Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy OfficerBaystate Health
Jean Ahn, FACHE, serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for Baystate Health, Western Massachusetts’s largest and leading health system. She oversees a value-focused strategy for the health system, which includes four regions, four acute care hospitals (including the only regional Level I trauma center), Baystate Medical Practices, Baycare Health Partners (PHO), Health New England (health plan), Baystate Home Health (which includes hospice services), and participation in both a NextGen ACO and a MassHealth Medicaid ACO. Prior to joining Baystate Health in 2012 as Vice President, Jean served as System Director of Strategic Planning & Business Development at Yale New Haven Health System.
Active in the community, Jean currently serves on the boards of ACHE of Massachusetts, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (formerly Partners for a Healthier Community), Baycare Health Partners, and Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, as well as on her local public school council as an elected parent representative. A 2013 recipient of the ACHE Service Award which recognizes contributions to healthcare management excellence, Jean holds a B.A. with honors from Wellesley College and a M.H.A. with academic distinction from Cornell University. She is also a 2015 fellow of the Massachusetts Health Leadership College.
Bettye Anderson-Frederic is the former Deputy Director of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services (SDHHS) and a career nurse clinician. After pursuing her undergraduate degree at Dillard University, a Historical Black College, she obtained a graduate degree from Boston University. Her ensuing work has centered on social justice, health equity and disparities in health care and health outcomes. She has practiced in acute care settings, taught at the college level, and worked to promote community health. In her current position at SDHHS, she oversees population based health services for the residents of Springfield. In this role, she has developed a population-based nursing service, created and structured the Maternal Child Health Commission, secured CLIA certification for population based health screening and integrated all health units into a cooperative force for health prevention. She has been involved in the following projects, many of which required community engagement: Mason Square Neighborhoods Assessment of Community Participation and Health Needs, Health Updates on Springfield HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse Treatment Among Springfield Residents, Profile of the AIDS Epidemic In the City of Springfield, Health Profiles of Springfield Pregnancies and Births, working with faculty from the University of Massachusetts on cultural/racial diversity in the field of nursing, The Public Health Network Project: Rural Public Health, served on design team for the Baystate CHNA, and served as faculty for a community health and capacity building grant and on the Advisory Board of a Health Communications in Cancer Control Project.
First Vice President, Marketing and Corporate ResponsibilityPeoplesBank
Matt is First Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Responsibility for PeoplesBank, the largest mutually chartered bank in Western Massachusetts and a leader in green values, sustainable energy financing, and charitable giving. Matt joined PeoplesBank in 2015, and manages the corporate philanthropy program and budget through the allocation of grants, events, sponsorships, and in-kind contributions in the region, focusing on key areas including academics, innovation, economic growth and community vibrancy. He also plans and directs corporate marketing and public relations programs, and represents the bank in public, social and business events to maintain and improve community relations and corporate goodwill.
Prior to joining PeoplesBank, Matt was Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications and Brand Content for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Here, he led all advertising, design, media relations, content marketing, internal communications, crisis management and media advocacy for the $750M non-profit, managing a staff of 45 and supporting fundraising, education, advocacy and research for the largest health non-profit in the country. He spent 15 years at the AHA/ASA, including 9 years in the Northeast region and 6 years at the National Center in Dallas, TX.
Immediately prior to the AHA/ASA, Matt was Vice President, Group Account Director at Arnold Worldwide, based in Boston, and managing integrated marketing campaigns, with a focus on anti-tobacco marketing efforts for clients that included the Mass Department of Public Health, the FDA, and the American Legacy Foundation. Other clients during his 9-year tenure at Arnold included Volkswagen, Ocean Spray, Puma, Verizon and EMC. Matt has also managed media relations for Major League Baseball’s “Old-Timers” games for sponsor Upper Deck, and, while at Hill Holliday advertising in Boston, managed public relations, advertising and event marketing campaigns for John Hancock, Puma and others.
Matt resides in Hadley, MA, with his wife Sharon, and has three children who also still reside in the area, Julia, Davis and Sarah.
Deputy Executive DirectorSpringfield Housing Authority
Nicole is employed by the Springfield Housing Authority as a Deputy Executive Director and has been with the agency since 2004. Her role includes overseeing all aspects of property management and resident services programs for 1,400 rental units; managing the finance department in the development and implementation of the SHA’s approximately $33 million annual budget; overseeing the management of human resources and the management of the agency’s central storage warehouse. She is a 2003 graduate of Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Finance and Accounting. In 2012, Nicole graduated from the inaugural class of Leadership Pioneer Valley, a nine month leadership development program. Since 2008, Nicole has served as a Big Brother/Big Sister mentor to Haley, a 15 year old young lady who attends Ludlow High School. Additionally, Nicole has served as the treasurer of Revitalize CDC (formerly Rebuilding Together, Springfield) since 2013, the treasurer of Partners for a Healthier Community since 2014 and a member of the YMCA Downtown Advisory Board since 2011. In 2011, Nicole was awarded a 40 under 40 designation by Business West. Nicole currently resides in Springfield.
PresidentSpringfield Technical Community College
Dr. John B. Cook began serving as the sixth president of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) on August 1, 2016. Co-located on the grounds of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and is the only technical community college in Massachusetts. The College is also an Achieving the Dream Leader College and is one of just three colleges in the Commonwealth designated a Hispanic Serving Institution. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Cook was Vice President of Academic Affairs at Manchester Community College (MCC) in New Hampshire. In his role as Chief Academic Officer, he was responsible for the administration, leadership, and oversight of all academic programs and faculty at the college. Successes at MCC include working with faculty to revise developmental education, creating Early College pathways and injecting energy into both a comprehensive program review and assessment process. He also worked for 12 years at Granite State College, one of four institutions that constitute the public University System of New Hampshire; Granite State is known particularly as the leading provider of public online education in the state. He served in multiple roles including Assistant Dean of Faculty, Faculty Coordinator, and Research and Evaluation Coordinator for a child welfare training partnership. For a number of years, Dr. Cook taught Research methods and Educational Psychology part-time to Granite State undergraduates. John has long held a deep interest in the relationships between communities and their higher education collaborators. He was nominated and selected in 2010 to be an Emerging Engagement Scholar by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC), whose goal is to work collaboratively to build strong college/university-community partnerships. His past local service has included serving as a member of the Town of Tuftonboro (NH) Budget Committee, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Planning Board. He holds a BS from St. Lawrence University in Psychology and Anthropology, a Master’s degree in Community/Social Psychology from UMass Lowell, and a Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum/Instruction) from the University of New Hampshire.
Deputy Public Health Commissioner
Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
Deputy Public Health CommissionerSpringfield Department of Health and Human Services
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.
Municipal Services ManagerPioneer Valley Planning Commission
Joshua A. Garcia, an MPA graduate of Westfield State University, 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 now a Project Manager in the Community Development Section of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), Josh is dedicated to improving the qualify-of-life for all residents. As the PVPC Municipal Services Manager, Joshua's key responsibility is 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 is 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 provides support for the Governor's Community Compact Cabinet Initiative by working with municipalities to prioritize 'best practice' efforts to advance local government priorities.
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.
Director of OperationsMartin Luther King Jr. Family Services
Samantha Hamilton is the Director of Operations at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS). Before hold the position of Director of Operations Samantha was the Director of Public Health Initiative at MLKFS. Ms. Hamilton has 14 years of experience working with residents in the Mason Square Community and with youth ages 5 to 24.
While work at MLKFS, She has supported state and federal base grant initiatives around: gang violence, substance abuse prevention, and teen dating violence. Samantha’s leadership under these grants and community initiates allows: youth to have safe haven programming, domestic and dating violence education, and annual community engagement event that showcase community resources and opportunities. Samantha has her Bachelors is Business Management and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from American International College (AIC).
Director of Community Health and Government RelationsCooley Dickinson Hospital
Jeff is the Director of Community Health and Government Relations for Cooley Dickinson Health Care, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital. In this role, Jeff leads community health initiatives and represents the health system to community based projects. He staffs the Healthy Communities Committee, which is a board committee that oversees community health programs, community health needs assessment, and community benefit. Additionally, he represents Cooley Dickinson for local, state, and federal legislative and policy issues. Jeff has held a variety of management positions at Cooley Dickinson Heath Care. Most recently he was the longtime director of the Western Massachusetts Center for Healthy Communities. In that role his focus was on regional and community planning on a range of topics including substance abuse prevention, tobacco control, and healthy eating/active living, and health access. He serves on numerous community boards and committees including United Way of Hampshire County, Partners for a Healthier Community, Hampshire Regional Chamber of Commerce, Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition, Healthy Hampshire Coalition, Pioneer Valley Satellite Health Center planning, and the University of Massachusetts Chancellor’s Diversity Council. Jeff earned a MPH in health policy and management from the University of Massachusetts in 1991 and a BA in psychology from Indiana University in1984.
Cristina Huebner Torres
Director of Research and WellnessCaring Health Center
Cristina Huebner Torres is the Director of Research and Wellness at Caring Health Center (CHC) in Springfield, Massachusetts. Concurrent with her role as Director of Research, she previously served as Vice President at the health center where she was responsible for directing the administrative functions and overseeing all health center operations and quality in accordance with regulatory agencies. Ms. Huebner Torres is completing her doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences where she teaches a course on epidemiology in public health. Ms. Huebner Torres also holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s Degree in Somatic Studies from New York University. With over 15-years experience in public health research, her work is guided by theoretical frameworks from social epidemiology and medical anthropology focused primarily on social determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity as they shape chronic illness prevention and management among ethnically diverse, urban, low income populations. Ms. Huebner Torres oversees internationally-, federally- and state-funded grant projects aimed at chronic disease prevention and management and health care policy that lead to sustainable health promotion initiatives and practice. Key aims of the department’s work are to address individual and systems-level factors to reduce health disparities and to ensure the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. She is the site Principal Investigator of a National Institute of Health-funded study to examine health literacy, cultural beliefs and medication adherence and was Project Director of the prior NIH-funded study that examined health literacy, cultural health beliefs, and chronic disease outcomes. Barriers to chronic disease self-management such as high rates of food insecurity and medication non-adherence were among some of the key findings. Based on these findings, Ms. Huebner Torres has collaboratively led the development of the CHC Wellness Center, a community-based resource located within the health center that offers group-based, culturally-tailored exercise, nutrition, cooking demonstration, and chronic disease prevention and self-management classes to patients and staff at no cost. Ms. Huebner Torres has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications from the research and is a lead grant writer at the health center.
Director of Healthcare InformaticsHealth New England
Christopher Jasinski is the Director of Healthcare Informatics at Health New England where he leads the organization’s efforts in population health analytics and business intelligence. Chris oversees the design and implementation of healthcare cost, utilization, and quality reporting used in operational and strategic decision-making. Since 2010 he has been involved in the research, development, and evaluation of population health programs. Chris also serves as a Health Policy and Management Lecturer for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts where he teaches courses in health services management and strategic planning. Chris graduated with a BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and holds an MBA and an MPH from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is currently certified in public health (CPH).
Executive DirectorSquare One
In December of 2003, Joan Kagan joined Square One as the organization’s President and CEO. Although new to the field of early education and care, Joan has been a recognized leader in the provision of child welfare and mental health services since 1976. Prior to assuming her position at Square One, Joan served as the Western Massachusetts Director for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and for 17 years was with Brightside for Families and Children, leaving as Vice President of Community Programs. Joan serves on many Board of Directors, locally and statewide, including the Springfield Regional Chamber, Partners for a Healthier Community and the Massachusetts Association of Day Care Agencies. She is a Trustee at Our Lady of the Elms College, a member and past President of the Holyoke Rotary Club and past chair and current member of the Springfield College School of Social Work Advisory Board.
AttorneyBulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP
Kevin Maynard is a partner in the Springfield law firm of Bulkley Richardson and Gelinas, and is a member of the firm's Litigation/ADR Department. Kevin focuses his practice on resolving commercial disputes for businesses and individuals through advice, negotiation, litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® each year since 2008. In addition to his service on the PHC board, Kevin is board president of World is Our Classroom, Inc., a board member of Leadership Pioneer Valley, and a member of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Coordinating Council. He is a former board member and a past board president of the United Way of Pioneer Valley and of Square One, formerly Springfield Day Nursery, Inc. Kevin lives in Belchertown, Massachusetts.
Health Services ManagerTapestry
Cindy manages the family planning program in Hampden County for Tapestry Health. Cindy’s dedication to reproductive and community health is demonstrated in her career of over 30 years in public health, all in the Greater Springfield area. In addition to her work in clinical administration, Cindy is active in many community coalitions and mayoral commissions. Cindy is a member of the Springfield Maternal Child Health Commission, Project Baby Springfield, Springfield CHNA, the YEAH Network, Springfield Adolescent Sexual Health Advisory (mayoral commission), and is the chair of Holyoke’s mayoral commission on teen pregnancy (HASHPPAC), and Vice President of the Ludlow CARES coalition. Cindy has twice received the Ellen Story Award to recognize her work for exceptional contributions to the Tapestry Health. Tapestry also has recognized Cindy with their Sarah Levine award for her dedication and contributions to reproductive freedom and commitment to women’s health. Cindy also received an award from the YEAH! Network for excellence in Youth Leadership in Sexual Health. Cindy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from Springfield College in 1982. She lives in Ludlow Massachusetts with her husband John. She has two children, Jenn and Marc.
Executive DirectorThe Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
As executive director, Andrew is responsible for overseeing the management of the organization, and building partnerships with individuals, organizations, businesses and government entities at all levels. He also works to carry out public education, and collaborate with the Board of Directors to advance the mission of The Food Bank. Previously, he directed Solutions Community Development Corporation in Holyoke, which he founded in 1995. He was also director of the Greater Holyoke Community Development Corporation and was director of Casa del Pueblo in Washington, DC. Andrew serves on the Board of Directors of Partners for a Healthier Community in Springfield, and is also the current chair of the Leadership Council of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness.
Thu Pham's commitment to public health includes more than two decades of work with refugees who, like herself, came to Western Massachusetts from Southeast Asia. Her bilingual, leadership and networking skills have helped this population and their families, access care and treatment. A graduate of Graduate of Bard College Clemente Program Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts' Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact Thu has labored to eliminate racial and structural barriers in health care access. She was among the area women featured for her work in The Republican's 2012 International Women's Day Tribute, and was the 2003 recipient of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services' Luminary Award. She has been a member of Partners For A Healthier Community Board since March 1997. A member of St. Paul's Parish, recently retired and an avid gardener, Thu and her husband Hugh Reiss live in Springfield, with their dog Happy, and enjoy attending jazz concerts and cultural celebration.
Director of Elder AffairsCity of Springfield
Jan is responsible for supporting and providing emotional, social, recreational and health activities throughout the city of Springfield for the senior residents. Jan Rodriguez-Denney determines and formulates policies and provides overall direction in implementing these activities in a variety of avenues. These avenues include seven senior centers, SHINE program (a program that helps seniors navigate the health insurance options), Senior Net (computer education program), Mature Worker (retraining and employment placement program for older workers), and Social Service Outreach Program. She oversees federal, state and local government funding, as well as plan, direct and coordinate these funding streams at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate managers. Rodriguez-Denney advocates and works collaboratively with public and private agencies on issues affecting the quality of life needs facing the senior population. Rodriguez-Denney serves on the Board of Partners for a Healthier Community, Springfield Food Policy Council, Regional Employment Board, Y.W.C.A, Incorporated Emerson Wright Foundation, Greater Senior Services, Inc and Springfield College Board, Gray House and Take and Eat program. Jan Rodriguez-Denney holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from American International College and resides in Springfield.
Dr. Matthew Sadof, is a member of the Board of Directors at PHC and co-chairs the community research subcommittee. Since 1998, he has worked to develop sustainable systems of care and further medical education for medically and socially fragile children at Tufts University School of Medicine Western New England’s campus at Baystate Children’s’ in Springfield, MA. Dr Sadof has partnered with PHC on numerous projects that address health disparity in our region. He currently serves as chair of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition. With the help of grant writing and staffing support from PHC, he received CDC funding for local participation in National Inner City Asthma Intervention, The MADPH Asthma Disparity Initiative, National Institute for Environmental Health, HUD and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation (CMMI). This work helped to create an asthma community health worker program for children. Currently this effort is part of the Green Healthy Homes Social Investment Bond Initiative to create a regional center of excellence for asthma community health workers for seniors and children. Dr Sadof serves as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine practicing general pediatrics and adolescent medicine teaching pediatric residents and medical students at the High Street Pediatric Clinic. He is the Co- Principal investigator of the CMMI funded Massachusetts Alliance for Coordinated Care (MAAC /4C) a consultative care coordination program for children with medical complexity and social fragility at the Baystate Children’s Specialty Center. Dr Sadof Received his Medical Degree in 1983 from New Jersey Medical School, completed his pediatric residency training at the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center in 1986 and his fellowship training in young adult medicine at The Boston Children’s Hospital in 1987.
DirectorLeadership Pioneer Valley
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, Partners for a Healthier Community, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley.