Suzanne Smith is the Chief Network Development Director for HCC Network. She has worked diligently to develop the HCC Network for the past seven years and has engaged more than 70 organizations to cooperate and collaborate in the HCC Network. She has a strong leadership development background, having spent 18 years with the YMCA in Saline County as the CEO. Suzanne currently oversees the Network and has helped to develop the Community Health Worker Program, has expanded the network programs to include 20 Project Connect events that have taken place, has put together a resource guide for each county that is served, and started a warehouse to address the Social Determinants of Health Needs of our patients and network clients. She also helped to implement the HCC Rides transportation initiative. Suzanne is also the lead facilitator on the CHW HUB ECHO team through the Missouri Telehealth Network and has served on the CHW Advisory Committee and has been board member for the CHW Association for the State of Missouri since 2019. Suzanne is excited to serve as the new Board Chair for the CHWAM Association.
Suzanne has been married to her husband David for 31 years and they have two sons and one daughter-in-law: Andrew & Alicia and Alex. Suzanne and her family like to camp at the lake, fish, and be in the outdoors!
Ciearra Walker serves as Project Coordinator with St. Louis Integrated Health Network’s Community Health Worker Workforce Partnership.
Her notable achievements and steadfast dedication throughout her undergraduate career gained her national recognition by President Barack Obama during his commencement address to the 2016 Howard University graduating class. Since the presidential recognition, Ciearra has been featured live on CNN, Detroit Deadline, Teen Vogue, the front page of the Detroit Free Press and was named Youth of the Year by Essence. Ciearra decided to expand her love for public health through a different lens, focusing now on the environmental influences of a youth’s upbringing. Using mentorship, academic empowerment and professional development as the main vehicles of service, Ciearra started her own initiative entitled, Cjs Corner.
Ciearra is on a mission to serve as a vehicle of opportunity for millennial’s and eager to get involved with those in her community. Ciearra received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Prevention Science from Emory University’s Executive Master’s of Public Health program. She is happily married to her long-term partner, Michael.
Hanna Oberg: I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a Community Health Worker-Credentialed at Family Care Health Centers in St. Louis, Missouri. I am a 2020 graduate from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with backgrounds in public health and interprofessional work. I have a passion for helping others, working with, and advocating for the underserved and underrepresented. Currently, I am the Housing Specialist at FCHC, collaborating with outside organizations to find safe, affordable, low-income housing options for our clients.
Florence Adegoke is a Quality Analyst/Health Advocate Coordinator/Program Manager at University Health Truman Medical Center, Kansas City. She has been in Public Health for over 30 years.
Florence works with the Social Determinants of Health Team at TMC in screening patients for social needs and providing resources to those who screen positive.
Florence is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Metropolitan Community College, Institute for Workforce Innovation for the Community Health Worker course. She was part of the team that developed the Community Health Worker Course. She has been an instructor of the course since 2012. She is a member of the Kansas City Regional Community Health Worker Collaborative and serves on the Executive and Capacity Building Committees. She also serves on the Community Health Worker Association of Missouri Board.
Florence serves on the Board of Agape Pamoja, a not for profit organization in the Kansas City area that works with Congolese refugees in the metro area. She volunteers with Fishes and Loaves, an organization that feeds street institutionalized homeless people in the downtown Kansas City.
Florence earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1984, from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria. Master of Public Health in 1993, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas in 2009.
SE Region Member-at-Large
Ryan Smith was raised in a single parent household within the city of St. Louis. Ryan learned as a young teen that equity in resources and opportunity for success varied widely amongst geographical locations, race and socioeconomic status. This was evident as he participated in a new “desegregation” program for a high school in Clayton, MO. He was bused to another community, outside of the city, and it was then that his passion to foster positive impact into communities that resembled his own ignited.
Ryan earned a bachelor’s in social work recognizing that most of the people attempting to help didn’t look like him, yet most of the people who needed help did. To date, Ryan has dedicated more than 25 years to social services. He charged himself to bridge community gaps through increased health literacy and community inclusion. Ryan currently works for St. Louis Integrated Health Network, connecting patients and people justice involved to medical and social service resources, as appropriate, to assist with system navigation and work on strategy that creates access and improved utilization of care/services.
In 2016, Ryan received his CHW Certificate through St. Louis Community College and has been instrumental in the CHW Workforce within the region, serving as a founding member of the STL CHW Coalition. As a member of the STL CHW Board of Leaders, Ryan provides voice to state departments, guiding strategy around CHW credentialing and sustainability.
In his downtime, Ryan enjoys spending time with his son and watching football. In 1997, Ryan started an adult flag football team founded on the values of fellowship, mentoring and healthy activity; this team continued to operate until 2019 impacting several generations of young men. Ryan is also the founder of Marsha’s Moms, an organization created in the memory of his mother to assist single moms enrolled in school.
Melissa Smith has worked for HCC Network since December of 2019. Melissa started as the Behavioral Health Coordinator. Since then, she has been promoted to the Director of Population Health where she oversees the Community Health Workers, Peer Recovery Coaches, along with the Health Centers transportation program. Melissa is certified as CPR/First Aid instructor through the American Heart Association and is currently working to become an Adult and Child Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Melissa lives in Buckner with her significant other, Eric, and her two children, Stetson, and Bryndle. Together they enjoy camping, fishing, hunting and being in the outdoors.
SW Region Member-at-Large
Kathy Mason, CHW-C: My goal is to help educate the health care system about the value of Community Health Workers (CHW). I would love to see CHWs reimbursable through insurance companies through billing codes created for Social Determinates of Health.
I have worked with community agencies and organizations for the past 26 years. My experiences come from being a home care worker, employee with Head Start / Early Head Start, receptionist at a Psychological Office and a CHW – C for Freeman Health System. I have implemented and run a Caregiver Support Group in the Joplin area. My passion for serving can be traced back as far as 1992 when I received Volunteer of the Year Runner-Up for the “Points of Light” Award. This was presented for organizing an AWANA Club at the Hainerberg Chapel at Wiesbaden, Germany.
One of my favorite personal accomplishments was the privilege of walking alongside a client and watching the growth she made to become her own advocate of her health.
NE Region Member-at-Large
Lorna Miles, CHW, LNHA, MBA, BS Paralegal Studies is currently the Administrator for Meadow Ridge Senior Living. She is a part-time Project Director for the Randolph County Caring Community Partnership Opioid program. In her spare time, she loves teaching Community Health Worker (CHW) certification classes for the state of Missouri and Kanas.
Lorna currently serves on Advisory and Curriculum board for the State of Missouri Community Health Worker (CHW) certification program. Within this role both as a board member and a CHW, Lorna advocate on behalf of people to exercise their rights and gain access to resources. Her advocacy work involves supporting individuals and the community by bringing awareness to issues impacting health. Lorna also strives to build capacity, because both advocacy and capacity building go hand-in-hand and can help create conditions and build relationships that lead to better health.
Lorna is the Co-Chairperson for the Northeast Alliance Advisory Coalition for the Missouri Office of Minority Health. The Statewide Minority Health Alliance; serves as a voice of advocacy and advice for the community in identifying and improving minority health status; serves with the purpose of establishing and maintaining meaningful communication on minority health issues; and to develop and submit specific recommendations to the Department of Health and Senior Services that will have a positive impact on minority health and wellness disparities at the local level and statewide.
Northeast Alliance Goals embodies the following; the “bridge” between minority communities and public health care agencies to provide better access to services and to influence policies impacting minorities, the Alliance offers open dialogue for sharing successes, problems, and barriers within the community and working together to create solutions.
Northeast Alliance Efforts Include: Prioritizing issues of minority communities in rural areas, encouraging minority participation in health programs, advising current community organizations on minority outreach, and identifying new community health partners. As the first minority elected to serve on Moberly Planning & Zoning commission for 2021-2024 term, Lorna leads by example.Lorna is the wife of Maurice Miles and the mother of one daughter, Justas
NW Region Member-at-Large
Amy Summers: I’m an LPN, CHW-C for Northeast Missouri Health Council in Kirksville, MO. I’m on the CHWAM board as Member at Large for the Northwest Region. I’ve been an LPN for 31 years and a Case Manager for 15 of those years and a CHW-C for 5 years. I’m a HUB member for the Community Health Worker Echo with the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine/ Missouri Telehealth Network since 2019. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family on the family farm in Northeast Missouri.
Central Region Member-at-Large
Yvette Chambers has worked with families for many years in many capacities including education, mental health, behavioral health, and community health. She has been with MU ParentLink since October 2020 and works with Kinship caregivers and foster care families to define their needs and access resources necessary to care for themselves and the children in their care. These resources include Medicaid, SNAP, health care needs, mental health services, respite care, and developmental screenings for children. She holds credentials as a Community Health Worker and has a Masters in Educational School Counseling and Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies-both form the University of Missouri. Yvette is married and has blended family with 5 children and one grandchild. Her husband love the MU Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, and relaxing at home.
Care Coordination Supervisor at KC Care Health Centers/ former Co Executive Director at Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
Atara Estes: I am a ICHW-C that works at the Integrated Health Network for the ReLink Program. I am a CHW-BH instructor for the STLCC. I am the Advocacy chairperson for the CHWAM and entrepreneur as a CHW and holistic health and wellness coach. My focus is post trauma to help community members with proper self-care treatment to heal, recover and thrive after trauma unashamed.