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 Board of Directors

​AMCHP 2017 Board of Directors

Contact Information Bios

President (2017-2018)
Michael D. Warren, MD MPH, FAAP

MCH Director
Tennessee Department of Health
Nashville, TN

Michael Warren, MD, MPH, FAAP, is the President of AMCHP's board of directors. He currently serves as the Director of the Division of Family Health and Wellness for the Tennessee, Department of Health, an Assistant Commissioner level position within the Department.

Dr. Warren received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. He completed his pediatrics residency, Chief Residency and fellowship in Academic General Pediatrics at Vanderbilt, where he also obtained a master’s in Public Health. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

He oversees numerous child- and family-serving programs in all 95 counties, Including Children’s Special Services, Family Planning, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening, Injury Prevention, Infant Mortality Reduction Initiatives, Child Fatality and Fetal/Infant Mortality Review, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Adolescent Health, Asthma, Newborn Metabolic and Hearing Screening, WIC and home visitation services provided through the Department of Health. Dr. Warren is also responsible for the CDC-funded chronic disease initiatives in the Department of Health, including those related to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and rape and violence prevention.

Prior to joining the Department of Health, Dr. Warren served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt and as Medical Director in the Governor’s Office of Children’s Care Coordination, where he provided leadership in statewide infant mortality reduction initiatives. He is actively involved in the community and in 2010 was recognized as the Nashville Emerging Leader in the area of Health and Mefdical Services.

President-Elect (2017-2018)
Chacon, MSW, LISW
Director, Children's Medical Services, Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs, Santa Fe, NM  

​Susan Chacon, MSW, LISW, is the President-Elect for AMCHP’s board of directors. Ms. Chacon has worked as a professional social worker for over 20 years. She is currently the New Mexico Title V Director for Children’s Medical Services, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs program, which includes oversight of the Newborn Hearing and Newborn Genetic Screening programs. Ms. Chacon started her work with the New Mexico Title V program in 2001 as the Manager of the Newborn Hearing Screening Program in coordination with the Part C program within the New Mexico Department of Public Health Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Children’s Medical Services. Ms. Chacon has spent her career working in health care and advocating for vulnerable populations. In 2005, she became the Chair of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Diversity Committee a multi-state, cross-agency committee, initiated by the CDC to address disparities diverse cultures and underrepresented populations face when accessing EHDI services. Ms. Chacon was a member of the Community of Learners with the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University in 2007 and continues working to promote cultural and linguistic equality in health care for children with special health care needs and their families.

Ms. Chacon received her bachelor’s in public health from the University of Massachusetts and her Master of Social Work from Boston University.

Past President (2017-2018)
Eileen Forlenza
Director, Family Leadership Initiative, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Unit
Denver, CO

Eileen Forlenza is the past president for AMCHP’s board of directors. She currently serves as the Colorado Family and Community Engagement Specialist and was formerly the Director of the Colorado’s Medical Home Initiative for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Ms. Forlenza has served on the AMCHP Board as a Family Representative since 2009 and is also a member of AMCHP’s Family and Youth Leadership Committee representing the constituency of families who have children/youth with special health care needs. She has also served on several state and national advisory councils including National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), National Initiative for Child Health Quality (NICHQ), National Center for Healthcare Transition, Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), Multi-Stakeholder Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot Project and Family Voices National; including serving as faculty for the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care and as a curriculum consultant for University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Ms. Forlenza has held Governor appointed positions on the Colorado Interagency Coordinating Council and the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council and served as a Colorado delegate to attend the national Family Policy Academy. She holds credentials in family leadership development, including curriculum design and implementation. Ms. Forlenza received the prestigious Woman of the Year Award from the National Association of Professional Women and graduated as a fellow of the Maternal and Child Health Public Health Leadership Institute as well as Colorado’s Leadership and Education for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND).

Secretary (2016-2018)
Susan Colburn
State Parent Consultant Children's Rehabilitation Service
Montgomery, AL

Susan Colburn, is the Secretary for AMCHP's board of directors. Ms. Colburn has been an advocate for children with special health care needs for over 20 years. She is presently employed by Children’s Rehabilitation Service, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, (Alabama’s Title V Program for CSHCN) as the State Parent Consultant., a position she has held since 1996. Prior to that Ms. Colburn worked in Alabama’s Early Intervention System as a District Service Coordinator and a Service Coordinator for a local Early Intervention Service program. She was an appointed member of the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Services from 1987-1996 and a member of the Alabama Special Education Advisory Panel from 1989-1991. She is the co-coordinator of Family Voices of AL, (home of Alabama’s Family to Family Health Information Center) and served as the co-Regional Coordinator for the 8 state Southeast Region for two terms. In 1987, Ms. Colburn was also a co-founder of Friends for Life, a support group for families and friends of children with special needs.

She serves on a variety of statewide boards, councils and committees, and she is a member of the national Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, including having served as vice-chair of the Family and Youth Leadership Committee of that organization. She has a B.S. degree from Auburn University.

Ms. Colburn is the mother of three young adult children, two of whom have special health care needs. 

Treasurer (2017-2018)
Karin Downs, RN, MPH
Director, Division of Pregnancy, Infancy and Early Childhood 
Boston, MA  

Karin Downs, RN, MS, MPH, is the Treasurer for AMCHP's board of directors.  Ms. Downs currently is the MCH Director for theTitle V Program and also serves as the Director of the Division of Pregnancy, Infancy and Early Childhood (DPIE) within the Bureau of Family Health.  Ms. Downs has worked with maternal-child health, systems of care, community and family economic development and relief and reconstruction in Massachusetts and internationally for 35 years. She has received the Distinguished MCH Alumni Award from Boston School of Public Health in 2012 and completed a fellowship at the Maternal Child Health – Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH-PHLI) at the UNC Chapel Hill.

Region I  (2016-2019)

Marilyn K.pngRegion II Director (2017-2020) 
Marilyn Kacica, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Division of Family Health                                                      Albany, NY

Marilyn A. Kacica, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, is the Region II Director for AMCHP's board of directors.  Dr. Kacica is currently the Medical Director for the Division of Family Health for the New York State Department of Health.

Dr. Kacica received her undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and her medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and fellowship in Infectious Disease at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She also completed a Preventive Medicine residency at the State University of New York, University at Albany School of Public Health, New York State Department of Health program where she also obtained a master’s degree in Public Health. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Dr. Kacica serves as the Medical Director for the Division of Family Health, which includes Women, Infant and Adolescent Health, Child Health, Early Intervention and Dental Health. She contributes to policy and program development, implementation and quality improvement for maternal and child health populations throughout the state. Dr. Kacica is also a Clinical Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Division of Family Health, Dr. Kacica was Medical Director for the Regional Epidemiology and Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Control Programs at the NYSDOH.

Prior to joining the Department of Health, Dr. Kacica was an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Albany Medical Center in the Section of Infectious Diseases.

Mary-Kornak-pic.jpgRegion III Director (2017-2020)
Mary Frances Kornak, MPH
Epidemiologist, Public Health Advisor      Washington, DC

Mary Frances Kornak, MPH, is the Region III Director for AMCHP's board of directors. Ms. Kornak has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, specializing in program management and project analysis, and has worked with DC government for 12 of those years. Ms. Kornak has been performing in her role as Senior HealthCare Analyst and Title V Program Coordinator for seven years, where she has built great rapport with coworkers and collaborators helping to increase visibility of the Community Health Administration in DC. Ms. Kornak works with Title V grants to community based organizations, oversees the 5 year needs assessment, and coordinates Title V and SSDI grant submissions for the administration. She currently oversees interns from George Washington University and the Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP). She is active in the Association of Material & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and CityMatCH, the National Organization of Urban MCH Leaders. Outside of work Ms. Kornak is past president of the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA), where she actively champions MCH causes in the metropolitan region.

She is also one of the reviewers for the AMCHP Annual Conference abstracts.

Interim ​belinda.jpgRegion IV Director (2016-2018)
​Belinda D. Pettiford, MPH
Head, North Carolina Division of Public Health - Women's Health Brand

Belinda Pettiford, MPH is the Interim Region IV Director for AMCHP's board of directors. Ms. Pettiford has nearly 30 years of experience in public health. She has been with the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Women's and Children's Health Section (Title V) since November 1995. During this time she has been the Program Manager for Healthy Beginnings (North Carolina's Minority Infant Mortality Reduction Program) and Healthy Start Baby Love Plus (3 federally funded perinatal disparities programs). She was also the Unit Supervisor for Perinatal Health and Family Support within the Women's Health Branch. 

Ms. Pettiford was named the Head of the Women's Health Branch in March 2012; in this capacity, she provides oversight to the state's maternal health, family planning, preconception health, teen pregnancy prevention, sickle cell, tobacco use, and numerous programs focused on equity in birth outcomes. As part of state Title V, she has provided leadership in writing numerous grants and implementing programs with a focus on evidence based/informed strategies. 

On two separate occasions, Belinda has also served as the Interim Director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities within the Division of Public Health. During this time, she provided leadership and stability to the office as it was going through numerous transitions. 

Ms. Pettiford has provided leadership for numerous national, state, and local efforts. She currently chairs North Carolina's Perinatal Health Strategic Plan Committee and leads the state's efforts with the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) to reduce infant mortality. Ms. Pettiford also co-chairs the Perinatal Health Committee of the Child Fatality Task Force (CFTF) within the state. The CFTF is a legislative study commission directed by the NC General Assembly. 

She received her MPH from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. 

Marilyn K.png
​​​Region V Director (2017-2020)
Shirley Payne, MPH
Director, Children's Special Health Care Indianapolis, IN 46204 

Shirley Payne, MPH, has been an AMCHP member since 2013, serving in multiple volunteer capacities including as an active participant in the AMCHP Leadership Institute for CYSHCN Directors as well as the New Director Mentor Program. She joined the board of directors as the Region V Director representing Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Ms. Payne earned a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in African-American and African diaspora studies from Indiana University in 2007, and later earned her Master of Public Health degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine with concentrations in epidemiology and behavioral health science. She is pursuing her doctoral degree in health behavior from the Indiana University School of Public Health.

Ms. Payne serves with the Division of Children's Special Heath Care Services (CSHCS) within the Indiana Department of Health, where her primary responsibility is to administer Indiana's CSHCS program, which is a supplemental coverage program that helps families of children with serious, chronic medical conditions pay for treatment related to their child's condition. She also serves as the state's Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) director and is responsible for managing the CYSHCN portion of the Title V Block Grant.

She has been dedicated to serving the special needs population for over seven years. Prior to working with the state, she worked as a team leader with St. Vincent New Hope (now New Hope of Indiana) in Indianapolis, Ind., and was instrumental in direct care coordination for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities on state Medicaid waivers. This experience gave her the desire to focus her career on maternal and child health, in particular working on behalf of the special needs population.

Region VI  (2016-2019)

Johnson Miller Marcus (002).JPG
Region VII Director (2017-2020)
Marcus Johnson-Miller, CPM
Bureau Chief, Title V MCH Director,
Bureau of Family Health, Iowa Department of Public Health                                  

Marcus Johnson-Miller, CPM is the Region VII Director for AMCHP's board of directors. He currently serves as Iowa’s Title V Director and Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Family Health at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).  Along with the Title V program, Mr. Johnson-Miller oversees the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation Program, Title X Family Planning, Abstinence Education Grant Program, Personal Responsibility Education Program, Newborn metabolic and hearing screening programs and other state funded MCH related programs.

Mr. Johnson-Miller began his career in the Title V program as an administrative intern in 2002, assisting with the preparation of the Title V Application and Annual Report and implementing professional development opportunities for MCH staff at the state and local level.  His first official position began in 2003 as the contract manager/claims processor for the Bureau of Family Health.  Later, Marcus managed IDPH’s Child and Adolescent Reporting System, the data system for Title V programs to report activities and services.  Most recently, Mr. Johnson-Miller served as Iowa’s Title V Block Grant Coordinator and State Coordinator for Iowa’s 1st Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative.  Through his experience, Mr. Johnson-Miller has well rounded experience including fiscal management, data management and program coordination.

Mr. Johnson-Miller is currently serving on the AMCHP conference planning committee and served on the legislative and finance committee from 2013-2014.  He has also been actively involved in the MCH Workforce Development Center.  Marcus also serves on Iowa’s Early ACCESS (IDEA, Part C) State Council and Executive Committee, Early Childhood Iowa Stakeholders Alliance, PRAMS Steering Committee, Iowa’s System of Care for CYSHCN Advisory Council and the Iowa MCH Advisory Council.  

Mr. Johnson-Miller received his Bachelor of Science in child and family services in 2002 and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management (CPM) in 2003 from Iowa State University.  He is interested in maternal and child health, public policy and administration, system development and early childhood issues.  

Head-Shot---Mary-Ellen-Cunningham.jpgInterim Region VIII (2016-2018)
Rachel Hutson
Director of the Children, Youth and Families Branch, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Rachel Hutson, MSN, RN, CPNP, is the Interim Region VIII Director for AMCHP's board of directors. She is the Director of the Children, Youth and Families Branch at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the state CYSHCN Director for the state's MCH Block Grant.  In this role, Rachel provides oversight for programs and initiatives that support maternal and child health, such as  medical home, developmental screening, pregnancy-related depression screening, healthy schools, care coordination and specialty care for children and youth with special needs.

Prior to working for CDPHE, Rachel provided primary care services in Denver as a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Stout Street Clinic of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Rachel received a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin and Marshall College and a master's in Nursing from Yale University.

​Region IX Director (2016-2019)

Region X Director (2016-2019)
Cate Wilcox, MPH
Maternal and Child Health Manager and Title V Director   
Portland, OR

Cate Wilcox, MPH, is the Region X Director for AMCHP's board of directors.  Ms. Wilcox is currently the Maternal and Child Health Section Manager and Oregon’s Title V Director, Public Health Division, Oregon Health Authority, leads the state-level public health efforts for Oregon’s perinatal and early childhood populations, with specific focus on groups with multiple health risks. This includes strategic planning and program implementation with state and local partners, policy development, program and policy evaluation, fiscal management and personnel management of over 50 professional and support staff. Prior to joining the State, Ms. Wilcox gained over seven years of direct service delivery management experience at Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette. There she oversaw the medical operations for 11 health centers serving three-quarters of Oregon and SW Washington, and a staff of over 150. She led the department to improve efficiency, productivity, access, quality care and services offered, including innovations such as the Essure Female Sterilization procedure and Contraception Online. Prior to that she had over twelve years experience in international reproductive health communication, community-level health education and training. At Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Ms. Wilcox developed and managed global training programs focusing on all aspects of reproductive health communication. She implemented training programs at the international, national and regional levels in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and collaborated closely with key regional training institutions to improve their capacity to deliver quality, research-based training programs.

Director-At-Large (2015-2018)
Rodney Farley
Parent Consultant
Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs
Little Rock, Arkansas

Rodney Farley is the Director-At-Large for AMCHP's board of directors.  He is currently a Parent Consultant with DDS, Children Services, the Maternal Child Health Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs program in Arkansas. Mr. Farley is instrumental in establishing Parent Support Groups for families with children who have special health care needs throughout the state.

He was a charter member of the Children’s Medical Services Parent Advisory Council.  He served as Vice-President for two years. and was elected as President. He held the position until being employed with Title V in 1995. He is the single father of two children, a son, Jeremy age 31, born with Spina Bifida and a daughter, Kacy age 22. His involvement with his son has taught him to become an advocate for families of children
with special health care needs. He was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe to serve as a commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on people with disabilities in 2010. He received the Merle McPherson Family Leadership Award in 2012. He has served as the Chair of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Board and was a Family Voices State & Regional Coordinator. He also has served for five years as Secretary of the Executive board of directors for the Arkansas Disability Coalition which is the Parent Training and Information Center for Arkansas. The coalition works for equal rights and opportunities for Arkansans with disabilities through public policy change, crossdisability collaboration, and the empowerment of people with disabilities and their

Family Representative (2015-2018)
Donna Macan Yadrich, MPA, CCRP
Family Advisory Council, Kansas Special Health Services, MCH Title V Program
Topeka, KS

Donna Macan Yadrich, MPA, CCRP, is the Family Representative of AMCHP's board of directors. In 2014 Ms. Yadrich was invited to serve as a member of the advisory committee to the National MCH Development Workforce Center and a member of the Kansas Maternal and Child Health Council. In 2013 she was appointed as the Kansas AMCHP Family Delegate, and following mentorship by Martha Hanley, Iowa, she completed the Family Scholars Program the same year. She has served on the State of Kansas CYSCHN Family Advisory Council since 2009, taking a leadership role in Medical Home initiatives. She is also the parent of a typical 21-year old son Peter and daughter Audrey who passed away at the age of 15 spending her life as a medically complex and fragile young lady. In addition to advocacy work, Ms. Yadrich is a tele-health interventionist and research operations coordinator at the University of Kansas for a NIH funded study supporting geographically distant families with a family member relying on intravenous nutrition.

In honor of her daughter's memory, Ms. Yadrich founded AudreySpirit, LLC a social entrepreneurship venture creating therapeutic garments for children and youth with complex medical needs that is indistinguishable from street wear. She also completed the Entrepreneurship Scholars Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2013.  Ms. Yadrich has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles on the cost of chronic health conditions to the family and web-based patient education.

Family Representative (2017-2020)
Gina Pola-Money, A.S. Social Sciences, Mo.M.
Director, Utah Family Voices, Family Involvement Coordination, Utah CSHCN, URLEND, Medical Home

Gina Pola-Money, A.S., Social Sciences, has been an active AMCHP member since 2001. She joined the board of directors        this year as a family representative. 

Ms. Pola-Money has over 29 years of experience navigating the health care system for her children with special health care needs, including dealing with medically complex, hospice and mental health issues. She is director of Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health Information Center, which provides supports for family needs as well as information to families and professionals about resources and health care financing. Ms. Pola-Money is also a member of the family faculty of the Utah Regional LEND program, helping to bring the family voice to leadership education for professionals and gaining the perspective of her professional partners.

Ms. Pola-Money​ has also been actively involved with medical home and quality improvement initiatives, which include coordinating parent partner activities, family centered care and parent professional partnerships. She shares that she has been fortunate to benefit from the ongoing mentorship, collaboration and technical assistance of Family Voices and Title V.

Board Members
For a list of the states and territories in each HHS region, click here.



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