Media Kit

Our Team

Team building at All Staff Meeting

Senior Leadership


Angie Truesdale
Angie Truesdale
Chief Executive Officer

As Centering Healthcare Institute’s CEO, Angie is focused on spreading the Centering model so that all Americans have access to group health care. Since joining CHI in June 2015 she has been paving the way to achieve this goal through her thoughtful leadership, spot-on decisiveness, flexibility and attention to organizational structure. From spending time with practice sites to building relationships with policy makers and leaders in healthcare, Angie is moving CHI towards recognition as the go-to resource for group healthcare. Before joining CHI Angie spent much of her career on Capitol Hill and with national health organizations addressing healthcare disparities and turning grassroots efforts into national movements for change.

Ramesh Advani
Ramesh Advani
Chief Financial Officer

Ramesh oversees the Finance function at CHI, including assessing financial infrastructure and financial planning to support implementation of the organization's growth strategy. A senior finance and operations executive with experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors, his background is primarily in technology and social change managing large programs and projects within the financial services and high-tech medical industries . He has served as a mentor and counselor to technology entrepreneurs focused on social impact, clean tech and other causes. Ramesh also serves on the Board of several Boston based nonprofits.

Marena Burnett
Marena Burnett
Senior Director of Engagement and Innovation

Marena joined the CHI team in 2015, after enjoying the challenge and spirit of working at two progressive healthcare start-ups. She oversees the development of Centering products, services and training, and guides the marketing and communication initiatives. Her work includes developing the CenteringParenting and CenteringHealthcare frameworks to support clinicians in applying the model across the life course. Prior to joining CHI Marena was the Engagement Manager for a large Integrative Medicine practice and the Early Parenting Program Manager for an innovative service/health education program serving families in the Boston, Atlanta and Dallas areas. She has extensive experience in program design and management, group facilitation and cross-functional team leadership.

John Craine
John Craine
Senior Director of Strategy & Partnerships

As Senior Director of Strategy & Partnerships, John is leading the growth and expansion of Centering practices across all six of CHI’s U.S. regions through local and national initiatives. He manages a team of Regional Directors and State Program Managers in key geographic target areas and is responsible for stakeholder development throughout the nation. An avid fly fisherman, in his off time, he can be found knee deep in local streams coaxing trout onto the end of his line.

Shannon Merrell
Shannon Merrell
Senior Director of Practice Services & Support

As Senior Director of Practice Services & Support, 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 manages all of the CHI consultants in the field and the practice services team in Boston. Before joining CHI, Shannon taught first-grade, co-facilitated CenteringPregnancy groups in NYC, then moved to California to complete her MPH in Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley. She loves all outdoor activities, especially those involving snow!

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.

Staff


Erin Conklin
Erin Conklin
State Program Manager, Michigan

Erin serves as State Program Manager for Michigan and is responsible for expanding access and building a collaborative network of Centering sites across the state. Born and raised in Michigan, Erin's background is rooted in population health, value-based care models and clinical improvement to achieve improved health outcomes. With over ten years of healthcare administration experience, Erin has built a strong foundation in strategic planning, partnership development and community engagement.

Vandana Devgan
Vandana Devgan
Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Vandana is responsible for managing marketing communications including strategy, public relations and 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
Director of Information Technology

Jon is the IT/Data Manager at CHI. He has over 10 years of experience in the Information Technology field and has spent the majority of his career managing ERP and CRM applications. Jon enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and claims to have never lost a staring contest.

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
Practice Services Manager

Victoria serves as a Practice Services Manager providing support for Centering practices in the Great Plains and Midwest 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.

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
Practice Services Manager

Daphne serves as Practice Services Manager providing support and technical assistance to Centering practices in the West and Great Plains 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
Consultant

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.

Katherine McGuiness, MPH, MSW
Katherine McGuiness, MPH, MSW
Consultant

Bio Coming Soon.

Sonja Pemberton
Sonja Pemberton
Manager, Consultant Team

As Manager of the CHI Consultant Team, Sonja oversees and trains CHI consultants who provide implementation support services and training to Centering sites across the country. She has spent more than 25 years working with leaders and teams across various industries to navigate the challenges and complexities of system change. Sonja also serves as the co-chair of CHI’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Shelia Reed
Shelia Reed
State Program Manager, Mississippi

In her role as State Program Manager for Mississippi, Sheila is responsible for supporting existing sites and expanding the Centering model across the state. Sheila comes to CHI with experience in the managed care industry and an in-depth knowledge of healthcare trends and referral patterns in the Mississippi market. Sheila’s experience includes working in the government insurance market with hospitals and physicians, where her area of focus was on health plans for special needs populations.

Margie Rickell, CNM, MS
Margie Rickell, CNM, MS
Lead Consultant

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!

Mariely Neris Rodriguez, MSW
Mariely Neris Rodriguez, MSW
Consultant

Bio coming soon.

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.

Juan Carlos Siegel
Juan Carlos Siegel
Regional Director, South Central Region

As Regional Director for the South Central Region, Juan is responsible for business development and expansion of Centering across six states through collaborations with local health departments, providers, payers and health clinics. He is responsible for key stakeholder engagement, site development and site support in the region. Juan brings over 15 years of experience in the health, wellness and fitness industries where his background has been rooted in health advocacy. He has a strong foundation in designing, implementing and driving engagement in innovative health improvement programs within local communities.

Liz Stern
Liz Stern
Consultant

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

Bio Coming Soon.

Emma Vine
Emma Vine
Practice Services Coordinator

In her role as Practice Services Coordinator, Emma is focused on developing processes to best support Centering sites. She manages workshop and assists the Practice Services team in its efforts to support the implementation of Centering at practices across the country. 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 Heath 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 CenteringPregnancy 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
Secretary

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
Member

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
Vice Chairperson

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. Lanfer 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
Member

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 countywide 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.

Monica McLemore, PhD., MPH, RN
Treasurer

Dr. McLemore has extensive experience as a nurse trained in public health, an accomplished research scientist, educator and advocate for reproductive health. The longtime Centering champion is currently an assistant professor of family health care nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, as well as a member of the Dean’s Research Committee and a per diem staff nurse at San Francisco General Hospital. McLemore has held several clinical leadership and nursing positions at organizations including Mercer Medical Center, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Women’s Needs Center, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and Planned Parenthood.

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