Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Announces 2018-19 Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership Class

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation Announces
2018-19 Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership Class

BOSTON (Sept. 26, 2018) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation today announced the 10th group of emerging community health leaders selected for the Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership program.  The MICHL program brings together professionals who currently direct or manage programs at a variety of health care organizations across Massachusetts for a series of classroom, peer-to-peer and professional learning opportunities.

“The goal for the MICHL program is to help participants increase their own personal impact, strengthen their effectiveness in their organization, and enhance their respective organization’s influence in addressing challenges and opportunities in today’s increasingly complex health care environment,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

The MICHL class of 2018-19 – sponsored in part by a new partner, The Boston Foundation – is comprised of 18 participants from state agencies, hospitals, nonprofit community health centers, mental health providers, and advocacy groups serving low-income and uninsured individuals and families.  The participants, selected through an application process, represent the 10th MICHL cohort since the program began in 2006.  The program has more than 150 graduates.

In addition to connecting with leaders in community health and local hospitals, MICHL participants gain access to expert and committed faculty who introduce new practices, strategies and leadership skills.  In recent years, the MICHL program has explored the impact of racism in the nation’s health care system.

“Being a leader in the United States in the 21st century means understanding the impact of structural and institutional racism on health, health care, and public health,” said Michael McCormack, deputy director of leadership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who leads the MICHL program for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.  “Health care and public health improvement strategies often target the symptoms of structural racism, without naming racism, and without the leadership required to change systems that continue to incur advantage and disadvantage based on race – thus the integration of this important issue into the MICHL curriculum.”

The 2018-19 MICHL participants are:




Katie Riconda

AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod

Director, Prevention and Screening

Jamie Gaynes

Boston Children's Hospital

Government Relations Specialist

Mahader Tamene

Boston Medical Center

Senior Project Manager

Mark V. Scott

Boston Public Health Commission

Program Director, Trauma Response and Recovery

Niurka Pitts

Boston Public Health Commission

Director of Housing

Mary Kate Little

Bowdoin Street Health Center

Program Manager

Maria G. Celli

Brockton Neighborhood Health Center

Director of Social Services

Josefina Wendel

Cambridge Health Alliance

Director, Population Health Initiative

Shannon Merrell

Centering Health Care Institute

Director, Practice Services

Mika Cheng

Commonwealth Care Alliance

Program Director

Amy Glynn

Commonwealth Care Alliance

Senior Program Consultant

Kevin Conner

Community Servings

Director of Food Service

Uyen Tran

DotHouse Health

Specialty Practice Manager

Stephanie Campbell

Mass. Department of Public Health

Acting Director, Office of Sexual Health and Youth Development

Sophie Hansen

National Assoc. of Social Workers, Mass. Chapter

Political Director

G. Leo Blandford

Outer Cape Health Services

Director, Community Based Coordinated Care

Bethany Allen

Peer Health Exchange

Program Director

Kristi Taylor


Program Manager