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.
Kelly Herron is the former director of mission integration at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, Michigan. She earned her master’s degree from Sacred Heart Major Seminary and studied clinical pastoral education at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak. Her passion is education and service to people who are most marginalized in a community.
Porsche began her career in social service back in 2006 while pursuing an advanced degree in Sociology at Wayne State University in Detroit. She found her true calling to help improve health outcomes for children and families while working in the community as a graduate research assistant at the School of Social Work. After graduation from WSU, she spent 10 years helping to bring free yoga to the people in metro-Detroit who need it most.
Jen holds an MBA from Michigan State University with a dual major in Finance and Operations. She earned her Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation while auditing Ford Motor Company’s global operations. She brings a decade of experience in corporate finance and treasury roles within corporations and non-profit organizations.
Nia is senior at the University of Michigan studying Community and Global Public Health. She is very interested in strategies to create health equity that align with her future goals. Nia plans to get a master's in Public Health and use her degrees to do community-centered work.
Nicole Holtz was raised in Trenton, Michigan where she graduated from University of Michigan-Dearborn with master’s degree in Public Administration and bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She has worked in administrative and project manager roles at the National Truck Association, BASF and FCA.
Patricia is one of MiCHWA’s Wayne State University BSW Interns for Winter 2021. She will graduate this summer with her BSW, and will be applying for master’s degree programs. Patricia’s internship focuses on the effectiveness and awareness of MiCHWA’s Policy Agenda.
El is a BSW intern from Wayne State University School of Social Work for Winter 2021. She is interested in critical disability studies, advocacy, and policy. El's term project is to prepare and conduct a mixed-methods survey intended to gather input from a small list of MiCHWA alumni who are certified as both peer support specialists (CPSS) and community health workers (CHW).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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 second Monday of every month.
Co-Chairs Ryan Grinnell-Ackerman, Board Member and Bernadine Martin, CHW