Sixth class of Health Leadership Fellows graduates at April 24 ceremony

Thirty-six leaders from health and human services organizations throughout western and central New York graduated from the Health Leadership Fellows program at a ceremony held at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY on April 24, 2017.

Launched in 2005, the goal of the Health Leadership Fellows program is to produce a network of diverse, highly-skilled leaders that will learn to lead collaboratively from both within and outside of their organizations and become advocates for improved health care delivery, particularly for older adults and children impacted by poverty.

The 18-month program provided the fellows opportunities to participate in sessions on personal leadership, leading change, results based leadership and accountability and the leader as a communicator.  In addition to the four residential retreats, each fellow met monthly to complete intercession work aligned with the theme of each residential session, and to develop a collaborative inter-organizational project in a small team setting.

Graduates in the sixth class of Health Leadership Fellows include:

  • Paul Allan, director of information systems, Mid-Erie Counseling & Treatment Services
  • Amy Bamrick, director of clinical services, Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center
  • Chima Chionuma, M.D., medical director, Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc.
  • Brian Coleman, rural health network coordinator, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc.
  • Christopher M. Curry, associate director, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County
  • Shajuana Day, diabetes program director, Jericho Road Community Health Center
  • Kelly Dryja, assistant director for child and family sevices, Wyoming County Department of Mental Health
  • Melinda DuBois, regional director or patient services, Planned Parenthood of Western & Central New York
  • Hope Fisher, M.D., attending physician, TeamHealth Urgent Care
  • Kenneth M. Genewick, director, Niagara County Office for the Aging
  • Pei C. Grant, director of research, The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care
  • Lisa Green Mills, program coordinator, Onondaga Health Department
  • Christine Kemp, director of innovations, Neighborhood Health Centers
  • Rachel Leidenfrost, chief communications officer, Meals on Wheels WNY
  • Lenny Liguori, executive director, Directions in Independent Living, Inc.
  • Megan McDavey, program officer, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation
  • Christopher Marcello, budget and housing coordinator, New York State Office of Mental Health
  • Antara Mitra, executive director, Community Action Partnership for Madison County
  • Tak Nobumoto, director of IT, clinical systems, Catholic Health Systems
  • Kim Osborne, vice president of operations, Family Health Network of Central New York
  • Tamara Owen, president and CEO, Olmstead Center for Sight
  • Kimberly Palermo, director of habilitation services, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc.
  • Paul A. Petit, public health director, Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments
  • Brian Pilarski, executive director, Seneca-Babcock Community Association
  • Lynn Pullano, director, Help Me Grow Western New York
  • Debra A. Riter, assistant director of social work, behavioral health, Erie County Medical Center
  • Anne Ryan, executive director, Read to Succeed Buffalo
  • Christine Schuyler, director of health and human services, Chautauqua County, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Sandra Schwartz, service coordination supervisor, VNA Home Care Options
  • Bonnie Slocum, executive director, Madison County Rural Health Council, Inc.
  • Chandra Smith, director, day care services, The Salvation Army, Syracuse
  • Jessie Soule, program coordinator, Cayuga Community Health Network
  • Christine Steinman-Reale, director of patient services, Camillus Home Care Agency
  • Kelly Whitman, program director, Lake Shore Behavioral Health
  • Robyn Wiktorski-Reynolds, advocate program coordinator, Crisis Services
  • AnnMarie Zimmerman, M.D., medical director, Southern Tier Community Health Center Network, Inc.

Graduates of the program continue their work as members of the Fellows Action Network, where they work collaboratively to improve care for older adults and children in poverty, as well as collectively tackle other critical health issues facing western and central New York.

A seventh cohort of the Health Leadership Fellows is currently in progress, with an eighth cohort class set to begin in September 2017. For more information, email