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.
Janée comes from a family of many pastors and preachers so spirituality and gospel music are very close to her heart. She can also play all types of saxophones.
Porsche loves gardening, riding horses, traveling, and driving at the maximum upper range of the speed limit. She has also been teaching yoga for over 15 years.
Jen is an avid tennis player with a wicked backhand. She also enjoys her involvement in the parent-teacher organizations at her children's schools, holding many board and leadership positions.
Nicole is an avid baker with lots of treats on her Pinterest board that she wants to cook before the end of the year. She even created a family baking schedule so everyone knows what tasty treat is next to try out.
Nia has developed a new hobby while at home with her family during the pandemic: baking cakes for family and friends. Also, Nia’s ears burn at the sound of cardboard scratching against itself.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan (HCWM), Adnoris "Bo" Torres can commit to one thing, "...to listen to the community's needs, their dreams, their aspirations. To listen to the things that people may feel haven't been heard in the past." Mr. Torres comes to the HCWM with over a decade of experience in program and education management and a bachelors in political science and Chicano/Boricua studies from Wayne State University.
Calvin Wheeler is a county employee at the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD). He coordinates and manages the Tobacco Reduction Programs and serves as a Regional Tobacco Consultant for Barry, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Montcalm & Shiawassee counties. He has earned Mental Health Specialist Certification and Medical Specialist Certification via the U.S. Army Medical Training Academy and is an alumnus of Sienna Heights University.
Gloria’s career has included over 40 years’ experience in program implementation, staff development and managing grant-funded human service programs that have contributed greatly to increasing health services to undeserved populations. Since 2001, she has worked as the program manager at CHASS Center, Inc. to address racial and ethnic health disparities among African American and Latino residents of Detroit with, or at risk for, type 2 diabetes.
Mark's professional experience has primarily focused on cardiac inpatient care and outpatient care, and as an educator in informatics. He has also supervised a home visiting team that works with underserved diabetes and heart failure patients. He is currently the manager of community health education at Spectrum Health. His passion is disease prevention and health promotion which he integrates into home and work life at every opportunity.
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.
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.
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 Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, Board Member
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 Kelly Cousins, CHW
The Evaluation Advisory Board (EAB) 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
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 second Monday of every month.
Co-Chairs Ryan Grinnell-Ackerman, Board Member and Bernadine Martin, CHW