For Immediate Release: April 2, 2019

Media Contact: Mina Radman,, 202-486-2529

Geiger Gibson Program Recognizes 12 Emerging Leaders at the 2019 National Association of Community Health Centers Policy & Issues Forum

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK, NY (April 2, 2019) – Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) honors young professionals from across the country who are making significant impacts to community health and health centers. Community health centers and primary care associations nominate young staff members whose contributions to their field exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers for community health and human rights.

From a competitive pool of applicants, 12 emerging leaders from across the United States were awarded at a ceremony held during the National Association of Community Health Centers Policy & Issues Forum on March 30 in Washington, D.C.

“These Emerging Leaders represent the next generation 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. “Their commitment, motivation, and professional achievements have furthered the mission of health centers, and we are honored to recognize their accomplishments.”

The community health center movement has grown tremendously since its conception over a half century ago, from two clinics in the late 1960s to over 1,370 health centers operating in over 11,000 urban and rural locations across the country today. The Emerging Leaders awarded by the Geiger Gibson Program provide essential contributions at their organizations to improve the health of more than 27 million patients who receive care at health centers annually. Community health centers are a vital source of health care in medically underserved communities and provide culturally competent, community-based care, regardless of a patient’s insurance status or ability to pay.

“The professionals recognized as Emerging Leaders truly are the future of America’s health center program. We are delighted to recognize their achievements in the field today as clinicians, managers, health educators and public health experts, and anticipate their contributions in the years ahead,” said Feygele Jacobs, President and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, whose ongoing gift supports the Geiger Gibson Program.  

2019 Emerging Leader Award Recipients

Pedro B. Carneiro, MPH
Director of Population Health
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
New York, NY

R. Christopher Durigan III,
PharmD, BCPS
Director of Clinical Pharmacy
Thundermist Health Center,
Warwick, RI

Allison Jackson, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
School Based Health Director
Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive
Health Services, Inc.,
Ridgeland, SC

Holly Kingsbury, MPH
Oral Health Program Manager
Colorado Community Health Network
Denver, CO

Rachel Merino, MS
Administrator of Behavioral Health Occupations
Valley Health Systems, Inc.
Huntington, WV

Sofia I. Morales Navarro, MPH, CPH
Lead Care Coordinator & Quality Improvement Liaison
Fair Haven Community Health Center
New Haven, CT

Shelby Ridley, MSW
Homelessness Support Services Program Director
Primary Health Care
Des Moines, IA

Sendy Sanchez, MPH
Director of Policy & Projects
Community Health Association Inland Southern Region
San Bernardino, CA

Caleb J. Sandford, MBA
Chief Operations Officer
Tiburcio Vásquez Health Centers
Hayward, CA

Amy Shen Tang, MD
Hepatitis B Program Director
Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
New York, NY

Amanda M. Tekely, BS
Events and Communications Manager
Pennsylvania Association of Community
Health Centers
Wormleysburg, PA

Kimberly M. Williams, MSPH
Director, School Based Health
Erie Family Health Centers
Chicago, IL



About the Emerging Leader Awards:
The Emerging Leader Awards were 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:
The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital.