Milbank State Leadership Program Cohorts Selected

Emerging Leaders Program Milbank Fellows Program
Focus Area:
State Health Policy Leadership

Each year, the Milbank Memorial Fund invests in the development of state and county leaders who are committed to advancing population health and health equity through its Milbank Fellows Program (MFP) and Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The members of the 2022–23 cohorts of both programs were selected this month.

“We were excited and honored by the expertise, insight, and diverse lived experience of the candidate pool this year — the largest ever,” said Milbank program officer Kate McEvoy, who oversees the leadership programs. “We look forward to partnering with the members of the new cohorts of ELP and MFP and to learning from them.”

The Milbank Fellows Program (MFP) is a 10-month leadership program, now in its second year, for senior executive branch and legislative state leaders who are committed to improving population health in their communities. Convened by the Milbank Memorial Fund in partnership with the Colorado Health Institute and the Public Leadership Group, MFP aims to equip participants with new knowledge and evidence-based approaches to specific population health issues, expand their personal insight and leadership capacities, and create meaningful connections with a network of colleagues from across the country.

This upcoming session reflects the sixth cohort of the Milbank Memorial Fund’s ELP. This 9-month program engages early and mid-career legislative and executive branch state and large-county government officials who are committed to bringing a health equity lens to their work to improve population health. ELP focuses on development of personal insights, hands-on leadership skills, sharing of best practices from public health and leadership experts, and the opportunity to connect with colleagues across states. ELP is facilitated by nationally recognized academic and leadership consultant Rich Callahan.

Congratulations to the members of this year’s cohorts for both MFP and ELP, who are listed below.

Milbank Fellows

Jonette Arms, Assistant Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health
Danny TK Avula, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services 
Heather Borski, Assistant Deputy Director of Community Health & Well-Being, Utah Department of Health & Human Services
Brooke Cunningham, Assistant Commissioner for Health Equity, Minnesota Department of Health 
Jatin Dave, Chief Medical Officer, MassHealth, Massachusetts Department of Health and Social Services
Debra Farrington, Deputy Secretary and Chief Health Equity Officer, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Morissa Henn, Associate Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services 
David Iseminger, Director, Employees and Retirees Benefits Division, Washington State Health Care Authority
Monica Johnson, Director, Georgia Division of Behavioral Health 
Tonya Joiner, Deputy Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health
Morgan Medlock, Commissioner, Colorado Behavioral Health Administration
Breanca Merritt, Chief Equity and ADA Officer, Indiana Family and Social Services Department
Cassandra Pasley, Chief of Staff, Florida Department of Health
Matt Yancey, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services 
Ralph Alvarado, State Senator, Kentucky
Fred Baldwin, State Senator, Wyoming,
Sara Gelser Blouin, State Senator, Oregon
Laura Fine, State Senator, Illinois
Mark Lawson, State Representative, Oklahoma
Mark Pearson, State Representative, New Hampshire
Marcus Riccelli, State Representative, Washington
Dylan Roberts, State Senator, Colorado
Ed Stafman, State Representative, Montana

Emerging Leaders

Markay Adams, Assistant Director, Division of Fee-for-Service Management, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
Elizabeth Adkins, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Aging and Adult Services, Louisiana Department of Health
Jennifer Avegno, Director, New Orleans Health Department
Grant Beebe, Project Manager II, Human Resources, Mississippi Division of Medicaid
Jamie Carmichael, Chief Health Opportunity Advisor, Ohio Department of Health
Machaela Cavanaugh, State Senator, Nebraska
Kimberly Chen, Assistant Secretary, Office of Programs and Fiscal Affairs, California Health and Human Services Agency
Ava Crawford, Director for Office of Health Equity, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Meghan Elledge-LeVota, Policy Team Manager and Equity, Inclusion and Justice Senior Advisor, County of San Diego, California
Eva Forrest, Nurse Consultant, Connecticut Department of Social Services
DaShawn Groves, Special Projects Officer, Office of State Medicaid Director, DC Department of Health Care Finance
Emily Gruber, Health Equity Manager, Maryland Primary Care Program
Diamond D. Hanson, Outreach Program Manager, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Team, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Erin Healy, Representative, South Dakota
Martin Hickey, State Senator, New Mexico
Mark Martin, Acting Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Maryland Department of Health
Genevieve Mina, Legislative Candidate, Alaska House of Representatives
Tade Mengesha, Manager, Integrated Fiscal Strategy, MassHealth
Ruth Richardson, Chair, Education Policy Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Shawn Smith, Managed Care Oversight Director, TennCare
Michelle Strinden, State Representative, North Dakota House
Ann Vermilion, Representative, Indiana House of Representatives
David Ward, Long Term Services and Supports Director, Oklahoma Health Care Authority
Janeana White, Chief Physician, Deputy Health Authority, Houston Health Department