Anne Thomas, President/CEO
Anne Thomas, MPA
Anne joined the Foundation as President/CEO in October 2017 after serving four months as the interim President/CEO. In her role, Anne focuses on maintaining and expanding the innovative work of the Foundation within the changing health care landscape.
Prior to being named President/CEO, Anne co-founded a health care consulting firm, Praxis Partners for Health, LLP. As a consultant, Anne served as the interim Public Health Director for Halifax County, NC, and she worked with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and Project Lazarus to assist communities in addressing chronic pain management and prescription opioid misuse. Anne also previously served for eighteen years as Public Health Director for Dare County, NC.
Anne is a registered nurse and graduated from Boston University School of Nursing with a BSN and New York University, Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Laura Fletcher, Director of Finance
Laura Fletcher joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Director of Finance in December 2011. In her role, Laura is charged with strengthening and aligning the fiscal functions within the Foundation. This includes accounting, budgeting, audit compliance and internal controls, payroll, human resources, and contracting for the wide range of programs under the umbrella of the organization.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Laura’s twenty-year accounting career has focused on working within the non-profit sector. She was also previously the Director of Accounting for the Museum of Life of Science in Durham.
Laura holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University.
Arshya Gurbani, Communications Writer
Arshya Gurbani joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Communications Writer in June 2017. In her role, Arshya develops and manages content for the Foundation’s website, newsletter, and blog.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Arshya worked as a teaching assistant for both the French Ministry of Education and BlueEngine. She also previously worked in the Office of Admissions for the University of Southern California.
Arshya holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California. She is currently working to complete her Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Health Communication at UNC Chapel Hill.
Tim Smith, Program Data Analyst
Program Data Analyst
Tim Smith joined the Foundation of Health Leadership and Innovation as Program Data Analyst in February 2016. In his role, he will use his expertise as a full-time research associate at Carolina HealthNet (CHN) to assist the Foundation part-time with both data collection and evaluation.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Tim has worked for several types of organizations ranging from political campaigns, higher education, and several different non-profits working with rural areas to improve economic development and health outcomes. He is also a past Bernstein Fellow (2012-2014).
Tim holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Tom Bacon, Director
Director – Bernstein Fellows Program
Tom joined the Foundation for Health Leadership and 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.
Rachel Presslein, Program Manager
Rachel Presslein, MPA
Program Manager – Bernstein Fellows Program
Program Manager – Bernstein Scholars Program
Rachel Presslein joined the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation as Office Manager in March 2014, became Program and Development Manager in September 2015, and now serves as the Program Manager for the NC Rural Heath Leadership Alliance. In her role, Rachel manages general operations of the Bernstein Programs and the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance. She works closely with the NCRHLA’s members and work groups to develop useful resources and meaningful partnerships to address rural health concerns in the state.
Prior to joining the Foundation, she managed the volunteer program at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Durham, NC. She is also a Certified Administrator of Volunteers in North Carolina.
Rachel holds a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina State University and also holds undergraduate degrees in Nonprofit Organization Management and Sociology from Lakeland University, formerly Lakeland College (Wisconsin).
Catalyst for Healthy Eating and Active Living
Jamie Cousins, Program Manager
Jamie Cousins joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as Program Manager in September 2012. In her role, she is responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the project, as well as leading the team of local Catalyst coordinators who work in participating counties across North Carolina.
Prior to joining Catalyst, Jamie worked for the North Carolina Department of Public Health, where she coordinated efforts for various projects. Before that, she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she completed the Presidential Management Fellowship and then stayed on to work in children’s health. She has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Russia where she taught English and secured community grants.
Jamie holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Sociology.
ShaCoria Winston, Program Evaluator
ShaCoria Winston joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as Evaluator in July 2017. In her role, she is responsible for data management and evaluation to measure outcomes and inform activities of the program.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, ShaCoria previously worked as a Research Fellow with the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research at Washington University in St. Louis where she assisted with data collection, management and analysis to generate and report findings to stakeholders. She also spent two summers in Swaziland and Uganda collecting data to inform national ministries of health on cervical cancer in the region.
ShaCoria holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech and a Master of Public Health degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Tammy Bass, Coordinator- Cleveland County
Coordinator- Cleveland County
Tammy Bass joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in September 2012. In her role, she works in Cleveland County to address resident’s access to healthy food and places to be active. Some of her projects include farmers’ market enhancements, outreach to limited resource populations, playground development, sidewalk expansion, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and access to healthy food for senior adults.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Tammy has served in various roles. She has previously worked as a physical therapy technician, a patient family support specialist in an Emergency Room, a minister, a stay at home mom, and a snow cone truck operator. Through work related efforts as well as many volunteer roles, Tammy has also had opportunities for motivating and mentoring others as she relays the life lessons she has learned along the way.
Tammy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and a MARE from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Erin Carson, Coordinator- Halifax County
Coordinator- Halifax County
Erin Carson joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in January 2016. In her role, she works in Halifax County to engage the community and develop strategies that increase physical activity and access to healthy foods. Some of those strategies include supporting local farmers’ markets and improving SNAP/EBT acceptance, increasing the number of community gardens in low resource areas, and creating more opportunities for positive play for children.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Erin has worked in Halifax County as a journalist covering health and other issues. She also previously spent a summer in a rural farming region in Kenya reporting on the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other major health issues, which spurred her interest in public health reporting and advocacy.
Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a second major in political science and concentrations in global news and near Eastern languages and culture from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Charlotte Eidson, Coordinator- Burke County
Coordinator- Burke County
Charlotte Eidson joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in July 2015. In her role, she works in Burke County to engage the community in developing strategies that promote community use of the many places for physical activity and increase access to healthy food. She is devoted to developing nurturing relationships between local partners in the community.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Charlotte has worked with both individuals and at a system level educating about the benefits of overall wellness. Over her career, she has experience as a Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Health Promotion Coordinator and Employee Wellness Coordinator with goals to improve community-wide disease prevention through prevention and screenings.
Charlotte holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion/Exercise Science from Appalachian State University.
Derrick Haskins, Coordinator- Twin Counties
Coordinator- Twin Counties
Derrick Haskins joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in September 2015. In his role, he works in Edgecombe and Nash Counties to promote good nutrition and physical activity. Derrick also teaches community health coaching at a local community college. He tries to inspire others to make small changes and think about taking care of their health not as a chore, but as a personal vehicle for wellness and happiness.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Derrick served Edgecombe County as a Health Educator with the Edgecombe County Health Department for five years. He is also a certified Group Fitness Instructor and has taught several beginner and advanced boot camp classes.
Derrick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion with a minor in Nutrition from Appalachian State University.
Shoneca Kent, Coordinator- Twin Counties
Coordinator- Twin Counties
Shoneca Kent joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in September 2015. In her role, she works in Edgecombe and Nash Counties to promote good nutrition and physical activity. She is currently a 2017-2019 fellow of the William Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, a program of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Shoneca has served the Twin Counties in various roles with the North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations and Democracy North Carolina.
Shoneca holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, with a minor in Social and Economic Justice and African American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Joseph Peele, Coordinator- Rockingham
Coordinator- Rockingham County
Joseph Peele joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in September 2012. In his role, Joey assists in county-wide health strategies to support transformational change to create places where healthier choices are available and accessible to make, and in coordinating efforts that will have a long-term impact for residents across the country.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Joseph worked in the Triangle at the North Carolina General Assembly and in Pitt County with the U.S. Senate.
Joseph holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism & Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations at North Carolina A&T State University.
Emily Roberts, Coordinator- McDowell
Coordinator- McDowell County
Emily Roberts joined the Catalyst for Health Eating and Active Living as a Coordinator in August 2016. In her role, she works in McDowell County to promote good nutrition and physical activity.
Prior to joining the Catalyst, Emily previously worked as a Health Education Intern with the Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Health District. She has also previously worked for MANNA FoodBank, where she collaborated with local food pantries, meal programs, and community partners to address food insecurity across a five-county region.
Emily holds a Master of Public Health degree from East Carolina University.
Center of Excellence of Integrated Care
Amelia Muse, Director of Operations
Amelia Muse, PhD, LMFT
Director of Operations– Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Dr. Muse first joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Consultant in February 2016 and became the Director of Operations in May 2017. In her role, Dr. Muse oversees the day-to-day activities of COE, facilitates internal development and research, and manages overall productivity of staff.
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.
Monica Harrison, Associate Director
Monica Harrison, MSW, LCSW
Associate Director – Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Monica Harrison joined Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Consultant in April 2016 and became Associate Director in March 2017. In her role, she works with organizations and healthcare professionals by providing resources, tools, techniques, assessments, training, and technical assistance around evidenced based and/or best practices around integration in North Carolina.
Prior to joining COE, Monica worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has over 11 years of experience in behavioral health integration throughout North Carolina. Her significant clinical experience and background in human development and family studies has provided her with a unique professional history that’s spanned from providing direct clinical service to children and adults to managing a variety of health centers across North Carolina.
Monica received her master’s degree from the Joint Masters of Social Work Program of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Sara Herrity, Integration Consultant
Integration Consultant- Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Sara Herrity joined Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Consultant 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, Integration Consultant
Lisa Tyndall, PhD, LMFT
Integration Consultant – Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Lisa Tyndall, PhD, joined the Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Consultant 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.
Mary Moran, Clinical Development Coordinator
Clinical Development Coordinator-Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Mary Moran joined Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as a Clinical Development Coordinator in August 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, Mary worked as a behavioral health provider at a Federally Qualified Health Center where she provided integrated behavioral healthcare for primary care patients and their families. In addition, she was a clinician at a community corrections facility called Alvis House, Inc. and a contracted clinician at a mental health agency called St. Vincent Family Centers as an outpatient therapist for clients with Medicaid or no insurance, as well as some private insurance. She has also previously worked in two academic outpatient clinics as well as a community-based mental health therapy agency.
Mary is expected to graduate in May 2018 from East Carolina University with a PhD in Medical Family Therapy and a Certificate in Health Care Administration. Mary received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Akron in 2012 and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University.
Eric Christian, Contract Consultant
Contract Consultant- Center of Excellence for Integrated Care
Eric Christian joined Center of Excellence for Integrated Care (COE) as an Integration Consultant in 2012. He also worked with the group for a few years prior, when it was known as ICARE. In his role, Eric 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.
Eric’s professional history included working in a variety of behavioral health settings. In addition to his current role as an Integration Consultant with COE, Eric is employed full-time with Community Care of Western North Carolina as their Director of Behavioral Health Integration, where he provides technical assistance and consultation to providers interested in integration.
Eric received his master’s degree in Counseling from Western Carolina University in 1999 and his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hofstra University.
NC Oral Health Collaborative
Zulayka Santiago, Director
M. Zulayka Santiago, MPA
Director – NC Oral Health Collaborative
Zulayka Santiago joined the NC Oral Health Collaborative as the Director in August 2015. In her role, Zulayka works to convene a diverse group of stakeholders committed to building health equity for all North Carolinians.
Prior to joining the NC Oral Health Collaborative, Zulayka worked as an independent consultant, providing leadership, capacity building and technical support on various projects relating to social justice, philanthropy, cooperatives and community engagement. In previous twists along her interesting career path, Zulayka has served as Health Disparities Program Officer with the NC Health & Wellness Trust Fund; Youth Program Director and subsequently Executive Director for El Pueblo Inc., a statewide Latino advocacy organization, and Co-Manager for the NC Peoples’ Coalition for Giving. These are just a few of her many noteworthy endeavors.
Zulayka holds a Master of Public Administration degree from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and received her undergraduate degree in Pan-African Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is a also a part of the 06-08 William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.
Suzanne Martin, Director of Outreach and Engagement
Suzanne Martin, MSW
Director of Outreach and Engagement – NC Oral Health Collaborative
Suzanne Martin joined the NC Oral Health Collaborative as the Director of Outreach and Engagement in May 2017. In her role, Suzanne strives to achieve oral health equity for all North Carolinians through network building and systems change with stakeholder groups statewide. She will oversee the implementation of a comprehensive communications campaign that will include: broad dissemination of the Portrait of Oral Health, Innovations Bank, NC Oral Health Agenda, and culturally appropriate health messages.
Prior to joining the NC Oral Health Collaborative, Suzanne worked at the American Cancer Society as the Program Manager for the National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination Roundtable. She has also previously served in various roles for North Carolina State University (NCSU), including being the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator and a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant for the Department of Social Work, and an Education and Training Graduate Assistant for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).
Suzanne holds a Master of Social Work degree from North Carolina State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Peace College (now known as William Peace University).
NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance
Laura Jane Ward, Program Manager
Laura Jane Ward, B.S.
Program Manager – NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance
Laura Jane Ward joined the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance in January 2018. In her role as Program Manager, she is responsible for managing general operations of the NC Rural Health Leadership Organization, including working closely with the NCRHLA’s members and diverse work groups to develop useful resources and meaningful partnerships to address rural health concerns in the state.
Prior to joining, Laura Jane worked as an ombudsman and elder rights specialist with the Department of Health and Human Services. She has also worked as an admissions coordinator and social worker with Avante at Wilkesboro, and as the director of discharge planning with Culpepper Health & Rehabilitation. Her service at the community, regional, and state levels and her knowledge of the healthcare systems within North Carolina have prepared her to immerse fully in the rural health issues that our state faces.
Laura Jane holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University.
Jackie Fannell, Program Manager
Program Manager – Practice Sights
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, Director
Director – Rural Forward NC
Calvin Allen joined Rural Forward NC as their first Director in October 2014. In his role as director, Calvin supervises staff, sets program vision and direction. He manages key state and national relationships and provides technical assistance and support in Healthy Places NC counties.
Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Calvin has worked in the nonprofit sector as an administrator, trainer, facilitator, advocate, and consultant, primarily around rural economic development. Most recently, he worked for the Golden LEAF Foundation’s community grants making programs for three years as a program officer and three prior years as a consultant. He was also the associate director at the Southern Rural Development Initiative, helping small towns become economically sustainable without having to become urban.
Calvin graduated with his bachelor’s degree 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.
Marley Braun, Administrative Manager
Administrative Director – Rural Forward NC
Marley Braun joined Rural Forward NC as the Administrative Director in April 2015. In her role, Marley provides administrative support to the other members of the team. She manages evaluation data, assists with external communications, and manage RFNC’s infrastructure in coordination with the director. She helps create, implement, and maintain RFNC systems and tools to support the other RFNC staff, our communities, and our partners to be most effective.
Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Marley served several years at Duke University Health System in both their planning and their marketing departments. She has experience in marketing, planning, statistical analysis, community organization, and healthy nutrition.
Marley graduated magna cum laude from Elon University in North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in English.
Brandy Bynum Dawson, Associate Director
Brandy Bynum Dawson, MPA
Associate Director – Rural Forward NC
Brandy Bynum Dawson joined Rural Forward NC as the Associate Director in September 2014. In her role, Brandy works with the Director and program staff to manage, plan, organize, and direct daily capacity building services. Specifically, she provides technical assistance, coaching, facilitation, resource management and support of community initiatives in rural central and eastern North Carolina.
Brandy has been active in the nonprofit community for more than a decade as a professional, volunteer, and board member to improve outcomes for children and families. Prior to joining Rural Forward NC in 2014, Brandy served as the Director of Policy and Outreach at NC Child for over twelve years. Brandy has extensive experience conducting research and analysis of public policy issues and developing summary reports on a variety of topics; as well as providing community development services to agencies, communities, and coalitions in the areas of civic engagement, action planning, results-based facilitation, program implementation and organizational collaboration.
Brandy graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Brandy also holds a master’s degree in public administration from NC State University, with a concentration in mental health policy.
Jessica Burroughs, Partnership Manager
Jessica Burroughs, MPH, MSW
Partnership Manager – Rural Forward NC
Jessica Burroughs joined Rural Forward NC as their Partnership Manager in February 2017. In her role, Jessica works with the Rural Forward team to design, organize, and implement capacity-building and organizational development services.
Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Jessica spent the last 18 years helping to drive the sustainable growth of regional and state-wide public health initiatives. Most recently, she worked at the North Carolina Partnership for Children on a statewide early childhood obesity prevention initiative called Shape NC. Prior to that, she spent seven years at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at Duke University, helping mental health agencies select, implement, and sustain best practices for treating children with trauma. She also previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua.
Jessica holds both a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her undergraduate degree in Literature from Pomona College.
Lynn Indermaur, Administrative Coordinator
Lynn Indermaur ,
Administrative Coordinator – Rural Forward NC
Lynn Indermaur joined Rural Forward NC as our Administrative Coordinator in May 2017. In her role, Lynn provides administrative support for our Rockingham and Nash County program staff. She also manages Rural Forward NC external communications and assists with our convening meetings and our electronic data management.
Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Lynn taught high school in the Wake County school system and worked as a pharmaceutical quality control chemist.
Lynn graduated magna cum laude from N.C. State University in biochemistry and earned a master’s degree in biochemistry from Duke University. She also has a master’s degree in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.