Geiger Gibson Program Recognizes 15 Emerging Leaders at the National Association of Community Health Centers Policy and Issues Forum

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK, NY (April 10, 2017) – Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) honors young professionals currently working in the field of community health. Community health centers and primary care associations nominate dedicated young public health professionals who exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers for community health and human rights.   

This year 15 Emerging Leaders from all over the country were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and recognized at an award ceremony held April 1 during the National Association of Community Health Centers 2017 Policy and Issues Forum in Washington, DC. “The Emerging Leader Award is designed to highlight and share the accomplishments of exceptional young members of the community health center movement,” said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy and founder of the Geiger Gibson Program at the Milken Institute SPH. “This year’s winners represent the next generation of leaders who are advancing the core mission of community health centers.”

The community health center movement started with just two clinics that opened in the late 1960s and has now grown to include more than 1,350 centers serving more than 25 million people in 10,000 communities in all 50 states and U.S. territories. These health centers form an essential safety net throughout the United States by providing high quality health care to people without regard to insurance status, race, family income or health condition.

“The 15 men and women honored by this year’s award are working on the front lines of the community health center movement nationwide,” said Feygele Jacobs, President and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, whose ongoing gift supports the Geiger Gibson Program. “We are thrilled to recognize their achievements today and look forward to their ongoing leadership.”


2017 Emerging Leaders Award Recipients


Phillip Ashley, MHA, MPH

Family Health Center

Columbia, MO


Christopher Baumert, MD

RiverStone Health

Billings, MT


Kristen Bigelow-Talbert, MSHM

Bi-State Primary Care Association

              Montpelier, VT           


Nataly Castro, BS

Lone Star Family Health Center

Conroe, TX


Katie Clay, BS, BA

Hudson River HealthCare

Peekskill, NY


Miranda Cox Cvitkovich, MSN, CNM

Denver Health and Hospitals

Denver, CO


Nieves Gomez Escamilla, CMPE, MPA, MSW

Columbia Basin Health Association

Othello, WA


Kari R. Hexem, DMD, MPH

Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers

Philadelphia, PA


Dana M. Kelly, MBA

Erie Family Health Center

Chicago, IL


Adrienne Meier, RN, BSN

Chicago Family Health Center

Chicago, IL


Katie Owens, BA

Iowa Primary Care Association

Urbandale, IA


Matt Percy, MD

Mountain Family Health Centers

Rifle, CO


Kristen Pieper, BA

Colorado Community Health Network

Denver, CO


Frannie Pryor, MSW, LCSW, LADC

Community Health Centers, Inc.

Midwest City, OK


Carlos A. Salgado, MD

Community Health of South Florida, Inc.

Miami, FL



About the Emerging Leader Award:

The Emerging Leader award was established in 2007 to highlight and share with the health center community the accomplishments of a new generation of health center leaders. One or more Emerging Leaders are selected annually by the Program, with the assistance of an advisory group comprised of health center leaders. The key qualities of leadership highlighted by this award are commitment, motivation, professional achievement, and leadership qualities that together further the health center mission.

About the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy:

The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy is a special initiative of Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.  Housed in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and named after Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers in community health practice and tireless advocates for civil and human rights, the program aims to develop the next generation of community health leaders by offering education, research and training in community health practice and leadership. The program’s research and educational activities seek to advance the education and policy development in the fields of health centers, primary health care for medically underserved populations, and health disparities reduction. The Geiger Gibson Program also offers a Fellows program, a health policy elective for medical residents, scholarship opportunities, an annual Distinguished Visitorship and more. 

About the RCHN Community Health Foundation: The RCHN Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support community health centers through strategic investment, outreach, education, and cutting-edge health policy research. The only foundation in the U.S. dedicated solely to community health centers, RCHN CHF builds on a long-standing commitment to providing accessible, high-quality, community-based healthcare services for underserved and medically vulnerable populations. The Foundation’s gift to the Geiger Gibson program supports health center research and scholarship.