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Leadership Team

Anderson, Daren—Chief Quality Officer

Dr. Daren Anderson is VP/Chief Quality Officer of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Dr. Anderson is responsible for ensuring that CHC delivers the highest possible quality of care to its patients, developing a strong quality improvement infrastructure across CHC, promoting research and development, and supporting CHC’s mission to become a nationally-recognized center of world-class healthcare.

Previously, Dr. Anderson has served as Director of Primary Care for the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer of Community Health Center, Inc., and a consultant in the field of disease management, and a primary care provider at the Community Health Center of New Britain.

Dr. Anderson obtained his undergraduate degree at Harvard College and his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and is a board-certified general internist.

Dr. Andersons researches, lectures and writes extensively in the areas of disease management, self management/behavior change, implementation science, and health services research. He has published articles in several top-tier peer-reviewed medical journals, including the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, and Diabetes Spectrum. He is the 2010 recipient of the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Hamolsky Award for his research on disease management for diabetes in a community health center.

Bentson, Doreen-Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Doreen Bentson joined Community Health Center in 2015 as the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. Bentson brings to CHC more than 25 years of process improvement experience, most recently as Quality Leader for General Electric Company. Bentson is responsible for planning, developing, evaluating and overseeing the daily operations of the health center and ensuring an exceptional patient experience.

Among her many accomplishments at General Electric, Bentson led a global team of process improvement experts generating significant changes in productivity for GE Capital’s 8,000 employees, resulting in millions of dollars in savings. 

Prior to joining GE, Bentson was a technology leader at Prodigy Services Company, where she held a wide range of leading edge software management positions, including oversight of core customer service applications.

Bentson is a certified Six-Sigma/Lean Master Black Belt and Quality Leader, coach and trainer in change management and effective facilitation.  She earned a Master of Science in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University.



Blankson, Mary—DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Chief Nursing Officer

Mary Blankson DNP, APRN, FNP-C is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Community Health Center, Inc., overseeing diverse nursing services across the CHC network, including primary care, health care for the homeless, and school based health services. As CNO she ensures the quality and expansion of nursing services, the development of nursing policy, and continuing nurse education. Mary also works collaboratively to ensure Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC.
 

Building upon her service in various missions organizations, Mary continued to develop her passion for meeting the needs of the underserved by earning her MSN at Yale University in 2005. Mary joined CHC as a family nurse practitioner shortly after graduation. While at CHC, Mary has served as the On-Site Medical Director of the New London County Sites, the Vice President of the Medical Staff, the Chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and has served as a preceptor for CHC’s Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. She completed her DNP education at Johns Hopkins University in 2015 with her capstone focusing on “Increasing Identification and Treatment Referral of Individuals with Hepatitis C (HCV) in the Primary Care Setting Through Clinical Dashboards.” Mary is certified and holds professional membership in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She continues to support various quality improvement projects throughout the agency to increase the visibility of nursing’s contribution to the Medical Home.

Block, Robert —CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Robert Block, CPA is Chief Financial Officer and Controller of Community Health Center, Inc. In this role, Bob is responsible for all CHC financial operations, revenue cycle, supply chain, payroll and treasury services.

Bob brings over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting and operations, previously having served as Vice President Finance at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Chief Financial Officer of the Jewish Home for the Aged, Chief Administrative Officer at the APT Foundation, Director of Finance at American Medical Response, Manager-Budget and Finance at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and CEO of The AuctionBlocks (a company he founded and ran for ten years).

Bob obtained his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree in Public Policy from the Graduate School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania. Bob was Controller of a behavioral health research group (Center for the Study of Adult Development, later Integra Inc.) during his final four years at Penn. He subsequently earned his CPA license at Arthur Young and Company (currently Ernst & Young).

Bob is an avid skier and golfer, as well as antique collector. He has written eight books for Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Martha Stuart Living and Storage Wars.

Channamsetty, Veena—MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Veena Channamsetty is the Chief Medical Officer of Community Health Center Inc. In this role, she is responsible for the clinical leadership of a large staff of medical providers and caregivers for the state’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. She is responsible for the delivery of evidence based medical standards, the medical staff recruitment and retention, and provider affairs. Dr. Channamsetty oversees the clinical and non-clinical training orientation, training and onboarding for all new CHC medical providers. With the vision of a stable and solid medical staff, Dr. Channamsetty coordinates clinical care with provider professional interests, promoting provider wellbeing and work life balance, overseeing clinical and non-clinical affairs of Physicians, APRNs, and Physician Assistants. She is responsible for ensuring Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC. Dr. Channamsetty also served as the Vice President of the Medical Staff, and is presently the President of the Medical Staff and the Chair of the Medical Quality Improvement Committee. She is a clinical preceptor for the APRN residency. Dr. Channamsetty works closely with the chiefs of Behavior Health, Dentistry, and Nursing to promote interprofessional care, supporting the successful integration of multiple disciplines for the team based care of patients. She works to implement multiple care delivery initiatives states wide. Dr. Channamsetty received her medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean and her Family Practice Residency from Central Maine Medical Center. Dr. Channamsetty is board certified with the American Board of Family Medicine. She worked at both private and hospital based practices prior to beginning her career at the Community Health Center in 2007, in Meriden CT. She served as the On-site Medical Director for the Meriden and Waterbury sites for 4 years, during which she medically managed her full patient panel and directly supervised the Physicians and APRNs both clinically and administratively. She went on to serve as CHC’s Associate Chief Medical Officer for 1 year, prior to taking on the role of Chief Medical Officer.

Ciaburri, Nicholas—Director of Business Intelligence


Nicholas Ciaburri is the Director of Business Intelligence at Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC). He has been with CHC since 2011 and leads a team that has developed a business intelligence dashboard and reporting platform for the organization. The team delivers actionable data to CHC’s providers and leadership so that they can efficiently provide the highest quality of care possible. He also provides data to support the organization’s quality improvement and research initiatives. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University.
Nicholas is currently a resident of Southington, CT.

Coleman, Beverly—Vice President of Human Resources


Beverly Coleman joined CHC in September 2014 as the Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, Beverly has overall responsibilities for the Human Resources operations which includes: Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits, HRIS and Learning & Organizational Development.
Before joining CHC, Beverly most recently served as the Vice President of Administration for both Rushford and Natchaug Hospital at Hartford Healthcare, overseeing the organizations support services functions which included: Admissions & Registration, Customer Service, Business Development & Referral Relations, H3W, Facilities, Dietary and Transportation. Beverly also served as the Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Administrative Officer for Rushford Center during her tenure. Prior to her work at Hartford Healthcare, Beverly served as the Director of Human Resources at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky where she was instrumental in developing the organizations online performance appraisal and reward & recognition programming. She has also held various leadership positions at Sara Lee, American Commercial Lines and The Fund for the Arts.

Beverly holds a Master’s and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Kentucky.

Gianelli, Leslie—Director, PR and Communications


Leslie Gianelli is Director of PR and Communications, responsible for promoting CHC’s message and brand to a variety of audiences, including media and the public. She manages a wide portfolio of internal and external communications, including messaging, thought leadership, social media, the website, and multi-media assets.

Leslie has deep experience in health care spanning nearly 20 years and several continents. Most recently, she served as Communications Director at AmeriCares, overseeing communications initiatives in the U.S. and globally. In this capacity she promoted the work of AmeriCares Free Clinics in Southern Connecticut and emergency response activities in the U.S., Japan, Haiti, India and several other countries. With the Connecticut Hospital Association, she led industry work groups focused on public relations, fundraising, and issues of concern to patients. Previous work with Jhpiego/Johns Hopkins University and the Global Health Council gave her the opportunity to travel to more than 40 countries and regularly engage with global health experts, advocating for programs addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, malaria, and other diseases and conditions endemic to the developing world.

Leslie holds a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College cum laude with a degree in American Studies. She received the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association’s Medal of Honor and currently serves on the Association’s External Achievement Awards Committee. She is an active volunteer for U.S. Figure Skating as a member of the Judges Committee and a National Judge and Referee. Leslie is on the board of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Skating Fund and Proud Nation, a Community Olympic Development Program, and is a past board member of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

Gordon, Adele—Assistant to the President for Strategic Developments

Adele Gordon,  a graduate of Boston University  began her career as a Speech and Hearing therapist in the Stratford, CT School System and worked for many years in non-profit agencies, such as the Kennedy Center and the Rehabilitation Center in Bridgeport and ARI in Stamford.
A long standing advocate for public education, Adele served on the Stamford Board of Education for ten years, two years as its president;  and also as president of the Connecticut Association of Boards Of Education.

She  is a founding member of The Connecticut Association of Children With Learning Disabilities (CACLD), the Stamford Public Education Foundation.  Over the years she has served on many boards and commissions, including: Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Stamford Partnership, ARI, Red Cross, Literacy Volunteers, the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission and the Stamford Police Commission.

As a natural transition from education and social service, Adele became a partner in a unique  company called The Training Connection that improved women’s self esteem and helped them to become self sufficient. It was through her efforts to get dental care for Training Connection  clients, that she realized the absence of dental providers for low income people.

In 1999 she led a group of committed community people to open a dental clinic, The Dental Center of Stamford. The mission of the Dental Center was to provide high quality cost effective oral health care  and to ensure that patients were treated with dignity and respect. She first served as the chair of the Board of Directors and subsequently became the executive director. The Board of Directors determined that CHC was an organization that would continue the mission and philosophy of the Dental Center and joined CHC in  November, 2005.

Adele became Faifield County Site Director when Norwalk Smiles opened in 2006 and the Danbury Community Health Center opened in 2008. She continues to promote and provide health care for CHC as the Assistant to the President for Strategic Development.

Highsmith-Francis, Yvette—Vice President, Eastern Region

 

Yvette is the Director of Community Health Center, Inc. Hartford and New Haven County Sites. In this capacity she oversees CHC of New Britain, Enfield, Bristol, Waterbury, and Meriden, where she is committed to eliminating racial and ethnic health care disparities. Yvette looks forward to ensuring that the community’s underserved populations continue to have access to quality medical, dental, mental health and school-based services.
Yvette has done extensive work in the area of HIV/AIDS, providing services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS for over fifteen years.

Yvette is a fellow with Connecticut Health Foundation’s 2009 Class of the Health Leadership Fellows Program. Yvette has been the recipient of many awards including: the Mayor’s Award, presented by Hartford’s Mayor Eddie Perez for her work as co-chair of the Ryan White Title I Planning Council, a citation from Meriden’s Mayor Mark Benigni for her work in educating the community on the importance of HIV testing, the 2005 Meriden-Wallingford NAACP Community Service Award for Health, and a community service award from the Miriam Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.

Yvette was a Martin Luther King Scholar at Long Island University and received her Master’s Degree in Management from Cambridge College. Yvette was recently selected to participate in the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive program at UCLA.

Hylan, Jane E. —MPH, CHES, Director of School-Based Services

Managing more than 20 programs statewide, Jane enjoys the opportunity this position offers to oversee programs and staff that deliver barrier-free, comprehensive primary, dental and behavioral health care to students in a variety of Connecticut communities.
Hylan began her career in the human service field. For more than 20 years, she served as a member of the administrative team for an agency that supports people with developmental and physical disabilities. After completing her Master’s degree, Jane served as residential director at a residential treatment facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents and taught middle school students at risk for failure.

Hylan earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Salem State College in Salem, Mass., and a Master’s in public health from Southern Connecticut State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Kearney, Timothy—Ph. D., Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Dr. Kearney earned his BA with a combined major in Psychology and Spanish Literature at Yale University and pursued graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary where he earned his MA (Theology) from the Graduate School of Theology and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from the Graduate School of Psychology. He has also completed the post graduate Primary Care Behavioral Health training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. He is a licensed psychologist in Connecticut, New York, and California.
He joined the Community Health Center behavioral health staff in 1998. He is the author of Caring for Sexually Abused Children: A Handbook for Families and Churches (Intervarsity Press, 2001). In addition to administrative and clinical leadership of the Behavioral Health programs at CHC, Dr. Kearney supervises and trains postdoctoral psychology residents, co-leads psychotherapy groups with students and younger staff to train them in the provision of child group therapy, and provides direct client care with the clinical focus of providing care to children and adolescents and their families, especially those impacted by medical illness, trauma, and abuse.

Rohde, Michael S. – Director of Community Relations

Michael Rohde joined the Community Health Center in 2011 after serving 40 years in Executive Management positions in non-profit agencies serving children and families. Mike’s role with CHC is to engage with community providers to improve health care access to community resources, assist with CHC events and activities, help to develop robust site Advisory Councils, and assist with service expansion.

Mike Rohde’s leadership in the field of Child Welfare included tenures as President of the Connecticut Child Caring Association; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Non-Profits; Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Human Services, and Vice Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Children. As a community leader, Rohde provided leadership for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life; Meriden Puerto Rican Festival; Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast, Meriden Black Expo; Project Graduation, and the Meriden Farmers Market.

In 1989, Rohde was elected to the Meriden City Council serving 18 years before being elected for three terms as Mayor of Meriden. Mike played a key role in the Flood Control Project, the downtown redevelopment effort, and the establishment of the Linear Trails.

 Rohde received his B.A. in Economics and Psychology at St. John Fisher College, and Masters in Human Services Administration at Antioch University.

Taylor, Amy —Vice President Western Region

Amy Taylor is the Vice President of the Community Health Center, Inc.’s Western Region, which includes mobile, school based and fixed sites in Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Meriden, Bristol and Waterbury. Amy joined CHC in 2011 because of her belief in promoting the health and wellness of all people, including those typically marginalized and disenfranchised from health care. At CHC, Amy has been actively involved in the daily operations of the practices, with a focus on making improvements in workflows and processes to enhance patient experience and improve health outcomes. As a Dartmouth-trained Microsystems coach, she has worked with teams on a variety of projects, including Stamford Medical Care Coordination, Norwalk Medical Tablet Implementation, and WYA Enhancement of Patient-Centered Medical Home Principles. Recognizing that the social determinants of health play a significant role in the wellness of a community, Amy is engaged with many local and regional associations that aim to improve the social and economic conditions of the cities within the Western Region. Amy graduated from Bowdoin College as a James Bowdoin Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa and is a Geiger Gibson Capstone Fellow from George Washington Unversity.

Tummala, Sheela-DDS, MPH, Chief Dental Officer

Sheela Tummala, DDS, MPH is the Chief Dental Officer for the Community Health Center, Inc.Prior to joining CHC in 2006, Dr. Tummala worked as a general dentist at Meri Care Dental in Meriden and also served as an onsite dental director since 2006. Dr. Tummala also worked in her own Private Practice in Woodbury until 2015. 
 
In her roll at CHC, Dr. Tummala treats patients, supervises staff, and maintains the goals and needs of the staff. Dr. Tummala also serves as the Dental Quality Improvement Chairman for CHC, where she is responsible for conducting meetings, writing policies, maintaining quality improvement and assessing the needs for quality improvement from the patient and staff perspective. 

Dr. Tummala has served on a number of committees such as the Electronic Dental Records Committee where she was responsible for the creation of templates in open dental and consent forms. Dr. Tummala, who has a passion for research, was involved in the research study “Side effects of Triazolam in Children” published in American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 21:1, 1999. She is also involved in organizing many events such as the Mission of Mercy events at CHC.
 
Dr. Tummala completed her DDS degree at New York University and her General Practice Residency at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, N.Y. She also completed her MPH at Western Kentucky University. 
 
She says her favorite part of providing dental services to CHC patients is “ Patients appreciating the work you do for them, changing their smiles Helping them taking out of Pain.”

Dr. Tummala also loves to sing, dance, hike and cook!