Aylward, president of COMCARE in Washington, D.C., provides strategic guidance to organizations and initiatives that seek to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged people. He is leading the design and startup of NIMAA as a senior advisor to Community Health Center, Inc., a leader in providing primary care to the poor in the United States. He is also a senior advisor to Ashoka’s Health for All initiative where he has helped lead global initiatives to increase the wellness/vitality of disadvantaged populations (not just provide illness care). These person-centered and community-based approaches include a major focus on full nourishment, “door step” primary health, sanitation, mental health, empowering people on these matters, and other key contributors to human capacity. Until June, he was the executive strategist of the iThrive Initiative. Its mission is to accelerate the development of digital games to strengthen the emotional capacity and skills of adolescents, and thus improve their ability to succeed in life and reduce later mental health disorders. Until April 2011, he was the first executive director of the mHealth Alliance at the United Nations Foundation focused on improving global health with mobile IT. Aylward has 40 years of experience in public policy, information technology, communications, US and global health, and finance in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.
Blankson is the chief nursing officer for Community Health Center, Inc., overseeing diverse nursing services across the CHC network, including primary care, healthcare for the homeless, and school-based health services. AS CNO, she oversees the quality and expansion of nursing services, the development of nursing policy, and continuing nurse education. Blankson also works collaboratively to ensure Joint Commission and Patient Centered Medical Home compliance throughout CHC. Blankson earned her MSN at Yale University and joined CHC as a family nurse practitioner shortly after graduation. She has served as the on-site medical director of the New London county sites, the vice president of the medical staff, the chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and as a preceptor for CHC’s Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. She completed her DNP education at Johns Hopkins University. Blankson is certified and holds professional membership in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Brogdon, M.Ed., began her work with Salud Family Health Centers in Colorado in 2012. She designed and implemented the Salud Career Development Program for front-line staff and established the Salud Institute for Health Center Careers. In her previous 11 years with the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine, Brogdon served as project coordinator for several grants with the U.S. Department of Education. She spent five years as professor with the School of Education and Human Development graduate program at the University of Colorado Denver. Brogdon has four years of experience consulting and instructional coaching for the Colorado Department of Education.
Fignon has been with the Community Health Center, Inc. for two years, beginning as a HealthCorps member and later as the community wellness coordinator. Her work has focused on improving the health and wellness of underserved communities through education and empowerment. She has been working on the NIMAA project since its infancy, managing core members of the project team and helping to develop the vision. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and human rights from the University of Connecticut. She has worked as an administrative medical assistant in a private medical practice. Fignon is currently pursuing a dual degree at the University of Connecticut in law and public health and plans to achieve a career in healthcare advocacy and policy.
Klos is a medical assistant instructor at Porter and Chester Institute in New London, Conn. , who has contributed to the curriculum for NIMAA. Susan’s field experience includes 15 years as a medical assistant working for Gales Ferry Medical Group in Gales Ferry, and the Joslin Diabetes and Endocrinology Center in New London. Susan earned her medical assisting certificate from Ridley-Lowell Business and Technical Institute, her associate’s degree in general studies from Gateway Community College and her bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Connecticut.
Mark Splaine, MD, MS
Splaine is director of education at Community Health Center, Inc.'s Weitzman Institute with responsibility for contributing to and helping to coordinate all its educational activities. This involves work with faculty, program managers, and students. In addition, Splaine is leading the development of Weitzman’s portfolio of online educational offerings. Before joining CHC, Splaine worked as an independent consultant in healthcare quality education and measurement for EduHealth LLC as its managing director. Prior to that role, he was an associate professor at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Splaine has been a teacher of health professionals for over 20 years. He is professionally trained as a general internal medicine physician and practiced primary care for 16 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard College, his master's degree from Dartmouth Medical School, and his master's degree in the evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College.