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Fostering the Next Wave of Health Improvement and Interoperability Leaders: Civitas’ Emerging Leaders Council 

March 18, 2024

Written by Jolie Ritzo, VP of Strategy and Network Engagement 

Strong and thoughtful leadership, innovation, and creativity are more crucial than ever in the health improvement and health data sharing industry. Recognizing the pivotal role of emerging leaders in driving this transformation, Civitas Networks for Health established the Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a dynamic forum designed exclusively for rising leaders. This initiative underscores Civitas’ commitment to nurturing a new generation of leaders equipped to navigate and shape the future of health and health care through multi-stakeholder collaboration and data-informed approaches. 

A Unique Platform for Development and Collaboration 

The ELC serves as a vital platform for emerging leaders within Civitas’ full and affiliate member organizations, offering opportunities for professional growth, peer learning, and networking. Through this council, participants delve into critical leadership skills, gaining insights from expert presenters and engaging in meaningful dialogues on pressing industry challenges and opportunities as well as tips and tricks to navigate the complexity of leading projects and teams. 

“The ELC is an opportunity to connect with other mission-driven professionals developing in their career and leadership role. It has been extremely helpful to learn from other Civitas members about the work they do and how it connects to the mission, vision, and values of Comagine Health. Our learning and discussion on emerging models and new innovations in the world of health care data and collaboration, as well as the facilitated conversations on leadership development have helped form my own leadership values and priorities.” – Katrina Seipp-Lewington, Director, Community Health, Comagine Health 

Composition and Focus: A Collaborative Framework 

Comprising up to 20 members, the ELC maintains a diverse and vibrant composition, reflecting the breadth of Civitas’ membership. With representation from small to large member organizations, health information exchanges, regional health improvement collaboratives, quality improvement organizations, and other national networks, the council ensures a rich exchange of ideas and experiences. Civitas is committed to helping members from across the national network better understand what other members do and where there may be opportunities to partner.  

Members of the ELC are selected for their proven excellence, growing leadership skills, and commitment to transforming health and health care. They are tasked with active participation in council meetings and are encouraged to share their expertise, fostering a culture of shared learning and mutual support. Having ready access to a professional network can be a great opportunity for leaders. The ELC aims to create this while also infusing inspirational presentations and discussions over leadership thought pieces.  

“Participating in the Civitas Emerging Leaders Council has been a win on multiple fronts. In addition to offering a space for growing leaders to focus on professional development, the ELC provides participants an opportunity to learn more about other Civitas member organizations and the innovative ways we are all working towards the same goal of bridging the gap between data and doing to improve health care. And my favorite part of it all is the networking and relationships we build in the process.” – Sarah Brinkman, Program Director, Superior Health Quality Alliance, Stratis Health 

The ELC convenes every other month, focusing on professional development topics and featuring guest speakers from across the health and health care spectrum. These meetings are complemented by networking sessions, facilitating deeper connections among members and fostering a supportive community of emerging leaders. 

Shaping the Future of Health Transformation Together – Meet Our Emerging Leaders 

The 2024 emerging leaders include: 

  • Ami Hanna, Maternity Program Manager, Data Solutions, Comagine Health 
  • Berenice Herrera-Lopez, Operations and Program Manager, Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County 
  • Beth Nech, External Quality Review (EQR) Senior Manager, KFMC Health Improvement Partners 
  • Cyndi Erives, Integrations Analyst – Manager, CyncHealth 
  • Delaney Paterson, Client Engagement Manager, HealthInfoNet 
  • Ellen Clewett, Program Manager, Illinois Public Health Institute 
  • Heidi Wilson, Sr. Project Manager, Connie 
  • Michelle Hunt, Assistant Director of Operations, North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority 
  • Jayme Piña, Director, Development and Engagement, Az, Contexture 
  • Jillian Greenbaum, Assistant VP Population Health, HEALTHeLINK 
  • Juan Nanez, Director of Programs, PHIX 
  • Katrina Seipp-Lewington, Director, Community Health, Comagine Health, ELC Vice Chair 
  • Kelly Richards, HIE Services Manager, Virginia Health Information 
  • Kristen Schuster, Director, Health Quality Solutions, Mountain-Pacific Quality Healthcare 
  • Mandy Johnson, Program Director of Quality Initiatives, Kansas Healthcare Collaborative 
  • Megha Khatri Arora, Director of Analytics, Bronx RHIO 
  • Niurka Lluveras-Hernandez, Associate Director of Finance and Operations, Civitas Networks for Health
  • Patrick Meehan, Product Owner, Indiana Health Information Exchange 
  • Sarah Brinkman, Program Manager, Stratis Health, ELC Chair/Civitas Board Member 
  • Tammy Elliott, Client Services Manager, KFMC Health Improvement Partners 
  • Van Le, Program Manager, PelEx

The ELC is more than just a forum – it’s a launchpad for the next generation of leaders. Through this council, Civitas is not only investing in individual professional development but is also strengthening the collective capacity of its network to drive meaningful change. As these emerging leaders ascend, they carry forward Civitas’ vision of a collaborative, data-informed, and equitable health care ecosystem. 

For Civitas members interested in learning more about the Emerging Leaders Council and how to engage in the annual nomination process of emerging leaders from your organization, email the Civitas team.