Board & Staff

The future of the nation’s community health care system starts now. Meet the Advocates for Community Health leadership team.

Join The Cause
Join The Cause

Advocates for Community Health is led by a stellar group of health center leaders who came together with a common goal and mission: to leverage their collective voice to advance the delivery of health care to underserved populations and cultivate new opportunities to achieve health equity in support of patients and communities in need.

As a membership organization with our roots in community health, we focus on visionary and innovative policy and advocacy initiatives to effect positive change across the nation’s health care system. Our membership of forward-thinking, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are leading the way in modeling comprehensive, integrated primary care and cutting-edge innovation in the twenty-first century health care landscape.

Executive Committee

Meet the leaders behind ACH’s ground-breaking initiatives.

Click or drag to navigate through our executive committee members.

Kerry Hydash

ACH Board President

Kerry Hydash is the president and CEO at Family HealthCare Network (FHCN), which operates 41 sites within three counties of California’s Central Valley. FHCN served more than 221,000 patients and provided over one million visits in 2020.

Kerry is a co-founder and member of the Central California Partnership for Health and currently serves on the boards for the California Primary Care Association and the Clinical Mutual Insurance Company.

Prior to working directly in the healthcare field, Kerry worked in public accounting, auditing, and providing financial consulting services to healthcare entities. She holds a senior SHRM certification and has extensive HR experience in the healthcare industry.

Steven C. Hansen

Steven has been the president and CEO of Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 2007. He manages and directs operations in rural, frontier, and urban locations that include behavioral health services, native and traditional healing services, children’s services (Headstart and Early Headstart programs), senior services, and a 340B pharmacy program with the goal of improving the health and lives of all people of the Southwest.

Steven is on the board of Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Insights New Mexico, and is the current chair of the New Mexico Primary Care Association. He is also a member of the National FQHC Advisory Group for United Healthcare.

Greg Wilmot

Prior to assuming the role of President, Greg most recently served as EBNHC’s Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Director of Neighborhood PACE. Prior to joining EBNHC, Greg worked in a various roles spanning the health and human services industries. This includes working as a Director at AllWays Health Partners, a member of Partners Healthcare System (now Mass General Brigham), where he was a leader in AllWays’ Medicaid Strategy and Operations, and Marketing areas. Greg worked at Boston Medical Center as Director of Business and Network Development. Greg also served in the Deval Patrick Administration’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), where he served as Senior Advisor to the EOHHS Secretary and led strategy and business planning and performance management for the secretariat. Greg also worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts in various operational and management roles.

Greg serves on various boards and advisory groups including the Board of Directors of Community Care Cooperative (C3) and the Board of Directors of Community Servings. Greg has also served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts PACE Association as well as the Board of Directors of the Dimock Center. Greg holds a BA in Psychology from Boston College and an MBA from Northeastern University with a specialization in Investments. For his professional and civic achievements, Greg was awarded the Stars’ 40 under 40 award in 2010, YMCA Achievers award in 2016, Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award in 2019.

Nieves Gomez

Before being named CEO in March of 2018, Nieves was Vice President of Operations and was responsible for end-to-end operations, patient experience, and quality assurance. Over the last 12 years in Leadership roles, Nieves has been influential in leading organizational change and innovation in Medical, Dental, Optometry, Behavioral Health, and Technology services. In just a short time as CEO of Columbia Basin Health Association, Nieves has led the organization to national recognition for technology and operational excellence, cooperate quality and compliance, and value based contracting performance. Most recently, Columbia Basin Health has been recognized as Best Places to work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare for 2021 and 2021, and Employer of the Year and COVID-19 Most Valuable Player by the Stevie Awards. Nieves earned a Master’s in Public Administration and a Masters in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and is a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE).

The time is now. Advocates for Community Health is driving the health care systems, policies, and programs of the future. Become a member today.
Staff

Meet the dedicated team driving ACH's policy, communications, and advocacy efforts.

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Amanda Pears Kelly

A fierce advocate for health equity, Amanda is also the executive director of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU). In this role, she leads organization vision and strategy and manages all aspects of the Association, providing overall leadership and management services to the board of directors and membership. Amanda oversees ACU fundraising, advocacy, communications, membership as well as organization projects and programs. She brings extensive experience to her role, including campaign development, communications strategy development, crisis management, leadership, team development and training, consulting, logistics, and policy/regulatory analysis. Additionally, Amanda has a proven record of dynamic, resourceful, and agile leadership with noted expertise launching grassroots advocacy initiatives and healthcare policy issues to lead advocates and define initiatives that positively impact tens of millions of patients living in underserved communities across the United States.

Amanda maintains deep expertise and established leadership in providing training and technical assistance to health centers and other organizations caring for underserved populations. She has spent much of her career developing multimedia content for diverse audiences with a shared mission of caring for the underserved. In her current role at ACU, she has helped to develop and lead new educational initiatives geared at supporting clinical workforce recruitment and retention. Under her leadership, ACU’s STAR2 Center has produced and widely distributed resources, training, and technical assistance with focus on provider resilience, burnout and wellness. Her depth of knowledge and years of work with underserved communities has enabled Amanda to share recognized best practices and lessons learned relative to healthcare workforce recruitment, retention, pipeline programming and more.

Prior to joining the ACU, Amanda held leadership positions working in government affairs, policy, and advocacy as the vice president of grassroots & internal advocacy at the American Diabetes Association, and as the national director of advocacy and civic engagement at the National Association of Community Health Centers. She holds a BA in political science from the University of New Hampshire and is a graduate of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University.

Danielle Veira

Prior to moving to Chicago, Danielle spent more than a decade in Washington, DC working in nonprofit communications, most recently as the senior manager of public relations and advocacy communications at the American Diabetes Association (ADA). While at the ADA, she worked diligently to orchestrate the organization’s strategic communications efforts. Her work focused on raising urgency around the diabetes epidemic, engaging policymakers, and telling the stories of the millions of Americans affected by this chronic illness. She herself has been living with type 1 diabetes for nearly 25 years.

Before her time at the ADA, Danielle was a communications associate with Nahigian Strategies, LLC—a veteran strategic communications firm in Washington, DC. Working with a broad range of clients, including global corporations, start-up ventures, and nonprofit organizations, Danielle developed comprehensive communications plans and national outreach campaigns. From industry alliances focused on the opioid abuse epidemic to international nonprofits aiming to end the youth unemployment crisis, Danielle connected vision with strategy to amplify her clients’ messages with placements in outlets including CNN, National Journal, POLITICO, U.S. News & World Report, Forbesand network television affiliates across the United States.

A politico at heart, Danielle spent the early years of her career on Capitol Hill and at a global think tank focused on transatlantic relations and foreign policy.

To feed her passion for racial equity and female empowerment, Danielle serves on several volunteer boards and is often invited to speak on panels about diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as health and education disparities. She is the executive director for the Chicago chapter of ColorComm, Inc., a global business community for women of color in the communications industry. She is also on the local advisory board for iHeartMedia Markets Group’s Chicago region, is a member of Ragan’s Communicators Roundtable Advisory Board, and serves on the advisory board for Prosper Strategies, a nonprofit consulting firm working to build a more effective and impactful social sector. Additionally, Danielle recently joined the board of directors for The ZAC Foundation, a national grantmaking foundation with a mission to empower Black and Latinx families to be safe in and around the water. Prior to leaving the nation’s capital, Danielle was honored by her peers in the communications and public relations industry for the fifth year in a row with an appointment to the Washington Women in Public Relations board of directors and was elected to be the organization’s first Black president in 2018.

Danielle recently founded Minerva’s Legacy Consulting Group, LLC where she provides leadership coaching and strategic communications services to clients across the country. She received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, where she majored in sociology and minored in political science.

Abby Miller Starling

She aids ACH in continuing to enhance its quality programming, build capacity, and carry out its mission. Abby has extensive knowledge pertaining to budget preparation, conducting financial analysis, preparing financial reports, managing payroll systems, and maintaining accurate financial records for audit. In addition, she manages employee relations by providing training and development opportunities.

Abby has almost 20 years of experience working in the finance and HR space with non-profit organizations. Abby continues to demonstrate a strong understanding of the unique needs of non-profit organizations, and the requirements of balancing a growing organization while ensuring proper risk management and sustainability measures. She is an expert at juggling multiple demands and priorities with grace and poise, while providing an amazing balance of compassion, empathy, and professionalism in all that she does.

Due to her passion for volunteering, she currently serves as Treasure of the Board of Directors for her local PTA.

Rita L. Rey

After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2012, she went back home to Peru to acquire professional experience in digital communications. Rita landed her dream job at a social media agency, where she managed accounts ranging from some of the country’s biggest consumer brands to those dedicated to promoting national tourism. Later, she discovered a passion for social service through volunteer work at TECHO Peru, a youth-led nonprofit organization that seeks to overcome poverty in slums through the collaborative work of families living in extreme poverty. As the organization’s Internal Communications Coordinator, Rita facilitated communication between staff and its 300 volunteers.

Upon returning to the United States in 2016, she started working for WomenHeart, the first and only national patient-centered organization dedicated to serving women with heart disease. Her role included coordinating communication efforts for all major events and distributing communication materials to members. During a crucial time for people with preexisting health conditions, her most memorable moment was advocating for women’s health on Capitol Hill for the very first time.

In 2018, Rita joined East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP), a non-profit that provides high-quality early childhood education for nearly 3,000 migrant and seasonal farmworker children in 48 Head Start educational centers. As the organization’s first full time communications professional, she highlighted the migrant and seasonal Head Start program through the use of storytelling on digital platforms. Along with senior management, she had the opportunity to advocate for early childhood education on Capitol Hill. Her major accomplishments include aiding in the creation of a new communications department and co-leading ECMHSP’s rebranding project. In addition, Rita managed a scholarship program for farmworker parents, awarding almost $80,000. During the start of the pandemic, she saw first-hand the alarming health disparities among the farmworker community, prompting her to seek a new career opportunity focusing on achieving health equity.

Rita currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she enjoys supporting her nieces during their soccer and volleyball games. Her hobbies include salsa dancing, karaoke, and playing recreational volleyball.

Daphane Jackson

Previously, Daphane was an Administrative Assistant with Early Head Start and Head Start, a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families. She also worked at two of the “Best Law Firms by Region” in the District of Columbia, listed by Vault Top Ranked.

In her role at ACH, she is responsible for a broad range of services that will allow the organization to operate efficiently, assist in managing a diverse portfolio of responsibilities including general office tasks and serving as support staff to members across the ACH team.

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