Select Page

National Consumer Advisory Board

What Is NCAB?

The National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB) is a committee of people who have experienced homelessness and been clients of Health Care for the Homeless projects across the country, and who are involved in the governance of those HCH projects. NCAB is a standing committee of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and NCAB’s elected Chairperson sits on the Council’s Board of Directors.


To be the vehicle for consumers of HCH projects to become a collaborative voice on national issues. We hold central the priorities of assisting consumers in the development of CABs and serving as a clearinghouse for information and assistance to consumers.

NCAB Steering Committee

Consisting of seven members (one chair, 2 co-chairs, a peer advocate, and 3 members at large) and 5 Regional Representatives, the NCAB Steering Committee is responsible for organizing HCH consumers to have voice in national issues involving the health care of homeless persons. To accomplish this work, the committee meets monthly by teleconference and twice annually in-person; once in October at the Council headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, and once at the National HCH Conference.

See your current NCAB Steering Committee

Review NCAB Steering Committee Roles, Nominations and Elections Process

View the NCAB Operating Guidelines (June 2019)


Apply to be on the NCAB Steering Committee by March 31, 2021



  • Supporting consumer engagement in governance
    • NCAB leadership works to develop relationships with consumers on HCH boards and CABs, and facilitate communication between local sites and the national work.
    • We are also interested in learning more about your consumer advisory board’s expertise and needs so NCAB can help further develop guidance and technical assistance for those wishing to advance consumer involvement in governance and CAB development.  Please direct any technical assistance requests to our TA Request Form.
      • NEW RESOURCE: Updated CAB Manual
        • NCAB has revised and reformatted the CAB Manual to include more lessons on effective CAB management, as well as adding sample CAB documents, and a workbook for CABs to develop their own structure and guidelines.
      • NEW RESOURCE: Virtual CAB Meeting Guidelines
        • Due to the Coronavirus, many CAB meetings have had to adjust to video or conference call. These are some guidelines and suggestions from CAB members who have organized virtual meetings.
  • Uplifting the voice of consumers
    • NCAB Newsletter: The Consumer Voice
      • In order to share our work and the work of our consumers nationally, NCAB is reviving it’s newsletter.
    • Consumer Participation Outreach Survey (CPO)
      • This survey aims to engage people experiencing homelessness in an active discussion about issues important to them, gain insight into the concerns and needs of HCH clients, and gives consumes a platform to voice these concerns and share their experiences.
    • NCAB Storytelling Manual 
      • NCAB works to train and support consumers in telling their stories to challenge the stigma of homelessness and shed light on the reality. This storytelling manual talks about key components in developing your story and emotional considerations for storytelling. The manual also includes worksheets to be used in developing your personal story.
  • Promoting national events
    • Homeless Person’s Memorial Day
      • Along with the National Coalition of the Homeless, NCAB and the National HCH Council help communities come together and show respect for those who have died while experiencing the tragedy of homelessness, while educating about the need to end these preventable deaths.
    • Summer Solstice
      • Counterpoised to Homeless Person’s Memorial Day, the Summer Solstice, a day filled with light, is a time to honor the strength and resilience of those who have overcome incredible barriers to end their individual experience of homelessness; while reminding us that together we can find the strength to create the political will to end homelessness for everyone.
    • HCH Day and National Health Center Week
      • Each year consumers and staff at HCH projects celebrate the important work done at HCH projects in providing comprehensive and quality health care to people experiencing homelessness. These projects organize events that promote the services and programs at these projects, recognize the incredible work of the staff, and advocate for policies that can improve this quality of care and bring an end to homelessness.
  • Engaging in Advocacy
    • NCAB members share powerful stories that demonstrate the importance of housing and health care policy.
    • Voter Registration
      • NCAB works with the National HCH Council to promote voter registration at HCH projects in order to help people experiencing homelessness recognize their right to vote.
  • Honoring Consumer Leaders through the Ellen Dailey Award
    • Ellen championed the unique voice of those experiencing homelessness to play a role in the decisions affecting their lives. The award that bears her name is meant to honor her memory and efforts advocating for people experiencing homelessness.

Join Us

Individuals with the experience of homelessness who have received services from an HCH project are encouraged to become NCAB members. Membership is free. NCAB members are Individual Members of the Council, and the NCAB Steering Committee is a standing committee of the Council. To join NCAB, please apply.


Get Involved

For questions send an email to or contact Katherine Cavanaugh, the Consumer Advocate, with any questions at or (443) 703 – 1320.

NHCHC Media Experts: COVID-19

To request an interview with a National Health Care for the Homeless Council staff or community member, contact Terri Woodmore, Communications Manager.

Council Staff

Hugo Aguas, MA

Research Associate

Hugo works with the research team to research health outcomes using data driven methodologies, Hugo collaborates with other community health partners throughout the country to develop educational materials pertaining to medical care for those experiencing homelessness. Hugo also disseminates data and provides ease-of-access to community partners throughout the nation, and assists in writing publications and scheduling educational seminars on public health amongst those experiencing homelessness.



Barbara DiPietro, PhD

Senior Director of Policy

Barbara directs the policy and advocacy activities for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This includes conducting policy analysis, providing educational materials and presentations to a broad range of policymakers and other stakeholders, coordinating the Council’s policy priorities with national partners, and organizing staff assistance to the Policy Committee and the National Consumer Advisory Board.



Tineciaa Harris MSPH, MS

Clinical and Quality Improvement Manager

Tineciaa works to improve the clinical environment in health centers broadly through education, training, technical assistance, and policy with a focus on quality improvement. Tineciaa operates on the national level in frequent partnership with both federal and non-profit organizations and leads initiatives that seek to improve health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.



Katie League, LCSW-C

COVID-19 Project Manager (Policy Team)

Katie works with the policy team to support the Council’s efforts surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. She works to identify and promote promising practices, common challenges, and key policy issues faced by the HCH community.




Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement

Courtney Pladsen leads initiatives to improve the delivery of primary care, substance use treatment, and mental health care nationally. She directs training and quality improvement initiatives, and contributes to research and policy recommendations on emerging clinical issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Bobby Watts has 30 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services, beginning as a live-in counselor at the New York City Rescue Mission. He spent most of his career prior to joining the Council at Care for the Homeless, which operates clinics and shelters and conducts policy analysis and advocacy in New York City.

HCH Community Experts


Kristie Hartig, MSN, RN, PHN, CWOCN
Topeka, KS

Erin Ryan, MSW, MPH
Senior Vice President, The Night Ministry
Chicago, IL

Return to main Experts Guide page


This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,967,147 with 20 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Copyright © 2021 National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Inc. 

604 Gallatin Ave., Suite 106 | Nashville, TN 37206 | (615) 226-2292
Privacy and Payment Policies