Tito L. Izard, M.D. - Chair
Dr. Tito Izard is the president/chief executive officer and former chief medical officer for Milwaukee Health Services, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center in Milwaukee, WI. His comprehensive healthcare facilities, which include medical, dental, behavioral health, HIV, podiatry and pharmacy services, are utilized by over 30,000 users annually. Milwaukee, previously, has been designated as the 4th poorest city in the United States. Dr. Izard is a former recipient of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Faculty Loan Repayment Program award. He has 15 years of experience as an educator, instructor, and director of medical practices with emphasis on urban health issues, clinical practice redesign and reducing health disparities. His model for recruitment and retention of providers dedicated to working with disparate populations has received recognition for his employment of more under-represented minority and National Health Service Corps physicians than any other medical practice in the state of Wisconsin. In addition to his community health center activities, Dr. Izard has continued his commitment to teaching through his appointment with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health as a Clinical Associate Professor. He has been credited with designing an urban underserved residency training program curriculum. His areas of publication and research has focused on creating successful medical practices that serve underserved populations, incorporating “Virtual Physicians” into your practice management system, managing chronic no-show patients and applying evidence-based medicine while constrained by financial resources.
Dr. Izard received his B.A. in Social Work from Marquette University in 1992 and his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 1996. His postgraduate residency was carried out at St. Luke's Family Practice Residency, Central City Site, in Milwaukee from 1996 to 1999.
Joni is the Manager of Recruitment and Workforce Development for the Missouri Primary Care Association (MPCA). She joined MPCA 7 years ago after nearly 10 years of service with the Missouri Primary Care Office / Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She is dedicated to increasing access to essential health care services in underserved areas. She works closely with healthcare professionals of various disciplines and specialties to assure they are aware of career options and employment opportunities in Missouri’s Safety-Net System and to identify resources to help them reach their goal of working in an underserved area.
She proudly serves as an Ambassador for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and is well versed in NHSC initiatives. Additionally she has a comprehensive understanding of Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designations. She provides a great deal of technical assistance and guidance to community organizations to assist with recruitment and workforce planning strategies. Joni is regarded by many of her colleagues as a subject matter expert in the areas of healthcare workforce development, trends and analysis, recruitment, and retention of healthcare professionals. Her professional memberships and active participation includes: The Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet); Association of Clinicians of the Underserved, Association of Staff Physician Recruiters, and their regional affiliate the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Physician Recruitment and Retention Network.
Jay Bhatt, D.O., M.P.H., M.P.A., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Jay Bhatt is a National Health Service Corps Scholar. He is currently a primary care internist at Erie Family Health Center in Chicago and completed a Geriatrics Fellow at the University of Michigan Health System. Most recently, he was Managing Deputy Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Public Health and currently Chief Health Officer at the Illinois Hospital Association. He completed an internal medicine residency at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School where he was a clinical fellow. In 2012 Dr. Bhatt was a Senior Fellow with the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, a health policy Institute in Cambridge, MA focusing on innovation and strengthening primary care. During 2005-2006, he was a Legislative Fellow for Congresswoman Donna Christensen. In 2006-07 he served as the National President of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) where he led advocacy efforts around the National Health Service Corps. Dr. Bhatt led the development of the AMSA PharmFree Scorecard in 2007 helping change the culture of conflict of interest in academic medical centers. He has served on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association, the leadership team of Doctors for America and as a Senior Advisor for Primary Care Progress. He was Chair of the American College of Physicians Council of Associates representing 23,000 residents and fellows and this year recognized with the ACP Walter McDonald National Award. He has been appointed by Governor Patrick to serve on the Massachusetts Primary Care Office Retention and Evaluation Advisory Group. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1999 with a degree in Economics. In 2008, Dr. Bhatt received both his medical degree from the PCOM, and his Master in Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. In 2012 he received his Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Adrian N. Billings, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Adrian Billings is a full spectrum family medicine physician and Chief Medical Officer with Presidio County Health Services practicing in rural Marfa and Presidio, Texas. Dr. Billings was born on the Texas-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1993, Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Pathology in 1998 and Doctor of Medicine in 2003 from the University of Texas Medical Branch. In 1999, prior to his matriculation into medical school, Dr. Billings completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia where he worked in the Special Pathogens Branch investigating rodent-borne Hantavirus infection. Dr. Billings attended family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas, serving his final year as chief resident. He then completed an obstetrics fellowship also at John Peter Smith Hospital in 2007. He was awarded a National Health Service Corps Scholarship from the federal government in 1999 and completed his service obligation in 2011 in rural Alpine, Texas. Dr. Billings has spoken nationally for the National Health Service Corps at Scholar and Loan Repayment conferences and speaks passionately of his experience working with underserved populations in a rural, frontier setting. Dr. Billings serves as a physician advisor to the Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Healthy Kids program which provides free bicycle helmets to children to promote brain safety in an effort to prevent closed head injuries. He serves as Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University School of Medicine and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Billings serves as chief of staff of Big Bend Regional Medical Center, a critical access hospital in Alpine, Texas.
Kristen Crawford Ellis, D.D.S.
Kristen Crawford Ellis, D.D.S. is a general dentist and a National Health Service Corps scholar. Dr. Ellis is a distinguished scholar and dental clinician. Dr. Ellis is currently practicing dentistry in Texas at Mission East Dallas where she serves as the Chief Dental Officer and Dental Director. Dr. Ellis is also a participant in the National Oral Health Learning Institute. She has worked with a diverse population of patients and communities. While serving David Raines Community Health Center, she was also able to provide dental care to the inmates of the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Facility and Northwest Louisiana Headstart programs. She is an alumna of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. Dr. Ellis has been a participant of the SEARCH (Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health) program, working through Tennessee Primary Care Association to provide dental health care to the patients of Matthew Walker Community Health Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She has also worked with the Indian Health Service to provide dental health care to the Poarch Creek Indians community located in Atmore, Alabama. Dr. Ellis is also a graduate of The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. While attending college, she was able to conduct and present research through The University of Arkansas for Medical Science and Arkansas Cancer Research Center. Dr. Ellis has experience with developing policies, revising procedures, initiating programs, and being a liaison through serving as an executive member of the governing bodies of both Meharry Medical College and The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. She is a volunteer mentor through the National Health Service Corps, providing guidance for current scholars that are enrolled in dental school. Dr. Ellis is proud to be a dental clinician serving the underserved populations of The United States of America.
Jackie Griffin, Ph.D.
Dr. Jackie Griffin has an extensive 30-year background in healthcare, and was the CEO of MedLink Georgia, Inc. His duties included growth and stability of the organization, strategic planning, implementation of Quality Assurance Plans, grant writing, budgeting, personnel management, recruitment, facilities construction and management, contract negotiations and third party payments. He was first introduced to community health centers in January 1981 when he was the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Health Center in Athens, Georgia. Since that time, he has served as Executive Director of Megals Health Association (Carolina Health Centers, Inc.) and as Chief Executive Officer of MedLink Georgia, Inc. in Colbert, Georgia. He also has experience in mental health and addictions programs, and worked with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) in various environments. This included a “small health center,” a Community Health Center operating with no federal funds but employing NHSC physicians.
Wilton Kennedy, D.H.Sc., MMSc, PA-C
Dr. Wilton Kennedy is the Director of Clinical Education at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences (JCHS) Physician Assistant Program in Roanoke, VA. He attended Emory University Physician Assistant Program in Atlanta Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University. He is completed his doctorate in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University in 2008. Before joining the faculty at JCHS, he practiced primary care for 7 years at Blue Ridge Community Health Center, a migrant and community health center in Hendersonville, N.C. The majority of his patients were migrant and seasonal farmworkers. As a National Health Service Corps scholarship recipient, Mr. Kennedy has a strong interest in community health, interprofessional education, global health, and the underserved. He has been awarded two Health Resources and Services Administration Community Health grants for PA Rural Health Initiatives. He served on the Board of Directors of the Migrant Clinicians Network from 1998-2004 and as chairman from 2002-2004. He chaired the Physician Assistant Education Association’s Task Force on Interprofessional Education. He currently works clinically in the Carilion Clinic Department Emergency Department and Family Medicine.
Joan Malcolm, D.M.D
Dr. Joan Malcolm is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and founder of Bright Smiles Family Dentistry, LLC. A private practice located in Sicklerville, NJ. She has over 20 years of dental experience and has had training in clinical, hospital and private practice environments.
In addition to practicing dentistry, Dr. Malcolm works within communities throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania promoting healthy lifestyle choices. She is an experienced health educator and has lectured extensively on the subject of dental health and its relationship to chronic lifestyle diseases. She is passionate about motivating and mentoring young people toward higher education and careers in the health field. She is very active in the under-represented communities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey, and works relentlessly to provide dental education and treatment for the disenfranchised. While working at the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, she delivered dental care to vulnerable population groups. Dr. Malcolm is board member of the Dental Advisory Board for the A. Philip Randolph High School in Philadelphia, a member of the Diversity Working Group for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and a former member of the National Dental Association (NDA) Board of Trustees. She has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the NDA and other community service based organizations.
Felix L. Nuñez, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Felix L. Nuñez is a Medical Director for Molina Healthcare of California with oversight of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. He is formerly Chief Medical Officer and past interim Chief Executive Officer of the Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Southeast Los Angeles. He is a board certified Family Physician with extensive clinical and administrative experience in both the private and public sector. Prior to his work with Molina Healthcare of California, Dr. Nuñez was the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, Medical Director of The South Central Family Health Center, an Assistant Medical Director with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and an Assistant Clinical Instructor in the Harbor-UCLA Family Medicine Residency Program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Loyola Marymount University, his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School, and Master of Public Health degree from the UCLA School of Public Health. In 1998 he completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and in 2005 was a fellow in the Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has a faculty appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine with the Keck/USC School of Medicine. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, California Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, Massachusetts Medical Society, and Physicians for Social Responsibility. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, the Western Clinicians Network, the Loyola Marymount Latino Alumni Association, the Charles Drew University President’s Community Advisory Council, and serves on National Advisory Council of the National Health Service Corps. Dr. Nuñez is a native of Los Angeles.
Stephanie C. Pagliuca
Stephanie Pagliuca is the Director of the Recruitment Center, a service of Bi-State Primary Care Association. Bi-State’s mission is to promote access to effective and affordable primary and preventive services for all with emphasis on underserved populations in New Hampshire and Vermont. The Recruitment Center supports Bi-State’s mission by assisting communities with the recruitment and retention of primary care clinicians to practice in rural and underserved areas of the two states.
As Director of the Recruitment Center Ms. Pagliuca works with a variety of stakeholders and partners to strengthen and expand the pipeline of clinicians who are interested in practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the Recruitment Center and has managed many federal, state, and private foundation grants. Ms. Pagliuca participates in the development and implementation of public policy related to primary care workforce development and recruitment by serving on a number of statewide and regional commissions and work groups targeting these issues. Since joining Bi-State in 1994 Ms. Pagliuca has served a critical role in sustaining and expanding the Recruitment Center. Ms. Pagliuca earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Notre Dame College in 1994. She is a native of New Hampshire, a graduate of the Leadership New Hampshire class of 2010 and the recipient of the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association’s Advocate of the Year award for 2015.
Darryl S. Salvador, Psy.D
Darryl Salvador is a Staff Psychologist/Integrated Behavioral Health Consultant at the U.S. Army Health Clinic – Schofield Barracks Family Medicine Clinic, serving a population of dependents, retirees, and active duty members. Prior to this, he served as the Behavioral Health Director for the Molokai Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located on the rural, medically underserved island of Molokai. He is a National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Clinician and alumni. Dr. Salvador graduated from Argosy University/Honolulu in 2004 and went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship with Tripler Army Medical Center in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health psychology and the provision of behavioral medicine services to rural, medically underserved areas across the state, which included rural rotations in FQHCs on Oahu, Maui, and Molokai. He served as the Public Interest Representative for the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Committee on Early Career Psychologists, as a member of the 2010 APA Presidential Task Force on Advancing Practice, and is a former Chair for the APA Committee on Rural Health. Dr. Salvador also has served as the President of the Hawaii Psychological Association and is presently a member of the state of Hawaii Medical Education Council. He received an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation in 2015.
Dr. Salvador’s areas of specialization include Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine Consultation, Primary Care Psychology, Outcome Assessment and Acculturation with Asian-American Populations, and Individual and Group Counseling in Multicultural Settings.
Scott Shipman, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Shipman is the Directory of Primary Care Affairs and Workforce Analysis for the Association of American Medical Colleges. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Community and Family Medicine, and The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy & Clinical Practice. He is a general pediatrician and health services researcher who has studied the primary care workforce extensively, with a particular focus on the longstanding challenges of workforce mal-distribution and underserved populations. Dr. Shipman was also selected as an alternate delegate to the Health Resources and Services Administration Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Designation of Medically Underserved Populations and Health Professional Shortage Areas, which examined in detail the criteria for designating underserved areas. He has served on a number of advisory committees and related groups to study and make recommendations regarding the physician workforce, workforce projections, and efforts to promote equitable access to healthcare. He also was a commissioner on the national Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., and is very familiar with physician assistant training and the trends of growth in the new physician assistant workforce.
Cindy J. Stergar, M.A.
Cindy Stergar has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Butte Community Health in southwestern Montana from 1999-2013. Following that, she continued working with vulnerable populations in a number of capacities: administrator of an inpatient treatment facility for substance disorders and mental illness; interim CEO of small rural “new start” community health center, and work as a Consultant and Master Trainer with Lean Healthcare West providing quality improvement services to groups across the United States. Her work has provided opportunities to work with clients such as health centers, hospitals, and community groups. Ms. Stergar has leveraged programs, particularly the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), to recruit many health care professionals including NHSC scholars and loan repayors to Montana. She brings her commitment to the leadership level in a variety of ways including serving on several boards and advisory committees including the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, Hospital Boards, Foundation Boards, the Montana WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) Advisory Committee, the Montana Multipayer Patient-Centered Medical Health Initiative Advisory Board and the Montana Primary Care Association Board. A core tenant of her work is creating new models of preparing and training health care professionals and finding ways to incentivize and inspire them to serve in rural/frontier areas and vulnerable populations.
Gwen L. R. Witzel, APRN, FNP, FAANP
Gwen Witzel is a Family Nurse Practitioner in Langdon, ND. Her practice serves residents in two frontier counties providing primary care at a rural health clinic and three long term care facilities, and emergent and acute care at a critical access hospital (CCMH clinic and hospital).
She participated in a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) project during her Nurse Practitioner education that focused on education of physicians and nurse practitioners together.
Gwen was honored as the 2009 North Dakota Rural Health Provider of the Year, an award sponsored by the Center for Rural Health and the University of North Dakota Medical School. She has also received awards for Excellence in Diabetes Care.
Ms. Witzel is a Fellow to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She served on the Board of AANP from 2009- 2014 as the Region 8 Director, and as the North Dakota State Representative for AANP from 2001-2009. She is a co-founder of the North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Association and with coordination of NP efforts has had impact on health policy legislative to eliminate barriers to NP practice in North Dakota and improve access to care. She served on the Rural Health Provider Issues group established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) /US Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Rural Health Policy in Washington DC. The focus was on CMS rules and regulations as it pertains to rural medicine. She is devoted to the education of Nurse Practitioners and serves as a clinical preceptor for students in the Family NP programs.
CAPT Tracy L. Wolfe, R.N., N.P.
CAPT Tracy L Wolfe has been on active duty with the U.S. Public Health Service since July 1986. She graduated from Western Carolina University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Her first assignment was the Navajo Tribe in Chinle, Arizona as an obstetrical nurse. She then transferred to Phoenix Indian Medical Center to work labor and delivery for 3 years then became an evening nurse supervisor in the same facility. Her third change in duty station took her to Lawrence, Kansas to work in a small clinic associated with the Haskell Indian Nation University. While working there, she enrolled in the Masters program of Nursing at the University of Kansas. She received the Indian Health Service scholarship in 1995 which allowed her to complete her studies in December 1997. She took her new nurse practitioner skills to Cherokee, North Carolina, which is her home. She has worked in the outpatient setting as nurse practitioner and as a nurse manager for the outpatient department. She was part of a team of medical and nursing staff who implemented changes to improve wait times and primary care provider enrollment for patients. She currently maintains a patient enrollment of approximately 900 patients in her practice.