HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE
Dr. Daren Anderson is a general internist and has worked in safety net practices for his entire career. He is VP/Chief Quality Officer of Community Health Center, Inc., a large, multisite community health center providing primary care to over 145,000 medically underserved patients across Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Anderson is the Director of CHCI’s Weitzman Institute, a research and innovations center dedicated to improving primary care for underserved populations. The Weitzman Institute leads a range of initiatives focused on practice transformation and workforce development and has created an eConsult process that is now being used across Connecticut and in ten additional states. In addition, Weitzman researchers are engaged in a range of research projects focused on health disparities, telehealth, and pain and opioid abuse treatment in primary care.
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.
Building upon her service in various mission 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.
Robert Block, CPA is the Chief Financial Officer 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. He previously served as Vice President of 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).
Dena M. Castricone, JD, CIPP/US, CIPM joined Community Health Center, Inc. as General Counsel and Chief of Privacy following her time as partner at Murtha Cullina LLP, practicing in areas of health care and privacy. Prior to joining Murtha Cullina LLP in 2003, she clerked for the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Dena brings more than 15 years of private practice experience to the Community Health Center. Throughout her career, she has counseled health care providers on a broad range of regulatory compliance, risk management and day-to-day operational issues as well as represented providers in court and before state and federal administrative agencies. Further, with an extensive background in privacy and cybersecurity, she has substantial experience navigating the privacy challenges in health care, including HIPAA compliance.
The National Law Review recognized Dena as a “Go-To Thought Leader” in 2018 in the area of privacy and cyber security. In 2016, she received the Alumni Public Interest Champion of Justice Award from the Roger Williams University School of Law and was also named a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. In addition to other awards and recognition, in 2011, Connecticut Magazine named Dena one of Connecticut’s 40 Under 40 and the National LGBT Bar Association recognized her as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40.
In 2015, Dena was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Office of State Ethics’ Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, of which she currently serves as the Chair. In addition, Dena also is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, where she is a member of the Opioid Abuse Task Force, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
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 well-being 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 Behavioral 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 four 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.
Yvette is the Vice President of Community Health Center, Inc.’s Eastern Region. Yvette has worked with CHCI for 24 years in a variety of capacities. In her current role, she oversees eight of the fourteen CHCI locations in New Britain, Enfield, Hartford, Middletown, Clinton, Old Saybrook, New London and Groton as well as the School Based Health services across the state.
Yvette has been instrumental in the openings of the CHCI locations in Enfield, Waterbury and Bristol. In the early phases of her career, Yvette worked directly with countless individuals and families providing support to address the social determinants of health and to improve the quality of life for those she worked with.
Committed to the elimination of racial/ethnic health care disparities; Yvette works diligently to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable residents continue to have access to quality medical, dental, mental health and school-based services and that those services are delivered with dignity and respect. Yvette is actively engaged in the communities she serves and is committed to public and civic service in her personal time as well. Yvette currently oversees Community Advisory committees and is the co-chair of the PCMH+ Oversight Committee.
Yvette is a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive program as well as the Connecticut Health Foundation’s 2009 Health Leadership Fellows Program.
Yvette was a Martin Luther King Scholar at Long Island University and received her Master’s Degree in Management from Cambridge College. She has received recognition on the local, state and national level for her work with individuals living with HIV and AIDS. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work within CHCI and in the community at large.
Karen Koproske is the Vice President of Practice Administration at Community Health Center, Inc. She is accountable for all aspects of practice management in support of the strategic mission, including excellence in service delivery, patient experience and access. Her role is to lead cross-functional projects to improve practice performance across all health centers.
Prior to joining CHC, Karen was most recently with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she served for 20 years as director of the Specialty Group, CCMC’s physician group practice. During that time, she helped grow the practice from 60 to more than 200 providers. Karen holds a B.S. from Boston University and an MBA from Bryant University.
Karen resides in Canton, CT, and enjoys yoga, biking, and kayaking on her free weekends.
Mike was Director of Facilities for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Westerly Hospital within the Yale-New Haven Health system. There he managed a staff of 48 and directed all aspects of facilities planning, operations and compliance and provided oversight of utilities, engineering and safety services. His YNHH colleagues noted that he is a goal-oriented team builder.
Mike has also worked as Director of Facilities and Engineering at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and held the same position at Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford Springs. At Johnson Memorial he was promoted to director based on his leadership responding to a generator failure and patient evacuation during Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Dr. Candice Rettie was appointed Executive Director of the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium Washington, DC in 2015.
The Consortium is one of the four subsidiaries of CHC and is a private, nonprofit entity that was separately incorporated in July 2015. It was founded to advance postgraduate residency and fellowship training for nurse practitioners. Dr. Rettie is responsible for the development and growth of the Consortium’s key initiatives, including the accreditation program for postgraduate nurse practitioner residency and fellowship programs and the national membership program.
Prior to joining the NNPRFTC, Dr. Rettie was the co-founding partner of C&FC Consultants in Washington, DC. where she consulted with various nonprofit organizations about strategic analysis and assessment, leadership, evaluation and alignment of programs and services. Dr. Rettie has served as Vice President of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter and the Provost-designee at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. She served as the Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Inova Health System and was an Examination Officer at the National Board of Medical Examiners. As an administrator and faculty member at two medical schools, her focus was behavioral science, faculty development, and medical education. She is the author of numerous publications, books, technical papers and presentations.
Dr. Rettie attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Bachelors in Psychology and Masters in Education focusing on rehabilitation psychology and behavioral disabilities. She obtained her PhD at the University of Iowa in Education: Instructional Design and Educational Psychology. Dr. Rettie completed her postdoctoral studies in developmental/school psychology at Bryn Mawr College and is a licensed psychologist focusing on learning across the lifespan.
She and her husband live on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland where she is an avid bird-watcher who dreams of gardens that survive the inundations of high tides and the frequent trimming of voracious 4-legged neighbors.
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. Amy also serves as PI on the All of Us Research Program, which is a National Institutes for Health initiative that seeks to accelerate health research by collecting multiple data points from one million people living in the United States, creating the largest health data resource ever.
Amy is the Director of Client Relations for CeCN, the Community eConsult Network, a fully owned subsidiary of CHCI. In this capacity, Amy works with partners across the country to implement and sustain their utilization of asynchronous electronic consult services, eConsults. eConsults provide a link between specialty medicine and primary care, which allows for the transfer of knowledge from a specialist to the PCP and results in increased patient satisfaction, improved clinical outcomes, and lower cost of care.
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. She leads Community Advisory Councils in each site in the region and is the co-chairperson for the Oversight Committee for the PCMH+ Initiative at CHCI. Amy graduated from Bowdoin College as a James Bowdoin Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa and is a Geiger Gibson Capstone Fellow from George Washington University and a Dartmouth-trained Microsystems coach.
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, and helping to take them out of pain.”
Dr. Tummala also loves to sing, dance, hike and cook!
Matt Vinikas is a seasoned health care executive and current Chief Operating Officer for CeCN. He has been a leader of innovative health initiatives since his graduation from Wesleyan University. In the early 1970’s, he was an organizer of the Community Health Center, Inc., now one the largest FQHCs in the country. After leaving CHCI in 1977, Mr. Vinikas moved to West Virginia to organize rural health delivery and financing systems, including serving as Executive Director of the Associated Clinics of Appalachia, a 7-state coalition of non-profit primary care organizations and managed care entities.
He moved to Boston in 1986, helping to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan as its second employee and Chief Operating Officer. NHP was a non-profit collaborative effort of the Community Health Centers in Massachusetts, and one of the country’s first Medicaid managed care plans. He led the effort to replicate the model, working with the primary care association of Rhode Island to organize the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.
Mr. Vinikas is a co-founder of Core Health, Inc. which provided technical and executive support to non-profit and government entities in multiple states in support of primary care centers and efforts to bring managed care services to Medicaid populations. Along with other Core Health principles, Mr. Vinikas was co-founder of Senior Whole Health, Inc., one of the first managed care plans to provide care solely to the dually eligible population. Senior Whole Health was recognized in 2008 by Inc. Magazine as the country’s fastest growing company.
Before returning full time to CHCI and CeCN in 2017, he served as an FQHC site director, worked to organize development of a non-profit dual eligible plan in Illinois and consulted on Medicaid ACO development with both managed care and provider entities. Mr. Vinikas currently resides in Boulder, CO and works primarily from the Denver, CO Weitzman Institute offices.