13 U.S. Emerging Community Health Leaders Recognized

Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) honors young professionals currently working in the field of community health. Community health centers and primary care associations nominate dedicated young public health professionals who exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers for community health and human rights.   

The 13 Emerging Leaders selected this year from a competitive pool of applicants from all over the country.  They were recognized at an award ceremony held March 17, during the annual meeting of the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC.

“The Emerging Leader Award is designed to highlight and share the accomplishments of exceptional young members of the community health center movement,” said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and founder of the Geiger Gibson Program at the Milken Institute SPH. “This year’s winners represent the next generation of leaders who are advancing the core mission of community health centers.”

The community health center movement started with just two clinics that opened in the late 1960s and has now grown to include more than 1,400 centers serving more than 27 million people at over 10,000 sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories. These health centers form an essential safety net throughout the United States by providing high quality health care to people without regard to insurance status, race, family income or health condition.

“The 13 men and women honored by this year’s award are working on the front lines of the community health center movement nationwide,” said Feygele Jacobs, President and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, whose ongoing gift supports the Geiger Gibson Program. “We are thrilled to recognize their achievements today and look forward to their ongoing leadership.”

The above photo shows this year’s Emerging Leaders and Distinguished Visitors of the Geiger Gibson Program who presented this year's Emerging Leaders with their awards. Emerging Leader Award recipients are indicated with an *:

Front row from left to right: Martha Farlow* (Policy and Government Affairs Manager, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Boston, MA), Cherise Fowler* (Apprenticeship Training Coordinator, Alaska Primary Care Association, Anchorage, AK), Sandy Castro* (Pediatric Team Lead & Medical Assistant, People’s Community Clinic, Austin, TX), Elizabeth Quinn* (Family Physician, Lynn Community Health Center, Lynn, MA), Janelle Sauz* (Program Manager, Population Health, LifeLong Medical Care, Berkeley, CA), Jose Otero* (Assistant Director of IT, Urban Health Plan, Bronx, NY),  Leah Schulz* (Dental Director, Salud Family Health Centers, Fort Collins, CO), and Jessica Garcia* (Health Care Manager, CCI Health & Wellness Services, Silver Spring, MD). 

Back row from left to right: Anita Monoian, Sara Rosenbaum, Jim Hunt, Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, David Reynolds, Velma Hendershott, Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, Alice Pollard* (Program Manager for Health Access, North Carolina Community Health Center Association, Raleigh, NC), E. Benjamin Money, Amanda Pinder Hynes* (Associate Dental Director, Pediatric Dentistry, El Rio Health, Tucson, AZ), Kathleen Fitzsimmons* (Manager of Care Navigation, Squirrel Hill Health Center, Pittsburgh, PA) Cheng-I Jacqueline Chen* (Fellowship Director, Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA), Anne Kauffman Nolon, Tess Stack Kuenning, Rachel Gunsalus, Feygele Jacobs, and Tom Van Coverden.

Awardee not shown:  Maria Villagomez, MPH (Quality Assurance and Improvement Manager, Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago, IL).

More information about the award, the Geiger Gibson Program, the RCHN Community Health Foundation, as well as an alphabetized list of awardees, is available here