Media Kit

Our Team

Team building at All Staff Meeting

Executive Leadership


Angie Truesdale
Angie Truesdale
Chief Executive Officer

Angie joined Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) as chief executive officer in 2015, bringing leadership from both nonprofit and government relations/advocacy worlds to the organization. In a short time, Angie has restructured CHI to position Centering as a scalable healthcare delivery model for mothers, babies and families throughout the nation. She has secured more than $9 million in new philanthropic support and spearheaded CHI’s focus on quality assurance for Centering sites and practitioners. Under her leadership, Centering has become the standard of prenatal care for the U.S. Army, invested greatly in building out the CenteringParenting 0-2 pediatric model, and expanded access to Centering in nearly 600 clinical settings. Angie was named one of TIME Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Healthcare for 2018.


Prior to CHI, Angie’s career path was addressing healthcare disparities and turning grassroots efforts into successful movements for change. She spent 15 years in Washington, DC working in the national healthcare policy arena. She spearheaded the federal lobbying efforts for the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and the American Diabetes Association through historic legislative events such as the creation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit and passage of the Affordable Care Act. Previously she worked for United States Representative Rúben Hinojosa (TX-15) as Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant for health policy. While on Capitol Hill, she crafted legislation and worked to address the health care issues facing one of the lowest income, yet fastest growing, minority populations in the nation – she focused primarily on diabetes and access to affordable and adequate health care.

Marena Burnett
Marena Burnett
Chief Engagement Officer

Since joining the team in 2015, Marena has been focused on increasing awareness and access to Centering group care. She has been a passionate driver of the prenatal through pediatrics (P - 2) continuity model and led product development efforts that re-imagined the CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting offerings. She introduced the CenteringHealthcare framework to support clinicians in applying the model across the life course. Marena provides leadership and oversight to the Engagement and Innovation department; working towards an equity lens and CHI’s core values infused into all communications, products and services. Additionally, she is working with philanthropic partners to ensure CHI’s mission and fundraising objectives are met. Prior to joining CHI, Marena enjoyed the challenge and spirit of two progressive healthcare start-ups.

John Craine
John Craine
Chief Strategy Officer

As a member of CHI’s Executive Team, John helps to set the medium and long term strategic priorities for the organization and ensure that these priorities are reflected across organizational planning and execution. John’s vision launched CHI’s regional expansion; he led the team of Regional Directors and State Program Managers tasked with developing and expanding CHI's national footprint through direct outreach to providers, payers, influential stakeholders and community partners. John joined CHI in 2014 as its first Regional Director to develop a more focused outreach strategy. Prior to CHI, John served for 12 years as COO/CFO of Vida Health Communications, Inc. directing numerous NIH and CDC-funded research grants focused on developing and scaling award winning behavioral interventions for maternal and child health. He has also been a successful entrepreneur having started and run his own lease financing business for 10 years.

Shannon Merrell
Shannon Merrell
Managing Director, Practice Transformation

Shannon was first introduced to Centering during her Americorps year of service in NYC. Inspired, she went on to earn her Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health and joined CHI in 2015 as a Practice Services Manager. She supported Centering sites with technical assistance and quality assurance for their Centering care, and specifically oversaw the successful implementation of Centering within two of the largest health systems - Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Army. Internally, she worked to expand staffing and capacity for the department to best support organizational growth. As Managing Director of the Practice Transformation department, Shannon is responsible for overseeing the delivery of CHI’s implementation, training and support services to CHI’s partner practices across the U.S. She leads the CHI Implementation Advisors in the field and the Practice Transformation team in Boston.

Tamara Pitts
Tamara Pitts
Chief Administrative Officer

As Chief Administrative Officer, Tamara oversees the Information Technology, Administration and Human Resource teams and drives the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion imperative at CHI. With over 30 years experience in group health insurance, Tamara managed cross functional teams to collaborate on innovative enterprise wide projects and held several leadership roles in systems and operational improvement, large group Underwriting and program design and implementation. With a passion for improving systems by reducing barriers to access, Tamara served on Boards of local organizations and was an elected official in the Town of Randolph, MA.

Staff


Vandana Devgan
Vandana Devgan
Director of Engagement

Vandana is responsible for managing marketing communications including strategy, public relations, social and website content management for the organization. With over ten years of experience, she has a strong foundation in public relations with a history of helping brands, small businesses and cause-based organizations connect with their audiences through content marketing programs that drive awareness and engagement.

Peg Dublin, BSN, MPH
Peg Dublin, BSN, MPH
Consultant

Peg Dublin has been involved with Centering since 2005, bringing the model to the Cook County Health and Hospital Services in Chicago. She became a consultant in 2006, based in Chicago. She loves to be outdoors, riding her bike along Lake Michigan, camping in the wilderness, or hiking in the mountains.

Mary Fitzmaurice
Mary Fitzmaurice
Regional Director

Mary Fitzmaurice recently joined CHI as Regional Director. She is driving the expansion of the Centering model to healthcare practices in four of our regions: the Northeast and Southeast, the Great Plains and the West. She is providing exceptional customer service and engagement with key regional stakeholders in the provider and payer communities.

Jon Hayes
Jon Hayes
Senior Director of Information Technology

As Senior Director of Information Technology, Jon is responsible for CHI's IT infrastructure and staff and has been with the organization since 2015. He brings over 15 years of experience in the Information Technology field, focusing largely on enterprise CRM and ERP application management. Outside of the office, Jon enjoys time with his wife Kim and their daughter Lily.

Malika Hodge
Malika Hodge
NYC Centering Program Manager

Malika provides consulting and implementation support to sites in her role as NYC Centering Program Manager. With a background in public health and advocacy, she comes to CHI with over a decade of experience facilitating conversations and developing curricula on racial equity, diversity & inclusion and how social determinants affect health outcomes. She is a trained full-spectrum doula, a certified lactation consultant, and a Returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Dominican Republic.

Horace Highland, Sr. MBA
Horace Highland, Sr. MBA
Regional Director, Midwest

As Midwest Regional Director, Horace is responsible for leading the growth and expansion of Centering across seven states through collaborations with healthcare providers, payers and government agencies. Having worked closely with payers, Horace comes to CHI with over ten years of experience in health insurance, managed care services and has a strong background and understanding of Medicare and Medicaid offerings. An advocate for the underserved, Horace serves on the Board of a non-profit organization that builds housing for poor, elderly and handicapped.

John Holder
John Holder
Salesforce / IT Administrator

John is the Salesforce / IT administrator at CHI. He has over ten years experience in IT systems and infrastructure management with a specific focus on Salesforce CRM implementation, integration and administration.

Victoria Jackson
Victoria Jackson
Technical Assistance Manager

Victoria serves as a Technical Assistance Manager providing support for Centering practices in the Southeast, South Central, Midwest and Great Plains regions. She comes to CHI with a background in public health and a strong passion to improve maternal mortality and prenatal care. Her prior experience includes developing programs to educate youth in local communities on living healthier lives covering topics such as nutrition, exercise and sex education among others.

Deus Jean-Francois
Deus Jean-Francois
Accounting Manager

In his role as Accounting Manager, Deus assists the Director of Finance with daily operations of the accounting department. He has a strong background in accounting and financial management with over 15 years of experience working as a public accountant.

Dillon Kamutenga
Dillon Kamutenga
Communications Manager

As the Communications Manager, Dillon focuses on building CHI’s social media and email marketing capability as well as supporting the communication needs across the organization. He comes with over 10 years of experience in digital communications, developing and implementing social media campaigns and managing audience engagement across online platforms.

Cherelle King
Cherelle King
Human Resources Manager

Cherelle comes to CHI with over 7 years of experience in varying aspects of human resource management. As the Human Resource Manager for CHI, Cherelle plans and coordinates all administrative functions of our organization. Serving as the link between staff and managers, she enhances human resources by planning, implementing and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies, programs and practices. 

Miguel A. Lopez, MBA
Miguel A. Lopez, MBA
National Director – Business Development

Miguel is responsible for the organization's business development strategy and execution of the national expansion of Centering sites. Along with his team of Regional Directors and State program managers, they focus on outreach to providers, payers, influential stakeholders, community organizations and legislative partners. Miguel's brings over 20 years of experience in functional areas like sales, operations and customer service leadership in medical transcription, clinical documentation improvement, revenue cycle management, EHR, robotic process automation and organizational consulting to Physicians, Clinics and Health Systems. Miguel is an Adjunct Professor for Houston Community College and has also led the startup of several businesses ventures as an entrepreneur.  

Amy MacDonald, CNM, MSN
Amy MacDonald, CNM, MSN
Consultant

Amy received her Masters of Science in Nursing and certificate in midwifery in 1991 from Yale University School of Nursing. In 1999, Amy established the Duke Midwifery Service, caring for high risk patients and mentoring residents and students from multiple disciplines. She leads a successful CenteringPregnancy practice for English and Spanish-speaking patients at Durham County Health Department. Amy has received numerous awards including the Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Patient Care Award in 1999 and the Duke Friends of Nursing Award for Excellence in Women’s Health and The North Carolina Great 100 Nurses Award in 2011. Amy has been a consultant with Centering Healthcare Institute since 2008.

Daphne Mazuz
Daphne Mazuz
Lead Technical Assistance Manager

Daphne manages the Boston-based team that provides support and technical assistance to Centering practices nationwide, and is the primary point of contact for practices in the West and Northeast regions. She co-chairs CHI's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. Daphne's career is driven by a commitment to health equity and social justice. She has consulted on public health communications and advocacy projects, supported community-based public health research studies, worked in non-profit development and communications for nearly a decade, and serves on the boards of both local and national non-profit organizations.

Nicole McCollum
Nicole McCollum
Implementation Advisor

Nicole brings over 12 years of first-hand experience as a Centering facilitator at an FQHC in Chicago, where she went on to becoming a project manager and leading the organization in the implementation of four Centering programs. She began her community healthcare career as a Doula and has over 15 years experience as a Doula, Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator. Nicole’s lifework has been around serving the underserved and combating disparities in healthcare. In 2017, she launched The Birth Professionals of Color Collective, to address the health disparities within her community in Chicago.

Tanya Munroe
Tanya Munroe
Senior Director of Quality & Special Initiatives

As Senior Director of Quality & Special Initiatives, Tanya provides leadership to CHI's grant making initiatives, direction for quality and improvement processes and is leading the charge on data and outcomes management to ensure that Centering continues to surpass the high standards that make it the gold standard for group health care delivery. Before CHI, she was the Manager of Chapter Grants at the March of Dimes for five years. In other lives Tanya has been a hotel manager, world-traveling ultimate frisbee player, DJ, and copy editor for the Hungarian Parliament.

Surendra Pokharel
Surendra Pokharel
Director of Finance

Surendra Pokharel joined CHI in 2016 bringing his versatile experience in accounting and finance, encompassing banking, distribution, auditing, financial management, book-keeping, accounting, and compliance services. His positive attitude not only brings warmth to our office but has also resulted in his successful team building, innovative solutions, and the organizational capacity to maintain quality service, even during periods of internal consolidation and rapid business growth. When not in the office, Surendra enjoys meditation, sports and spending time with his family and friends.

Margie Rickell, CNM, MS
Margie Rickell, CNM, MS
Implementation Advisor

Margie is the lead consultant at CHI. Centering brings together her varied experiences in counseling, management, lactation, health education, Lamaze, and childbirth education. She loves her seven grandchildren and learning about Anime and Pokémon, as well as building with Legos - just to name a few!

Lynn Scheidenhelm, LCSW, LCCE
Lynn Scheidenhelm, LCSW, LCCE
Director of Innovation

Lynn joined CHI as a Centering Consultant in 2007 and recently took on a new position as Director of Innovation. In this new role, she blends the job of a Consultant and CHI Staff. She is responsible for the development of products, services and training tools that support the Centering models. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator and worked as a Behavioral Health Clinical Manager at Clinica Family Health Services in Denver, CO. Lynn has four grandchildren and loves to make beaded jewelry.

Liz Stern
Liz Stern
Implementation Advisor

Liz is a public health professional with extensive experience in program management, training, and working with clinic leadership on systems change and population health initiatives. She has an MPH in health behavior and health education and has focused much of her career on intimate partner violence. Liz loves leading workshops and group facilitation. She finds it fun, engaging and exhilarating. She joined CHI in 2017 as a consultant because she is passionate about increasing Centering into our healthcare system.

Kathy Trotter, DNP, CNM, FNP
Kathy Trotter, DNP, CNM, FNP
Consultant

Kathy has been a consultant at CHI since 2002 and assisted in the creation of CenteringParenting. She works full time in Hillsborough, NC as both the lead faculty of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner major at Duke University School of Nursing and Senior Nurse Practitioner in the Duke Breast Cancer Program. She enjoys bicycling and has done over a dozen week long bike tours in the United States.

Cynthia Wade, CNM, MSN
Cynthia Wade, CNM, MSN
Consultant

Cynthia has been a consultant with CHI since 2006 and was involved in supporting Texas Centering sites through the March of Dimes and a Kellogg grant. She has worked for Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX Midwifery Section since 1989, starting CenteringPregnancy November 2005 at Casa de Amigos Harris Health clinic. She loves her church, her husband, reading, swimming, and shopping.

Deanna Velazquez
Deanna Velazquez
New Jersey Centering Program Manager

As the New Jersey Centering Program Manager, Deanna supports the expansion and sustainability of Centering at healthcare practices within New Jersey through ongoing consultation and business development. Her responsibilities also include managing initiatives and collaborations with healthcare providers, public health advocates and organizations to improve maternal health across the state. With a strong background in maternal child health and a passion to promote birth equity, Deanna brings over a decade of experience as a Doula, WIC Certified Lactation Counselor, Childbirth educator and reproductive activist to CHI. She has been teaching mindfulness and yoga for more than 20 years.

Emma Vine
Emma Vine
Practice Services Representative

In her role as a Practice Services Representative, Emma is focused on developing processes to best support Centering sites and helping the Practice Transformation team do its work most effectively. She coordinates workshop logistics and assists Centering practice staff in navigating and using CHI's tools and resources. Emma comes to CHI with a background in event coordination and customer service.

Heidi Walker
Heidi Walker
Certification Coordinator

Heidi is the Certification Coordinator and manages the Certification program at CHI. With over 20 years of nursing experience, she also serves as the Centering Coordinator at the Naval Medical Center at Camp Lejeune. She is a Certified Centering Facilitator Trainer (CCFT) at the facility and is a certified lactation counselor along with being a childbirth educator.

Board Members


Carmen Strickland, MD, MPH
Chairperson

Dr. Strickland is an Associate Professor at Wake Forest Department of Family and Community Medicine where she practices the full scope of family medicine including both inpatient and maternity care. She earned a Master’s of Public Health degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and is an active member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. She has been a long time advocate of Centering, joining the CHI Board of Directors in 2008. She has experience as a Centering provider and has implemented group visit programs in several residency programs. Locally, Dr. Strickland leads the North Carolina CenteringPregnancy Consortium in partnership with Northwest Community Care Network of Community Care of North Carolina.

Sharon Schindler Rising, MSN, CNM, FACNM
President Emeritus

Sharon Rising is the founder of the Centering model of group healthcare and since 1993 has provided leadership for the development and growth of the organization. She has received recognition for her achievements from several notable organizations including 2006 Yale University School of Nursing distinguished Alumna Award, Civic Ventures Purpose Prize in 2008, the American Academy of Nursing 2010 "Edge Runner" Award, and the 2010 American College of Nurse-Midwives' highest honor, the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award. In addition to creating the innovative Centering model, Sharon's impressive career ranged from clinical practice to healthcare education. She established the nurse-midwifery program and the Childbearing Childrearing Center at the University of Minnesota.


Amy Fine
Vice Chairperson

Amy Fine is a Senior Fellow at the Center of the Study of Social Policy. In this role, she helps shape CSSP's approach to integrating health, education, human services and other family supports at the community level, focusing on more preventive, developmentally-oriented service systems for children and families. With more than 25 years of experience working on issues related to maternal and child health, Amy has served as a consultant to federal and state health agencies, private philanthropies and national initiatives focused on improving results for children.

Andrea Darby-Stewart, MD
Secretary

Dr. Darby-Stewart is an experienced clinician-leader with skills in transformational healthcare redesign, primary care/specialty integration, and medical education. She is currently Associate Program Director at HonorHealth Family Medicine Residency in Scottsdale, Arizona, and recently served as Clinical Department Chair of Family Medicine and Medical Director for Chronic Care TTRIaD at Banner Health. Dr. Darby-Stewart brings a skill for connecting population health management with personalized healthcare to the Centering Healthcare Board. She has a true passion for excellence in patient care and medical education.

Sandra Hassink, MD, FAAP
Member

Dr. Hassink is past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has spent her professional career caring and advocating for children with obesity. Dr. Hassink is the Director of the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight focused on translating research into practice for pediatric health care providers, families and children and advancing the field of pediatric obesity. She also began the weight management clinic at Nemours/AI DuPont Children’s Hospital in 1988 and dedicates a significant portion of her time to advocacy and policy development on obesity prevention and treatment. She has served on the IOM committee on Accelerating Progress on Obesity Prevention and was an author on the Expert Recommendations for Obesity. In addition, she has authored A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity, Pediatric Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Strategies for Primary Care, and Clinical Guide to Pediatric Weight Management. Dr. Hassink also holds a Master of Science in Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Ashley Lanfer
Treasurer

Ashley Lanfer, who participated in a CenteringPregnancy group before the birth of her third child, previously served as a strategy consultant for Centering Healthcare Institute. She is a partner at Wellspring Consulting, which provides consulting on strategy, market analysis, business planning and organizational design for the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining Wellspring Consulting, she was a portfolio manager at Strategic Grant Partners, a foundation and pro-bono consulting firm that supported Centering Healthcare Institute’s planning and growth. She received her Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Ashley was a founding board member of My Sister’s Keeper, an organization that supported Sudanese women through education and advocacy.

Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, MEd, MPPM, FACOG
Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson

Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew is an Ob/Gyn at University Hospitals in Cleveland and holds an endowed chair position heading the Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. She is also an assistant dean of students for Case Western Reserve University. She has dedicated more than twenty years of her professional and personal life to diversity issues and global health challenges of women. She has been one of few female African-American providers to work with under-resourced communities with focus on care for women living with HIV. She currently heads the First Year Cleveland city and county wide initiative focused on reducing infant morbidity and mortality by enhancing the healthcare of women. Development of medical models that address social determinants of health continues to be another focus of her work. She has been instrumental in development of the WONDOOR program and the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program in Guyana. Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management (International Affairs) enhancing her expertise in global health program and policy development. Her leadership positions have included the President of Gateway Medical Society and President of the Medical Alumni Association, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Eva N. Boyce
Member

Eva is the Chief Financial Officer for GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) a non-profit legal organization and is responsible for operations and finance. She has over 25 years of combined experience in public accounting and non-profit management in wide-ranging capacities including: CFO, controller, treasurer, consultant, auditor, trainer, manager and coach. Eva is a Rockwood Leadership alumnus and participated in the inaugural cohort of the 21st Century Pipeline project; a year-long leadership training program designed to retain & support leaders of color in the LGBT movement. She has also served as a volunteer board member of the Provincetown Film Society, The Theatre Offensive, Elizabeth Stone House, Victory Programs, and Casa Myrna Vasquez.

Ram Jagannath
Member

Ram Jagannath is a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Healthcare for Blackstone Growth and a member of the Blackstone Growth Investment Committee. Since joining Blackstone in 2019, Ram has led Blackstone’s acquisition of HealthEdge Software and was actively involved in its investment in Alnylam and the inclisiran royalty. Prior to his current position, Ram has held positions as a founding Partner of Navab Capital Partners (NCP) and Head of Healthcare. He was a Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, focused on healthcare investments. Ram has worked broadly across the healthcare sector, including general healthcare services (payors and providers), pharma and pharma services, healthcare information technology, tech-enabled healthcare services, medical products, and diagnostics. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of HealthEdge Software and also serves on the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. Ram was previously a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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