Andrew Sommers

Andrew Sommers

Andrew Sommers is an experienced epidemiologist and public health researcher with more than two decades of experience working with policymakers, business entities, and underserved populations to improve public health outcomes.

Prior to joining HMA, Dr. Sommers was the vice president for global health at Maximus, Inc., where he led large teams of clinicians, epidemiologists, disease investigators, and research analysts. Dr. Sommers and his colleagues provided the scientific support for the National Vaccine Assistance Hotline established at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also worked extensively doing emergency response “on the ground” during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. His work included establishing contact-tracing programs for states such as Florida and New York, standing up testing sites, deploying education campaigns to mitigate vaccine hesitancy, and orchestrating national logistics related to vaccine administration.

Dr. Sommers previously worked at the US Department of Health and Human Services to contain threats such as viral hepatitis and Ebola and to mitigate the morbidity and mortality associated with non-communicable conditions, such as opioid addiction or diabetes. Early in his career, Dr. Sommers was awarded a Thomas Watson Fellowship to work with disabled populations in the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He has worked for four health ministries around the world and recently returned from East Africa, where he is helping address waterborne illnesses in Kenya and polio in Tanzania.

Dr. Sommers earned a doctoral degree and a master of science in public health degree from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, as well as a master of public affairs degree from the Hubert Humphrey Institute. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Haverford College.

Jean O’Connor

Dr. Jean C. O’Connor is a public health lawyer with more than two decades of experience working with communities, educators, policy makers, and private sector leaders in public health and healthcare to improve health outcomes.

Prior to joining HMA, Dr. O’Connor served as principal at Abt Associates. In this role, she served as a project director and technical expert on projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources Services Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She also served as co-director of Abt’s Chronic and Non-Communicable Diseases Market Center, led the Department of Justice account, and supported new business development strategy within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and at the state and local level.

Before moving into consulting, Dr. O’Connor served as the chief executive officer of a federally qualified health center, the chief policy officer and chronic disease prevention director for the Georgia Department of Public Health, and in other senior policy and operations roles in state public health and at the CDC. In these roles, she worked with healthcare, Medicaid, and community partners around the implementation of public health and healthcare delivery programs and the development of policies for a range of chronic disease topics, accreditation, emergency preparedness, and maternal and child health.

She was named a Fulbright Specialist in Global Health and Law in 2018 and is a recipient of the 2022 Emory Medal, a prestigious alumni award from Emory University which honors those who are leaders in their field as well as leaders in their local, national, and global communities.

Dr. O’Connor earned her Doctor of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health from Emory University, and a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Emory University. She is a member of the Bar in Georgia, on the board of directors for Heluna Health and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. In addition to her work at HMA, she teaches law, policy and leadership part time at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and at the University of Georgia.

Leticia Reyes-Nash

Leticia Reyes-Nash is an accomplished, innovative executive leader with 20 years of experience leading policy advocacy, projects, and community engagement, specifically focused on the health sector. Equity, diversity, inclusion are core values, and she integrates these values in the projects she designs, leads, and implements. Leticia operationalizes equity through her strategic and fiscal approaches to policy, program design, and implementation.

Before joining HMA, she served as the director of programmatic services and innovation at Cook County Health (CCH), there she worked across the system to expand programs and services for those served by CCH through innovative partnerships with public and private partners focused on health equity and justice.

During her tenure at CCH, she conceptualized, launched, and co-led the Center for Health Equity and Innovation (The Center) which brought together CCH’s data analytics, ideation, and funding to support better health, stronger communities, and impactful investments.

Prior to CCH, she served as the chief of health policy for the Illinois Department of Public Health where she led the development of Healthy Illinois 2021, a plan for population health improvement and a plan for behavioral and physical health integration. In addition, she secured $25 million in funding and led the implementation of the We Choose Health Initiative implementing policy, system, and environmental change in 58 counties in Illinois.

An expert in navigating government complexities to facilitate policy change and program implementation, she led ACA implementation projects with innovative approaches to the integration of public health and health system reform. In addition, she has successfully managed the expansion and implementation of key state and federal healthcare programs including All Kids, Medicare Part D, Veterans Care, and the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.

Leticia is seasoned in managing grassroots advocacy and organizing, in addition to her extensive healthcare and government experience, she managed statewide field operations in political campaigns in seven states.

She earned a Master of Business Administration from National Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign. In 2017, she was named a Culture of Health Leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Madeleine (Maddy) Shea

Maddy Shea has a passion for health equity and the federal, state and local cross-sectoral expertise to guide community health improvement measurement and action. She understands how to identify opportunities in healthcare transformation to deliver better care, more efficiently, and with better health outcomes. Throughout her career, Maddy has joined forces with housing, planning, energy, food systems, community development, academic and criminal justice organizations to accelerate progress on community health goals.

Maddy joins HMA Community Strategies (HMACS) with decades of health policy and program experience. Maddy has worked together with culturally, racially, and socio-economically diverse communities to assess needs and priorities, design culturally accessible programs and to evaluate “what matters.” She worked with supportive housing residents to develop meaningful evaluation measures, HIV infected homeless men to connect others to supports, and persons with physical disabilities to prioritize options to increase the physical accessibility of healthcare facilities.

Maddy’s approach to evaluation and performance measurement is participatory with a focus on broad accountability, program improvement, and equity. She is seen by her peers as never shying away from big problems and new challenges, particularly when she can work collaboratively in high need communities.

At the CMS Office of Minority Health, Maddy led the development, implementation, and evaluation of the CMS Equity Plan initiatives and innovations. She analyzed CMS regulations, policies, and standards to identify disparities and to increase beneficiary and partner engagement to meet the needs of minorities and rural populations. She consulted on the design of new models addressing social health determinants and technical assistance approaches to support grantees in meeting their equity goals.

Prior to CMS, Maddy supported Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) by providing customized reports on disparities in chronic disease, adverse drug events, readmissions, and nursing home quality by race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography, dual eligibility status, and poverty. She then coached QIO staff in evidence-based approaches to reduce these disparities.

Maddy led Maryland and Baltimore public health efforts in population health, environmental health, chronic disease, and infectious disease and has participated in emergency preparations and response.

She was the Maryland Health Department’s first Office of Population Health Improvement director where she developed the measurement and action framework to guide healthcare transformation in Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions and across state government. These same performance measures are now part of the state’s Medicare waiver program. In Baltimore, she developed the first U.S. city healthy homes division to reduce asthma, injury, lead poisoning, malnutrition, and infant deaths in low-income, racial, and ethnic minority communities where she developed an asthma home visiting program that saved Medicaid hospital costs. Her progressively accountable roles at the Maryland AIDS Administration included evaluation, prevention, training, housing assistance, and care community engagement and leadership.

Maddy earned her PhD in public policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, her master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University, and her bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College in Washington.

For 30 years, Maddy has been married to her Peace Corps Liberia heart throb who pulls her into crazy world adventures and green building projects at their West Virginia hilltop oasis when they are not out and about enjoying Baltimore.

Charles Robbins

Charles Robbins headshot

Charles Robbins has been transforming communities for the past three decades. His extensive community-based organization career spans healthcare, child welfare, housing and homelessness, mental health, suicide prevention, harm reduction, and substance use disorder, with a forte in advocacy, strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development, and capacity building.

At HMA, Charles facilitated strategic planning processes for Texas Health Action, Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Prevention Control, and CDC Foundation’s Overdose Response System. He conducted business planning for Palm Springs LGBT Community Center, DAP Health, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. His portfolio of evaluations includes the City of Los Angeles’ FamilySource System and Los Angeles County’s Strategies to Expand and Enhance Interim Housing and Emergency Shelter Services. Charles has conducted numerous needs assessments including work for Boston Public Health Commission, Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Wyoming Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. His equity work includes developing a Health Equity Action Plan on behalf of the San Joaquin County Public Health Services and an LGBTQIA+ Quality of Life Study on behalf of the City of Austin, TX. Charles developed and has been conducting workforce training on The Intersection of HIV and SUD on behalf of the State of Minnesota.

Charles joined HMA Community Strategies from APLA Health, a federally qualified health center providing healthcare and social services to the HIV, LGBTQ+, and low-income populations in Los Angeles. As the chief advancement officer, he spearheaded capacity building efforts that led to geographic expansion of services, increased contract and philanthropic funding, and enhancements in policies and procedures to conform to HRSA regulations.

As vice president at The Village Family Services, a foster care and behavioral health agency, Charles was instrumental in strategic planning, capacity building, and evaluation of programs for vulnerable and at-risk transition age youth. Results of this work included the successful obtainment of multi-year federal funding for street outreach to homeless youth, a first for the organization.

Charles established a strategic plan, capacity building, and program evaluation process as chief executive officer of The Trevor Project, a national suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ+ youth that identified gaps in services and resulted in the launch of online crisis services. Under his leadership, the organization quadrupled in size and achieved national accreditation from the American Association of Suicidology.

Charles’ early career work included movement building at the National LGBT Task Force, fundraising and capacity building at GLAAD, and the founding of Project Angel Heart, a home delivered meal program in Denver. He serves as a Los Angeles County commissioner for the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, volunteers as a court appointed special advocate and is a board member of the LGBTQ+ Center of the Desert in Palm Springs.

Charles earned his master’s in business administration degree in healthcare management from Western Governors University and a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Colorado, Denver.

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.

Jonathan Freedman

Jonathon Freedman headshot

Jonathan Freedman works with plans, providers, associations, and governmental and non-governmental entities in the areas of public health, safety net healthcare, and public policy. His work focuses on strategic planning, public health improvement and transformation, and the healthcare safety net

Before joining HMA, Jonathan was chief of strategy at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation with more than 2 million members. In this capacity, he was responsible for strategic planning, government relations, communications, compliance, and community benefits. He led L.A. Care’s entry into the commercial market with the launch of L.A. Care Covered on the California health insurance marketplace, Covered California. He was also intimately involved with L.A. Care’s substantial growth related to the Medicaid expansion and a dual demonstration known as CalMediConnect.

Prior to joining L.A. Care Health Plan, Jonathan held a variety of management and leadership roles for more than 25 years with the County of Los Angeles, including chief deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH), a $1 billion agency with 4,000 staff. His other roles included managing the county’s state and federal legislative programs, directing the Medicaid Demonstration Project (1115 Waiver) for the county; and serving as an assistant deputy for health, welfare and environmental issues to Supervisor Ed Edelman, a former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Jonathan has led many high-profile initiatives, including the public health response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake; Los Angeles County’s Master Tobacco Settlement negotiation; solutions to funding crises in the Los Angeles County safety net; and the 2010 H1N1 influenza response.

He has also led many special projects on behalf of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Chief Executive Officer including negotiation of the county’s interests in California Medicaid Waivers; revenue and tax options for local government; workers’ compensation and pension reform legislation; development of a successful partnership between the Los Angeles and the University of California to re-open the MLK Hospital in South Los Angeles; and negotiation of state-county fiscal and program realignment.

Jonathan has received outstanding leadership awards from the California State Association of Counties and Los Angeles County. He is a lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health, and a contributor to three books on public health practice –  Public Health Leadership (Routledge Press, 2017),  Public Health Practice: What Works (Oxford Press, 2012), and Global Biosecurity: Threats and Responses (Routledge Press, 2010).

Jonathan was raised in Los Angeles and holds degrees in political science and public health from the UCLA.

When not chasing health policy, Jonathan is an avid fan of California history and culture.

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. 

Uma Ahluwalia

Ahluwalia_Uma_DC headshot

Uma S. Ahluwalia is a respected healthcare and human services professional with extensive experience leading key growth initiatives in demanding political and legislative environments.

She is an expert in delivering innovative, reliable, cost-effective solutions and public policy strategies that improve operations and productivity.

Prior to joining HMA, she served as director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in Maryland. During her 12-year tenure she led implementation of the Affordable Care Act, oversaw the move to a more integrated and interoperable health and human services enterprise, and managed public-private partnerships and programs.

Uma’s work experience also includes leadership as the interim director in the Child and Family Services Agency in Washington, DC and assistant secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services in the State of Washington.

She has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Delhi in India and a specialist, post-master’s in health services administration from George Washington University. Over her 28-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels.

Uma loves to read and spend time with family and friends.