Advanced NH Leadership Series Topic #4

Online Only

Health Equity in 2021: public, private, dental, and mental health navigating and advocating


Health Equity in 2021: Public, private, dental, and mental health navigating and advocating

Thursdays 4:30 to 6:30 pm
All sessions are virtual via zoom

  • March 4, 2021
  • March 18, 2021
  • April 1, 2021
  • April 15, 2021

Healthcare is an important piece of the puzzle that supports all of us everyday. Join us as we dive into this broad (and sometimes scary) topic where we will discuss a variety of factors affecting people with disabilities.

Topics addressed include:

  • Implications of covid-19
  • Oral health
  • Mental health
  • The state of private and public insurance. 

Series Presenters:

Crissie Ferrara, UNH IOD

Crissie’s background in International Development has given her to opportunity to have lived in various countries such as Kenya, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and El Salvador for over a span of 10 years.  During her years abroad, she worked with local partner agencies in the sphere of Public Health with a focus on water and sanitation, gender equality, economic development, capacity building and social justice.  Crissie proudly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in southern Belize, which inspired her to switch careers from photojournalism in NYC to work in the areas of International Development and Public Health.

Kathy Bates, UNH IOD

Kathy Bates is a teacher, advocate, and writer. She believes in everyone’s right to full citizenship and envisions a future where disability is seen as just another form of diversity.

After receiving her BA degree in Elementary Education from St. Andrews University in North Carolina, she began her teaching career. Kathy has worked extensively with both children and adults with disabilities. The opportunity to challenge herself and use her lifetime of experience with disability came when she was offered the chance to co-teach a graduate level class at UNH called Contemporary Issues and Developmental Disabilities. Personally understanding the need for excellent support within the community for people with disabilities, she was also excited to co-teach, Supporting People into Community Life, a class for Direct Support Professionals at Great Bay Community College. In 2014, Kathy completed the LEND program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental disabilities). The purpose of the course is to improve health outcomes for children with developmental disabilities by training leaders in the field of maternal and child health.

Margarida Jorge, HCAN

Margarida Jorge is a 23-year veteran of electoral, union, civic engagement and issue campaigns and a recognized expert in the development of field strategies for local, state and national issue advocacy.  

From 2008-2013, Margarida served as the National Field Director at Health Care for America Now, where she pioneered a new field model now widely used across issues and organizations that increased capacity for over 200 grassroots organizations in 44 states to pass, implement and defend the landmark Affordable Care Act.

Over the past 10 years in Washington, DC, Margarida also led SEIU’s Americans for Health Care campaign, developed and implemented field strategy for the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign, and built the intersectional “Stand with Women” campaign to integrate reproductive rights and economic justice at the Women’s Equality Center, where she served as National Director.  

Prior to working in DC, Margarida spent over 10 years working for labor unions, community organizations and candidates in states like Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida and others. She was been recognized for her contributions to organizing and campaigns with the St. Louis City NAACP Outstanding Leadership & Dedicated Service to Labor Award (2005), the Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Award (2005), the Campaign for America’s Future Nominee for Maria Leavey Tribute Award (2009), and the USAction Progressive Leadership Grassroots Activism Award (2009).

Margarida currently works as a strategic and organizational development consultant for a variety of progressive organizations including Vision First, PICO National Network, Working America, Main Street Alliance, and the Child Care and Early Learning Action Hub.

Audrey Gerkin, chair CYCC 

Audrey Gerkin currently sits as the Chair for the NH Council for Youths with Chronic Conditions (CYCC) and works part-time for One Sky Community Services as the Legislative Liaison.  CYCC is a parent focused state council that works to educate and inform policy makers and stakeholders about the chronic health needs for 55,000 NH children to ensure they have affordable access to care, and supportive home and community environments.  Audrey assists in advocating for families within to the developmental disability and acquire brain injury community at One Sky, one of the 10 area agencies in NH delivering services to this community.  Previously, Audrey has worked as a Special Education Teacher, and owned Pickpocket Farm CSA growing vegetables and pigs for many people, but still does for her own family.  She has a has husband and three children, hence, she has no free time and was interrupted multiple times writing this bio, while all are home for remote work and school.

Kim Kamieniecki, NH NAMI

Kim Kamieniecki resides in the Monadnock region, a mother of 4 and a passionate advocate for those struggling with mental health challenges. Kim currently works at NAMI NH as a Family and Community Support Specialist, providing education, lived experience and support to families that have a child struggling with behavioral challenges and mental illness. NAMI New Hampshire is a grassroots organization working to improve the lives of all people affected by mental illness and suicide through support, education, and advocacy.

Cathi Bills,NH NAMI

Cathi Bills lives in Winchester NH, which is a small town in the southern part of the state near the Massachusetts and Vermont borders. She is a mom of 4 amazing children and grandmother to 1 beautiful granddaughter (who calls her CC :) ). This past spring she graduated from River Valley Community College with an Associates Degree in Social Services, she is now working toward her Bachelor's Degree in Social Services at Granite State College. She has worked as a Family Peer Support Specialist at NAMI NH for 3 years in May. She brings lived experience to her role in supporting and educating families with children who are struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Lisa Beaudoin, ABLE NH

Lisa Beaudoin began attending ABLE NH meetings in 2014, served as Development & Policy Consultant from 2015 to 2017, and was hired as Executive Director in 2017. Her graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology at the New School focused on the social construct of race, which serves her intellectual, and now lived, understanding of the oppression of ableism. Lisa is a parent as well as a disability professional and believes that having different abilities is simply one thread in the tapestry of precious human life. She is formerly a small business owner in the Monadnock region where she raised her two sons.

Bob Williams Communication FIRST

Bob Williams is currently the Policy Director of Communication FIRST, a national civil rights organization led by and for people with significant expressive disabilities.  He has advanced the rights, opportunities, and supports for children, working age persons and older with significant disabilities adults for over 40 years by monitoring conditions at and closing of Forest Haven, creating community living services in DC, helping to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act, and administering the federally funded developmental disabilities, Ticket to Work, and independent living networks.  



Registration Fee

Suggested Donation:  $100 per series.  No one will be turned away due to inability to cover costs.  Reach out to Deb for organizations who may be able to sponsor this cost.