2022 Population Health Innovation Summit

Highlighting innovative programs and partnerships across New York State that are promoting equity in population health.

June 9, 2022 – Albany, NY

Presented by:
DATE: Thursday, June 9, 2022
LOCATION: Albany Capital Center (with option to attend virtually)



COVID-19 Information

NYSTEC is following federal and local directives for PHIS 2022 and is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all conference attendees. Per the New York State Department of Health and CDC guidelines, we recommend that everyone wear a mask while in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.

NYSTEC will be continually monitoring CDC and New York State guidance to determine decisions related to COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of attendees. It is the responsibility of all attendees to stay abreast of local guidelines concerning COVID-19.

Please do not attend the conference in person if you: 1) Are experiencing, or within the 10 days prior, have experienced signs and symptoms of COVID-19; 2) Believe that you may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19; and/or 3) Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not yet cleared as non-contagious by the health care team responsible for your treatment

For more information:


The Albany Capital Center’s parking garage is located beneath the facility at 7 Wendell Street, Albany, NY 12207. For additional parking options and directions to the venue, please see: Parking & Directions | Albany Capital Center.


We strive to make the Population Health Innovation Summit be an inclusive and accessible event for all who attend. To request an accommodation, or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact phis2022@nystec.com.


8:20 am
Registration and Breakfast
8:50 am
Opening Remarks

Chelsea Sherrod
Master of Ceremonies, PHIS 2022
8:55 am

Shannon Kelley
Director, Population Health, NYSTEC
9:00 am
Engaging Our Communities: Health Equity in New York State

Wilma Alvarado-Little
Associate Commissioner, New York State Department of Health
Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention
The Role of Community-Clinical Partnerships in Reducing Disparities: How three hospital-based programs are responding to needs in their region

Jason Benitez (moderator)
Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Capital Region Chamber

Community Dental Health Coordinators, Bassett Healthcare Network
Leah Carpenter, DMD
Chief of Dental Services

Dawn Helstrom
Community Dental Health Coordinator

Rural Health Network, Ellenville Regional Hospital
Steven Kelley, FACHE
President & CEO

Brandon Bogert
Population Health Program Coordinator

COVID-19 Vaxmobile, Mount Sinai South Nassau
Dana Sanneman
Vice President, Public Affairs, Development and Community Education
Improving the Patient Experience Through Culturally Relevant Engagement

Vik Bakhru, MD, MBA
Physician Executive and Serial Entrepreneur
Advancing the Research: Initiatives designed to increase the access, availability, and use of health equity data

Keshana Owens-Cody (moderator)
Director, Health Disparities Programs
Health Research, Inc.

Health Data 4 New York City
Michele Calvo
Program Officer, Center for Community Partnerships & Policy Solutions
New York Academy of Medicine

The Central and Northeast Brooklyn Health Equity Index
Tenya Blackwell, DrPH
Director of Community Engagement and Research, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health
Clinical Assistant Professor, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program: Responsive and Innovative Partnerships for Public Health Workforce Development Essential for Today 

Laura Trolio
Director, New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program

New York State Department of Health

Gen Meredith, DrPH
Associate Director, MPH Program
Academic Lead, External Public Health Education, eCornell

Cornell University
What’s Next for Social Determinants of Health? Perspectives on how innovation will inform policy and best practices for addressing SDoH

Wilma Alvarado-Little (moderator)
Associate Commissioner, New York State Department of Health
Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention

Courtney Burke
Chief Operating and Innovation Officer
Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS)

Keshana Owens-Cody
Director, Health Disparities Programs
Health Research, Inc.

Steven Kelley, FACHE
President & CEO
Ellenville Regional Hospital
Closing Remarks

Kevin Owens
President & CEO, NYSTEC
Networking Reception


Wilma Alvarado-Little, MA MSW

Associate Commissioner, New York State Department of Health; Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention, Albany, NY

Wilma Alvarado-Little is the Associate Commissioner and Director of the New York State Department of Health Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention. She has focused on racial and health equity issues from a linguistic and cultural perspective in addition to her interests in public policy, research, health literacy and health disparities prevention. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of hospital and clinic-based programs and policy.

She is the former Co-chair of the Board of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care, serves as a member of the National Project Advisory Committee for the Review of the CLAS Standards, HHS Office of Minority Health, and has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy and has served as Chair of the New York State Office of Mental Health Multicultural Advisory Committee.

She also serves on various boards, at the state and local levels, which address racial and health inequities and disparities and is a champion for the provision of quality language access services. Wilma has a Master Arts degree in Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Social Welfare.

Vik Bakhru, MD MBA

Physician Executive and Serial Entrepreneur, Los Angeles, CA

Vik Bakhru is a practicing physician and senior executive. He most recently served as Chief Health Officer for Circulo Health, a managed Medicaid insurance company providing tech-enabled, world-class care to the nation’s most underserved.

Previously, Vik was Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer of ConsejoSano, Inc., a multicultural technology platform dedicated to improving health outcomes for culturally diverse and underserved populations. Prior to ConsejoSano, he worked as Chief Operating Officer of First Opinion, Inc., a venture backed, telemedicine start-up based in San Francisco, and as Chief Medical Officer for Abercrombie & Kent Global Health, a Fortress Investment Group portfolio company that facilitates high quality, affordable medical care. In addition, he worked as a Director at New York Presbyterian Hospital/The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell in New York City.   Prior to his role at NYP, Vik lived in Central America and worked as an entrepreneur in the health care services domain with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), a non-profit he founded while studying medicine.

Vik holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Biology from The Columbian College of Arts & Sciences of The George Washington University, an M.D. from The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Benitez

Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) , Capital Region Chamber, Albany, NY  

Jason Benitez joined the Capital Region Chamber in July of 2019. As Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, he is responsible for assisting businesses and organizations in the Capital Region, in engaging in and advancing their DEI journey.  Jason also works to advance the strategic mission of the Chamber, relevant to the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The Capital Region Chamber believes that full potential is realized when diversity, equity and inclusion are the standards upon which we strengthen and impact our businesses and communities. As an advocate for regional businesses, the Chamber – through its leadership, actions, educational programming and community collaboration – is committed to cultivating inclusive economic opportunity for all who call our region home.    

Jason previously worked for 15+ years in Higher Education, at 3 local institutions, UAlbany, SUNY Schenectady and most recently, Union College, where he spent 8 years as Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.  While at Union, Jason’s efforts assisted the College in being recognized with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (HEED), given by Insight Into Diversity, for 6 consecutive years.   

Jason holds a Bachelors, Masters, and Certificate of Advanced Study, all from UAlbany.  He lives in Slingerlands with his wife and 2 children. 

Tenyá Blackwell, DrPH

Director of Community Engagement and Research, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health; Clinical Assistant Professor, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn, NY

Tenya Blackwell, DrPH is the Director of Community Engagement and Research at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health where her work focuses on community health empowerment, education and literacy, health equity and disparities, Community Based Participatory Research, and the social/ environmental determinants of health for minority, and immigrant populations in Central Brooklyn. She has a unique and diverse background in environmental science, environmental justice, public health research, advocacy and education. Dr. Blackwell worked as a chemist for over 14 years in private industry where she sampled water, air and other environmental media for cancer-causing chemicals and environmental toxins. Her concerns about her own environmental exposures led her to pursue further studies around the effects of toxic exposures on health.  She left the laboratory to work as a STEM Education Consultant for the New York Academy of Science and NYC DOE and have since shifted her endeavors to addressing community and population health promotion, prevention and research. She has collaborated with various consortia of community-based organizations around health equity and the redesign of healthcare delivery systems. Dr. Blackwell also developed school-based curricula on asthma for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and has completed an environmental health policy fellowship with the University of California at San Francisco.   

Dr. Blackwell has earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, a master’s in environmental technology and Engineering, and a Doctor of Public Health, with a focus on Environmental/Occupational Health and Epidemiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn New York. Having been a “woman of child-bearing age” working in hazardous environments, Dr. Blackwell is fully committed to protecting women’s, children’s, and overall environmental public health through education, advocacy, and policy change. She recognizes that her story as an African American woman from a low-income under-served community in Brooklyn is vital to addressing the injustices faced with social and environmental exposures as determinants of poor health outcomes.  

Brandon Bogert

Population Health Program Coordinator at Ellenville Regional Hospital, Ellenville, NY

Brandon Bogert is the Population Health Program Coordinator at Ellenville Regional Hospital. He is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a current Master of Public Health student. Brandon started at Ellenville Regional Hospital as a community health worker before moving to substance use disorder systems coordinator, helping to establish a “High-Risk Mitigation” care-coordination team for vulnerable populations in Ulster County. Currently, as program coordinator, he oversees all programming related to chronic disease management and prevention for the Ellenville Regional Rural Health Network, including the Wawarsing Wellness Program, a free program available to all community members who are managing or at-risk of developing a chronic disease. The program offers one-on-one health coaching with a community health worker and a nutritionist, physical activity classes through the hospital’s physical therapy department, and preventive screenings through the radiology department, among other physical and mental wellness classes available to all community members at no cost.

Courtney Burke

Chief Operating and Innovation Officer, Healthcare Association of New York State, Albany, NY

As Chief Operating and Innovation Officer, Courtney Burke oversees all of HANYS’ operations and ensures optimal alignment of the Association’s various functions – from healthcare policy and advocacy to quality improvement and data analysis. Previously, Courtney served as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Albany Medical Center.

Courtney also served as New York State’s deputy secretary for health where she provided oversight for the state’s health and mental hygiene agencies, including the Department of Health, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the Office for the Aging, Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, Office of Mental Health, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and the Justice Center. Courtney previously served as commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, an agency of nearly 20,000 employees. She was also the director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government’s New York State Health Policy Research Center and as the senior research scientist in the Rockefeller Institute’s Health and Medicaid studies program.  

Courtney has a master’s degree in health policy and management from the School of Public Health, University at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Connecticut.

Michele Calvo, MPH

Program Officer, Center for Community Partnerships & Policy Solutions, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY

Michele Calvo, MPH is a Program Officer at the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) with expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, evaluation, technical assistance, convening, and policy analysis. As NYAM’s lead for drug policy and criminal-legal system reform, she collaborates with advocates on campaigns and conducts research to inform changes to policies that contribute to structural racism and marginalization of communities, such as recent reforms to expand access to medication assisted treatment in jails and prisons and decriminalize syringes. Michele has led multiple COVID-19 initiatives, including a hospital data partnership and NYAM’s COVID-19 vaccine equity action collaborative. She serves as Project Director of a PCORI-funded COVID-19 research study examining the impact of the Medicaid Health Home program on access to healthcare and social services among patients with diabetes in NYC. Michele holds an MPH degree with concentrations in Epidemiology and Urban Health Administration from Rutgers University.

Leah Carpenter, DMD

Chief of Dental Services, Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, NY

Leah Carpenter has served as the inaugural School Based Dentist with Bassett Healthcare Network since 2013, and as the founding Chief of Dental Services at Bassett since 2016. She has worked to integrate oral health with overall health and make oral healthcare more accessible for the under served rural population in Bassett’s service area. To that end, she launched Bassett’s transition to an integrated medical/dental electronic health record system, EPIC Wisdom, in 2020. In that same year, she oversaw the creation of the Community Dental Health Coordinator position, hiring long-time collaborator and colleague Dawn Helstrom as Bassett’s first CDHC. Initially funded through Affordable Care Act dollars, a primary goal for the CDHC program was to reduce preventable visits to Bassett’s Emergency Departments for dental chief complaints.

Dr. Carpenter received her dental degree from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and completed her general practice residency at St. Luke’s in Utica, NY. She resides with her husband and two young children in Cooperstown, NY.

Dawn M. Helstrom

Registered Dental Hygienist, Community Dental Health Coordinator, Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, NY

Dawn is a Registered Dental Hygienist with over 40 years of experience. She is passionate about assisting her community in the disparity of dental health care and issues, especially those feeling the need to go to an Emergency Medical facility for preventable disease treatment and pain management. After completing a year-long certification in Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC), Dawn pioneered programs at two hospital systems which have assisted numerous people in need of dental care in over nine area counties in New York State. Dawn is a graduate of Old Dominion University and Rio Salado Community College.  

Steven L. Kelley, FACHE

President & CEO, Ellenville Regional Hospital, Ellenville, NY

Steven Kelly reinvented himself through three distinct careers, interweaving proven business skills: Information Technology (IBM, Control Data, and as an entrepreneur); as a research scientist (helped to develop the RUGS nursing home reimbursement system while at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has led
similar research on emergency department services funded by NYS Department of Health); and in leadership positions in health care administration.

Currently serving as CEO at Ellenville Regional Hospital, Steven presided over a difficult turn-around situation (including bankruptcy), to lead one of the finest small hospitals in America based on innovation, quality, outcomes, and operational and financial performance. His out of the box approach and empowerment message created a substantial disruption to many accepted practices. His success lead to frequent consulting and speaking engagements on topics ranging from fighting the opiate epidemic, dramatically improving patient outcomes, developing a new hospital information system, and on change leadership.

Gen Meredith, DrPH

Associate Director, MPH Program; Academic Lead, External Public Health Education, eCornell; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Gen Meredith is a public health professional, and a professor of practice with the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health at Cornell University. Her 20 years of public health experience have focused on public health systems strengthening and workforce development in the U.S, and globally. As the associate director of Cornell’s MPH Program, Gen assures development of workforce-ready graduates, and extends the curriculum to external workforce development initiatives, including New York State’s Public Health Corps.

Keshana Owens-Cody

Director, Health Disparities Programs, Health Research, Inc., Albany, NY

Keshana Owens-Cody, HRM is new to her role as Director, Health Disparities Programs for Health Research Incorporated. Keshana is managing a CDC grant that addresses health disparities related to COVID-19 by partnering with community-based partners in Rest of State (ROS). Keshana brings to the position 17 years of experience serving the community under state funded programs. Keshana started her career working with children in the Office of Mental Health residential treatment, and then over to managing community health worker-like roles in the NYS Office of Children and Family Services Bridges to Health Waiver. After years of care coordination, and direct care, Keshana transitioned into workforce development and systems transformation. Keshana leverages her experience navigating complex systems to ensure everyone has equal access to services they need and deserve. Keshana is a true champion of community health work, believes and strives to address root cause issues, and works collaboratively amongst sectors to improve the health and well-being for all.

Dana Sanneman

Vice President of Public Affairs and Development and Community Education, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, NY

Dana Sanneman oversees the planning, implementation and synchronization of strategic communications and development programs that combined drive the positive reputation and philanthropic support of Mount Sinai South Nassau’s services and programs. She coordinates the hospital’s strategic communications and public messaging in collaboration with stakeholders and community advocates, including the news media, civic leaders, elected officials, government leaders, hospital volunteers and auxiliary. Dana utilizes this organic, coordinated communications plan to drive the vitality and success of the hospital’s annual and long-term development plans, which includes direct giving, annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, bequests, grants, and fundraising events. In addition, she directs the hospital’s award-winning Truth in Medicine quarterly public health poll and an array of other essential community health efforts, including the Vaxmobile, the region’s first mobile (COVID-19) vaccination bus. Dana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Siena College and a Master of Public Administration in public and nonprofit management and policy from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Chelsea Sherrod

Master of Ceremonies, PHIS 2022

Chelsea Sherrod is a Sports Reporter/Host at the New England Sports Network in Boston, MA. Chelsea received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, where she played four years of NCAA Division III women’s basketball. After graduating she attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting where she received a Certificate in Broadcast Training. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications and Public Relations at Sacred Heart University.

Chelsea joined NESN in June of 2021 after spending one year and a half in Utica, NY at WKTV NewsChannel2 as a Weekend Sports Anchor/Multimedia Journalist. She also worked as an Operations Technician at WRNN/Fios1 News in Ryebrook, N.Y. and a Digital Production Assistant for NBC Sports Group in Stamford, CT.

Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, Chelsea is proud of where she comes from. She’s all about family and faith and enjoys all sports, especially soccer and basketball. Her true passion is the growth and development of women in all aspects of sports.

Laura Trolio, BSW

Program Director, New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY

Laura Trolio, BSW, Program Director, New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program, has over 20 years of experience in staff supervision and development; group facilitation and training; community outreach and engagement; program design, planning, implementation, management, evaluation, quality improvement, policy formulation, strategic planning, and leadership. Prior to her current role, Laura has worked the last 7 and a half years at the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute in several capacities, most recently within the Executive Office focused on the strategic planning and community engagement of NYS Ending the Epidemic efforts. Prior to working at the state level, Laura worked at two community-based organizations that provided workforce development and HIV care management services to the Capital District, respectively.


2021: Click here for the Population Health Innovation Summit 2021 virtual series

2018: Population Health Innovation Summit 2018 — IgniteU NY | IUNY | I U NY

2017: Population Health Innovation Summit 2017 — IgniteU NY | IUNY | I U NY