For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2018


For More Information Contact:
Rachel Gunsalus, or Kathy Fackelmann,

 Geiger Gibson Program Recognizes 13 Emerging Leaders at the National Association of Community Health Centers Policy and Issues Forum

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK, NY (March 20, 2018) – Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) honors young professionals currently working in the field of community health. Community health centers and primary care associations nominate dedicated young public health professionals who exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson,  pioneers for community health and human rights.   

This year 13 Emerging Leaders from all over the country were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and recognized at an award ceremony held March 17, during the annual meeting of the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, DC.

“The Emerging Leader Award is designed to highlight and share the accomplishments of exceptional young members of the community health center movement,” said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and founder of the Geiger Gibson Program at the Milken Institute SPH. “This year’s winners represent the next generation of leaders who are advancing the core mission of community health centers.”

The community health center movement started with just two clinics that opened in the late 1960s and has now grown to include more than 1,400 centers serving more than 27 million people at over 10,000 sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories. These health centers form an essential safety net throughout the United States by providing high quality health care to people without regard to insurance status, race, family income or health condition.

“The 13 men and women honored by this year’s award are working on the front lines of the community health center movement nationwide,” said Feygele Jacobs, President and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, whose ongoing gift supports the Geiger Gibson Program. “We are thrilled to recognize their achievements today and look forward to their ongoing leadership.”

2018 Emerging Leaders Award Recipients

  Sandy Castro, CMA
Pediatric Team Lead & Medical Assistant
People’s Community Clinic, Austin, TX   

      Cheng-I Jacqueline Chen, MSN, RN, FNP, NP
Fellowship Director
Asian Health Services, Oakland, CA

Martha Farlow
Policy and Government Affairs Manager
Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Boston, MA

Kathleen Fitzsimmons, MSW
Manager of Care Navigation
Squirrel Hill Health Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Cherise Fowler
Apprenticeship Training Coordinator
Alaska Primary Care Association, Anchorage, AK

Jessica Garcia
Health Care Manager
CCI Health & Wellness Services, Silver Spring, MD

Jose Otero, MBA
Assistant Director of IT
Urban Health Plan, Bronx, NY           

Amanda Pinder Hynes, DDS
Associate Dental Director, Pediatric Dentistry
El Rio Health, Tucson, AZ

Alice Pollard, MSW, MPH
Program Manager for Health Access
North Carolina Community Health Center Association, Raleigh, NC

Elizabeth Quinn, MD
Family Physician
Lynn Community Health Center, Lynn, MA

Janelle Sauz
Program Manager, Population Health
LifeLong Medical Care, Berkeley, CA

Leah Schulz, DDS
Dental Director
Salud Family Health Centers, Fort Collins, CO

Maria Villagomez, MPH
Quality Assurance and Improvement Manager
Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago, IL


About the Emerging Leader Award:
The Emerging Leader award was established in 2007 to highlight and share with the health center community the accomplishments of a new generation of health center leaders. One or more Emerging Leaders are selected annually by the Program, with the assistance of an advisory group comprised of health center leaders. The key qualities of leadership highlighted by this award are commitment, motivation, professional achievement, and leadership qualities that together further the health center mission.

About the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy:
The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy is a special initiative of Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  Housed in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and named after Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers in community health practice and tireless advocates for civil and human rights, the program aims to develop the next generation of community health leaders by offering education, research and training in community health practice and leadership. The program’s research and educational activities seek to advance the education and policy development in the fields of health centers, primary health care for medically underserved populations, and health disparities reduction. The Geiger Gibson Program also offers a Fellows program, a health policy elective for medical residents, scholarship opportunities, an annual Distinguished Visitorship and more. 

About the RCHN Community Health Foundation: The RCHN Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support community health centers through strategic investment, outreach, education, and cutting-edge health policy research. The only foundation in the U.S. dedicated solely to community health centers, RCHN CHF builds on a long-standing commitment to providing accessible, high-quality, community-based healthcare services for underserved and medically vulnerable populations. The Foundation’s gift to the Geiger Gibson program supports health center research and scholarship.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.