2021 Grassroots Advocacy Award Recipients

Congratulations To The 2021 NACHC Grassroots Advocacy Award Recipients!

We are incredibly grateful to honor 2021 recipients of the NACHC Grassroots Advocacy Awards. All recipients were nominated by their peers for this recognition. Please take a moment to learn more about these advocates and their work.

The 2021 NACHC Grassroots Hall of Fame Inductees

Grassroots Hall of Fame inductees have all made lasting contributions to ensuring the creation, survival, and strength of Community Health Centers and the health center movement through their dedicated and tireless advocacy efforts over many years.

Andrew R Behrman, MBA

President & CEO, Florida Association of Community Health Centers

Click the photo to learn more about Andrew.

Ernesto Gómez, Ph.D.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, CentroMed, Texas

Click the photo to learn more about Ernesto.

Linda Y. Flake, MBA

President/CEO, Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, New Jersey

Click the photo to learn more about Linda.

Stan McKee

Board of Directors, Carevide, Texas

Click the photo to learn more about Stan.

Berneice Mills-Thomas, RN, MSM,MPH, MBA

Chief Executive Office, Near North Health Service Corporation, Illinois

Click the photo to learn more about Berneice.

The 2020 NACHC Elizabeth K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Awardees

The NACHC Grassroots MVP Award is named in honor of the late Elizabeth K. (Betsey) Cooke, whose constant effort and unflagging persistence as an advocate for Community Health Centers and health center patients set an example for all Health Center Advocates to follow. All honorees have gone above and beyond in their efforts to ensure that their Members of Congress actively supported health centers or to establish and expand grassroots advocacy efforts at their health center or in their state.

Margarethia G. Bledsoe

Director of Marketing & Outreach, The Family Health Centers of Georgia, Inc.

Click the photo to learn more about Margarethia.

Sarah M. Francois

Director of Fund Development & Marketing, Progressive Community Health Centers, Wisconsin

Click the photo to learn more about Sarah.

Michael Glas

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Carevide, Texas

Click the photo to learn more about Michael.

Celeste Harrison

Chief Executive Officer, MEHOP, Texas

Click the photo to learn more about Celeste.

Perla Herrera

Board Secretary, Access Community Health Network Board of Directors, Illinois

Click the photo to learn more about Perla.

Beth Keeney, MBA

SVP Community Health Initiatives/COO Community Health Center Programs, LifeSpring Health System, Indiana
Indiana Primary Health Care Association Board of Directors


Click the photo to learn more about Beth.

Amber Kirchhoff, MA

Director, Public Policy + Government Affairs, Illinois Primary Health Care Association

Click the photo to learn more about Amber.

Helen Labun, MSc, MFA

Director of Vermont Public Policy, Bi-State Primary Care Association

Click the photo to learn more about Helen.

Sara LeMaster

Manager, Government Relations and Public Policy, Community Health Center Association of Connecticut

Click the photo to learn more about Sara.

Katherine K. McLeod

Chief Executive Officer, First Choice Primary Care, Georgia

Click the photo to learn more about Katherine.

Jody Sahota

Advocacy and Communications Manager, Alameda Health Consortium, California

Click the photo to learn more about Jody.

Marielys Santiago Matos, B.A. M.S.

Public Health Specialist, Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico

Click the photo to learn more about Marielys.

Kimberleigh Joy Smith, MPA

Senior Director for Community Health Planning and Policy, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York

Click the photo to learn more about Kimberleigh.

Meghan Spinelli

Vice President of Community & Government Relations, CompleteCare Health Network, New Jersey

Click the photo to learn more about Meghan.

R.B. Tucker, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer, South Central Primary Care Center, GA

Click the photo to learn more about R.B.

Edgardo Joel Vázquez-Fonseca, MPH, DrPH(c)

Public Health Specialist and Organizational Development Consultant, Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico

Click the photo to learn more about Edgardo.