Staff

Hayat Abdullahi

Principal Impact Strategist - People

(816) 241-7006, ext. 724

Hayat joined Health Forward in 2022 and serves as principal impact strategist in our People purpose area. Before joining our team, she was a senior director of community health strategies and innovation at University Health. Hayat holds bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and psychology from the University of Cairo, Egypt, and a certificate in international organizations management from the University of Geneva.

Risala Allen

Executive Assistant

(816) 241-7006, ext. 170

Risala joined Health Forward in 2022. She is an executive assistant and works closely with Qiana Thomason. Previously, Risala worked as an executive administrative partner at Kansas City Kansas Community College.


Alicia Araujo

Grant Administrator

(816) 241-7006, ext. 121

Alicia joined Health Forward in 2015. She is a member of the grants administration team. She also provides support to our policy and strategic initiative team. Alicia earned her Master of Public Administration from Park University, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Nyack College.


Keonna Baldwin

Grant System Administrator

(816) 241-7006, ext. 107

Keonna joined Health Forward in 2014. She oversees Health Forward’s grant database and application review process. Previously, she was the team lead at Zimmerman Associates, Inc., which operates document control rooms for various government agencies.


Donna M. Bushur, MSW

Impact Strategist

(816) 241-7006, ext. 137

Donna joined Health Forward in 2015 and serves as an impact strategist in our People purpose area. Before joining Health Forward, Donna served as executive director of the Resource Development Institute. Past positions include coordinator of the Jackson County Safe Family Coalition, adjunct faculty at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Social Work, and director of the United Way KIDSAFE Initiative. Donna has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Speech and Hearing Science and a Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri Kansas City.


Brenda Calvin

Chief of Staff

(816) 241-7006, ext. 109

Brenda joined Health Forward in 2010 and served as an impact strategist until she was promoted to chief of staff in 2022. Prior to joining Health Forward, Brenda worked as a program officer and community relations manager for Hallmark Cards, Inc. She has served on a number of boards of health care delivery and youth-serving organizations. She earned her Master of Science in Management from Friends University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Park University.


Karen Cornish Guile

Manager of Grants Administration

(816) 241-7006, ext. 106

Karen joined Health Forward in 2005. She has managed grant applications and provided guidance to countless Health Forward partners during her tenure. As manager of grants administration, Karen collaborates with our impact strategist regarding grant strategy and processes. Before joining Health Forward, Karen worked for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and was a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Senegal, West Africa.


Eusebio D. Díaz, MA

Vice President of Strategy, Learning, and Communications

(816) 241-7006, ext. 118

Eusebio joined Health Forward in 2022 and serves as Vice President of Strategy, Learning, and Communications. He leads our efforts to develop and assess highly impactful strategies, deepen our learning from our work, and sharpen our influence in the broader systems in which we work. Prior to joining Health Forward, Eusebio served as chief of staff at the Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston, Texas.


Christena Diven

Director of Accounting

816-241-7006, ext. 117

Christena joined Health Forward in 2016. She is responsible for managing day-to-day accounting and financial reporting including payables and cash management, investment accounting, audit and tax, budgeting, payroll, and benefits administration. Prior to joining Health Forward, Christena worked in public accounting specializing in nonprofit accounting and consulting. Christena earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Missouri Western State University and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.


Andrés M. Domínguez

Impact Strategist - People, Internal Equity Fellow

(816) 241-7006, ext. 116

Andres has been with Health Forward since 2007 and serves as an impact strategist in our People purpose area. In 2022, Andres was also selected to serve as Health Forward’s internal equity fellow. Prior to joining Health Forward, Andres served as a senior community affairs advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was a director/senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Andres has a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Mary and a Master of Science in Education from Kansas State University.


Marylou Flandez

Administrative Assistant

816-241-7006, ext. 105

Marylou joined Health Forward in 2021. She serves as an administrative assistant. Previously, Marylou spent 15 years working with executives in the oil and gas industry.


Estuardo Garcia

Narrative Curator Fellow

816-241-7006, ext. 198

Estuardo joined Health Forward in 2022 as a narrative curator fellow. In this role, Estuardo works with our communications team to shift narratives and stories about racial and economic justice in our urban and rural communities. Previously, Estuardo served as community communications manager for Skilled KC.


Bradford Hart, MBA

Process Innovation Strategist

816-241-7006, ext. 138

Bradford Hart joined Health Forward as an impact strategist in 2015. In 2022, he accepted a new role as Health Forward’s process innovation strategist. Previously, Brad was a managing director with Carnevale Associates, LLC, a national public policy consulting firm. Brad earned a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University.


Ross Jensby

Communications Associate

(816) 241-7006, ext. 110

Ross joined Health Forward in 2017 and serves as a communications associate. He manages media relations, digital communications, and assists in developing Health Forward’s communication and narrative change strategies. Previously he worked as a communications specialist for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Ross earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University.


McClain Bryant Macklin, JD MBA

Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives

(816) 241-7006, ext. 128

McClain joined Health Forward in 2020 as director of policy and strategic initiatives. She is responsible for establishing the strategy for Health Forward’s policy priorities and executing a plan to fulfill those objectives through direct lobbying, grantmaking, and strategic partnerships and initiatives. Prior to joining Health Forward, McClain served as director of policy and research for the Greater Kansas City Civic Council. McClain earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a Master of Business Administration from Florida A&M university. She also holds a law degree from The George Washington University Law School.


Nathan Madden, Ph.D.

Impact Strategist - Policy

(816) 241-7006, ext. 220

Nathan joined Health Forward in 2022 and serves as an impact strategist with our policy and strategic initiatives team. He assists in developing and executing Health Forward’s advocacy strategies in pursuit of our policy goals. Previously, Nathan served as an evaluation analyst at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri.


Shannon Morris

Impact Strategist - Power

816-241-7006, ext. 139

Shannon joined Health Forward in 2015 and serves as an impact strategist in our Power purpose area. Previously, Shannon had served as program manager of residential services for SAVE, Inc. In doing so, he managed mental health support services for homeless populations. Shannon also has more than 18 years of experience in public child welfare and child abuse prevention. His focus areas include child welfare and family violence interventions, family violence system collaborations, homeless programs, and support services for HIV/AIDS populations.


Jane Mosley, Ph.D.

Director of Learning and Evaluation

(816) 241-7006, ext. 111

Jane joined Health Forward in 2007. She oversees all evaluation and research efforts and is also responsible for a small portfolio of grants. Prior to joining Health Forward, Jane was an assistant research professor at the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri Columbia. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Adriana M. Pecina

Impact Strategist - People and Place

(816) 241-7006, ext. 108

Adriana joined Health Forward in 2007 and serves as an impact strategist in our Place purpose area. Prior to joining Health Forward, she served as director/senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She earned her Master of Science in Education from Kansas State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri Kansas City.


Leigh Quarles, MPH

Impact Strategist - People

(816) 241-7006, ext. 141

Leigh joined Health Forward in 2019 and serves as an impact strategist in our People purpose area. Previously, she was a Project Manager at the University of Kansas Medical Center working on a rural obesity study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Leigh has experience working in both rural and urban health, community-engaged research, and oral health. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.


Kim Smith

Accountant

(816) 241-7006, ext. 115

Kim joined Health Forward in 2019. She is responsible for traditional bookkeeping duties including payroll processing, weekly investment transaction processing, and assisting with advanced accounting responsibilities and reconciliations. Prior to joining Health Forward, Kim worked in nonprofit accounting. Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwood University and a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University.


Cori Stites, MSW

Impact Strategist - Power

(816) 241-7006, ext. 119

Cori joined Health Forward in 2018 and serves as an impact strategist in our Power purpose area. She has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector — much of it involving safety net health care and mental health services. Cori has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas.


Jennifer S. Sykes

Director of Communications and Narrative Change

(816) 241-7006, ext. 125

Jennifer joined Health Forward in 2006 and serves as Director of Communications and Narrative Change. She is responsible for developing Health Forward’s communication and narrative change strategies. Before joining Health Forward in 2006, Jennifer was the manager of media relations and corporate creative design at Truman Medical Centers and worked in collegiate athletics at the Western Athletic Conference and the University of Kansas.


Qiana Thomason

President/CEO

(816) 241-7006, ext. 120

Qiana joined Health Forward as president/CEO in 2020. She previously served as vice president of community health and health equity at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC). Prior to her tenure at Blue KC, Thomason spent eight years at Swope Health as the director of clinical operations for behavioral health and program manager of the multi-municipality Mental Health Court. She also served as deputy director and health and human services liaison for United States Senator Jean Carnahan.


Angelique Williams

Director of Community Investment and Impact

(816) 241-7006, ext. 197

Angelique (Angie) joined Health Forward as director of community investment and impact in 2021. She previously served as regional director of development for the American Red Cross – Greater Kansas City Chapter. Before her time at American Red Cross, she was senior vice president of member engagement and inclusion at YMCA of Greater Kansas City. Angie has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Jason Williams

Principal Impact Strategist - Power

(816) 241-7006, ext. 123

Jason joined Health Forward in 2019 and serves as the principal impact strategist in our Power purpose area. He previously served as the director of the Mary L. Kelly Center where his work focused on neighborhood transformation, active living, and youth development. Prior to his work at the Mary L. Kelly Center, Jason developed youth and senior programs at Kansas City Parks and Recreation.


Christie Briscoe Zarkovich, CFA

Chief Administrative, Financial, and Investment Officer

(816) 241-7006, ext. 124

Christie joined Health Forward in 2021. She has executive experience in institutional asset management with large foundations and is a national thought leader in social impact investing. Prior to joining Health Forward, Christie was the head of impact and sustainable investments/mission-related investment research at Cambridge Associates.

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006