President + Chief Executive Office
Jordan has been with IPHCA since 2013 and previously served as our Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs. Prior to joining IPHCA, he served as Deputy Director of Government Relations at the Illinois Press Association and worked as a Legislative Liaison for the State of Illinois. Jordan’s career in policy began when he was selected for the prestigious James H. Dunn Fellowship within the Illinois Governor’s Office.
A healthcare strategist and change leader with the personal and professional goal of improving lives and health outcomes for individuals and communities, Jordan dedicated his career to public service after being raised in a low-income household by a single mother who faced multiple health issues.
Jordan is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he received his BA in political science and was a member of the Fighting Irish track team. He also holds an MBA from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Outside of the office, Jordan enjoys spending time with his family, coaching his daughter’s sports teams, seeing movies, running and traveling.
Chief Operating Officer
Cheri has been with IPHCA since 2017 and served first as Senior Vice President of Health Center and Clinical Operations before becoming our Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to joining IPHCA, she spent one year with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS – Illinois Medicaid Program) Office of Inspector General as a Peer Review Nurse Manager and five years as the Assistant Chronic Disease Division Chief for the Office of Health Promotion Illinois Department of Public Health. Before her work with state government, Cheri spent 17 years at the Springfield Urban League, Inc. (local nonprofit organization) as the Director of Workforce and Community Empowerment. There she was responsible for directing training and technical assistance for all Illinois public health and human services department staff.
Cheri’s career has revolved around improving the health outcomes of Illinoisans as is evident by her extensive clinical experience in both state government and non-profit management.
Cheri has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and is a Registered Professional Nurse. She has worked in the clinical areas of Maternal Child Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health Promotion and Home Health throughout her career.
When not at the office, Cheri enjoys spending time with her family, making jewelry and other crafts, binge-watching Netflix series and traveling.
Executive Vice President
Sara joined IPHCA in April 2020 after a 20-year career with Illinois Association for Behavioral Health (IABH), including 13 years as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to her tenure at IABH, Sara worked for the Denver Public Health Department where she served as coordinator of the Denver Alliance on Tobacco and Health. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Council for Behavioral Health and is Chair of their Public Policy Committee.
Sara’s passion for health promotion and wellness began as a youth leader in two statewide addiction prevention programs: Operation Snowball and the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute. Her early experiences led her to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Health Promotion from Purdue University, with a goal of creating healthier communities and families. As a breast cancer survivor, Sara uses her patient experience to drive her work to improve health systems.
In 2019, Sara earned a Master of Business Administration degree, also from Purdue. She is an outspoken animal welfare advocate, a vocal Boilermaker fan and enjoys public speaking and time with friends and family.
Senior Vice President of Public Policy + Governmental Affairs
Cyrus joined the IPHCA team in early 2019 as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs. Prior to joining IHPCA, he served as Vice President of Health & Long-Term Care Policy for the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) and Associate Director of the Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans (IAMHP).
Cyrus is responsible for effectuating public policy and legislation at both the state and federal levels, advancing the mission of community health centers. He works closely with the state’s Medicaid authority (the Department of Healthcare and Family Services), the Illinois General Assembly, federal health care agencies, Congress and other health care trade and advocacy organizations.
After earning Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Illinois State University, Cyrus has focused his professional career on improving our health care delivery system. He is motivated by the belief that everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable health care.
Cyrus is a proud husband and father of two who enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, golf and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Grants Program Coordinator
Staci has been with IPHCA since 2019. She is the Grants Project Coordinator, providing technical assistance and organizing trainings on behavioral health and substance use disorder. She also assists in recruitment efforts for community health centers. Prior to joining IPHCA, she served as an access clinician at a local community mental health organization, participated in the psychiatric response team, and educated youth and the community about substance use prevention.
In previous jobs, she met many patients who did not understand their diagnoses or the services they qualified for. From these experiences, she became passionate in educating the community about resources and services available to the underserved.
Staci is a graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and her Masters in Social Services Administration.
Outside of the office, Staci enjoys spending time with her family, her new puppy Piper, and going to concerts.
Associate Director of Health Equity & EP Response
Paula has been with IPHCA since 2014. Prior to joining our team, she served as Coordinator of Public Health Education and Community Development with Macoupin County Public Health Department for 16 years. Paula’s career in public health included working with public health issues like HIV, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, substance use and prevention, emergency preparedness, and much more. Paula has always worked toward identifying ways to reach vulnerable populations with the goal of reducing their disparities in access to services and health care.
Paula made a commitment to her community and the greater community when she chose a path in public health. She was raised in a rural community, and still resides there. Paula has seen firsthand what the lack of access to good healthcare means to a community, family, and person.
Paula is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in public health.
Outside of the office, Paula enjoys spending time with her family—including her four children, coaching youth sports such as basketball and soccer, supporting community programs such as PTO, Post Prom and church committees. Paula is also the founder of Macoupin Montgomery Addiction and Behavioral Coalition.
Associate Director of Clinical Services + Workforce Development
Ashley has been with IPHCA since 2006 and currently serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Services and Workforce Development. In this role, Ashley assists community health centers with their clinical workforce needs by administering IPHCA’s Clinician Recruitment Service, supporting the development of a clinician pipeline, serving as a local expert on state and federal loan repayment programs, and overseeing IPHCA’s oral health, behavioral health and chronic disease programming.
With over a decade of experience serving community health centers, Ashley offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise to IPHCA’s members. Growing up in a rural area, she understands the barriers many patients face in accessing care close to home.
Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University in Communication Sciences and her Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University. She also holds certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the HR Certification Institute.
Outside of work, Ashley enjoys home improvement projects, interior design, spending time with her family and attending her children’s many extracurricular activities.
Director of Community Development
+ Financial Services
Susan has been with IPHCA since 2006, serving first as the Manager of Community Development then as Associate Director, Education & Professional Development – Financial Services. Prior to joining IPHCA, she served as Manager of Clinical Systems, Information Technology at a Springfield medical system.
Susan’s interest in health care started with volunteering at the local hospital and has continued throughout her life. While earning a BS in Industrial Engineering at Iowa State University, she learned how to support direct caregivers and their operations by incorporating internships at health care facilities into the engineering curriculum.
Outside of the office, Susan enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.
Maria has been with IPHCA since May 2019. She was born in Germany and raised in Greece where she obtained her degree in accounting.
Maria has worked as a bookkeeper and accounting specialist where she managed all aspects of accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. From eight years, she worked as an accounts receivable clerk for an association management company in Springfield, Illinois. She was responsible for managing the accounts of seven different entities, both for-profit and not-for-profit.
Maria also has experience as a restaurant manager where she handled the finances, payroll, operating expenses, food sales and inventory.
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, exercising and traveling.
Director of State Public Policy and Governmental Affairs
Amber has a decade of dynamic experience, including work in state government and with health care providers, nonprofit organizations and public research institutions. As a key member of IPHCA’s Government Affairs team, she advances public policy, legislative and budgetary priorities on behalf of Illinois’ community health centers, and serves as a liaison to stakeholders in Chicagoland.
Previously, Amber was Manager of Public Policy at Thresholds, one of Illinois’ largest and longest-serving community mental health centers. There she played a critical role in the development and successful passage of bipartisan legislation including the Children and Young Adult Mental Health Crisis Act and the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act. She also helped to launch Healthy Minds Healthy Lives, a diverse statewide coalition of mental health and substance use advocates.
Previously, she served in the Office of the Governor as a policy analyst, after completing the James H. Dunn, Jr. Memorial Fellowship. She is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the Illinois Conference of Women Legislators NEW Leadership Program.
Amber holds a Master of Political Science from the Civic Leadership Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as well as a Bachelor of Political Science and Sociology from UIUC.
Manager of Community Development
Barry joined IPHCA in 2010 and is the Manager of Community Development. Barry started his career in health care by joining the Navy as a Medical Technician and serving on several submarines as care provider to the ship’s company. After some time in medical sales, Barry continued with health data as a data analyst prior to joining the team at IPHCA.
Working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Barry produces Health Professional Shortage Areas and designates Medical Underserved Areas and Populations for areas and for organizations. He also produces legislative maps along with any specialty maps needed for grant applications.
Barry enjoys the outdoors, particularly mountain hikes and ocean kayaking. He also referees soccer, enjoys cycling and spending time with his family and cats.
Oral Health Programs Manager
Cristina has been with IPHCA since 2016 and previously served as our Grants Program Coordinator. She is a PCMH Certified Content Expert and provides technical assistance to federally qualified health centers during their transformation to becoming recognized as a patient-centered medical home. She also works with the DentaQuest Foundation and the Midwest Network for Oral Health Integration (MNOHI), focusing specifically on oral health integration.
Cristina received a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, Springfield. Her passion is to improve the health of individuals and communities by promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing chronic diseases and providing education on overall health.
Outside of the office, Cristina enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, traveling and playing sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball.
Vice President of Clinical Services
+ Workforce Development
Rajesh serves as Vice President of Clinical Services and Workforce Development and is a principal liaison between IPHCA and the clinicians serving at our member organizations. He oversees IPHCA activities in clinical quality and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition, professional development of clinicians, provider recruitment, clinical services integration, and several other public health projects.
Ranesh has experience as a Medical Doctor, Public Health Research Fellow, Adjunct Faculty Member (Clinical Associate Professor), and Executive Director of a non-profit. His educational background includes a degree in Medicine, and Masters in Public Health. He has served in different capacities in USA, India and Zambia.
As a clinician, Ranesh has provided ambulatory services, inpatient clinical services and outpatient clinical management and operated an independent private medical practice. He has planned and coordinated school-based health services, and developed and managed a community health center that provided holistic health care to an underserved community. In previous positions, he has implemented a community health curriculum for 3rd year medical students, directed residency training projects, and provided operational leadership and strategic planning for a non-profit agency.
Ranesh is married, and both his daughters are practicing physicians. In his spare time, he enjoys international travel, golf and pickleball!
Director of Communications +
Rachael joined IPHCA in 2017 and serves as our Director of Communications and Administrative Services. As an experienced communications professional, Rachael is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of internal and external communications at IPHCA—promoting awareness, education and public relations efforts. She also oversees the administrative services department at IPHCA, assisting with administrative workflows, staff training, conference and event planning, and committee meetings.
Prior to joining IPHCA, Rachael served as the Communications Manager for a local veterinary practice. She holds a BA in Communication Arts from Benedictine University.
Rachael enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs, hiking, reading, and trips to the beach.
Clinical Quality Improvement Manager
Naila began her career at IPHCA as a Grants Program Coordinator in 2017. Prior to officially joining the IPHCA team, she completed an internship with IPHCA as part of her graduate program. During the internship, she assisted in the development of the ‘Performances and Promising Practices Binders’ resource for health centers based on the Uniform Data System’s clinical indicators.
Naila has always been interested in healthcare since working as a certified nursing assistant in high school. Her passion for serving underserved communities strengthened over time through various volunteer and outreach projects in her community.
Naila is a graduate of Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, where she completed her undergraduate degree in biology. She also received a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University with a certificate in Epidemiology.
In her free time, Naila enjoys traveling, exploring different cultures, baking, DIY projects and reading.
Health IT Project Manager
Grecia has been with IPHCA since January 2018 and previously served as our Grants Program Coordinator. Prior to joining IPHCA, Grecia worked with the Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. There, she implemented and sustained a coordinated system of care that integrated clinical and community-based programs to improve patient outcomes for childhood obesity in health center sites.
Grecia has worked closely to support health centers with data collection and analysis to improve program outcomes. Her background in clinical quality improvement, operational workflows, clinical outcomes and regulatory compliance allows her to leverage technology tools and data for efficient, patient-centered health care delivery and improved population health.
Grecia graduated from Benedictine University with a Master of Public Health and certificates in Epidemiology, Health Management and Policy, and Health Education and Promotion. She also holds a second Master’s in Health Informatics, specializing in Health Technology, from Northwestern University.
Outside of the office, Grecia enjoys being active, seeing movies, spending time with loved ones and being a mom to a shih-poo.
Manager of Training & Events
Nicole has been with IPHCA since 2018 and previously served as our Administrative Secretary. Prior to joining IPHCA, she worked as a Sales Administrator and Accounting Specialist.
Outside of the office, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, watching her daughter play sports and spending time outside.
Jozy has been with IPHCA since 2019 and currently serves as our Executive Assistant. She supports the senior leadership team with administrative duties and serves as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. Jozy also assists with on-site trainings, special events and committee meetings.
Jozy received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Jozy joined IPHCA because she has always been interested in health care and wanted to contribute to the overall health of individuals and communities.
Outside of the office, Jozy enjoys being a dog mom, shopping and spending time with family and friends.
Riley joined the IPHCA team in late 2012 as Facility Manager. He is responsible for the IPHCA headquarters in Springfield, IL ensuring the building is in compliance with state and local building codes. Riley’s career in Facility Management began working for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ main church, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, for twelve years. Prior to joining IPHCA, he served as Facilities Manager for Security Bank in Springfield, IL for over ten years and was responsible for four bank branches.
Riley is also a military veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged after four years of service. He also served two years of reserve status.
Riley is a graduate of Indiana Vocational Technical College where he received his Associate’s Degree in Industrial Maintenance Technology. Riley also earned a Certificate in Heating and Air Conditioning Technology while attending Indiana Vocational Technical College.
Outside of the office, Riley likes spending time with his family, traveling, and listening to and studying music.
Public Health Initiatives Manager
Megan’s career in public health began as an AmeriCorps team member in the inner city of Miami, FL. Working with Americorps, she quickly realized that one of the biggest barriers to health was education. Megan is passionate about helping underserved populations better understand their health, with the goal of improving overall health outcomes.
Megan is a graduate of the University of Illinois, where she received her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and community health. She also holds a Master of Science in health sciences with a focus in public health from Western Illinois University.
Outside of the office, Megan enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and cooking.