Health Foundation Selects 34 for Cohort 10 of Health Leadership Fellows

logo for Health Leadership Fellows

March 14, 2022
Contact: Kent Olden
Phone: 716-852-3030 ext. 109

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has selected 34 skilled professionals from health care and community-based organizations throughout western and central New York to participate in Cohort 10 of its Health Leadership Fellows program.

Since 2005, the Health Leadership Fellows program has continued to build and strengthen a network of collaborative leaders across health-related organizations in western and central New York in order to enhance regional capacity for addressing community health issues. One of the Health Foundation’s longest-running initiatives, the Fellows program has supported the development of over 300 nonprofit professionals in leadership, communication and collaboration since its creation.

During the 18-month program, Fellows meet monthly and develop, in small teams, inter-organizational projects that seek to address a community health need. They also participate in development sessions focused on personal leadership, results-based leadership, leading change, and communicating as a leader. After graduating, Fellows continue to collaborate and learn together as members of the Fellows Action Network.

“The tenth cohort of Health Leadership Fellows is an inspiring group of change-makers,” said Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD, President, the Health Foundation. “The pandemic has reinforced how critically important it is for health care leaders to break down silos and partner to meet the community’s needs more effectively. Cohort 10 will join the proud tradition of Fellows graduates who work together to make a real, lasting impact for the people we serve.”

The newest cohort of Fellows are:

  • Andrea Aldinger, Director – Wyoming County Office for the Aging and Youth Bureau
  • Christopher Allaire, Director of Investigations – Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Thomas Beauford, President & CEO – Buffalo Urban League
  • Dean Bellack, Executive Director – United Way of Orleans County
  • Jordan Bellassai, Program Officer – Health Foundation for Western and Central New York
  • Michelle Bork, Director of Accelerated BSN – Niagara University
  • Tara Burgess, Executive Director – Every Person Influences Children (EPIC)
  • Jana Capaccio, Director of Clinical Implementation Initiative – Horizon Health Services
  • Ashleigh Cieri, Director of Youth Services – Compeer of Greater Buffalo
  • AnnMarie Correa, Program Director-Buffalo Healthy Families – Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network
  • Leah Daniel, Institute Administrator – UB Community Health Equity Research Institute
  • Stacy Dean, Director of Clinical Operations – Neighborhood Health Center
  • Chantel Eckhart, Healthy Families Program Manager – Oswego County Department of Health
  • John Ehrbar, President & CEO – YMCA Buffalo-Niagara
  • Barbara Ganzel, Director of Community Programs – Clinical Associates of the Southern Tier
  • Benjamin Hilligas, CEO – The Matt Urban Center
  • Tisha Hollenback, Divisional Director-Behavioral Healthcare – Liberty Resources
  • Nicole Keyser, Supervisor of Programs – Herkimer County Department of Health
  • Nikki Kmicinski, Executive Director – Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative
  • Michael LaFlair, Administrative Planning & Funding Coordinator – Onondaga County’s Department of Community Development
  • Jennifer Levesque, Director of Licensed Services – Recovery Options Made Easy
  • John Mazello, Director of Community Services – Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County
  • Ann-Marie Orlowski, CEO – Cradle Beach
  • Tara Pace, Executive Director – Envision Wellness WNY
  • Chandra Redfern, CEO – Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers
  • Margery Stanton, Vice President of Intensive Mental Health and Rehabilitation Services – BestSelf Behavioral Health
  • Kim Stewart, Director of Programming – Seneca Babcock Early Childhood Academy
  • Millie Tomidy-Pepper, Executive Director – YWCA of Genesee County
  • Michael Weidrich, Executive Director – South Buffalo Community Association
  • Shari Weiss, Executive Director – Cayuga County Health Network
  • Margaret Wells, Dean-Purcell School of Professional Studies – Le Moyne College
  • Jeffrey Williams, COO – FeedMore WNY
  • Melanie Witkowski, Executive Director – Prevention Works
  • David Zapfel, President & CEO – Gerard Place


The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care for the people and communities of western and central New York. Our vision is a healthy central and western New York where racial and socioeconomic equity are prioritized so all people can reach their full potential and achieve equitable health outcomes. For more information, please visit