Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Expert Work Group

Our Expert Work Group is designed to ensure that our research is relevant to decision makers (including federal/state policymakers and those in the rural health system), and reaches decision makers and practitioners who can use it to good effect. In policy relevance, we strive to address questions that are of national interest to core rural health constituencies, but also of concern to rural residents, practitioners, managers, and leaders. Within our areas of research, these are individuals who are well informed on issues of behavioral health, rural health insurance and Rural Health Clinics at one or more of these levels. We have sought members with national perspectives, state-level policymakers, and those with community and practice level experience who understand rural behavioral health and rural health issues more broadly.

Charlie Alfero

Executive Director, Center for Health Innovation, Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS)  in rural New Mexico. The geographically vast, sparsely populated Hildago County had been without primary medical care services for 10 years, but Alfero assisted community leaders to re-start HMS, a nonprofit primary health care organization. Since 1997, HMS has grown from a single clinic to a 12-site community health center providing primary medical, dental and mental health services across Grant and Hidalgo Counties.Prior to taking this position, he was the CEO of Hidalgo Medical Services.  He is the recipient of the 2013 Louis Gorin Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health, awarded by the National Rural Health Assocation.

Lisa Davis

Director, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, where she oversees the strategic development and implementation of the Office and is responsible for its overall direction and leadership, including ensuring it meets its mission of being a source of networking, coordination, and technical assistance to organizations focused on rural healthcare delivery; developing and sustaining linkages with state and national partners; and seeking ways to expand the Office’s role in enhancing the health status of rural Pennsylvanians. Lisa is past-president of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association. Her experience focuses on rural health issues, rural health policy, women's health, the health care needs of special populations, and the un- and underinsured.

Kevin Lewis

CEO, Maine Community Health Options (MCHO).Kevin comes to MCHO with extensive experience in healthcare management and advocacy in various leadership roles. Prior to MCHO, Kevin was CEO at the Maine Primary Care Association, where his efforts included improving health care access for underserved populations and representing Maine’s community health centers. He also served as director of continuing care at the Maine Hospital Association. Kevin has a BA from Dartmouth College, a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan, and is a graduate of the Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program at UCLA.

Gail Nickerson

Director of Clinic Services, Adventist Health, providing oversight for over thirty Rural Health Clinics in California, Oregon and Washington. Ms. Nickerson is the President of the Board of the California State Rural Health Association, as well as Chair of the RHC Constituency Group, Trustee of the National Rural Health Association, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, and founder and President of the Board of the California Association of Rural Health Clinics.