Meet Families USA’s staff
Senior Director of Fundraising
Yasmin Abboud is the Senior Director of Fundraising at Families USA. Yasmin has held senior fundraising positions at Planned Parenthood, Center for American Progress, and the Clinton Foundation. She has over 15 years of fundraising experience, including a strong background in building partnerships with national, state and local foundations focused on health care policy, advocacy, and education.
Director of Grants Management
With a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MA in Urban Studies from Temple University, Susan Axleroad started her career in Philadelphia in 1982 as a health policy analyst working at the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation. She then came to DC in 1986 to work as a research associate at GWU’s National Health Policy Forum, and then at the then American Public Welfare Association. After 3 years, she decided to change the focus of her career to performing arts. Susan received an MFA in Performing Arts Management at Brooklyn College, and took various development, communications, and arts management jobs in New York, London, and DC. Her last arts job began as a Development Associate at Arena Stage /Living Stage Theater Company in 1993. This morphed into managing, at various times, their foundation, government grants, corporate giving and major gifts programs. Susan has now been with Families USA for 20 years.
Visiting Scholar & Senior Advisor for Value Initiatives
Special Assistant to the Executive Team
Abby Bott is the Special Assistant to the Executive Team for Families USA. In her role, Ms. Bott coordinates marketing and communications and bridges connections for the Health Action team. She plays a primary role in organizing the annual, three-day Health Action conference held in Washington, D.C. for more than 500 health care advocates. She is also the project manager of the national networking and professional development group, Emerging Professionals. In this capacity, Ms. Bott has created several successful initiatives, such as the Emerging Professionals Mentor Match Program, and has expanded the group to include more than 500 members nationwide within the health policy and advocacy community.
Prior to joining the Health Action team in 2014, Ms. Bott was the Interim Communications and Events Coordinator at Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC) in Illinois. Before CBHC, she worked at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the division of Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES).
Ms. Bott holds a bachelor’s of science in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships
Melissa Burroughs is the Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships at Families USA. In this role she provides leadership for the Campaign, including collaborating with state and national oral health partners, building relationships with advocates, stakeholders, and public officials, identifying political and policy trends and opportunities, providing partners with technical assistance, and developing and implementing advocacy communications and tools. Before her work with the Oral Health Campaign, Melissa was a Campaign Associate and a Villers Fellow at Families USA where her work focused on consumer advocate engagement in health system transformation and advocacy surrounding Medicaid expansion.
Melissa graduated from Duke University with a BA in public policy, focusing on health and social policies.
Digital Media Associate
Justin Charles is the Digital Media Associate at Families USA. A graduate of Howard University, he has over 10 years of experience in the editing, broadcasting, and production of television, radio, social and web-based media.
Chief of Staff
Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation and Senior Fellow, Families USA
As Director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation at Families USA, Stan Dorn plays a leading role in a broad range of projects, with special attention to making coverage more affordable and increasing enrollment and retention.
For 35 years, Stan has worked at both the state and federal levels on health care issues, focusing on low-income and other historically marginalized and disadvantaged populations.
Before joining Families USA, Stan served as Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. He also was Health Division Director at the Children’s Defense Fund, Managing Attorney at the National Health Law Program’s Washington office, Senior Policy Analyst at the Economic and Social Research Institute, State Policy Director at the Alliance for Young Families in Boston, and the initial Project Director of the Health Consumer Alliance. He lives in Chevy Chase, MD, with his wife, a daughter, and several incomprehensible cats.
Sharon Eady is a Development Associate at Families USA, where she supports the strategic fundraising efforts by working closely with the Senior Director of Fundraising. Prior to this, Sharon interned in the Global Policy and Advocacy department at the Rockefeller Foundation and U.S. Programs at the International Rescue Committee respectively. She holds a M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a B.S. in Business Administration from Delaware State University.
Senior Manager of Design and Publications
Nichole Edralin is the Senior Manager of Design and Publications. She is responsible for the visual brand of Families USA. She art directs, designs, and project manages the production of Families USA’s marketing, policy, and event collateral (for both print and digital). She has a B.F.A in Digital Design from American InterContinental University and a B.A in Art Studio: Drawing concentration; Psychology minor from the University of Kentucky.
Director of Access Initiatives
Cheryl Fish-Parcham is Director of Access Initiatives at Families USA. In this role she focuses on public policies that would improve access to coverage and care, including those related to oral health and to behavioral health services. She has substantial expertise in both private insurance and Medicaid policy, helping lead Families USA’s successful efforts to establish consumer protections in these areas within the Affordable Care Act. At present she serves on advisory committees to the DC Department of Insurance and the DC Health Care Ombudsman. She is also a reviewer for the Academy of Health’s Annual Research Meeting and a frequent lecturer at Catholic University’s National School of Social Service.
Previously at Families USA, she served as Associate Director of Health Policy and also helped establish the Health Assistance Partnership (HAP), a national support center for consumer health assistance programs. She later coordinated HAP’s technical assistance on Medicaid issues. Throughout her time at Families USA and HAP, Cheryl has authored numerous reports on a range of health policy issues, including designing consumer health assistance programs, the plight of the uninsured, Medicaid, private insurance, and gaps in care and coverage.
Earlier in her career, Cheryl worked as an advocate at AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly and served as an advocate, administrator, and social worker for several community organizations in the District of Columbia.
Cheryl holds a B.A. from University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.S.W. from Howard University.
Senior Director of Health Policy
As Senior Director of Health Policy, Eliot Fishman leads Families USA’s policy analysis and advocacy agenda development at the state and federal levels, working with the policy department and other members of senior leadership. Prior to joining Families USA, he served at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2013 to 2017. In that role, he led the federal government’s work with states on Medicaid waivers and federal policy on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid and CHIP quality measurement, eligibility, and enrollment.Prior to his work at CMS, Eliot served as Director of the Office of Policy in the New Jersey Department of Health, where he directed a large, complex portfolio including the Center for Health Statistics, Institutional Review Board, and the Office of Healthcare Quality Assessment.Eliot received his Bachelor’s from Harvard College and his Ph.D. from Yale University.
Colethea Flythe is the Staff Accountant in the Finance and Operations department at Families USA. In her role, she works closely with the Senior Director of Finance and Operations and the Accounting Manager to assist with the day-to-day accounting operations, including GL accounting, journal entry preparation, and regular financial statement preparation. She is chiefly responsible for monitoring and financial reporting on the various grants received by Families USA. Ms. Flythe holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Maryland.
National Center for Coverage Innovation (NCCI) Intern
Strategic Partnerships Manager
Alyssa Green is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Families USA. In this role she supports projects and manages teams that advance Families USA’s work within the four core focus areas of health care value, equity, consumer experience, and coverage. Previously, as the Outreach and Education Manager at Georgians for a Healthy Future, she engaged consumers and communities in conversation about how health policy impacted their lives and provided tools and resources to help individuals engage in the health policy-making process. Alyssa has extensive experience in advocacy, program management, and person-centered approaches to community building. Before joining the Families USA team, Alyssa led capacity building efforts for an Atlanta-based research study on transgender health and resilience. In addition to this, she coordinated food and fund campaigns at the Georgia Food Bank Association.
Senior Manager of Storytelling and Engagement Communications
Senior Communications Manager
Lisa Holland is the Senior Communications Manager for Families USA. She is responsible for helping to shape the organization’s strategic media and communications strategy and working across departments to raise its profile among the media and key stakeholders.
Prior to joining Families USA, Lisa served for 12 years as the Director of Communications for the Community Action Partnership, a national nonprofit association whose member agencies help vulnerable individuals and families achieve economic independence. She has also been a marketing and public relations consultant for a number of associations and businesses focused on health, science, and the environment.
Lisa’s expertise includes writing, media relations, digital marketing, and social media. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware, a public relations certificate from the George Washington University School of Professional Development, and digital marketing certificates from the American Marketing Association.
Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships
Lisa Hunter leads Families USA’s Strategic Partnerships, developing strategies that engage national, state, and local partnerships. Over the last fifteen years, Lisa worked on federal health policy and political strategy within the public and private sectors. Most recently, she led government affairs and alliance engagement at the Better Medicare Alliance. Lisa’s background includes community activism at the local level—having run for the DC Council on a platform that addressed health disparities and maternal mortality within the District. She also worked as a Director at Avalere Health. From 2010-2013, Lisa was a Special Assistant at the US Department of Health and Human Services, where she advised senior leadership on various policy issues. An organizer at her core, Lisa worked on the Obama campaign in St. Louis, Missouri in 2008 upon returning from Peace Corps service in Guyana. She earned her MPP from Georgetown University and BA from Vassar College.
Frederick Isasi is Executive Director of Families USA, a non-partisan health care advocacy group. He was selected to be Families USA’s second-ever Executive Director in January 2017.
Mr. Isasi leads Families USA’s work on four key challenges: Creating a value-based health system that ensures higher-quality, lower-cost health care; Helping people overcome barriers to health and health care based on race, ethnicity, income, gender, demography, or sexual orientation; Making comprehensive and affordable health insurance available to all; and Empowering health care consumers to ensure their voices are heard in their state and local communities as well as in Washington, D.C.
Before joining Families USA, Mr. Isasi was the Health Division Director at the bipartisan National Governors Association’s (NGA) Center for Best Practices. In this position, he worked directly with governors of both parties and as NGA’s national voice on issues such as health care delivery and payment reform, improving Medicaid, and health exchange planning and oversight. Prior to NGA, Mr. Isasi served as Vice President for Health Policy at the Advisory Board Company where he founded its Health Policy Department.
He holds a JD from Duke University, an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina, and a B.S. in Cellular Biology and a second major in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin.
Jewel is the Operations Manager at Families USA. She has worked with Families USA for over 20 years. Jewel started off as a temporary Receptionist and throughout her years has held several different roles including Administrative Assistant, Office Manager, and now Operations Manager. Prior to moving to DC in 1995, Jewel worked as an LPN for 10 years at Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Upon her arrival to DC, she worked at Lawson’s Gourmet as a Barista and was quickly promoted to Assistant Manager where she held that position from 1995-2000. Jewel earned her nursing license from Suffolk County Community College, NY and has received certification in Accounting 1 & 2 from Prince George Community College.
Barbara Klose is the Accounting Manager for Families USA. She helps manage the day-to-day accounting operations, including the development and maintenance of internal accounting policies and monitoring emerging technologies to promote efficiencies in the department. She manages the accounts payable/payroll/cash management processes and is the staff liaison for all finance systems. Ms. Klose started her career at Families USA in 1993, initially working in the Development department. She was responsible for researching funders and day-to-day management of the in-house direct mail program, including list selection, development of mail plan, production and analysis.
Prior to joining Families USA, Ms. Klose worked for a local real estate developer, overseeing all aspects of accounting for various real estate projects, including monthly financial reports to partners and payroll for 50+ employees.
Ms. Klose received her B.A. in Sociology from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD.
Natasha Kumar is a Policy Analyst at Families USA, where she provides critical analysis and strategy on key issues such as surprise billing, prescription drug costs, private insurance coverage, health equity, health systems transformation, and maternal and child health.
Before coming to Families USA, Natasha served as a Health Policy Fellow for Congresswoman Doris Matsui, where she worked on a wide range of health issues including telehealth, prescription drug costs, mental health, surprise billing, and special disease groups. Prior to that, Natasha worked for Nemours Children’s Health System as a Health Policy Intern, where she provided support to the policy team on research regarding social determinants of health, telehealth, and alternative payment models.
Natasha has a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Health Policy from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science (BS) from The Ohio State University.
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
Hannah Markus is a Strategic Partnerships Coordinator. In this role, she organizes and maintains strategic relationships with state and national partners, and provides strategy support across the organization.
Before entering this role, Hannah interned at Families USA, engaging in policy research and analysis with a focus on marketplace and Medicaid issue areas. Prior to joining Families USA, she researched and advocated for equity in a variety of health and health policy settings, including gun safety legislation, value-based insurance design, and HIV vaccine research.
Hannah holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Federal Relations Associate
Mackenzie Marshall is a Federal Relations Associate here at Families USA. She comes to us from Senator Hassan’s office, where she was a legislative correspondent and member of the Senator’s health policy team. Previously she interned for the Senate HELP Committee and worked in Senator Murray’s personal office. Before she started working on the hill she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines.
Adina Marx is a communications associate at Families USA, where she works on the storytelling program and assists with overall communications strategy. In her role, she has interviewed storytellers, written stories, assisted in the planning of storyteller events, and recommended storytellers to the Hill and to media. Before working at Families USA, Adina was a communications intern with Women Thrive Alliance, an international network of over 300 feminist grassroots organizations. She holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and International Studies from the American University.
Events and Operations Coordinator
Claire Moore is the Events & Operations Coordinator at Families USA (FUSA), where she manages the logistics for FUSA’s meetings events, serves on the Health Action Conference team, and provides operational support across the organization. Before entering this role, Claire interned at La Clínica del Pueblo and Community Clinic, Inc, researching prevalent health issues that affect Black and Brown people in the D.C. area and helping patients access care in English and Spanish. Recognizing food insecurity on her college campus, Claire founded and secured funding for a free meal program that provided three meals a day to over 250 during Spring Break. This program is now institutionally funded and has continued operating after Claire’s graduation.
Claire received a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Chicago in 2018.
Outside of work, Claire can be found at a ballet barre or watching the Nats at Nationals Baseball stadium.
Director of Early Childhood & Maternal Health
Kelly Murphy is a maternal and child health policy expert who has focused her career on helping state and local governments solve some of the most pressing public health challenges of our day. At the National Governors Association, Murphy served as a Program Director where she developed, implemented and led NGA’s public health strategy, including policy priorities on maternal and infant mortality, early child development (prenatal to five), the opioid crisis, public health preparedness, childhood obesity, vaccines, and other issues. Most recently, Murphy served as the Project Director for the State Opioid Response grant at the District of Columbia’s Department of Behavioral Health. Murphy holds a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in journalism and mass communication, also from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Senior Director of Finance and Operations
Jon Olson is the Senior Director of Finance and Operations at Families USA. He serves as part of the organization’s leadership team and oversees the recently combined finance and operations staff.
Jon started at Families USA in 2017, coming from the National Governors Association where he had been Director, Grants and Contracts for the previous eight years. He has close to fifteen years of non-profit experience and another ten years in private industry.
Jon is a certified public accountant and has a B.S. and an M.S. in Accounting, both from George Mason University.
Federal Relations Coordinator
Bailey Reavis is the Federal Relations Coordinator at Families USA, where she helps implement the organization’s work with federal policymakers and key national partners on all of Families USA’s program areas.
Prior to joining Families USA, Bailey worked at Voices for Progress, an organization focused on protecting our climate, strengthening our democracy, and ensuring economic and social justice for all. There she worked with members to advocate on a diverse portfolio of issues, including protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act.
Bailey holds a B.A. in political science from University of Colorado at Boulder.
Audrey Richardson joined Families USA from her most recent position at Urban Institute and prior to that University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she worked on issues of central importance to our mission at Families: equity and social determinants of health. Specifically, her research focused on racial and ethnic discrimination in health care systems, best practices in the child welfare system, housing, and criminal justice. Audrey brings an important skill set to the policy team both in subject matter and in quantitative work.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lauren Rosenbaum works to grow relationships with national, state, local and industry-level partners to deliver on Families USA’s mission of achieving high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all. Prior to joining Families USA, she managed U.S. external affairs for the Accion, advocating for expanded access to capital for underserved communities and an end to predatory lending practices targeting small business owners. Prior to her role at Accion, Lauren worked for a health care management consulting firm, Atlas Research, and a strategic communications firm, GMMB, focusing on initiatives such as expanding access to health insurance for low- and moderate-income families, improving the Veterans’ health care system and reducing chronic homelessness. Rosenbaum’s background also includes working as a Field Organizer for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. She holds a master’s degree in health policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Senior Advisor for Strategy and Children's Policy
Lisa Shapiro is the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Children’s Policy at Families USA. Lisa oversees strategy, policy, partner relationships, and organizational issues.
As Director for Children’s Policy, Lisa applies her experience as a child advocate and policy expert to bolster Families’ engagement on children’s health issues, with a focus on efforts to improve coverage through public programs.
Before Families USA, Lisa spent more than a decade as Vice President for Health Policy and was a founding member of the leadership team at First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy organization focused on improving public policy for low-income children.
Lisa also served as a congressional fellow for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), where she worked on the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee on a broad range of health issues.
Director of Federal Relations
Jane Sheehan is Director of Federal Relations at Families USA, where she helps implement the organization’s work with federal policymakers and key national partners on all of Families USA’s program areas.
Prior to joining Families USA, Jane worked on the legislative staff of U.S. Representative Ed Pastor, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, where she advised the Representative on a variety of domestic policy issues.
Jane holds a B.A. in political science from Marist College.
Director of Talent and Happiness
Gillian is the Director of Talent & Happiness with more than 15 years HR experience working with senior leadership teams. Gillian uses her positive attitude to engage and work with staff daily evaluating operations and identifying areas for continuous improvement. Gillian is originally from Trinidad & Tobago and has lived in the US for over 25 years. She graduated from the University of Kent at Canterbury in the United Kingdom with a Master of Arts in International Relations and has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University in Political Science. She has a professional certificate in Human Resource Studies from Cornell University and certified credentials from SHRM-SCP and SPHR. In her free time, Gillian enjoys reading, traveling and spending quality time with family and friends.
Senior Director of Federal Relations
Jennifer Taylor is the Senior Director of Federal Relations at Families USA, where she is responsible for developing and implementing legislative and regulatory strategy. In this role she engages with Administration officials and Members of Congress and their staff, as well as national partners and other key health care stakeholders, to achieve meaningful policy change.
Prior to joining the Families USA team, she served as Director of Federal Affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), a national membership association representing the interests of the country’s 1,400 health centers and the people they serve. Prior to NACHC, Jennifer worked on Capitol Hill for six years, first as a Health Policy Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA- 24), and then as Senior Policy Advisor for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). Jennifer received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology & Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine.
Senior Policy Analyst
Lee Taylor-Penn is a Senior Policy Analyst and provides policy analysis and strategy support across the organization. Before joining Families USA, Lee worked at the National Governors Association where she focused on public health policy issues including chronic disease prevention and promotion, vaccinations, maternal-child health, and more.
Prior to her time at NGA she engaged in a range of policy research issues and worked to integrate health into such pressing policy issues as air quality, food justice, and the criminal and juvenile legal system. Lee’s passion for public health began when she worked as an educator with inner-city youth in Richmond, VA, immediately following her undergraduate education.
Lee has an M.P.A. and M.P.H. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a B.A. in liberal arts from the University of Mississippi.
Director of Health Care Innovations
Sophia Tripoli is the Director of Health Care Innovation at Families USA where she leads Families USA’s work on value initiatives that focus on re-orienting the health care system to deliver health, and on forwarding consumer-focused policy agendas to improve health care delivery and payment systems. Sophia represents Families USA as Co-Chair of the Public Policy Work Group for the Health Care Transformation Task Force and represents Families USA on the National Advisory Committee for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs.
Prior to joining Families, Sophia worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), State Innovation, and at the National Governors Association working on delivery system and payment reform initiatives.
Sophia holds an M.P.H from George Washington University and a B.A. in international affairs with a concentration in global public health from George Washington University.
Director of Medicaid Initiatives
Joe Weissfeld is the Director of Medicaid Initiatives at Families USA. In this role, he leads efforts to advance the interests of Medicaid beneficiaries across the country, with a focus on coverage, equity, payment, and care delivery issues.
Prior to joining Families USA, Joe worked to promote payment and delivery system reforms in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he led the design and implementation of reforms at District of Columbia’s Medicaid program. In this role, he developed a Health Homes care coordination program, Medicaid reimbursement for services delivered via telemedicine, and promoted new opportunities for innovation. Joe also held policy roles at the Advisory Board Company and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Joe’s service extends into the community, where he serves on the District of Columbia’s Medical Care Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors for the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation.
Joe received his Master of Public Policy with a Health Policy concentration from George Washington University and his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the George Washington University.
Director of Complex Care Policy and Senior Fellow
Sandra Wilkniss is the Director of Complex Care Policy and Senior Fellow at Families USA. She leads efforts on prescription drug affordability and advancing the interests of consumers and families with complex care needs and behavioral health concerns. Previously, she served as Program Director for Behavioral Health and Social Determinants of Health at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.
Dr. Wilkniss also worked on Capitol Hill for three years, as an AAAS/APA fellow and then senior legislative assistant for health care to U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman (NM) and Martin Heinrich (NM). She also held an adjunct assistant professorship at Dartmouth Medical School, an assistant clinical professorship at the University of Illinois, and was chief psychologist of the inpatient psychiatry unit at the University of Illinois Hospital.
Dr. Wilkniss holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia and a BS in Psychology from Princeton University.