulon, NC’s public works and parks departments evaluate how they maintain green spaces.

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Andy now calls North Carolina home. He graduated with a BA from Emory University and an MPA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.