The Emerging Leaders and Milbank Fellows Programs’ 2021-2022 Class Launch

Emerging Leaders Program

Government leaders are the drivers of innovation and improvement in population health. The Milbank Memorial Fund invests in the development of state and county health leaders with its Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and Milbank Fellows Program (MFP). The 2021–22 cohorts of both programs are kicking off this month.

The Emerging Leaders Program

ELP is a 10-month program now in its fifth year that seeks to develop practical, hands-on leadership skills in future senior executive and legislative officials to help them address the challenges and opportunities in today’s complex health policy environment.

“While I had been in management for several years, once I moved to director it was a whole different ball game,” said ELP alumna Sandra Manzo de Puebla. De Puebla, who is now the Senior Director of Federal & State Authorities at Oklahoma Health Care Authority, explains how the program was transformative for her. “[ELP] gave me the ability to be more assertive and confident. It moved me from a place of aspiring to be like others to realizing that I could also be one of those people who can influence others and bring others up.”

The Milbank Fellows Program

MFP is a new leadership program designed for senior executive branch and senior legislative state government leaders committed to improving population health in their communities. Along with in-person and virtual meetings, Fellows have access to individualized technical assistance for themselves and their senior teams on areas of interest.

Gretchen Hammer is a consultant and former Colorado Medicaid director who is working with Colorado Health Institute to design and execute the MFP year. “Improving population health requires partnership and collaboration between the legislative branch and the executive branch,” Hammer said. “The MFP will be a unique opportunity for senior health and human services leaders to learn together and learn from one another about how to effectively make progress and implement big ideas.”

Milbank Memorial Fund President Christopher Koller pointed out that we are living in a challenging time for supporters of improved population health. “Life expectancy in the United States is flat or declining, disparities in health outcomes persist— driven by systemic racism — and we continue to confront a pandemic that is indifferent to the politics that can divide us,” Koller said. “Confronting these challenges is the work of government, and the Fund is proud to support and nurture the talented and diverse set of officials in our ELP and MFP who will lead this critical work — today and tomorrow.”

Below is a list of the members of this year’s cohorts for both ELP and MFP.

Emerging Leaders 2021-2022 Cohort

Tony Bacala
Member, Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Jennifer Daily-Provost, MBA
Member, Health and Human Services Committee, Utah House of Representatives
Dr. Amanda Dumas
Associate Medical Director of the Bureau of Health Service Financing (Medicaid), Louisiana Department of Health
Dr. Daniel P. Edney
Chief Medical Officer, Mississippi State Department of Health
Kate Harris
Chief Deputy Commissioner for Life and Health Policy, Colorado Division of Insurance
Kendra Johnson
Chair, Housing and Community Affairs Committee, Delaware House of Representatives
Dr. Anna R. Kelles
Chair, Subcommittee on Agricultural Production and Technology, New York State Assembly
Molly Lester
Policy Director, Chief Program and Services Office of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Catrina Lucero, MPA
Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority
Dr. Josh Moore
Director of Pharmacy, Missouri Department of Social Services
Eileen Ng
Policy Director, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency
Robin (Diggs) Perdue
Deputy Director of Strategy, Programs and Policy, DC Department of Health
Jessica Perez-Rosello
Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Massachusetts Executive Office
Vincent Pinkney
Deputy Director, Managed Care Operations, Tennessee State Medicaid
Ruth Richardson
Chair, Education Policy Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Dylan Rose Schneider
Manager of Policy and Legislative Affairs, San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing
Lisa Subeck
Member of Health Committee, Wisconsin House of Representative
Ann E. Vermilion
Vice Chair, Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, Indiana House of Representatives
Fatmata Williams
Supervising Registered Nurse Consultant, Connecticut Department of Social Services Division of Health Services
Dr. Carla Willis
Director of Performance, Quality, and Outcomes, Georgia Department of Community Health

Milbank Fellows 2021-2022 Cohort

Ena Backus
Director, Health Care Reform, Vermont Agency of Human Services
Della Au Belatti
Majority Leader, Hawaii House of Representatives
Yadira Caraveo
Vice Chair, Health and Insurance Committee, Colorado House of Representatives
Rachel Currans-Henry
Systems Integration and Policy Director, Office of the Director, Oregon Health Authority
Jen Davis
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor of Wyoming
Rick Edmonds
Chairman, Joint Medical Oversight Committee, Louisiana House of Representatives
Ruth Hardy
Vice Chair, Health and Welfare Committee, Vermont Senate
Rachel (Halleck) Johnson-Yates
Deputy Director and Chief of Staff, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Kody Kinsley
Chief Deputy Secretary, Health, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service
Nicole Macri
Vice Chair, Appropriations Committee, Washington State House of Representatives
Marcus McEntire
Chair, Appropriations and Budget Health Committee, Oklahoma House of Representatives
Rena Moran
Chair, Ways and Mean Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Courtney Phillips
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health
Elizabeth Pitman
Director, Division of Medicaid Services, Arkansas Department of Human Services
Jennifer Schultz
Chair, Human Services Finance Division, Minnesota House of Representatives
Cleave Simpson
Member, Health and Human Services Committee, Colorado Senate
Dannette Smith
Chief Executive Officer, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Ivy Sponholz
Co-Chair, Health and Social Services Committee, Alaska House of Representatives
Dr. Nizar Wehbi
State Health Officer, North Dakota Department of Health
Lisa Willner
Member, Health and Family Services Committee, Kentucky House of Representatives
Victoria (Vicki) Veltri
Executive Director, Connecticut Office of Health Strategy