Emerging Leader Awards

Going back decades, to the first health centers founded by Dr. H. Jack Geiger and Dr. Count Gibson, our nation’s community health centers have emphasized both access to affordable care and engaged in extensive efforts to improve the underlying social conditions that affect health. This commitment to health, not just health care, remains true today. Across the country, health centers are deeply involved in their communities, not only as health care providers of culturally competent health care but as community anchoring institutions whose staff are active participants in efforts to improve education, social services, employment opportunities, affordable housing, transportation, access to good nutrition, and other services. The commitment to access, quality and ameliorating the social determinants of health is rooted in the health center missions, and carried out by uniquely dedicated community- based boards and skilled staff at all levels.  The health center movement has benefitted greatly from the continuity of strong leadership, while welcoming in to the fold new colleagues who represent the next generation of health center leaders, and who are engaged today in promoting and advancing health in their communities.
Each year, dedicated young health center professionals who exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. Geiger and Gibson are recognized by the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH). The policy and program advocates, clinicians, health educators, and clinic administrators recognized will become the next generation of leaders, and their work at and on behalf of health centers embodies the future of health centers.
“The Emerging Leader Award is designed to highlight and share the accomplishments of exceptional young members of the community health center movement,” said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and founder of the Geiger Gibson Program at the Milken Institute SPH. 
In 2017, fifteen Emerging Leaders from all over the country were recognized at an award ceremony held April 1 during the National Association of Community Health Centers Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, DC. Each award recipient brings unique talents and skills that strengthen the health center movement and reflect both their own accomplishments and the value that health centers bring to their communities. Our award recipients inspire us, and give us hope for the future.
2017 Emerging Leader Award Recipients
Phillip Ashley, MHA, MPH
Columbia, MO
Christopher Baumert, MD
RiverStone Health
Billings, MT
Kristen Bigelow-Talbert, MSHM
Montpelier, VT
Nataly Castro, BS
Conroe, TX
Katie Clay, BS, BA
Peekskill, NY
Miranda Cox Cvitkovich, MSN, CNM
Denver Health and Hospitals
Denver, CO
Nieves Gomez, CMPE, MPA, MSW
Othello, WA
Kari R. Hexem, DMD, MPH
Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers
Philadelphia, PA
Dana M. Kelly, MBA
Chicago, IL
Adrienne Meier, RN, BSN
Chicago Family Health Center
Chicago, IL
Katie Owens, BA
Iowa Primary Care Association
Urbandale, IA
Matt Percy, MD
Mountain Family Health Centers
Rifle, CO
Kristen Pieper, BA
Denver, CO
Frannie Pryor, MSW, LCSW, LADC
Community Health Centers, Inc.
Midwest City, OK
Carlos A. Salgado, MD
Miami, FL