Select Page

Our Staff

The principal office of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council is in Nashville, Tennessee. Staff and contractors pursue our ambitious agenda in research, training, education, organizing, and advocacy from offices in various locations. Staff members include:

 

 

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS, CPH

Chief Executive Officer

G. Robert “Bobby” Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and oversees all aspects of the Council’s activity in advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, peer support, organizing, and fund development.

A nationally recognized advocate and leader in meeting the health needs of people without homes, he has more than 25 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services. He began his work with people experiencing homelessness as a live-in staff member of the New York City Rescue Mission in Manhattan. Learn more about Bobby.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292 | Email Address: bwatts@nhchc.org

 

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.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292 | Email Address: haguas@nhchc.org

 

Lauryn Berner, MSW, MPH

Research Manager

Lauryn works with the research team to support the Health Care for the Homeless field by developing and disseminating knowledge, increasing visibility of HCH-related research through publications and external collaborations, and providing data-driven support to inter-departmental teams and workgroups. Lauryn serves as the Council’s subject matter expert on housing and HIV, and her work has focused on the social determinants of health.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 230 | Email Address: lberner@nhchc.org

 

 

Alaina Boyer, PhD

Director of Research

Alaina provides oversight and guidance for the research activities of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, which include quality improvement projects and providing educational resources for health care clinics that serve individuals experiencing homelessness. She coordinates and facilitates the Research Committee and Practice Based Research Network initiatives, which are currently focused on improving health outcomes and providing quality care across systems for vulnerable populations.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 233 | Email Address: aboyer@nhchc.org 

 

Lily Catalano, BA

Clinical Manager

Lily coordinates the work of the Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians’ Network and develops resources to improve access to and quality of health care for people experiencing homelessness.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 231 | Email Address: lcatalano@nhchc.org

 

 

Katherine Cavanaugh, MSW

Consumer Advocate

Katherine staffs the National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB), helps to coordinate consumer initiatives, and further develops Council relationships with local Consumer Advisory Boards (CABs).

Contact Information

Phone Number: (443) 703-1320 | Email Address: kcavanaugh@nhchc.org

 

Andrea Crowe, MA

Advancement Coordinator

Andrea maintains the Council's donor and membership database; manages fundraising lists of individuals, organizations, and foundations; and provides a range of administrative services in the areas of philanthropy and member relations.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 234 | Email Address: acrowe@nhchc.org

Brandon de la Cruz, MM

Media and Technology Manager

Brandon manages media-based communication activities for the Council -- including webinars, videography, photography, and music production -- and provides guidance and support for information technology services.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 249 | Email Address: bdelacruz@nhchc.org

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.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (443) 703-1346 | Email Address: bdipietro@nhchc.org

 

 

Jennifer Dix, BBA

Communications Coordinator

Jenn provides assistance with the Council’s marketing and branding efforts. This includes supporting effective communication strategies via email communications, newsletters, marketing materials, website content, and social media.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 225 | Email Address: jdix@nhchc.org

 

 

Julia Dobbins, MSW

Director of Medical Respite Care

Julia joined the Council in 2012 and leads our work on medical respite care. She provides guidance and oversight for medical respite activities including training, technical assistance, and resource and program development. Additionally, she is the staff liaison to the Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN) and coordinates and facilitates the activities of the RCPN steering committee.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 232 | Email Address: jdobbins@nhchc.org

 

D. Michael Durham, MTS

Community Engagement Manager

Michael is responsible for strategic relationship-building and increasing representation of marginalized communities in all of the Council’s work. Leaning on these relationships, he coordinates the Council’s largely peer-to-peer technical assistance program, which provides support to health centers and other organizations serving people experiencing homelessness. He also supports the CEO in certain racial equity initiatives.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 246 | Email Address: mdurham@nhchc.org

 

 

Dorothy (Dott) Freeman, PhD

Senior Director of Advancement

Dott is the Council's Senior Director of Advancement and has more than 25 years of fundraising experience in a variety of areas, including service-oriented nonprofits, health care, and education. Heading the Council's Advancement Team, she leads our philanthropy, communications, membership, media, and technology initiatives.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (207) 333-8877 | Email Address: dfreeman@nhchc.org

 

 

Melanie Harper, BA, LSSGB

Director of Finance & Administration

Melanie is responsible for oversight of all the financial and administrative functions of the Council and staffs the Finance & Personnel Committee.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 229 | Email Address: mharper@nhchc.org

 

 

Darlene Jenkins, DrPH

Senior Director of Programs

Darlene oversees the work of the Education and Research Teams.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 228 | Email Address: djenkins@nhchc.org

 

 

Joseph Kenkel, BS

Research Assistant

Joey works with the research team to support the Health Care for the Homeless field by developing and disseminating information, increasing visibility of HCH-related research through publications and external collaborations, and improving the HCH field and community’s capacity for quality improvement and engagement in research. Joey also performs activities aimed to increase the knowledge base, skill set, and resources of health center staff engaged in supportive housing initiatives in partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 226 | Email Address: jkenkel@nhchc.org

 

Kelli Klein, BA

Behavioral Health Coordinator

Kelli provides technical assistance and supports the Council’s work on behavioral health and homelessness, focusing on the integration of behavioral health into primary care settings. She works specifically on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Center of Excellence (CoE) for Behavioral Health Technical Assistance (BHTA), which includes the development and execution of webinars and peer learning opportunities through communities of practice.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 247 | Email Address: kklein@nhchc.org

 

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. 

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292 | Email Address: kleague@nhchc.org

Cindy Manginelli, BS

Director of Community Engagement

Cindy directs the Council’s efforts to engage and create a diverse community of individuals, coalitions, and programs that directly address issues at the intersection of homelessness and health care. She also manages the Council’s ongoing work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the community of those who experience and address homelessness.  

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 239 | Email Address: cmanginelli@nhchc.org

 

Julia Nettles-Clemons, BA 

Administrative Coordinator

Julia has a variety of responsibilities in the areas of finance and administration that include accounts receivable and accounts payable, office maintenance,  clerical work, operations, and database support.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 221| Email Address: jnettles@nhchc.org

Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement

Courtney 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.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292 | Email Address: cpladsen@nhchc.org

 

 

Brett W. PoeBrett Poe, BS

Research Associate

Brett works with the research team to support the Health Care for the Homeless field by developing and disseminating information, increasing visibility of HCH-related research through publications and external collaborations, and providing data-driven support to inter-departmental teams and workgroups.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 242 | Email Address: bpoe@nhchc.org

 

 

Regina ReedRegina Reed, MPH

Health Policy Manager

Regina is responsible for representing the interests of the Council to policymakers and organizational partners in Washington, D.C., working with the Policy Committee to advance the Council’s advocacy agenda, developing policy positions and analyses, and mobilizing member organizations, service providers, and other advocates to end poverty and homelessness.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (443) 703-1337 | Email Address: rreed@nhchc.org

 

 

Caitlin Synovec, OTD, OTR/L, BCMH

Medical Respite Manager

Caitlin is an occupational therapist with clinical experience working with adults experiencing homelessness to improve quality of life and engagement in their preferred communities. As the Medical Respite Manager, she works with the Director of Medical Respite on projects of the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC) and the Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN).

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292 | Email Address: csynovec@nhchc.org

 

Cecilia Willoughby, BA

Training and Meetings Coordinator

Cecilia manages logistics and educational content for the Council’s major training events, including our annual National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium, Regional Training, and Governing Membership Meeting. She serves as the point person for these major training events working in concert with the Director of Finance and Administration, Administrators Committee, other staff members, and other stakeholders.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 241 | Email Address: cwilloughby@nhchc.org

Cecilia Willoughby, BA

Training and Meetings Coordinator

Cecilia manages logistics and educational content for the Council’s major training events, including our annual National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium, Regional Training, and Governing Membership Meeting. She serves as the point person for these major training events working in concert with the Director of Finance and Administration, Administrators Committee, other staff members, and other stakeholders.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 241 | Email Address: cwilloughby@nhchc.org

Terri Woodmore, MS

Communications Manager

As part of the advancement team, Terri develops and coordinates ongoing communications and media strategies, and maintains high-quality communications including mass emails, newsletters, marketing materials, website design and content, social media, and audio/video packages.

 

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 245 | Email Address: twoodmore@nhchc.org

 

Brenda Wright

Executive Assistant

Brenda serves as Executive Assistant to the CEO and is responsible for Board meeting preparation, special projects, and administrative support including scheduling, preparing executive documents and correspondence, managing travel itineraries, maintaining files, and other administrative duties.

Contact Information

Phone Number: (615) 226-2292, Ext. 251 | Email Address: bwright@nhchc.org

Homelessness Resources on the Web

The resources on this page are broken into the following categories:


Government

  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)—Members of the Interagency Council on Homelessness develop innovative $35 million-funding opportunities to improve the delivery of federal resources to help end chronic homelessness.
  • Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)—An agency of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services, whose mission is to increase access to comprehensive primary and preventive health care and to improve the health status of underserved and vulnerable populations. The bureau administers Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), authorized in Section 330(h) of the Public Health Service Act, which makes grants to community-based organizations to assist them in planning and delivering high-quality, accessible health care to people experiencing homelessness.
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)—An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services located in Atlanta. This site includes health data standards, scientific and surveillance data, health statistics, laboratory information, and information about grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—A HRSA agency that administers two targeted homeless grant programs: Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), a formula grant program created under the McKinney Act that provides funding to support service delivery to individuals with serious mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders, including those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, which enables communities to expand and strengthen their treatment services for homeless individuals with substance abuse disorders, mental illness, or co-occurring substance abuse disorders and mental illness.
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—Provides information about HUD programs, community and marketplace issues, housing options, and research on housing and community-related materials.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)—Provides information about veterans’ benefits and services including an online directory of veterans service organizations.

Housing

  • 100,000 Homes Campaign—The 100,000 Homes Campaign, parented by Community Solutions, brings together change agents from across the country to find homes for 100,000 of the most vulnerable and long-term homeless individuals and families by July 2013.
  • OneCPD Resource Exchange—Provides information for the HUD office of Community Planning & Development, including consolidated work plan summaries and funding information.
  • National Housing Institute—Covers housing and community development issues, includes articles from Shelterforce, and provides links to other housing development sites.
  • National Housing Law Project—Works to advance housing justice for the poor by increasing and preserving the supply of decent affordable housing. This site contains helpful information on public housing, Section 8, and other housing resources.
  • National Housing Trust Fund Campaign—A growing national campaign for a trust fund to support the construction or rehabilitation of 1.5 million units of affordable housing over the next 10 years. This site directs you to legislative advocacy opportunities to support the fund and to increase the availability of housing that is affordable for low-income people.
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition—A national advocacy organization for affordable housing. This site contains background information on housing issues, policy updates, and NLIHC activities.

Homelessness

  • European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless—FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, was established in 1989 as a European non-governmental organization (in French, FEANTSA stands for la Fédération Européenne d’Associations Nationales Travaillant avec les Sans-Abri). The some 100 member organizations come from 30 European countries. Members are non-governmental organizations that provide a wide range of services to homeless people including accommodation and social support. Most FEANTSA members are national or regional umbrella organizations of service providers. They often work in close co-operation with public authorities, social housing providers, and other relevant actors. FEANTSA, the only major European network that focuses exclusively on homelessness at the European level, receives financial support from the European Commission for the implementation of its activities. FEANTSA works closely with EU institutions and has consultative status at the Council of Europe and at the United Nations.
  • The Weingart Center—A non-partisan research organization focusing on homelessness and poverty, especially in Southern California. The Institute serves as a resource for the media, academics, policy makers and social service organizations. Resources include their free, weekly listserve alerting subscribers to the latest cutting-edge academic and policy research reports regarding homelessness and poverty.
  • Homelessness Marathon—A radio broadcast that enables homeless people speak to the nation from an overnight program that has originated from a different city each year. Host “Nobody” broadcasts from outdoors to dramatize the plight of people with nowhere to go to get out of the cold. For 14 hours, he interviews experts on various aspects of poverty in America (e.g., health care, hunger, public housing, etc.) and takes calls from around the country while talking with homeless people.
  • Institute for Children and Poverty—An independent research and policy think tank based in New York City that conducts national research on the causes of family homelessness, the demographics of this growing population, and the programs most effective in assisting homeless families to transition to stability and self-sufficiency. This site contains information for policymakers, the non-profit community, education institutions, and the private sector.
  • National Center for Homeless Education—Provides numerous resources on homelessness and education for homeless children and youth, the Stewart B. McKinney legislation, fact sheets on homelessness, resources for advocates, links to other organizations that work with homelessness issues, a monthly feature of a model program, listings of upcoming events, and a variety of other information and resources on homeless children and youth.
  • National Center on Family Homelessness—A non-profit organization working towards long-term solutions that help homeless families become self-supporting and active participants in community life. Its mission is to translate research findings and field experience into innovative programs benefiting homeless families across the country.
  • National Student Campaign against Hunger & Homelessness—A coalition of students and community members across the country to end hunger and homelessness through service projects and action. NSCAHH trains students on strategies to improve or create service projects that meet their community’s needs.
  • North American Street Newspaper Association—Supports a street newspaper movement that creates and upholds journalistic and ethical standards while promoting self-help and empowerment among people living in poverty.

Health

  • Association of Clinicians for the Underserved—Provides information relevant to clinical practice, research, and training for clinicians and organizations serving uninsured or medically underserved populations.
  • Balancinging Act: Clinical Practices that Respond to the Needs of Homeless People—A paper by Marsha McMurray-Avila, Lillian Gelberg, and William R. Breakey, describing special adaptations to clinical practice that are necessary to address the most common health problems experienced by homeless people.
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law—Includes information about mental health law and public policy related to mental health care and supportive services for persons with mental disabilities, including those who are homeless.
  • The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) works nationally to develop health care programs for the nation’s most medically underserved population—homeless and disadvantaged children. CHF brings medical care and essential services directly to underserved children in rural and urban communities via Mobile Medical clinics (doctor’s offices on wheels) and fixed site clinics. Moreover, CHF has become a major national advocacy voice on behalf of all children and has inspired special federal legislation designed to help create innovative children’s health projects throughout the United States.
  • Fact Sheets on Health Care & Homelessness—Compiled by the National Coalition for the Homeless, these documents examine the relationship between poor health and homelessness and specify chronic and acute health problems frequently experienced by homeless people.
  • Health Care Communities (formerly Health Disparities Collaboratives)—An initiative of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to eliminate health disparities and improve functional and clinical outcomes for minorities, poor people, and women through changes in health care delivery systems. The HCH Clinicians’ Network is a national partner in this effort.
  • Homeless Veterans: A Resource Guide for Providers—Compiles current information about health care issues and resources for veterans, explicates the complex array of services provided by the Veterans’ Administration, explores barriers that exist, and describes helpful collaboration between the VA and homeless service providers in some communities.
  • Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence among Poor and Homeless Women—Guidance for health care providers in identifying, assessing, documenting, and treating the medical and psychological effects of domestic violence; published by the Better Homes Fund in collaboration with the HCH Clinicians’ Network.
  • Migrant Clinicians’ Network—Information and resources for clinicians serving migrant farm workers.
  • National Health Law Program—A national public interest law firm that seeks to improve health care for America’s working and unemployed poor, minorities, the elderly and people with disabilities. NHeLP serves organizations and providers who work to preserve a health care safety net for uninsured or underinsured low-income people.
  • National Resource Center on Homelessness & Mental Illness—Resources include publications, annotated bibliographies, and information about training opportunities on issues related to homelessness and mental illness.

Policy & Advocacy

  • National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) – a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to solving the problems of homelessness and to preventing its continued growth. The Alliance web page contains information on programs, practices, legislation, and NAEH activities.
  • National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) – a national advocacy network of homeless persons, activities, service providers and others committed to ending homelessness through public education, policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, and technical assistance. The site includes a searchable bibliographic database with reference to research on homelessness, housing, and poverty; calendar of events; legislative alerts, and links to local state and national homeless/housing organizations.
  • National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) – provides legislative advocacy, public education and technical assistance for service providers of homeless veterans.
  • National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty – advocates to protect the rights of homeless people and to implement solutions to end homelessness in America. To achieve this mission, the Law Center pursues three main strategies: impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. This site provides information on homelessness and describes current projects, publications, and activities.
  • National Network for Youth – provides Washington D.C.-based advocacy to protect key legislation and funding for community-based youth programs, including those for homeless and runaway youth.
  • Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) – a non-partisan, voluntary organization that advocates for a universal, comprehensive, single-payer national health care program. PNHP has over 9,000 members and chapters across the United States.
  • THOMAS – online information about federal legislation. Maintained by the U.S. Library of Congress, THOMAS provides a searchable database of bills introduced in the 104th and 105th Congresses. It also contains the Congressional Record, searchable by keyword.

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 HRSA.gov.

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