From pre-conference workshops to closing remarks, the RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health's steering committee, with their combined vast knowledge and experience, helps to successfully shape our event program.
Suyanna Barker Chief of Programs and Community Services
La Clinical Del Pueblo
Prior to serving as La Clínica’s Chief Program Officer, Dr. Linhales Barker served as La Clínica’s Senior Director of Health Equity and Community Action. Dr. Linhales Barker has always believed that healthcare is a fundamental human right and has focused her career on ending health disparities related to poverty and discrimination. As the Chief of Programs and Community Services, she is responsible for overseeing the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that are culturally and linguistically grounded. In 2015, Dr. Linhales Barker was awarded the Distinguished Community Advocate Award by the District of Columbia Primary Care Association. She holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and a Master’s Degree in Social Psychology from the State University in Rio de Janeiro.
Dr. Fink-Samnick has a Doctorate in Behavioral Health with specialization in Health Equity, Integrated Care, Quality, Leadership, and Trauma-Informed Practice, She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board-certified Case Manager, and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, as well as a member of the academic honor society, Delta Epsilon Tau.
Dr. Fink-Samnick serves the industry through a variety of roles with academic appointments at Cummings Graduate Institute of Behavioral Health Studies, George Mason University’s College of Public Health, and the University of Buffalo School of Social Work. She is a clinical supervision trainer and instructor for the National Association of Social Workers of Virginia and Metro DC, lead for Rise Association’s Social Determinants of Health Community, moderator of Ellen’s Ethical LensTM on LinkedIn, and author of the blog, Ellen’s Interprofessional Insights. She is also a consultant for the Case Management Institute and moderator of their Case Managers Community.
Dr. Fink-Samnick is known for her fierce professional voice. Along with leadership and committee roles across credentialing entities and professional associations, she has served on the Gravity Project and the National Coalition for Social Work and Health. She is a board consultant to the American Association of Doctors of Behavioral Health, and editorial board member for the Professional Case Management Journal, and Case Management Monthly. Further information is available on her LinkedIn Profile.
Haile Hernandez is a first-generation immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He is a MSW by training, with over 15 years of lived and professional experiences
in the health care industry. He has a strong background in developing and restructuring Social Determinant of Health (SDOH) & Clinical Innovative programs for vulnerable populations with Complex Medical, Social, and Behavioral health needs. As the Head of Social Determinants of Health Strategy-Health Equity, he is responsible for building national solutions to address social determinants and social health disparities for members, patients, and employees, across our entire footprint, while also creating localized community-based solutions for specific communities, markets, and populations as part of our mission and commitment to improve Health Equity for all in our communities. Haile specializes in community health innovation. He builds strong partnerships with the community and develops programming to support both our operations mission and vision. He is skilled in identifying gaps and services and structural inequities and building both individual care plans and programming to empower the population we serve to overcome barriers to care and reach their goals.
Prior to joining Point32Health, Haile spent more than seven years working as manager of Acute Care Services & Clinical Innovation at Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA), where he gained leadership and operational experience through running highly visible community/clinical initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the commonwealth of Massachusetts responses to the global pandemic between 2020-2022. He was responsible for the leadership and oversight of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Isolation and Recovery sites for positive Covid-19 patients without a place to stay, and the temporary transitional housing program for homeless individuals as part of the response to the humanitarian crisis centered around the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard in the city of Boston; to support the commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents struggling with housing insecurity, substance use disorder and behavior health needs. In addition, Haile ran a hospital to home program at CCA, whose structure allowed for clinicians embedded in high volume ED’s to divert patients to home using Mobile Integrated Health, thus avoiding ED visits and subsequent acute admissions.
Olivia Jefferson Vice President, Social Responsibility
United Health Foundation
Olivia Jefferson is the Vice President for Social Responsibility at United Healthcare which includes the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation and the Empowering Health intiative. In this role, Olivia is responsible for leading the strategic oversight and execution of expanding access to care and addressing the social determinants of health for families and local communities in key UHC markets. She also leads UHC’s employee volunteerism efforts, participates in Global Diversity Equity & Inclusion Business Council for UHC and works closely with leaders at United Health Group and Optum to align social impact initiatives across the enterprise.
Olivia comes to UnitedHealthcare with vast sectoral experience ranging from small nonprofit management, state and local government to corporate population health and wellness, and philanthropy. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, she was one of the leaders in Community Impact at Greater Twin Cities United Way (GTCUW) focusing on the grant stewardship of their impact areas: Household Stability, Educational Success, and Economic Opportunity. Likewise, Olivia was responsible for leading the organization’s internal equity steering committee, which sought to ensure GTCUW was a best in class workplace for all by fostering an inclusive environment for its employees, regardless of race, gender, nationality, ability, age or sexual orientation.
Prior to joining the United Way, Olivia served as Program Evaluator at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. While at Blue Cross, Olivia developed metrics that captured quantity and quality, numbers and nuance, and shifted the narrative from mere transactions to transformative evaluation outcomes and processes. Olivia works hard to keep equity and humility at the core of her work. She ultimately became an evaluator to disrupt a system that often “took from” instead of “partnered with.”
When not working, Olivia is setting roots in the Twin Cities community. Olivia is a current board member for the nonprofit organization, Hope Community, the Opus Foundation, the Minnesota Council on Foundations and is the co-chair of the Philanthropy Pillar as part of the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity (MBCRE). More recently, Olivia was named one of the 2022 40 under 40 honorees by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. She was selected and completed the American Express and Independent Sector NGen 2020 Fellowship and the 2021 Mission Investors Exchange – Impact Experience focused on approaches to best steward capital, rebuild impact investing portfolios, and make decisions that are more equitable and just in philanthropy. Olivia loves art and also served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the historic Rondo neighborhood, Penumbra Theatre for over two years.
Beck Moore serves as CEO at Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP), working with the 43 Community Action Agencies across the Commonwealth. Having a deep-rooted appreciation stemming from personal experiences, Beck is devoted to examining intersectionality of the social determinants of health and identity to the correlation of poverty in Pennsylvania. Beck has served in nonprofit leadership roles over the past 20 years and has a passion for values-based leadership. Beck’s experience shines in member-based organizations, with expertise in membership growth and program development. He served in various roles across multiple Girl Scout councils, leaving an impact of membership stabilization and growth through creating valuable programs, gaining national recognition. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Penn State and a master’s degree in human resources from the University of Scranton. Beck serves on various boards and committees with United Way of PA, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Weatherization Advisory Committee, LIHEAP Advisory Committee, Interstate Renewable Energy Council WAP Enhancement and Innovation Committee, Parents as Teachers Advisory Committee, and others.
Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact
Vivian Nava-Schellinger Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact
The SCAN Foundation
Vivian Nava-Schellinger, leads the National Council on Aging’s ecosystem of national and community partnerships, external engagement of NCOA’s policy priorities, and programs focused on vulnerable populations of older adults. For over a decade, Nava-Schellinger has used equity as a baseline principle when working on large scale reimbursement programs in the private sector, securing funding for health literacy programs in vulnerable communities, and advocating for greater health and economic security across the lifespan for underrepresented populations.
A proud Tejana, born and raised along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Nava-Schellinger has utilized her cultural assets and legal training to efficiently and successfully merge business strategy, development, organizational management, and health policy to ensure that all communities have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their healthcare and financial well-being.
Before her tenure at the National Council on Aging (NCOA), Nava-Schellinger worked in partnership and fund development within the non-profit sector for an organization aimed at reaching the hard-to-reach and connecting them to insurance under the Affordable Care Act. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Helene Roybal is the Chief Transformation Officer at AmeriHealth Caritas, a $20 billion Managed Care Organization specializing in serving Medicaid, DSNP, and Exchange populations. With over 30 years’ experience at start-up, high-growth, and large-scale healthcare organizations, her experience has spanned Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Commercial health plans. Over her career, Ms. Roybal spent 15 years at the intersection of managed care, behavioral health, and home care, and is passionate about recognizing and respecting the importance of whole person care, especially in vulnerable and economically disadvantaged populations. In her role at AmeriHealth Caritas, Ms. Roybal provides leadership for the Social Determinants of Life SM business segment that encompasses the social and environmental factors that engender or inhibit wellness and opportunity. She serves on the board of Wider Circle, a tech-enabled, hyper-local health program and peer-to-peer social network company. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida, and an MBA from the University of Louisville.
Verlon Salley, currently the Vice-President of Community Health Equity for University of Alabama Birmingham Health System. In role as Vice-President of Community Health Equity, he has established a service-line to address underlying economic and social inequities that affect community health outcomes. Salley has lead Community Heath Equity in developing and implementing strategies to advance that mission.
In his responsibilities he seeks out and builds collaboration with internal and external partners to provide leadership, education, and resources that facilitate the evaluation, development, and implementation of the organization’s health equity strategy.
Rachel J. Thornton, MD, PhD is Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer at Nemours Children’s Health where she leads work on health equity strategy to support the organization’s vision to create the healthiest generations of children. With hospitals in the Delaware Valley and Central Florida, Nemours Children’s Health is one of the largest integrated pediatric health systems in the United States. Dr. Thornton has committed her career to health equity research and practice, including organizational transformation.
Prior to joining Nemours Children’s, Dr. Thornton was Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Inaugural Executive Director for Clinical Services in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Population Health where she led population health management services and community health. A practicing primary care pediatrician, Dr. Thornton served as a Health Policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2011-2013. As a nationally recognized innovator in health equity research and practice, she served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine study committee on Shaping Summertime Experiences, Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth and as a member of the Strategy Group on COVID and Rental Evictions.
Dr. Thornton received a B.A. from New York University, an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a PhD in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. After residency, she completed fellowship training in general academic pediatrics.
Associate Vice President, Health Equity Director, Health Equity
Kate Tullio Associate Vice President, Health Equity Director, Health Equity
Kate has dedicated her career to improving the health of populations in Ohio. She is currently the Director of Health Equity for the Ohio market at CareSource, Ohio’s largest Medicaid Managed Care company. In her role, Kate oversees the strategic design, implementation, and evaluation of health equity efforts into quality, clinical, and population health initiatives. She also partners to inform population health strategy and target quality improvement areas, including the design of clinical programs that improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities. She helps inform decision-making around best payer practices related to disparity reductions, including the provision of health equity and social determinant of health resources and research to leadership and programmatic areas. In her role she supports the CareSource mission by helping the most people possible.
Kate joined CareSource in June 2021. Prior to joining CareSource, She also has held positions at Cleveland Clinic, The James Cancer Center at Ohio State University, and Ohio Department of Health investigating health disparities in cancer, diabetes, depression, and infectious disease. Kate also serves as the Co-Chair for the Ohio Partners for Cancer Control (OPCC), where she also helped initiate the OPCC Health Equity subgroup. An author of more than 50 scientific publications and frequent speaker at conferences and events, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from John Carroll University and master’s degrees in public health (epidemiology) and health information management from The Ohio State University.
Kate resides in Cleveland with her husband, daughter, and dog. In her free time, she enjoys running, teaching fitness classes, traveling, and cooking.
Rick Whitted is the President & Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Hunger, a global nonprofit whose mission is feeding families today and uniting them to a healthier tomorrow. In total, U.S. Hunger (USH) has provided over 150 million meals to families in need. Before his appointment as CEO in March 2020, Rick served on USH’s board of directors. Rick has overseen the launch of several of the organization’s initiatives: expanding home delivery of fresh produce into its supply chain; aligning its Full Cart® program with the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services’ (CMS) health equity framework; and, developing a cloud based SaaS solution that uses A.I. and Machine Learning to identify root causes of food insecurity in the U.S. and provide real-time actionable intelligence on social determinants of health (SDOH). Rick is a graduate of Stetson University and Nova Southern University where he received a BA in Political Sciences/American Studies, and an MBA, Business Administration and Management, respectively. Prior to joining USH, he spent 27 multi-faceted years in banking; focusing on small business, government and non-profit banking. He is also an accomplished author and speaker with expertise in leadership, workplace culture and individual and team development. Affiliations/Membership: U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Google Refresh Working Group, City of Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, Aligning for Health Advisory Board