John O’Connor

John O’Connor

John OConnor headshot

John O’Connor is a seasoned executive with extensive management, program, strategy, media, fundraising and advocacy experience in dynamic foundation, corporate and nonprofit organizations.

With over 15 years in cause-related work and a strong record of accomplishment, particularly within the health and wellness of the LGBT community, he brings strong leadership to projects. Representing HMA Community Strategies in California, he is focused on supporting community stakeholders of all types to connect, plan strategically and have the expert resources and support needed to make their programs more successful and bring them to scale. As a former nonprofit executive, he brings the persistence, fearlessness and tenacity required to problem solve in the face of enormous challenges.

As the executive director of Equality California and the Equality California Institute, John brought stability to the organizations and repositioned them to, among other things, focus more effectively on community health and wellness. Through strong program development, foundation outreach, government funding expertise and public policy advocacy, the health work grew to include research, public education, enrollment, forums and panels, and coalitions to advance shared agendas.

As the executive director of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert, O’Connor oversaw a dramatic expansion of counseling operations specializing in LGBT senior care and a youth anti-bullying program operating in the local school district.

In addition to a track record of success in securing grant funding, John has directed grant making for two of the largest LGBT national funders, The Gill Foundation and the David Geffen Foundation. From operating gifts and capital naming gifts to multi-year capacity building grants, he has operated successfully for years in the grant world, on both sides of these partnerships.

John attended Georgetown University, and while there learned and was inspired by the powerful role that public policy plays in daily life.

An Eagle Scout, marathon runner, five-time AIDS Ride participant and a triathlete, John lives in Los Angeles with his Great Dane canine companion, Olive.

Caitlin Loyd

Building relationships and impacting health outcomes are what drive Caitlin Loyd to engage clients and colleagues in projects in her areas of expertise which include maternal and child health, integrated behavioral health, qualitative data analysis, research and project management.

Before joining HMA, Caitlin worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to facilitate coordination between maternal and child health efforts and the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), an effort focused on behavioral health integration.

Caitlin is experienced in group facilitation and consensus building. In her most recent role, she managed and facilitated two successful stakeholder groups: the Colorado Early Childhood Screening and Referral Policy Council, a statewide collaborative seeking to ensure access to appropriate developmental screening and interventions for Colorado children; and a pediatric stakeholder group, a team seeking to identify and support the needs of pediatric patients and providers.

Her experience also includes working as a research contractor, where she collected and analyzed qualitative and quantitative data, and wrote corresponding research articles. As a program coordinator, her projects focused on clinical quality improvement, including integrated behavioral healthcare. Caitlin also led the development of a learning collaborative toolkit used as a guide for bringing community partners together for shared learning.

Caitlin has a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Indiana University.

Liddy Garcia-Bunuel

Liddy Garcia-Bunuel headshot

Liddy Garcia-Buñuel has the vision, passion and expertise to effect organizational and systematic change. She takes a collaborative approach. She unites health systems, hospitals, providers, government and social service agencies around common goals and innovative programs to elevate whole community health and quality of life. She delivers evidence-based solutions that breakdown barriers, mitigate disparities and address upstream social determinants of health, including access to healthy food, safe walkable communities, transportation, housing and workplace wellness.

As executive director for a nonprofit community health advocacy organization in Maryland, Liddy introduced the first health plan in the nation to couple access to primary and specialty care with mandatory coaching. The HHS innovation award-winning model measures members’ health upon plan enrollment and provides care coordination after each primary care appointment and face-to-face health coaching.

Liddy oversaw a local health improvement coalition, bringing together 40 local organizations to collectively impact positive change in behavioral health, access to care, healthy weight and healthy aging. She directed a transitional care coordination initiative which hired community health workers and nurses to reduce hospital admissions and readmissions among high-risk high-utilizers, and through her leadership, introduced an advanced primary care collaborative to provide coaching around practice transformation. She engaged faith-based organizations in empowering congregants to live healthier lives.

On her path to HMA, Liddy helped launch the first insurance cooperative in Maryland, including both individual and small group products. As COO, she oversaw IT, vendor management, communications and marketing, operations and member services. She supervised universal HIV education and testing at 66 hospitals in the Chicago area. She employed culturally competent community advocates in 12 ethnic neighborhoods across Seattle to enroll children in Medicaid. She was the executive director of a main street revitalization program in Maryland, and she recruited and trained community health workers in rural El Salvador.

Liddy is seen by her peers as the chief implementer. Problem solving is her expertise, and her solutions are data driven. To optimize resources and results, Liddy employs the technique of “hot spotting” to identify communities and populations of greatest need. She is skilled in data collection and program evaluation.

A lifelong learner, Liddy is certified emergency medical technician, has studied maternal and child health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from The College of Wooster in Ohio.

Once a triathlete, now a chilled out yogi, Liddy enjoys her life in Baltimore with her husband and two boys, surrounded by restored sailcloth mills and micro-breweries.

Akiba Daniels

Akiba Drew headshot

Akiba Daniels brings public health, research and health education skills to HMA. With experience in providing evidence-based, community-informed approaches to reduce the burden of HIV, infant mortality, and injury, she has worked on many successful public health initiatives.

Prior to joining HMA, Akiba worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where she provided technical assistance to various disparities programs and managed phases of a CMS Funding Opportunity. She is experienced in chronic and infectious disease prevention and has conducted risk-assessments and tested clients for HIV and HCV and provided prevention education. In addition, she has coordinated and implemented programs in hospitals, schools and public health settings including pathology tissue acquisition, clinical trial data, childhood safety outreach, and diabetes prevention.

Akiba has direct patient care experience in hospitals and skilled nursing care facilities as well as direct experience in communities that lack access to care. She has led several community outreach initiatives, and her passion lies with improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations.

Recently, Akiba conducted research to help The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts leadership develop strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease disparities. This research included an extensive literature review, environmental scan, patient recruitment, qualitative data collection and analysis to support the initiative’s next five-year phase. She has also supported qualitive research at Johns Hopkins on infant mortality.

Akiba has a Master of Public Health from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in community and population health, and a bachelor’s degree in health science from Towson University. She is a certified health education specialist, certified nurse assistant, and certified HIV and Hep C educator and tester.

Stephanie P. Denning

Stephanie Denning has worked in healthcare and human services for more than 25 years. Her experience spans the public, non-profit, and private sectors and includes expertise in publicly-funded health and social care programs and systems, stakeholder engagement and facilitation, public policy, research and report writing, organizational and operations assessment, and business process improvement.

Since joining HMA, Stephanie’s work has included strategic planning, stakeholder engagement and meeting facilitation, data collection and analysis, and program development and implementation. Stephanie has worked with government agencies, as well private and non-profit organizations including advocacy groups, foundations, health plans, community-based organizations, and Alaska Native/American Indian tribes.

Prior to joining HMA, Stephanie oversaw the Medicaid, child health plan and charitable health coverage lines of business for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. There, her responsibilities included managing business operations, contract administration membership, marketing and outreach, care delivery operations and innovations consulting. She helped design a care management model for high-risk/high-cost Medicaid members that served as a precursor to Colorado’s Accountable Care Collaborative Medicaid program.

Stephanie also worked in the private sector for Policy Studies, Inc. (PSI), a company that provided outsourcing solutions to state and local governments for healthcare, child support and workforce operations. At PSI, Stephanie managed state client relationships, provided technical assistance and business improvement support for operations, helped create policies and procedures, and provided guidance on policy issues with state clients, operations teams and site managers. She also managed the contract with the State of Colorado for administration of the Child Health Plan Plus program, Colorado’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which included oversight of marketing and outreach, customer service, eligibility and enrollment, mailroom and distribution.

Before her work in the private sector, Stephanie was the director of marketing and public relations for Denver Health, Colorado’s largest public hospital and health system. There, she oversaw numerous marketing campaigns, patient education efforts and relationships with other community organizations.  She also managed all media relations and served as the primary public information officer for the system, including for all emergency management operations. Stephanie also worked as a reporter for the Longmont Times Call newspaper, where she covered stories focused on women’s and children’s issues, as well as public school board and city council meetings in Boulder County.

Stephanie has a Master of Public Administration in health policy from the University of Colorado, Denver and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2016, she completed a Certificate of Achievement training for Six Sigma Green Belt in healthcare from Villanova University.

Shannon Breitzman

Shannon Breitzman is a principal with Health Management Associates’ Denver office where she provides leadership to public health and behavioral health projects. Her projects include facilitation and strategic planning, health needs assessments and health improvement plans, design, implementation and evaluation of training and technical assistance, including on opioid misuse prevention and treatment, and organizational restructure and change management, including state and community behavioral health and public health systems.  

Shannon is experienced in research and consulting on data integration across public health, human services, and healthcare; developing research papers and issue briefs on the relationships between interventions to address social determinants of health and their impact on chronic disease, violence, mental health, and substance use; training and technical assistance services across multiple state and local public health agencies on public health interventions, leadership, and process improvement; design of a comprehensive, community-oriented behavioral health system, including the development of strategies across prevention, treatment, and recovery; State Innovation Model population health plan and sustainability plan development for three state agencies; and a comprehensive study of youth suicide in Colorado, including primary and secondary data collection and analysis. 

Previously, she served as the branch chief for the Violence and Injury Prevention-Mental Health Promotion Branch at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This branch supports several priority injury and violence prevention initiatives, as well as mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention initiatives, including suicide prevention, prescription drug overdose prevention, motor vehicle safety, older adult falls prevention, child maltreatment prevention, interpersonal and sexual violence prevention, the Colorado Child Fatality Prevention System, and retail marijuana education and prevention. Programs within the branch aim to reduce injury and violence and promote mental health through injury surveillance, policy development and implementation, public awareness and education, community grant making, technical assistance and training, needs assessments, and evaluation.  

Shannon has extensive experience with multi-sector, multifaceted collaborative initiatives, is a skilled facilitator, and is trained in collective impact and lean six sigma process improvement. She earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and a master’s degree in art therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific.