Nikki Burnett is the Regional Vice President for Collective Impact and Multicultural Initiatives for the New England Region for the American Heart Association American has been with the AHA/ASA for 15 years.
Born in Springfield, MA, Nikki received her A.S. in Arts and Science from Holyoke Community College and went on to complete her B.S. in Biology at American International College in Springfield. In May 2018 she completed a B.S. in Organizational Leadership at Bay Path University. She is currently an MBA candidate in Entrepreneurial Thinking and Innovative Practices which she will complete in the Fall of 2019, also at Bay Path.
Before coming to the AHA, Nikki worked in the Cardiopulmonary Division at Baystate Medical Center for 11 years. For five (5) of those eleven years, she was a volunteer for the AHA and helped to raise over $50,000 for several Heart Walks and Heart Galas.
During her time at BMC, she worked in many different capacities, ranging from EKG, non-invasive cardiology and cardiac rehab. For her last 3 years of employment at BMC, she was the Education Coordinator of Cardiopulmonary Services and Assistant to the Chief of Cardiology.
Another passion of Nikki’s is teaching and encouraging communities to be strong advocates for the issues that impact them the most. Nikki loves and is very active in her church (Progressive Community Baptist Church) and serves on the Progressive Community Development Corporation, Guide Ministry, Angel Tree Ministry, and Pastor’s Aides. Most importantly, Nikki is the mother of a wonderful 18-year-old daughter who is a Biology major/Chemistry minor at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Soloe Dennis is the Deputy Public Health Commissioner for The Department of Health and Human Services in the City of Springfield. Soloe oversees several programs which include the Substance Abuse, Tobacco, Nursing, Environmental Health, Men of Color Program and the Public Health Preparedness and Response initiatives within the department. He also provides leadership and support to other offices that are part of the Commissioner’s Cabinet as requested by the Commissioner.
Before Joining the City of Springfield, Soloe worked for the MA Department of Public Health, serving as the Director of Local and Public Health Initiatives. He led workforce development initiatives to ensure all 351 local boards of health within the Commonwealth had the appropriate skill set and training needed to carry out the 10 essential services of core public health functions. Soloe also led the effort in working with all academic institutions within the Commonwealth in strengthening and engaging them in partnership around research and workforce development efforts. Prior to that role, Soloe served as Regional Director for the Western MA region. He oversaw the Northampton Regional Office, supporting the MA Department of Public Health priority areas and staff communications across bureaus. Lastly, Soloe worked at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission as the Senior Public Health Planner developing systems, plans, and programs to enhance health department’s capacity to address health priorities in Western Massachusetts.
Soloe has had a long career and is very passionate about Public Health and sits on many boards. He currently is a board member of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences Dean Advisory Board, Western Massachusetts Training Institute and University of Massachusetts School of Nursing.
Soloe has Master of Science in Environmental Health from the University of Massachusetts, School of Public Health and Health Sciences; He is also a graduate from the Commonwealth Senior Leadership Program and is a Master Exercise Practitioner Certified from the Department of Homeland Security.
Keith Fairey began his tenure as president and chief executive officer of Way Finders in July of 2020. Way Finders is a regional housing organization focused on pursuing housing stability and economic mobility outcomes for its clients and communities in Western Massachusetts. The organization annually touches the lives of over 50,000 people through a diverse set of initiatives including: homelessness prevention, rental assistance, financial education, homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling, real estate development, property management, community engagement, and small business lending through its subsidiary, Common Capital.
Prior to joining Way Finders, Keith was a senior vice president for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. In that role he led the management, oversight and strategic guidance of Enterprise’s 11 regional market offices across the United States. Keith’s extensive experience in community development and real estate finance, organizational development and strategic planning allowed him to make an impact across Enterprise. Signature efforts initiated by Keith during his tenure at Enterprise included a national state and local policy program, racial equity initiative, and market expansions in Detroit and the Southeast. Previously, Keith served as regional operating officer, overseeing all of Enterprise’s eastern region markets. Prior to working nationally for Enterprise, Keith held other New York focused leadership positions including deputy director and LIHTC originator for the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.
Prior to joining Enterprise, Keith was chief operating officer of the Mount Hope Housing Company in the Bronx, where he rebuilt the organization’s real estate development capacity, while managing fundraising, communications and economic development initiatives. Keith also served as the assistant director of Community Pride, the community building program of the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Keith has a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in public finance and financial management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in history education from the University of Delaware.
Joshua A. Garcia, an MPA graduate of Westfield State University and a 2015 BusinessWest Forty Under 40 recipient, is a practicing Public Administrator with a focus on community development, public management, and good governance. From his professional capacity beginning at the Holyoke Housing Authority as its Property Manager to becoming a Project Manager in the Community Development Section of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), to now as the Town Administrator at the Town of Blandford, Josh is dedicated to improving the quality-of-life for all residents. As the PVPC Municipal Services Manager, Joshua's key responsibility was to identify opportunities for municipal service efficiency and economy-of-scale, and to recent state program policies and resources encouraging and incentivizing municipalities to pursue collaboration, partnerships, and shared service opportunities. He had been responsible for coordinating the Commonwealth's District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) program within the 43 PVPC membership municipalities of the Hampden and Hampshire region and provided support for the Governor's Community Compact Cabinet Initiative by working with municipalities to prioritize 'best practice' efforts to advance local government priorities. Joshua has transferred these skills to his current position leading a small town of 1,200+ residents as Town Administrator. When he is not working, he contributes his professional experience to the development of his hometown, the City of Holyoke. He served as an elected representative on the Holyoke School Committee, he serves on local and regional community development boards, initiatives, and committees, and he is also a mayoral-appointed member of the Fire Commission for the Holyoke Fire Department. Joshua is a local and regional leader constantly looking for ways to bridge gaps, encourage collaboration, and proactively addressing quality-of-life concerns. When he is not working, he contributes his professional experience to the development of his hometown, the City of Holyoke. He served as an elected representative on the Holyoke School Committee, he serves on local and regional community development boards, initiatives, and committees, and he is also a mayoral appointed member of the Fire Commission for the Holyoke Fire Department. Joshua is a local and regional leader constantly looking for ways to bridge gaps, encourage collaboration, and proactively addressing issues of institutional racism when planning and making decisions by leading with the awareness of social determinants of health.
Rachel is the Co-Executive Director of the (NELCWIT), the sexual and domestic violence crisis center serving Franklin County and the North Quabbin. Prior to joining NELCWIT, she was a researcher and program manager for the London-based Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium, studying livelihoods and service delivery in South Sudan, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, and led gender mainstreaming efforts for the 8-country consortium. She also worked as a freelance researcher and consultant for international and local nonprofits, and managed political campaigns for a State Representative candidate in 2018 and the successful local ballot initiative to make Greenfield a Safe City in 2019. Rachel serves on the board of Asylum Access, a global refugee rights organization based in Oakland, CA. She holds dual Master's degrees in urban & environmental policy & planning and international affairs from Tufts University and its Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. She currently lives in Greenfield with her pitbull mix, Lionel Richie.
Jennifer Lee currently serves as the Systems Advocate for Stavros. As the Systems Advocate she assists the agency in promoting and protecting the civil rights of persons with disabilities. Her major responsibilities include advocating for policy and serving as a community organizer. Jennifer has a commitment to bringing a disability perspective to various dialogues, including that of housing, healthcare, transportation, and policy. For years, she has served as an advocate for persons with disabilities.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health, Science, Society, and Policy, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Brandeis University. She also possesses a Master’s Degree in Disability Studies from the City University of New York. Jennifer is a former intern for the American Association of Persons with Disabilities where she advocated for the national rights of persons with disabilities. As an advocate and individual with a disability she remains committed to bringing visibility to the issues that impact persons with disabilities. Jennifer currently serves as Chair for the Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council, a board member for the Disability Policy Consortium, and a Policy Council Member for the Massachusetts Public Health Association. All in all, Jennifer is a passionate advocate who remains committed to addressing the social determinants of health that impact access and quality of health for persons with disabilities.
Airin joined the Department of Health Promotion & Policy in 2018. She is a medical sociologist with training from the University of California-San Francisco. She completed the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars postdoctoral fellowship in community-based participatory research and health disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research examines how sociopolitical conditions and institutional racism produce chronic disease disparities among Latinx immigrants and their US-born children. Dr. Martinez’s research has included a situational analysis of comiendo bien (eating well) among Latinx immigrant families in San Francisco, where she identified the transnational inequities that sustain and transform practices of healthy eating. She has also collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to examine the relationship between health and place among older adults in the Bay Area and cardiovascular disease and occupational health risks among Latinx immigrants in Baltimore. She is recently completed a Phoenix-based project that examines how the local implementation of immigration enforcement policies creates material deprivation and psychosocial stress among Mexican mixed-status families, with at least one unauthorized immigrant. Her future research is examining the health effects of structural and interpersonal racism in Latinx parent-youth dyads. She is also evaluating with partners at the Holyoke Health Center, among others, a healthy living and obesity prevention initiative, Let’s Move Holyoke 5-2-1-0. She hopes that her research can inform structural interventions that promote health equity and inform community-based prevention strategies.
Dr. Sarah Perez McAdoo is a public health physician who is passionate and committed to transforming the health of communities by addressing health inequities and the social factors that influence health. Her work has focused in the areas of public policy, community based strategies, program planning, health advocacy and healthcare education. Currently, Dr. McAdoo is the Population Health Capstone Director for the Population based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate. Her work uses a team approach to design a Longitudinal Community based Education experience to compliment the bio-medical education of medical students. Her primary projects include creating a volunteer non -clinical community faculty, implementation of an immersive population health clerkship and building the Community-Doctor relationship. Most recently, Dr. McAdoo is developing an Interprofessional Health Equity Incubator where students from diverse health professions learn and apply foundational skills to address health inequities in low resourced communities. Dr. McAdoo also serves as the Chair of the Board of Health for the Town of East Longmeadow in Western Massachusetts. In her role she provides leadership and expertise to develop the community's public health infrastructure, implement public health policy and regulations, as well as create community health programs. Previously, Dr. McAdoo was the Founder and Director of the Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health Network, a community coalition which used advocacy, research, community education and collaboration to influence practice and policy in adolescent sexual health. Dr. McAdoo has received recognition for her work in public health, community leadership, as well as residency and faculty teaching awards. Dr. McAdoo received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. She received a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health and completed the Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy.
Knowledgeable, talented and visionary senior planning leader with vast experience thoughtfully and successfully guiding regional planning and community development at the city and county levels. Recognized for expert ability to create a holistic and compelling shared vision; anticipate challenges and creatively leverage opportunities; analyze complex issues, find creative solutions, and develop relevant and impactful policy. Demonstrated ability to successfully manage complex projects, programs and operations; communicate forthrightly yet effectively and navigate sensitive political relationships; facilitate consensus and commitment among competing stakeholders; and lead diverse teams to success.
Cherrelle Rozie currently serves as the Director of Community Health and Well Being for the Springfield market at Trinity Health of New England/Mercy Medical Center. She’s responsible for all community health programs and initiatives within the market. She also oversees the Mercy Medical Center Healthcare for the Homeless program and Springfield Social Care Team with a staff of 23.
After obtaining her undergraduate degree from the illustrious Howard University, a historically black college and university in Washington D.C., she obtained her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Community and International Health from New York University. She’s also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Prior to joining Trinity Health of New England/Mercy Medical Center, Cherelle spent the previous six years with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Her most recent role’s with the AHA/ASA were the Health Equity Director and Community Impact Director for the Boston area market. Prior to her roles in Boston, she served as a Regional Community CPR Manager for the AHA/ASA Greater Southeast Affiliate which included the following states/territories: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Puerto Rico. The majority of her work has centered around health equity and disparities, chronic disease prevention and education.
In her personal time, she coaches 7th and 8th grade girl’s travel basketball. She’s coached youth basketball for the past 14 years. She also spends a great deal of time mentoring and tutoring teenage youth. She more recently developed a passion for modifying her Jeep Wrangler and going off-roading in her spare time.
Joel is responsible for the information and technology vision, strategy, and operations of the entire health system as Baystate Health's Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and provided the vision, plan, and execution behind the launch of TechSpring as founder. He serves as Co-Chair of the TechSpring Steering Committee.
Prior to Baystate, Joel was Vice President and General Manager of a global businesses unit within GE Healthcare IT where he developed GE’s next generation healthcare solutions focused on population health management and analytics for the global market. Prior to GE he served as Director of IT and Chief Applications Officer at Boston Medical Center (BMC) where he oversaw various enterprise HIT applications and technologies that included primary point of care applications, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), ancillary applications and associated devices, integration technologies, and diagnostic modalities.
Joel is currently a Senior Fellow at Boston University's Health Policy Institute. He is also a lecturer at Boston University's School of Medicine, Boston University's School of Management, and Harvard University. He holds an undergraduate degree from Boston College and has Masters degrees from Harvard University and Boston University School of Medicine.
In 2010, Joel was recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the Top 25 Clinical Informaticists in the country. That same year, he also received distinction from Information Management magazine as one of the Top 25 Information Managers in the country. He was also a recipient of the eHealth Initiative's Advocate of the Year for Business Process Improvement.
Lora joined Leadership Pioneer Valley in 2011 after serving as the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters (MLEV) for 5 1/2 years. She was involved in all aspects of building MLEV into a successful, well-respected organization including administration, fundraising, management, board development, coalition-building, and strategic planning. Her political acumen and strategy has earned the organization strong support with members of Congress, the Governor, members of the legislature and the mayor of Boston. Prior to her work with MLEV, she worked for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and National Audubon Society in DC. While at LCVEF and Audubon, she launched and organized several successful programs and training programs. She has nearly 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach. Ms. Wondolowski holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a MS from Bard College. She serves on the boards of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Public Health Institute of Western MA, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley.