Deena Chisolm, PhD, Chair
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Dr. Chisolm cares about health policy and health equity in Ohio because it is her home. Originally from Springfield Ohio, Dr. Chisolm completed her undergraduate degree at Miami University and her MS and PhD at The Ohio State University. She serves as Director of the Center for Health Equity and Outcomes Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at the Ohio State University.
Dr. Chisolm has published nearly 100 papers exploring health outcomes, equity, and policy. She serves on the HPIO board because publishing research findings is not enough. Enduring change requires moving that research into policy. In her spare time she reads science fiction and fantasy novels, watches sports with her husband, engages in community service and tries to keep fitness fun.
Adrienne Mundorf, MPH, Vice Chair
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio, Inc.
Mundorf is the Health Equity Director at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio where she works collaboratively to address health disparities across Ohio. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, Adrienne held leadership roles in the philanthropic and academic sectors. Most recently she served as Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland where she led the foundation’s health policy and food justice portfolios and was instrumental in establishing a health equity grantmaking focus area and an integrated approach to advance a place-based two-generation initiative.
Adrienne holds a Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Kalamazoo College. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Malawi 2002-2005) during which she developed a passion for promoting social justice and addressing the social drivers of health. She is also a cancer survivor and her personal experience navigating the healthcare system has fueled her passion for health equity. She lives in University Heights with her spouse and 3 young daughters.
Chris Whistler, Treasurer
Whistler is a mission-driven executive with diverse, private and public sector leadership experience in strategic management, public policy, budgeting, and advocacy. Most known for his role as assistant director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management under then-Governor John R. Kasich, as well as policy director during Kasich’s 2016 presidential bid, Whistler also has held key positions in a Medicaid-focused health plan, the state legislature, county government, and a provider trade association. He is most at home as a collaborative leader of extensive but efficient, consensus-building processes that define and advance an organization’s mission to support individuals and families who are most in need.
Whistler is passionate about his family, volunteering, playing electric guitar in his church band, and enjoying the outdoors. He tremendously regrets the length of his hair in his outdated headshot.
Molly Culbertson, Secretary
Culbertson is passionate about eliminating inequities in quality physical and behavioral healthcare services. She is proud to serve on the HPIO board and support its vision of advancing health through informed policy decisions. Molly is part of the External Affairs team at Cardinal Health, a mission- and values-driven company that strives to be healthcare’s most trusted partner.
As a volunteer, she seeks meaningful ways to give back to the community, including supporting Pelotonia, the United Way of Central Ohio, and other nonprofit organizations engaged in improving health and eliminating inequities. In her spare time, she reads, runs, bicycles, gardens and tries to tame her two enormous Great Pyrenees pups.
Jennifer Chubinski, PhD
Immediate Past Chair, Xavier University
Dr. Chubinski serves on the HPIO because she wants to be sure HPIO is around to serve many generations of Ohioans. She has a profound respect for the powerful and long-lasting change that good public policy can make and she believes HPIO is contributing to better health policy in Ohio.
Originally from northern Indiana, Dr. Chubinski completed her undergrad at Purdue University, MS at Carnegie Mellon University and PhD at the University of Cincinnati. Currently, Dr. Chubinski is an Assistant Professor in the Health Services Administration Program at Xavier University in Cincinnati. In her free time she likes to learn new recipes, hike, read or watch her kids play sports.
Kara Ayers, PhD
University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Dr. Ayers is the Associate Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), and an Assistant Professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Ayers holds multiple roles within and beyond Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, ranging from training residents on cultural humility and cultural competence to teaching about disabilities. She also researches a wide range of disability-related topics. Dr. Ayers acts as the Director for the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, which has eight national partners in its mission to address the impact of ableism in healthcare inequities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has worked on the inequitable response experienced by people with disabilities, co-developed a vaccine prioritization dashboard with the Johns Hopkins Disability Advisory Committee, and was invited to speak to the White House COVID-19 Equity Taskforce about this work.
Dr. Ayers completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Nova Southeastern University, her predoctoral training at Wright State University and Miami Children’s Hospital, and postdoctoral fellowship at Child Focus, Inc. She focuses her work on health equity and disability policy. Dr. Ayers serves on many statewide advisory groups and boards, including the State Independent Living Council, the Ohio Department of Health Disability Advisory Committee, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors, Ohio APSI Leadership Council, Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation board of directors, and Center for Independent Living Options Board.
Chad Brown, MPH
Licking County Health Department
Brown is the Health Commissioner for the Licking County Health Department in central Ohio. Brown has worked extensively in the statewide public health landscape, assisting the Licking County Health Department and many other health departments across Ohio with achieving national accreditation and previously serving as President of the Ohio Environmental Health Association (OEHA).
He has held a variety of different positions during his career, beginning as a public health sanitarian a path that led him to becoming the Director of Community Health, Director of Environmental Health, Deputy Health Commissioner for Licking County and then Health Commissioner in May 2020. Brown also serves his local community in other capacities, including as a member of the Knights of Columbus, Utica Athletic Boosters Club and the Mental Health of America Licking County Board. Brown earned a bachelor of environmental health degree from Ohio University and a master of public health degree (MPH) from Walden University.
Wallace Chambers, PhD, MHA, REHS
Cleveland Department of Public Health
Chambers is the Commissioner of Environment at the Cleveland Department of Public Health. He is a registered sanitarian and Healthy Homes Specialist, having served on multiple national CDC advisory groups related to lead exposure. He was also part of the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) Environmental Health Work Group from 2017 to 2019.
Chambers is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., an alumni ambassador for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality, National Environmental Health Association, Ohio Environmental Health Association, and Ohio Public Health Association. He earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental health and master of health administration (MHA) degree from Ohio University. He received his PhD in public health, health policy and management at Kent State University, and a master of applied science degree in population health management at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Maria Espinola, Psy.D
Institute for Health Equity and Innovation
Dr. Maria Espinola is the CEO of the Institute for Health Equity and Innovation. She is a Harvard-trained psychologist with over 12 years of experience providing vision, leadership and strategic planning for the development and implementation of health equity initiatives in multifaceted organizations. She has a record of successful collaboration with leaders across universities, Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and the three branches of government. She has been a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and has served on the Ohio Governor’s Commission on Minority Health’s Medical Expert Panel and on the University of Cincinnati President’s Diversity Council.
Dr. Espinola has received over 25 awards for leadership, health equity initiatives, innovation and community impact. She has helped secure over 15.5 million dollars in intramural and extramural funding from federal, state, county and corporate sources as well as from nonprofit organizations and donors. Dr. Espinola has been featured by a wide range of media outlets, including the U.S. News and World Report, Teen Vogue, CNN and Reuters Health. Dr. Espinola was born and raised in Argentina. She enjoys visiting her nieces and nephews in Puerto Rico, cooking and exercising.
Vicki Giambrone, MPA, FACHE
Giambrone is passionate about her community, her work in health policy and advancing strategies to improve the well-being of children living in poverty. As partner at CBD Advisors for the past five years, Vicki helps healthcare and corporate clients successfully navigate issues, policy and politics. Prior to that, she served for 24 years as a senior leader for Dayton Children’s Hospital. Vicki was elected to two terms on the Beavercreek City Council, serving as vice Mayor and Mayor. She is a two-time University of Dayton graduate and is nuts about her grandkids, Ryker and Mae!
Anne Goon, MS, RD, LD
Public Health Services Council of Ohio
Anne Goon is the Executive Director of the Public Health Services Council of Ohio (PHSCO), which is the state's only public health regional Council of Governments. She serves on the HPIO Board of Directors because she believes public health is all about improving the health of our communities (and Ohio as a whole), which requires many partners to work together in complementary ways. HPIO engages people across the entire public health system in Ohio- from health educators to medical professionals, from academic to primary care, and from state and local government to non-profit agencies- to identify what works best to improve Ohioans’ health.
Goon has served as a health commissioner for over a decade (most recently with Seneca County) and has worked in local governmental public health for 20+ years, helping many health departments on their journeys toward national public health accreditation. Anne has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Allied Medicine and a Certificate in Public Health Management and Leadership from Ohio State.
Tonya Johnson, RN, MSN, ANP-BC
Johnson is a certified advanced practice nurse and nurse leader with 27 years of experience across the healthcare continuum. Her goals focus on the development of future nurses and empowering nurses to become involved in community service to improve the health of people where they live. As a member of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, a professional nursing sorority, Tonya is able to educate, support, and serve her community through health fairs, participation in local events, and conducting educational forums.
Johnson is a graduate of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia and received her Master’s in Nursing from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. While the warm weather and beaches call her back home often, she has lived in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and three boys since 2011. As a nurse serving on the HPIO board, she seeks to continue her mission of service to her community to ensure the most vulnerable have a voice and solutions to issues affecting their health. Tonya previously served as the Assistant Health Commissioner and Chief Nursing Officer at Columbus Public Health and Chief Nursing Officer at OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. She currently practices as an Independent Nurse Practitioner at local post acute care facilities in Columbus.
Gregory Lam, MD
Dr. Lam is a cardiologist in rural Southern Ohio. He helps his patients with the health consequences of economic inequities on a daily basis, and through his work with the Ohio Commission on Minority Health and the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, he has tried to address health disparities due to race.
Dr. Lam loves serving on the HPIO board because HPIO’s work is instrumental in informing the policies that directly impacts his patients. Originally from Honolulu, HI, Dr. Lam has lived in Columbus for the past 11 years after completing his undergraduate degree at Yale University, medical school at the University of Rochester, and residency/fellowship training at Duke University and the NIH. In his spare time he loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two sons, and he continually questions whether he should give up golf.
Srinivas Merugu, MD, FACP, MMM, CPE
United Healthcare Community Plan of Ohio
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Dr. Merugu is the Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare Community Plan of Ohio and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University. As Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare Community Plan of Ohio, Dr. Merugu is the clinical lead for strategic initiatives including practice transformation, population health and plan performance improvement that cover more than 300,000 Ohioans. He is also the health plan lead for health equity for United Healthcare Community Plan of Ohio. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of leadership roles at the intersection of quality improvement, population health and healthcare innovation.
Dr. Merugu volunteers in various community engagement activities on Cleveland’s west side, where he has helped to develop and implement ideas that bring together people of different backgrounds to build a healthier community. He has engaged in activities ranging from working on grant applications to fund community programs, to coordinating and organizing events as a volunteer coordinator. He serves on the boards of directors for The Land (an online news publication in Cleveland), and was formerly a member of the board for the Rainey Institute, and Joseph’s Home. Dr. Merugu is also an active member of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Merugu earned his bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degrees from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India before receiving his MD from St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in 2003. He also holds a master of medical management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Denise Moore, MA
Trotwood City Council
Moore is the Community Care Liaison for Ohio’s Hospice in Dayton, Ohio and is a member of Trotwood City Council. Moore has an extensive background in community outreach and education, both in her role for Ohio’s Hospice and as a certified Respecting Choices Advance Care Planning Specialist, a certified First Steps facilitator for Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs, and a Healthy U speaker, teacher and facilitator. She has held a variety of roles in end-of-life care over the past decade, primarily working with patients, their families and community partners such as hospitals and other facilities. In 2021, she was recognized as “Remarkable Woman of the Year” by the city of Dayton.
Moore is actively engaged in service to other nonprofit organizations, both locally and nationally. Ohio She is a member of the National Alliance for Black School Educators, National Black Caucus, Ohio Urban Advisory Network and the Ohio School Board Association. Moore was also President of the Trotwood-Madison Board of Education from 2017 to 2020, where she implemented district turnaround policies to avoid a state takeover and opened a districtwide community health center on the school’s campus. Moore holds a bachelor of science in business management degree from Central State University and a master of arts in conflict analysis and engagement (MA-CAE) degree from Antioch University. She is also currently working toward a doctorate of business administration degree in healthcare management and leadership.
Fallon Peterson, MS, CHES
The Raymond John Wean Foundation
Peterson is Senior Director of Programs and Operations at The Raymond John Wean Foundation. In her role she provides thought partnership in planning and leading implementation teams for critical, Foundation-wide projects, including grantmaking and capacity building innovation. Prior to joining The Raymond John Wean Foundation, Peterson was a Program Officer at the Nord Family Foundation in Lorain County, Ohio and also served as the Aging Services Administrator for the City of Cleveland Department of Aging.
Peterson is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and certified in the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP). Peterson holds a bachelor of science in chemistry degree from Hampton University and a master of science in health promotion and education degree from the University of Cincinnati. In addition, she was an Exponent Philanthropy 2020 Next Gen Fellow and a Rockwood Virtual Art of Leadership for Philanthropic Leaders Fellow.
Kate Schroder, MBA
President and CEO, Interact for Health
Kate Schroder joined Interact for Health as its fourth President and CEO in January 2022. In this role, she works with Interact for Health’s staff and board to provide leadership, direction and vision to the organization and to develop strategies to address some of the most pressing health needs in Greater Cincinnati.
A native of Cincinnati, Kate has experience leading health initiatives locally and internationally. Prior to joining Interact for Health, she oversaw a regional collaborative effort to increase COVID-19 vaccination throughout 14 counties in Greater Cincinnati and to address disparities in vaccination rates while working at The Health Collaborative.
Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kate currently serves on the boards for Cincinnati State Foundation and OneNKY Alliance and the advisory board for the NKU Institute for Health Innovation.
Last updated 1/23/2024