U.S. mapThe National Advisory Committee
on Rural Health and Human Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Committee Biographies

Chair: David M. Beasley, J.D.
Former Governor of South Carolina
Darlington, SC

David Muldrow Beasley served as the Republican Governor of South Carolina from 1995 to 1999, ushering in an era of unprecedented economic growth and a transformation of South Carolina government. As Governor, David Beasley was a strong advocate for rural health and was instrumental in supporting the expansion of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health. He increased the eligibility threshold for Medicaid coverage of all children below 150% of the federal poverty line, created a grassroots movement that supports children's health issues, and added over 1,130 nursing home beds and 6,240 Community Long-Term Care slots. When Governor Beasley left office, South Carolina was ranked number one in America in job growth and in personal income growth. In 1997, the Nation's 32 Republican governors recognized Governor Beasley's progressive leadership and elected him chairman of the Republican Governors Association. From January through May, 1999, Governor Beasley was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Governor Beasley served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1979-1992, including as Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee and as House Majority Leader. Prior to being elected Governor, he was a Partner of Beasley, Ervin & Warr Law Firm and a Vice President and Executive at Carolina Bank & Trust Company. He received a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Vice Chair: Larry Keith Otis Sr.
Former Mayor of Tupelo, MS
Tupelo, MS

Mr. Larry Otis currently works with Rural Community Development, speaking and consulting with rural small communities on Neighborhood Development, Municipal Government, Economic Development, Rural Health and Total Community Development. He believes strongly that "Community Development Precedes Economic Development."
Before serving rural Mississippi in this capacity, Mr. Otis served as Mayor of Tupelo for two terms. His professional experience includes managing a number of small businesses, a State Water Management District, and a community college. Mayor Otis also served as a classroom teacher and as the executive of two state agencies. He has served on numerous boards and commissions, including as Chair of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association, as Chair of the Workforce Accountability Committee, and as a member of the Executive Committee of Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board. Mayor Otis has also been active in international development, with a focus on Africa, Central and South America.
Mayor Otis holds a Bachelor's Degree from Mississippi State University and a Master of Education from the University of Mississippi. He completed additional graduate work at the University of Missouri and at Mississippi State University.

Graham Adams, Ph.D.
Executive Director, South Carolina Office of Rural Health
Lexington, South Carolina

Dr. Graham Adams serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, a not-for-profit statewide entity that works to improve and enhance rural health delivery in South Carolina. Dr. Adams has been with the Office of Rural Health for almost 14 years and has nearly 20 years of experience in the health care field. He has worked extensively in the areas of rural health, primary care, public health infrastructure development, community mental health, and program development for underserved populations. He has provided leadership for many public health and access improvement projects and currently serves on the advisory and governing boards of numerous state, regional and national initiatives. Dr. Adams also currently acts as the Past-President for the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

Dr. Adams received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Frostburg State University and holds a Masters in Public Health and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Health Administration, both from the University of South Carolina. He also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor position in both the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University and at the University of South Carolina Department of Health Services and Policy Management.

April M. Bender, Ph.D.
Owner, Partnerships for Quality
Hannawa Falls, New York

April M. Bender brings multiple dimensions of experience to her work in the areas of welfare reform, workforce development, and faith-based and community initiatives. As a practitioner, trainer, researcher, facilitator, and consultant to local, State, and Federal agencies, businesses, and faith-based and community organizations, Dr. Bender seeks to discover and connect research to policy and practice. She has worked with numerous agencies and businesses across the nation to help them achieve and exceed their outcomes through strategic planning, evaluations, research, and staff development.

Maggie Blackburn, M.D.
Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Rural Health
Florida State University Medical School
Tallahassee, Florida

Maggie Blackburn serves as an Assistant Professor at the Florida State University Medical School, where she teaches Family Medicine and Rural Health. She has also taught Clinical Medicine at the Columbia University School of Medicine and Graduate Nursing at Sage Graduate School, and served as a Community Preceptor at St. Clare’s Family Practice Residency.

Prior to joining the faculty at Florida State University, Dr. Blackburn served as the Medical Director of Bassett Healthcare for six years and later opened a private practice in Stamford, NY. She has also served as the Medical Director for the Chemical Dependency Clinic of Otsego County, NY, and as a Town Health Officer in Harpersfield, NY. Dr. Blackburn was appointed by the Governor to the New York State Minority Health Council in 1999 and to the New York State Rural Health Council in 2003. At the local level, Dr. Blackburn served as Board President for the Planned Parenthood Association of Delaware & Otsego Counties, NY. She is currently the Director of the School-Based Health Center in Gadsden County, FL She has given numerous presentations on Electronic Health Records and on Mental Health issues among children.

Dr. Blackburn received her B.A. from Hampshire College in 1974, attended the Post BA Premedical Program at Columbia University, and received her M.D. in 1991 from Case Western Reserve University Medical School. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine, and has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians since 1999. Her professional memberships include the American Academy of Family Physicians, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. She has also been a member of the National Rural Health Association and the New York State Rural Health Association.

Deborah K. Bowman
Cabinet Secretary, South Dakota Department of Social Services
Pierre, South Dakota

Deborah Bowman serves as the Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services, having been appointed to the position by Governor M. Michael Rounds in April of 2005. Programs within the department include Adult Services & Aging, Crime Victims Assistance, Domestic Violence, Recoveries and Fraud Investigations, TANF, Food Stamps, Low Income Energy Assistance, Sales Tax on Food Refund Program, Medicaid, Child Care Services, Child Protection Services, and Child Support Services.

Prior to her appointment as secretary, Ms. Bowman served for over seven years as a senior staff member in the governor’s office, working primarily in the areas of health, human, and social services. During her tenure in the governor’s office, she led the State’s efforts in welfare reform, health care expansion for children, early childhood programs, establishment of the South Dakota risk pool, and closure of one of the State’s two institutions serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

Ms. Bowman began her career in State government as Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Prior to joining State government she served for 14 years as the CEO of ECCO, Inc., a private non-profit organization serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition to being an advocate for some of the State’s most vulnerable citizens, Ms. Bowman is a passionate advocate for organ donation. She received a kidney transplant over seven years ago; one of her daughters was her donor.

B. Darlene Byrd, MNSc, APN, P.A.
Cabot, Arkansas

Ms. Byrd is currently serving her second term on the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Since being appointed by the Governor in 2002, she has served Vice President, Secretary, and Chair of various committees. In addition, Ms. Byrd serves on the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Committee for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which is working to develop a future national regulatory model for advanced practice nursing. She has also served on the Prescriptive Authority Advisory Committee.

Ms. Byrd has 19 years in the nursing profession, including 10 years as an Advanced Practice Nurse. In 1997, when Medicare regulations changed to allow Advanced Practice Nurses to receive direct reimbursement for Medicare service, she became a consultant for her colleagues on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. She has repeatedly testified on Health Policy and Regulation issues before the Arkansas Legislative Public Health Welfare and Labor Committee, and continues to work on these issues through her involvement in professional organizations on the state and local level.

Ms. Byrd’s nursing career began in the surgical/burn /trauma critical care unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science (UAMS) in Little Rock. Other nursing experience includes Home Health, cardiac/critical care and nursing research. She has also served as the director of a mobile Rural Health Clinic in southwest Arkansas. As a Family Nurse Practitioner she provides primary and occupational heath care. Currently, Ms. Byrd is the sole proprietor of her health care corporation, providing locum tenes services in primary and occupational health care across Arkansas.

Ms. Byrd received a B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, a BSN and a Masters of Nursing Science from UAMS. Ms. Byrd holds national certifications as a Family Nurse Practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and as a Certified Professional Coder from the American Association of Professional Coders. Her professional memberships include the Arkansas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Professional Coders.

Sharon A. Hansen, Ph.D.
Director, Community Action Partnership Head Start
Dickinson, ND

Ms. Hansen has over 30 years experience in the delivery and administration of comprehensive programs for young children and their families. Her experiences as a special educator have included teaching young children with multiple disabilities, both within a rehabilitation hospital setting as well as within a rural public school setting. During her years as an educator, Ms. Hansen was recognized as the North Dakota Special Educator of the Year and received the Centennial Award presented by the North Dakota Council for Exceptional Children for her outstanding work with young children and their families. Ms. Hansen designed an integrative program for providing comprehensive services to families with young children diagnosed with a disability and/or living in poverty, which she currently administers for the eight rural counties of southwestern North Dakota. This model has integrated the health and social services available from local community agencies including Community Action Partnership with the educational services provided by Head Start and the local school districts.

Ms. Hansen has held memberships and offices in state and regional organizations that advocate for young children and their families, including the North Dakota Council for Exceptional Children, North Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children, Healthy North Dakota Early Childhood Alliance, and the North Dakota Head Start Association. She co-authored the North Dakota Guidelines for Early Childhood Special Education and authored the North Dakota guidebook, Using Volunteers in Programs for Preschool Handicapped Children. She has served as a federal team reviewer in the area of program design and management for Head Start programs. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Ms. Hansen has provided keynotes and training on the impact of comprehensive early care and education programs to professional, legislative, and parent organizations. Recently Ms. Hansen received an appointment by Governor Hoeven to the North Dakota Prekindergarten Education Commission to draft policy for designing a prekindergarten system in North Dakota. She also serves on the state Quality Rating System Committee drafting quality indicators for early care and education programs. Ms. Hansen earned a Bachelor degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of North Dakota, a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Utah State University, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of North Dakota.

David Hartley, Ph.D. MHA
Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center, University of Southern Maine
Portland, ME

Dr. Hartley is Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center and a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Muskie School of Public Service, at the University of Southern Maine, where he has been on the faculty since 1994.  From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Hartley conducted research in the areas of rural health and medical technology at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to his academic career, he had a twelve-year career in health services management, directing both public and private substance abuse treatment programs.  His research is focused on access to mental health services in rural areas, rural substance abuse prevention, rural safety net issues, Critical Access Hospitals, and obesity prevention.  His publications include research addressing the treatment of depression, the licensure and reimbursement of the mental health workforce, the rural behavioral health safety net, scope of services in rural hospitals, and geographic disparities in health status.  In 2003, his sustained research in rural mental health was recognized by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) with their Distinguished Researcher Award.  He served on the NRHA’s Policy Board from 1998-2006.  In 2004 he served on the Institute of Medicine’s committee on the future of rural health, which published Quality Through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health in 2005.  He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Rural Health and Rural and Remote Health, and serves in an advisory capacity to the Rural Veterans Resource Center based at White River Junction, VT. 

A native of Minnesota, Dr. Hartley holds a Master of Hospital and Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree and a PhD in Health Services Research, both from the University of Minnesota.

Donna K. Harvey
Executive Director, Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, Inc.
Waterloo, Iowa

Ms. Harvey has been the executive director of Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, Inc. since 1987. Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging is a non-profit organization authorized under the Older Americans Act to coordinate services and advocate on behalf of the over 63,000 older persons residing in a 10-county area of primarily rural northeast Iowa. The agency also hosts the National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center, the Statewide Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program, an elder refugee outreach program, and an elder abuse initiative.

Her past experience includes director of the Iowa Northland Regional Transit Commission; assistant director of Adults’, Inc. where she supervised the operations of two adult day care programs, a day program for persons with disabilities, and administrative oversight for Cedar Valley Hospice, the Iowa Brain Injury Association, and the Northeast Iowa Stroke Association; and administrative officer within the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Ms. Harvey is active on all levels of the aging network as past president of both the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging and has been a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. She has also served as staff at a National Governor’s Association Policy Academy on Long Term Care as well as on Governor’s Task Forces in Iowa including Transit, Alzheimer’s, and Long Term Care in Iowa. On the national level, Ms. Harvey serves on the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination Steering Committee, National Eldercare Locator Advisory Committee and has testified before the Select Committee on Aging and the Senate Appropriations Committee for Health and Human Services. Ms. Harvey is also a certified trainer with Civitan International. She is very active on local community boards and in volunteer service organizations.

Her education includes Human Services Specialist training through Ellsworth Community College and Human Services Management bachelor degree program through Upper Iowa University; related training includes the National Leadership Institute on Aging through the University of Colorado at Denver, the Rehabilitation Specialist Program through the University of Missouri, and Outcomes Training through the Rensselaerville Institute in New York.

David R. Hewett, MA
President/CEO, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations
Sioux Falls, SD

Dave Hewett serves as the President/CEO of the South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations. Prior to coming to that position in 1997, Dave worked with the American Hospital Association as a regional legislative director and a regional executive.
Before joining the AHA in 1995, Dave served with the Wisconsin Hospital Association in several capacities including heading up the governmental relations department for that organization. He has also worked as a legislative assistant in the Wisconsin State Senate and policy analyst for that state's Department of Revenue.
Dave received his Masters of Arts degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington.

Thomas E. Hoyer, Jr., MBA
Rehoboth Beach, DE

Thomas Hoyer worked primarily in policy-making positions for what is now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its predecessor organizations from 1972 until his retirement in 2002. His experience includes virtually the full range of Medicare and Medicaid policy areas, including health and safety, coverage, and the development of many of today's prospective payment systems. In addition, in the several years before his retirement, Mr. Hoyer served as CMS' liaison to the rural community. He received his BA and MA in English from Indiana University in 1968 and 1970 and his MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1983.

Todd Linden, MA
President and CEO
Grinnell Regional Medical Center

Mr. Linden is President and CEO of Grinnell Regional Medical Center, an 81-bed acute care facility with 550 staff members, as well as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa and Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center. Prior to joining the Grinnell Regional Medical Center in 1994, Mr. Linden served for five years as an Administrator in the Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, Iowa. His experiences with Hospital Administration have included large capital campaigns, infrastructure expansions, the recruitment and retention of medical staff, and quality management.

In addition, Mr. Linden is active with the American Hospital Association (AHA); he currently serves on the Board of Advisors for two AHA bodies, the Center for Healthcare Governance and the Coalition to Protect America's Healthcare. At the State level, he has served on the IOWAccess Steering Committee, on the Chronic Care Subcommittee of the Iowa Health Care Reform Council, and with the Iowa Hospital Association. Finally, Mr. Linden serves on the Board of Trustees for Grinnell College and on the Board of Advisors for the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Mr. Linden received his M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa in 1987. He has been recognized for his leadership by the American Hospital Association, the Iowa Hospital Association, and the American College of Healthcare Executives, among others.

A. Clinton MacKinney, MD, MS
Family Physician, Senior Consultant,
St. Joseph, MN

Dr. MacKinney is a Board-certified family physician delivering emergency medicine ser-vices in rural Minnesota. Dr. MacKinney also works as a senior consultant for Stroudwater Associates, a rural hospital consulting firm. Lastly, Dr. MacKinney is a contract researcher for the Rural Policy Research Institute. Prior to these positions, Dr. MacKinney served as the medical director for a large primary care practice for four years in Minnesota and practiced full-time family medicine for 14 years in rural Iowa. Dr. MacKinney graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in 1982 and completed a family practice residency through the Mayo Clinic health care system in 1985. He maintains Family Practice board certification and a Geriatric Certificate of Added Qualifications. In 1998, Dr. MacKinney completed his Master's Degree in Administrative Medicine from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. MacKinney's professional interests include healthcare quality and safety improvement, organizational performance improvement, physician-administration relationships, rural health policy, and population-based medicine.

Michael Meit, MA, MPH
Deputy Director, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis
Bethesda, MD

Michael Meit serves as Deputy Director for the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, part of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Mr. Meit is responsible for NORC projects in the areas of rural health, public health, and preparedness. Mr. Meit is currently leading efforts to develop a rural preparedness planning tool focused on urban to rural evacuation, a national survey of urban residents to assess their intended evacuation plans following a disaster, an analysis of rural public health financing, and a study of rural public health agency challenges and opportunities relative to agency accreditation efforts.
Prior to joining the Walsh Center, Mr. Meit was the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Rural Health Practice in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and co-director for Rural Preparedness at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Preparedness where he led the development and dissemination of national policy briefs including the Rural Public Health Research Agenda and Preparing for Public Health Emergencies: Meeting the Challenge in Rural America. He has experience working at both the state and national levels, first with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and then with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Meit holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of public health degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently chairs the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Public Health Interest Group, and serves as an advisor to the Texas A&M University USA Center for Rural Public Health Preparedness, the Master of Public Health program at East Carolina University, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ Pandemic Influenza At-Risk Populations Project, and Academy Health’s Public Health Systems Research Interest Group.

Patti J. Patterson, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Pediatrics, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Lubbock, TX

Dr. Patti Patterson is a Professor of Pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Within that institution, she has also served as Vice President for Rural and Community Health, Marie Hall Endowed Chair in Rural Health, and medical director for the telemedicine/telehealth program. Prior to joining Texas Tech, Dr. Patterson served as the Interim Commissioner of Health from October 1996 until September 1997, then as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Department of Health until December 1999. In these roles, she directed an agency with a $6 billion annual budget and a broad range of responsibilities including Medicaid acute care, licensure and certification of health professionals, as well as the more traditional public health responsibilities of disease control and prevention, epidemiology, health education, and environmental and consumer health. She has also worked as a family medicine resident at Texas Tech Regional Academic Health Center in Amarillo.

With a continuing concern for international health, Dr. Patterson has participated in 28 medical mission trips to South America, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Among these she helped set up basic health services, provided care for deaf children and helped to establish a regional public health hospital.

A native of Hale Center, Texas, Dr. Patterson holds a Bachelor's degree from Lubbock Christian University, an M.P.H. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She is board certified in pediatrics, completing both pediatric residency, and chief resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Karen R. Perdue
Associate Vice President for Health, University of Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska

Ms. Perdue currently serves as Associate Vice President for Health at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. She charged with developing academic opportunities for health professions, health research and distance education. In addition, since 2001, Ms. Perdue has served on behalf of the State Department as the U.S. representative to the Arctic Council -- an eight arctic nation governmental forum -- on sustainable development. She recently was executive producer of two public television projects, one of which was nominated for a 2006 Emmy and both of which received Telly awards in 2006.

Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Ms. Perdue served for seven years as the Commissioner of the Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services. During her tenure, she led the state's efforts in welfare reform, health care expansions, child protection, juvenile justice, public health, mental health, substance abuse and initiatives in primary care, suicide prevention and fetal alcohol syndrome. She also served as the Department's Deputy Commissioner, specializing in Medicaid, Public Assistance and rural health delivery. She also has been a newspaper reporter, a legislative aide to Senator Ted Stevens, and a Teamster during the building of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.
Ms. Perdue graduated from Stanford University. She is a member of her community hospital board as well as the board of the Providence Alaska Health system. She serves on the board of the Hospice of Tanana Valley, and is active in a community project to provide treatment for chronic homeless individuals.

Robert M. Pugh, MPH
Executive Director
Mississippi Primary Health Care Association

Robert M. Pugh, MPH, is the Executive Director of Mississippi Primary Health Care Association (MPHCA) and has held that position since October 1980. Mr. Pugh has been involved in the Mississippi health care industry as a health care professional since 1975 and has held numerous health care professional positions in state government as well as in the private sector, including hospital management and operations.

Mr. Pugh holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and a Master's Degree in Public Health- Hospital Administration from the University of California at Berkeley. He has a wealth of experience in health care management, health care planning, policy research and development. He serves on numerous committees and task force groups at the state, regional and national levels, addressing health care with specific attention to prevention and primary care.

Thomas C. Ricketts, III, Ph.D.
Director for Health Policy, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Ricketts is Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina Schools of Public Health and Medicine. He is also Director for Health Policy in the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. The focus of his research has been on policy making for the health care workforce and access to care for rural and underserved populations. He has served as director of the Southeastern Regional Center for Health Workforce Studies since 2003, and has chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee for the United Health Foundation's America's Health RankingsTM since 2001.

Dr. Ricketts works actively in health workforce policy making and research. He has developed national and state policies governing the distribution of health resources and health care practitioners. He was the founding director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research Center, which he led from 1988 until 2000. He is currently Editor of the North Carolina Medical Journal, having previously served as Editor of the Journal of Rural Health from 1990 until 1996. Dr. Ricketts has also edited two books and multiple articles on the use of geography in health services research and a standard text on rural health, Rural Health in the United States (Oxford, 2000).

Dr. Ricketts holds three degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He is a member of the American Public Health Association, AcademyHealth, the Association of American Geographers, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1997, Dr. Ricketts received the Distinguished Rural Health Researcher award from the National Rural Health Association, and in 1998, the Cecil G. Sheps Distinguished Investigator award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Julia Sosa, MS, RD
Assistant Director of Minority Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
Montgomery, AL

Ms.Sosa is the Assistant Director of Minority Health in the Office of Primary Care and Rural Health Development. In this capacity, she facilitates dialogue between community based groups and public and private health providers in order to establish linkages for effective health care systems. She assesses the cultural competence of Department program policies, their potential for reducing health disparities, and their ability to increase health care accessibility. Ms.Sosa also travels throughout the state to educate health officials on the needs of the state's growing Hispanic population, and to teach new immigrants about Alabama’s health care system.
Ms.Sosa has over 17 years of experience in both the delivery and management of health care services. As a registered dietitian, she has worked in different healthcare settings including inpatient, outpatient, long-term care, community clinics, and public health departments. She served as a health professional with the Alabama Department of Public Health for 13 years. She continues to serves as Co-Chair of the Alabama Alliance for Latino Health.
Ms.Sosa, originally from El Salvador, has also worked in public health and nutrition in several Central American countries. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and a Masters in Nutrition from the University of Alabama. She is a member of the Alabama Public Health Association, the Alabama Dietetics Association, the Alabama Nutrition and Fitness Coalition.

Maggie Tinsman, M.S.W.
Former Iowa State Senator
Policy Analyst and Consultant
Davenport, IA

Senator Tinsman served as the 41st District Senator for Iowa from 1989 to 2006, and as Assistant Minority Leader from 1991 to 1996. During her 18 years as a State Senator, she has served as Chair, Co-Chair, and/or Ranking Member for three Senate subcommittees that appropriate funds for health, human services, and human rights programs. She has also served on several Iowa State Committees, including the Healthy Community Advisory Committee, the Medicaid Advisory Committee (14 years), Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Commission (6 years), and the Covering Kids & Families Now Task Force. In addition, Senator Tinsman served as the Commissioner for the Department of Elder Affairs (8 years), on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and, prior to being elected State Senator, was elected to the Scott County Board of Supervisors (11 years). Senator Tinsman has recently been appointed to the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Wellness and Healthy Living, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the American Lung Association of Iowa, the Early Childhood Business Community Council, and Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies, among others

Senator Tinsman received her M.S.W. from the University of Iowa in 1974. She is actively involved with the Episcopal Church on both a State and National level. She has been recognized for her leadership by the American Heart Association, the Coalition of Family and Children Services in Iowa, and the Iowa Coalition for Housing and Homelessness, American Lung Association of Iowa, among others.