Learn More about Our History, Staff, Board, and Work Groups
In spring 2011, a planning group met to organize the first annual meeting focused on sustainable policy and systems change for community health workers (CHWs) in Michigan. The meeting, Sustainable Funding for Community Health Worker Practice and Utilization in Michigan: Planning the Future, united stakeholders statewide in learning about CHW effectiveness and sustainability from state and national experts. Following that meeting in August 2011, the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA) was formed. In June 2019, MiCHWA was recognized as a 501(c)3 organization.
Since then, MiCHWA has established itself as the CHW information hub for the state of Michigan. Initially founded as a small stakeholder coalition, MiCHWA’s growth has significantly exceeded initial expectations by Board and working group members. MiCHWA is excited about opportunities ahead and continues to find new ways to engage CHWs and stakeholders in these discussions across the state.
Tressa Liba is a seasoned MiCHWA certified community health worker (CHW) with over 17 years in the community health profession. Ms. Liba is experienced in providing direct service and program coordination of a high-risk pregnancy program; 8 years of supervising a team of home visiting CHWs working with chronic disease, high risk pregnancy, geriatrics, infectious disease and school-based populations. Ms. Liba is a former Board President for Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA) and former MiCHWA CHW Co-chair of the Policy & Finance Committee. Ms. Liba is still pursuing her education but will graduate with a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Public Administration from Aurora University in December 2021.
Neha joins us from Theramedic Rehab and Physical Therapy where she served as the Business Operations Manager. There Neha directed and managed finance-related operations for a practice of 10 physical therapists at 4 locations in Texas and 1 location in Michigan and administrative staff of over 30 people. Neha has an MBA from Roosevelt University in Health Services Administration, and a BS in Dental Surgery from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, India.
Miranda was born and raised in Ludington, Michigan, and she obtained her dual bachelor's degree in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy and Social Relations & Policy from James Madison College at Michigan State University. After spending some time in the political field, she decided to pursue a graduate degree in social work to establish a deeper understanding of the connection between policy in practice and the individuals most impacted by it. During this time, she found her passion for improving public health through policy and advocacy. She obtained her MSW from Michigan State University in 2022, and is grateful for the opportunity to support CHWs and the vital roles they play in communities."
Sheila began her professional career in healthcare administration with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, serving in various roles from membership and billing clerk, customer service representative, Sr. Trainer, to supervisor and Marketing Account Service Representative before retiring with over 15 years experience, to work in education. Having a love for helping others, she began her pedagogical experience as a Computer Business Teacher (K-12), Social Studies (6-8), School Leader and Learning Management Systems Administrator serving K-12P populations. Sheila has had the pleasure to learn the value of education, and the systems utilized to train both students and teachers how to capitalize on instruction and delivery (collectively 34 years in healthcare and public education).
Kareem comes to MiCHWA with years of experience in non-profit program management and operations, driving delivery of home & community-based services. Having begun his career as a CHW, Kareem has a deep passion for the training and development of community health workers, stressing their importance as individual service providers & as a part of multidisciplinary treatment teams. Kareem is a lifelong learner, having previously completed graduate coursework in Public Health & currently pursuing Business Administration, he aims to continuously build his knowledge base & skill set to best serve the community.
Angel Keyes was born and raised in Flint, MI. She obtained her Bachelor of Science Health Service Administration from Baker College of Flint and completed graduate studies with her Master of Science Healthcare Administration through Grand Canyon University in May of 2021. Angel comes with years of experience in non- profit as a certified Community Health Worker, HIV/STD certified counselor and tester, Outreach Coordinator and Facility Liaison. Angel strives on efforts of implementing culturally appropriate health education and resources to continuously advocate for the well- being of community partners and member
The Board of Directors is MiCHWA’s governing body, overseeing the work of MiCHWA’s working groups and making organizational decisions that the Executive Director and staff are able to implement. The Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis.
Per MiCHWA’s Guiding Principles, “All members of the MiCHWA Board of Directors participate as equal members and share responsibility for all phases of the Alliance’s efforts to sustain CHWs, e.g. identifying relevant policy, sustainability and other critical issues, developing and implementing goals and objectives to address issues, disseminating outcomes of our efforts, and establishing mechanisms for the sustainability of the Alliance.”
As the Director of Community Health Programs and Strategies with the Office of Community Health, Equity and Wellness at Henry Ford, Jaye's primary duties include staffing the Detroit Regional Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force and providing administrative oversight for their nationally-recognized and award-winning Women-Inspired Neighborhood Network: Detroit program, and working to operationalize a CHW Hub for the health system.
As Program Manager of Strong Beginnings, Celeste supports the elimination of disparities amongst prenatal African American and Latina mothers and their families within Kent County through the use of CHWs. She has been recognized as an ATHENA Young Professional Finalist, W. MI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year Finalist, and is currently a fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Community Leadership Network.
Julie is responsible for administrative and operational oversight of Cherry Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving W. MI communities. She has provided expertise to national, statewide, and local initiatives focused on the assessment of social determinants of health and the implementation of CHW programs. Julie became a founding Board Member and Vice Chair for MiCHWA in 2018, following two years of service on the Steering Committee.
Rebeca has been with the Detroit Health Department since 2017. She was previously the Training Coordinator for the Detroit Healthy Start Project. She is a founding member of MiCHWA and holds a seat on the National Healthy Start Association CHW Advisory Board. Rebeca is a Master Trainer for the MiCHWA CHW Training. She is a frequent guest speaker and serves as a field instructor for students of social work and public health.
Rodney has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Rutgers University School of Management and went on to earn his MBA in Healthcare Administration from Davenport University. Rodney has spent most of his professional career in Healthcare Finance and Accounting. As CEO of AHS Foundation, that he founded, and as Senior Financial Analyst for Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, Rodney specializes in being a content expert on health system financial processes and complex financial projects within the community health space. Rodney also serves on boards and councils of various community and professional organizations.
Dr. Keiffer is a founding member of MiCHWA and its steering committee who currently serves as Past President of the Board. She conducts research addressing health and health care disparities. Since 1999, Dr. Keiffer and her collaborators have developed and evaluated the effectiveness of Detroit-based community health worker programs such as Healthy MOMs, REACH Detroit Partnership, and the CHASS Center.
Felicia finds it a blessing to be a community health worker at Henry Ford Health System. She wants to see community health workers incorporated into more aspects of people’s lives and into the fabric of our communities. Felicia knows that ensuring one healthy pregnancy and baby can ensure a healthy neighborhood and community. With community health workers’ help, Felicia works to turn these healthy babies and communities into a healthy nation.
A Professor at Lansing Community College and Davenport University, Dr. Davis has his Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education from Michigan State University and has taught for 14 years in the K-12 system and 40 years as an Adjunct Professor. He has spent 40 years in Public Health as a Consultant in the areas of Health Education, Statistics, Chronic Disease Control, Community Organizing, Quality Control for Medicaid Screening and Minority Health. He has published in several journals and books and has traveled extensively, gathering material for the All Around the African World Museum and Resource Center of which he is the Curator/Director. He has also served as a board member of an African Centered School for 25 years.
Ryan Grinnell-Ackerman is the Director of Operations at InterCare Community Health Network, a community health center serving southwest Michigan. Prior to joining InterCare, Ryan worked for the Michigan Primary Care Association for 6 years where he led the public policy and government affairs efforts on behalf of community health centers and underserved communities. Ryan worked closely with policymakers in Lansing, MI, and Washington, DC, to promote health equity and access to care.
PJ is a Certified Public Accountant with Rehmann. He provides tax planning and review services for individuals, trusts, corporations and pass-through entities. He has significant knowledge of multi-state and international taxation, enabling him to serve businesses with complex structures. PJ is a member of the AICPA and MICPA.
Tiffany Stone is the Deputy Director, Medicaid Policy for the Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP), a Lansing based organization that represents 12 health plans in Michigan. Prior to joining, MAHP, Tiffany worked in the Medicaid Health Plan space focusing on operations and program implementation. She also served as a Quality Analyst for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Currently, Tiffany volunteers her time by serving as Vice President on the Board of the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) of Genesee County and on the Board of Honor Community Health. Tiffany earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan-Flint and her Master’s Degree in General Administration from Central Michigan University.
Jenifer Murray, Community Connections HUB Director for the Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region (NMCHIR), and Coordinator of the Northern Michigan Regional Perinatal Quality Collaborative. She received her bachelor in nursing degree from Hope College and a Master degree in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan. For 22 years she worked in Public Health Administration at the Genesee County Health Department and the Benzie – Leelanau District Health Department. Most recently, Jenifer is the owner and president of JHM Consulting, a public health and health care consulting company. Specializing in the planning and implementation of Community Health Worker programming and health systems design, Jenifer has been involved in promoting systems change in northern Michigan for RN and CHW home visiting, perinatal substance use disorder and creating Clinical Community Linkage HUBS for addressing Social Determinants of Health.
To join any of these work groups, MiCHWA membership must be active. Active members can submit their requests to join by emailing email@example.com.
The Michigan Community Health Worker Network group is a CHW-led group that seeks to maintain and strengthen a vibrant network of diverse CHWs and CHW allies who work collaboratively with other CHW networks nationwide to create a larger supportive community of CHWS for resource sharing and to impact policy and advocacy efforts. The group also seeks to ensure all Michigan CHWs have access to professional development opportunities.
The CHW Network meets monthly on the third Wednesday of every month.
Chair Felicia Lane, Board member
The MiCHWA Communications work group seeks to promote the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance through communications internally, by supporting working groups’ media needs, and externally by disseminating MiCHWA materials to the public. The group actively supports organization activities and initiatives and campaigns. Check out MiCHWA’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, or Instagram, to see and share content.
The Communications work group meets monthly on the first Friday of every month.
Co-Chair Jennifer J. Ferrari, CHW
CHW Co-Chair Imoni Williams, CHW
The Education and Workforce work group seeks to strengthen and support CHW workforce development and education in Michigan. This group is composed of CHW allies and MiCHWA trainers.
This group meets on the second Thursday of every month.
Co-Chair Susie Williamson, Community Health Educator at Spectrum Health
CHW Co-Chair THIS POSITION IS AVAILABLE, please contact EDUCATION@MICHWA.ORG for more information.
The Evaluation Work Group (EWG) seeks to develop and implement processes, context, and outcome evaluation for CHW related activities.
This group meets on the second Tuesday of every month.
Co-Chairs Edith Kieffer, Board Member and Mary Janevic, MPH, PhD
The Policy and Finance work group seeks to identify and develop sustainable policies and financing mechanisms for CHWs in Michigan.
This group meets monthly on the third (3rd) Wednesday of every month.
Co-Chairs Ryan Grinnell-Ackerman, Board Member