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Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program



The National Council’s 10-month Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program fosters emerging mid-level managers working in mental health and addiction service organizations. Individuals accepted into this highly competitive program are eager to gain the awareness, knowledge, and skills to develop and lead strategies to eliminate health disparities and inequality for minority populations within their communities. The program nurtures increased knowledge and applicable skills around:

  • Leadership Development and Management Skills ― Leadership styles and practices, adaptive leadership techniques, managing system change, building collaborations and working in teams, developing shared goals, change management and conflict resolution.
  • Health Disparities ― Building awareness and knowledge about health disparities and inequities, social determinants of health, cultural and linguistic competence, and successful strategies to address health disparities.
  • Professional Development ― Identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, understanding privilege and the ‘-isms,’ recognizing the value of vulnerability and personal power; ultimately charting a personal professional growth journey.

The National Council is committed to doing our part to cultivate a diverse mental health and addictions workforce, inclusive of development opportunities for emerging leaders within community behavioral health organizations. As such, we are pleased to continue to offer this program at no cost for participants, including all program activities, travel and hotel expenses for in-person meetings.

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program participants:

  • Regina Askew, Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers, Inc. – St. Louis, Missouri
  • C.A. Baskerville, Lane County Health & Human Services/Public Health – Eugene, Oregon
  • Allison Bernier, The Providence Center – Providence, Rhode Island
  • Stella Billings, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services – New York, New York
  • Thomishia Booker, Alum Rock Counseling Center – San Jose, California
  • Donald Desper, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation – Bethel, Alaska
  • Regina Ford, Mental Health Association of Southeast PA – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tom Hao, Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services – Alhambra, California
  • Christin Lett, Community Programs, Inc. – Waterford, Michigan
  • Jason Martin, Family Services – Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Paige Miller, Hope House, Inc. – Augusta, Georgia
  • Tamara Newcomb, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health – Sapulpa, Oklahoma
  • Poonam Patel, Passageway Residence of Dade County, Inc. – Miami, Florida
  • Felicia Prescott, Alleghany Highlands Community Services – Covington, Virginia
  • Denise Smith, Legacy – Washington, DC
  • Nicole Suarez-Bronfman, Northwestern Mental Health Center – Crookston, Minnesota
  • Staci Swenson, PrimaryOne Health (Columbus Neighborhood Health Center) – Columbus, Ohio
  • Jenny Tang, Providence Service Corporation – Santa Ana, California
  • Cheryl Taruc, Institute for Community Living (ILC) – New York, New York
  • Gail Taylor, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services – Richmond, Virginia
  • James Thompson, East Bay Agency for Children (T2 Centered Division) – Oakland, California
  • Tuesday Trott, Lower Shore Clinic – Salisbury, Maryland
  • Yvette Tucker, Cenpatico – Tempe, Arizona
  • Taslim van Hattum, The Louisiana Public Health Institute – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Brittany Ward, Primo Center for Women and Children – Chicago, Illinois


Participants are engaged through three in-person meetings, bimonthly webinars, monthly one-on-one coaching calls, and monthly peer-support calls with other program participants. At the in-person meetings, participants engage in a robust learning forum to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge of strategies to eliminate health disparities. This dual focus empowers new leaders, who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to affect change within their organization.

At the beginning of the program, participants develop a unique “Stretch Project” that is customized to benefit their organizations’ efforts to address health disparities and enhance personal leadership skills. All program activities are structured to support the implementation of a Stretch Project, with the final in-person meeting intended to highlight participants’ successes and tactics to promote sustainability.

This program is led by National Council staff and expert consultants who are nationally-recognized leadership development and health disparities experts. Click here to read more about the program faculty.


Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program applicants are highly motivated individuals seeking to expand their leadership skills and knowledge to reduce the negative impact of health-related disparities. Applicants are considered a “middle manager” within a community-based mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and/or recovery organization. “Middle manager” is defined as being an intermediate supervisor with direct reports and reporting to others within the organization. Applicants do not need to be clinicians, but must be able to directly influence practices to address health disparities within their organizations.

This program is only offered to individuals from National Council member organizations. If an individual is accepted into the program without membership, the applicant’s organization must join the National Council prior to the Introduction Webinar scheduled for October 20, 2015. We make every effort to select participants from provider organizations in varying states serving diverse communities.

For more information, watch this informational webinar or download the presentation slides. If you have questions, please contact Shelina Foderingham at

Note: Applications for the 2015-2016 Class of the Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Program are now closed. Thank you for your interest.


National Council Leadership Development Offerings

The National Council maintains a large portfolio of training opportunities for staff at every level. Learn about our Middle Management Academy, the 2016 National Council Conference, and upcoming National Council webinars for other leadership development offerings.

We also provide a consulting service line that can be customized to meet your organization’s unique leadership and development needs. Ask us how.

©2015 National Council for Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.