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Deborah L. Frazier
Deborah Frazier currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the National Healthy Start Association. Ms. Frazier has a stellar national reputation having spent 30 years of her professional career in the field of maternal and child health. She is a past member of the HHS Secretary's Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM), and the former Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health for the State of Arkansas. Ms. Frazier has a long and very rich history with Healthy Start and the Association serving as grantee evaluator, technical advisor to projects, Project Director for New Orleans Healthy Start, founding member of the Association and past board member. In her role as Co-Chair of the Association's Development Committee, she was responsible for securing funding critical to the growth and expansion of the organization- establishing regional conferences, the Healthy Start Leadership Institute, and the Partnership Grant with AMCHP and CityMatCH. Ms. Frazier has lent her expertise and knowledge as a consultant to numerous national organizations including: The American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists developing and implementing their National Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Program (NFIMR); the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to evaluate community based programs; and to the National School Health Workgroup to develop national standards and policies for school health programs. She has provided consultation to community based programs across the country involving the development of strategic plans, needs assessments, and designing programs and services for those in need.

Sheree H. Keitt, DrPH, MPH, CHES, is the Senior Program Manager for the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP) grant. She has 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit and public health sectors on the local, state and national levels. Sheree was a Senior Administrator/Advanced Health Policy Analyst at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). She served as an expert program and policy advisor in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. She managed programs focused on infant mortality reduction and child maltreatment, injury and fatality. Before MDH, Sheree was a Senior Program Analyst at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. She managed projects focused on maternal, child and adolescent health, injury and violence prevention and chronic disease prevention. Early in her career, Sheree worked in the community where she was raised as the Consortium Coordinator for the Kalamazoo County Healthy Start. Sheree also previously worked in maternal, child and adolescent health at the Anne Arundel County Department of Health (MD), Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential and the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, which is a federal Healthy Start grantee. Sheree is committed to advancing equity and community resilience by addressing the social determinants of health to reduce disparities and improve population health outcomes.

Kirsse Zemedhun, MPH, is a Senior Program Manager for NHSA's AIM CCI initiative. She is responsible for oversight of the AIM CCI project, including coordination and administration of partner and pilot site engagement and expansion, project implementation and monitoring in all selected communities and states. Kirsse has previously held quality improvement, patient safety and regulatory preparedness roles as a consultant in both ambulatory settings and in large academic medical centers where she led complex improvement projects resulting in improved patient outcomes and cost savings. Kirsse formerly worked as the quality and outcomes consultant for a women's and children's hospital where she partnered with frontline clinicians and leadership to reduce and eliminate hospital acquired conditions, improve perinatal core measures, help clinicians adhere to regulatory standards, lead teams during regulatory surveys and implement policies and standard work to guide and sustain improvements. Kirsse received her Master's in Public Health (MPH) from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and is a Certified Professional in HealthCare Quality (CPHQ).

Saanie Sulley, MD, PHD, MBA, is a data manager with the AIM-CCI project, providing data infrastructure and analytics support to participants in the project. He is a health infomatician with experience in medicine, clinical decisions support systems (CDSS), healthcare data integration and predictive modeling. His interests include utilizing healthcare data in improving health outcomes and gaining better understanding of care processes, health equity, social determinants of health and improving access to maternal pediatric care through quality improvement in these areas. Saanie earned his PhD from Rutgers University in biomedical informatics and an MBA in healthcare management from Columbia Southern University.

Kiaira Smith is the AIM CCI Program Coordinator. She is originally from Maplewood, NJ. Kiaira received her MPH from Mercer University in Atlanta, GA, and her B.S. in Health Science from The University of Hartford in Connecticut. With six years experience in the field of maternal child health and public health, she has worked in a variety of settings: hospitals, health departments, community organizations, nonprofits and government. Prior to joining NHSA, Kiaira managed a Prenatal Health Education program serving 88 pregnant women working to improve the rates of infant mortality, education and overall health for women of color and their families. Ms. Smith has also worked on Georgia's Title V National Measures and Strategies "Performance Measure One," to identify barriers that prevent women from receiving preventive health care visits, also known as "Well-Woman VIsits." Other relatable experience includes providing administrative support, community planning and disease investigation.

Hida Reese is the Program Coordinator for the NICHQ SHSPP grant. She has more than 15 years of workplace experience and a diverse work portfolio, serving in positions for non-profit organizations, the private and public sector. Prior to joining NHSA, Hida worked at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) on projects related to maternal and child health, chronic disease prevention and environmental health. While at NACCHO, Hida provided administrative support as well as training and technical assistance to grantees, members and consultants.

Lauren Nunally is the new Clinical Implementation Manager for NHSA’s AIM CCI grant (Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health Community Care Initiative). Lauren has enjoyed a rewarding career for 25+ years as a Registered Nurse and Midwife in both community low risk settings and high-risk metro birthing facilities. She was also instrumental in the successful development of Midwifery Group Practices within a suburb of north-west London that served over 1000 women. Lauren has used her vast clinical experience coupled with quality improvement and implementation science to focus on health equity, maternal and child health, health policy and collective impact within the perinatal health space. More recently, Lauren was the Perinatal Quality Coordinator with the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society where her priority was to collaborate with the Society’s OB physician membership, federal, state and nonprofit organizations, labor and delivery units and other stakeholders to work on initiatives to address the increased incidence of maternal morbidity and mortality across the state. She has served on the Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee and as the Maternal Clinical Specialist with the Georgia Perinatal Quality Collaborative, facilitating program development and implementation to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies in the state of Georgia. Lauren is the current chair of the Association for Women’s Health and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) 2020 Public Policy Committee and also sits on various MCH committees. She regularly consults as a subject matter expert with various national and local organizations and frequently presents at conferences on topic relating to maternal mortality and morbidity and health inequities.

Caroline Valencia, MPH, is the Program Manager for the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project (SHSPP) grant. Caroline has always been passionate about maternal and child health, having interned and worked for various Healthy Start Coalitions in Florida. Her previous roles include Data Specialist with the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) in Alachua County and Community  Liaison with the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County. Prior to coming to NHSA, Caroline was a Senior Health Planner & Program Manager, where she worked on various public health issues including fetal and infant mortality, obesity prevention, asthma and HIV.

Bea Haskins, MS, has been NHSA's Communications Coordinator since 2016. However, her NHSA story goes back way before then! Bea is a longtime special events coordinator and nonprofit organizational consultant. Formerly a member of the Senior Management Team at the original Healthy Start project in Baltimore, Bea was involved in the formation of NHSA in 1999, working with one of the founding board members on our incorporation and attainment of our 501(c)(3) status. In fact, for NHSA's first 11 years, NHSA's office was in Bea's home office in Baltimore. Bea was the logistics coordinator for NHSA's annual conferences from 2000-2008, as well as 12 regional conferences held in 2004 and 2006 around the country. As Operations Manager during that time, Bea handled the day-to-day operations of the Association, wrote or assisted on grant proposals and reports and just about anything that needed her organizational touch. Bea left NHSA in 2008 to pursue other interests, but was persuaded back in 2016 to tackle a project that CEO Deborah Frazier said, "Only you can do it!" Deborah then convinced Bea to stay on to assume her earlier role as newsletter editor. Today Bea not only does the monthly newsletter, Getting off to a Healthy Start (which Bea actually named back in 1999), but other communications and tasks as requested. In addition to the work she does with NHSA, Bea works with other nonprofits and is on the board of directors of the Hanover (PA) Area Historical Society, where she chairs the Strategic Planning Committee.

Kenneth Scarborough is the Fatherhood and Men’s Health Consultant for the NHSA’s Male Involvement Where Dads Matter Initiative (WDMI). He provides technical assistance, support and tools for the Healthy Start Projects advancing best practices and training for father involvement/inclusion and men’s health issues. His previous roles include Chief Program Officer and Director of Ready4Work at Operation New Hope in Jacksonville, Florida, and Project Manager and Male Involvement Coordinator for REACHUP, Incorporated in Tampa, Florida. For more than 35 years, Ken has worked with African American and Hispanic boys and men in mentoring relationships, which he has learned is essential for growing lives and building healthy communities. He and his wife Linda, with their children KRIS and Karissa, are serving as short-term missionaries at El Lugar Church in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ken provides expertise in the areas of Leadership Development, Operational Development, Global Outreach and Men’s Ministry.

Susan Kendig, JD, WHNP-BC, FAANP, is a Women’s Health Integration Specialist with SSM Health – St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Prior to joining SSM Health – St. Mary’s, she was a teaching professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she led the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program for almost two decades. Sue is a member of the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care, AIM Executive team and the Women’s Preventive Services (WPSI) Advisory Panel, a collaborative interdisciplinary effort to develop, review, update and disseminate recommendations for women’s preventive health care services. In Missouri, she serves as Vice-Chair of the  Missouri Women’s Health Council and was an appointee to the Missouri Patient Safety Commission and the Missouri Task Force on Prematurity and Infant Mortality.

Fleda Mask Jackson,   PhD,   is the president of Majaica, LLC, a national research firm/ think tank, and leader of Save 100 Babies©, a cross-sector network devoted to a social determinant approach to equitable birth outcomes. Dr. Jackson has served as a consult-ant/advisor and collaborator with organizations such as the Harvard Medical School, the Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Health Disparities for the Director of the CDC and as a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM). Jackson graduated from Spellman College and the University of Illinois and is the recipient of the Spelman College Alum-nae Achievement Award in Health and Science. She has been honored by the Black Ma-mas Matter Alliance for her MCH research and work and by the National March of Dimes for her contributions to that organization and the field. Dr. Jackson has been previously involved with NHSA, most notably as the author of our Stress and Depression toolkit. Dr. Jackson’s role on the AIM CCI grant is as a subject matter expert (SME).

Deidre McDaniel, MSW, LCSW, has over 20 years of experience in the maternal health field and has worked across a wide variety of settings: hospitals, private healthcare systems, government, nonprofit and policy institutions. Ms. McDaniel provides guidance to state agencies, hospitals and public/private organizations on how to successfully implement and sustain quality improvement projects to reduce severe maternal morbidity and mortality. She employs a critical equity framework through which to understand all health care systems, policies, and practices. Ms. McDaniel is a leader in the maternal health field, demonstrating empathy, cultural competence, compassion, effective communication, an equity mindset and sound content expertise. Ms. McDaniel is a Doctoral Fellow at Morgan State University and a licensed certified social worker and has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes for women and children. Deidre serves as an SME on the AIM CCI Project.

Haywood L. Brown, MD, is the Co- PI on NHSA’s AIM CCI grant and Medical Consultant for Women’s Health, who began his role with NHSA in March 2020. Dr. Brown, a physician, researcher and leader in higher education, is the University of South Florida System’s Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity and Title IX administrator. Along with his USF System role, Dr. Brown is also Associate Dean for Diversity at the Morsani College of Medicine and Chief Diversity Officer for USF Health. At USF Health, Dr. Brown provides vision, leadership, coordination and strategic planning for the design and implementation of a USF Health-wide platform to enhance diversity, equity and respect. He works to align USF Health’s diversity initiatives with the university’s strategic plan and provides guidance on the recruitment and retention of a diverse community of students, faculty and staff.Dr. Brown comes to USF from Duke University Medical Center, where he has worked in several capacities since 2002. Most recently, Dr. Brown served as the F. Bayard Carter Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has held leadership roles in a number of university committees. He has also been actively involved in diversity initiatives within his department, university-wide and in the broader Durham, N.C. community. Throughout his career, Dr. Brown has made it a point to focus on serving diverse populations. Prior to his time at Duke University, Dr. Brown spent more than a decade at Indiana University School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and his medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University.

The National Healthy Start Association Inc.
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Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2195 
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Saving Our Nation's Babies: The Impact of the Federal Healthy Start Initiative

Check our our 2nd Edition! It chronicles the birth of Healthy Start and NHSA and includes profiles and photographs from the federally-funded Healthy Start Initiatives.