Board Contact Information ·

Family Voices, Inc.

P.O. Box 37188

Albuquerque, NM 87176 

Toll-Free: (888) 835-5669
Fax: (505) 872-4780

2017 - 2018 Board Officers ·

Leolinda Parlin — President

Deborah Klein Walker — Vice President

Julianne Beckett — Secretary

Tom Rose — Treasurer

Leolinda Parlin

Leolinda Parlin · President

Project Director, Hawai'i Pediatric Association Research and Education Foundation - Honolulu, HI

Leolinda Parlin has over 25 years of demonstrable leadership in the areas of Medicaid, government financed programs, curriculum development and training.  She has specific expertise in areas of health care systems, program evaluation and legislative advocacy.  She has worked for and provided consultation to multiple state Medicaid programs, the Los Angeles County Hospital System, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.  She is Clinical Faculty to the John A. Burns School of Medicine and is the Project Director of the Hilopa‘a Family to Family Health Information Center and currently administers grant funding in excess of $4,500,000 in various aspects including the training of health care professionals and support for families in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities and related disorders.  In addition she serves as the Principal Investigator for the Hawai‘i Autism State Implementation Grant, the Co-Director of the Hawai‘i MCH LEND Program, the Co-Chair of the Ka Huliau Medical Home Transformation Project and is the Ombudsman for the Hawai‘i Medicaid Program.

Ms. Parlin has obtained over $10,000,000 in federal grant funding for the state of Hawai‘i in the last 10 years.  While she has the technical and subject matter expertise to address health care “systems issues,” she has the passion that can only be derived from being a parent and or family member of a person with a developmental disability.  Ms. Parlin was a younger sibling to a child with Cerebral Palsy who met an early death at age 8 due to medical complications and the lack of access to the technological advances in health care that exist today.  More recently, her first born child was diagnosed to be in the Autism Spectrum.  She has a unique perspective coveted by community providers, which is the culmination of her experiences in the operations of publicly financed health care systems, the management of health care provider practices, as well as that of a parent advocate and community leader.

Ms. Parlin is a recognized leader both locally and nationally.  She is a highly sought after speaker, trainer, and facilitator.  Most recently in 2011, she was requested by the Director of the Department of Human Services to serve as a moderator and facilitator for potentially volatile community discussions to address significant budget shortfalls.  In 2006, she was appointed by the Governor of Hawai‘i to serve as the Chair of the Hawai'i Early Intervention Coordinating Council, a federally mandated oversight commission to support services for children ages birth to three who have or are at risk for developmental delay.  She was also appointed by the state Legislature to facilitate the high profile and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Benefits and Coverage Task Force.  Ms Parlin continues to work very closely with the State Legislature and Advocacy groups and has had three pieces of legislation pass into law.  Annually, the federal Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) engages Ms Parlin to perform Title V Block Grant Reviews of the Pacific Trust Territories and Jurisdictions.

In recognition of her outstanding work and commitment to the advocacy of individuals with disabilities, Ms. Parlin was bestowed the 2001 SPIN Parent of the Year Award, the 2002 Aloha STAC Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2004 Easter Seals Hawai‘i Dwayne Brenneman Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Ms. Parlin is the first and only member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Hawai‘i Chapter who is not a physician.  In 2009, she was recognized for her leadership nationally and was awarded the Polly Arango Family Leadership Award and in 2012 was recognized by her alma mater in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, with the St. Joseph School Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

Deborah Klein Walker, EdD

Deborah Klein Walker, EdD · Vice President

Consultant, Cambridge, MA

Deborah Klein Walker, EdD, is a public health researcher and leader with over 40 years of experience developing and implementing programs and system change, research, evaluation, policy analysis and consulting on a broad range of public policy issues across the lifespan.  She recently retired from Abt Associates where she was a Vice President, Senior Fellow and Practice Leader for Public Health and Epidemiology in the US Health Division.  Prior to Abt, Dr. Walker spent 16 years at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she was the Maternal and Child Health Title V Director, Acting Director for Substance Abuse Services, Assistant Commissioner for Family and Community Health, and Associate Commissioner for Programs and Prevention.   As the Director of the Bureau of Family and Community Health for over a decade, Dr. Walker was responsible for all MCH Title V programs, including those for children and youth with special health care needs and special initiatives with Medicaid and other insurers related to enrollment, quality, benefits and building systems of care.  Prior to state service, she was a faculty member for over a decade at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

She currently is the Immediate Past President of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice (formerly, the American Orthopsychiatric Association); an Adjunct Professor at Boston University School of Public Health and at Tufts University School of Medicine; a Board Member of Family Voices, the Institute for Community Health and the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation and a member of the Editorial Board of the Maternal and Child Health Journal.  She is a former president of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; a founder of New England SERVE (an organization committed to quality services for children with special health care needs and their families); a member of the Research Consortium on Children with Chronic Conditions; a former Board Member of the Massachusetts Public Health Association and Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies; and a former Trustee of the Cambridge Health Alliance and chair of its Cambridge Health Department subcommittee.  

Dr. Walker has authored three books, over 100 peer reviewed journal articles and numerous commentaries for the Nation's Health, Huffington Post and other news outlets.  She has been widely honored by organizations representing maternal and child health services, disabilities, and at-risk populations. For example, she received the Paul Revere Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association, the Martha May Eliot Award for Maternal and Child Health from the American Public Health Association, the Vince L. Hutchins Partnership Award from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Ziegler Founder's Award for Visionary Leadership for Individuals with Disabilities from the Federation for Children with Special Needs, and the National Leadership Award from the Coalition for Excellence in MCH Epidemiology. She has served on several Institute of Medicine panels, the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, and in various advisory capacities for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Walker earned a B.A. degree with great distinction and high honors in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and an Ed.D. and Ed.M. degree in Human Development from Harvard University.  Follow her on twitter @DKWpublichealth.

Julianne Beckett

Julianne Beckett · Secretary

Co-Chair, Executive Committee for the Family Partnership Network/American Academy of Pediatrics

Julianne Beckett currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Family Partnership Network (through June 2018) under the American Academy of Pediatrics. Previously, she served on the Parent Advisory Group with the Section on Home Care under the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ms. Beckett is the mother of Katie Beckett who was the first Medicaid Home and Community-based Waiver child. The waiver was granted in 1981 and has become a vehicle for many persons with disabilities to receive care at home or in their communities. Katie passed away May 18, 2012. Ms. Beckett and Katie testified numerous times before Congress and worked on many projects in an advisory capacity for the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, at the Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Beckett helped co-found Family Voices, an organization dedicated to serving children and youth with special health care needs and served as its policy coordinator for 10 years. Ms. Beckett has written several publications including  “Health Care Financing: A Guide for Families.”

Thomas D. Rose

Thomas D. Rose · Treasurer

Executive Director, Family Voices Colorado

Thomas D. Rose is the Executive Director of Family Voices Colorado, a community-based nonprofit organization that strives to make Colorado a better place for families of children with special healthcare needs.  Mr. Rose is responsible for all organizational activities, including the Family-to-Family Health Information Center in Colorado, hospital-based Family Navigators who provide support for more than 5,000 families each year, all policy and advocacy activities including the State Medicaid Provider Rate Review Committee, and the Regional Transportation District's Advisory Council for Disabilities.

Mr. Rose has more than 25 years of leadership experience in management positions for healthcare-related service organizations.  Prior to coming to Family Voices Colorado, Mr. Rose was Executive Director of Summit Prevention Alliance, a Colorado nonprofit organization that provided community education and prevention programs focused on improving the health status of the community, Summit Prevention Alliance was awarded "Non Profit of the Year" in 2007.  Mr. Rose also has a background working in the fields of mental health and neurology, and early in his career served on the management team responsible for more than a dozen mental health facilities spread throughout six western states.

Mr. Rose currently serves on more than a dozen Colorado boards, commissions, task forces, and committees focused on healthcare for children with special health care needs and their families.  Mr. Rose is focused on maintaining benefits and services for families who have family member with special healthcare needs, promoting efforts to advance family and person-centered care for families, and addressing health policies that create barriers for families.

Board Members

Merrill Friedman

Merrill Friedman

Senior Director, Disability Policy Engagement, Anthem, Inc.

Merrill Friedman is Senior Director, Disability Policy Engagement for Anthem, Inc. In this position, she works closely with advocates and stakeholders to ensure the diverse needs and preferences of people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals with specialized health care needs are addressed in Medicaid managed care programs. Ms. Friedman oversees the integration of the independent living philosophy, principles of self-determination, and the National Advisory Board's six foundational principles throughout Anthem approaches, interactions and practices.

Currently, Ms. Friedman serves on the board of directors for Family Voices and the Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA), she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) and the NASUAD MLTSS Institute Advisory Board . She is the former board chair for the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and also served on Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary's Blueprint for Livable Communities Citizen Advisory Group.

In addition to supporting family and friends with chronic mental health and physical health conditions, Ms. Friedman works tirelessly to ensure policy, programs and services are sustainable and accessible to meet the health care and long term support needs for individuals with specialized health care and service needs.  Priorities also include engaging individuals and their families to ensure meaningful benefit design, person-centeredness, self-direction, employment and economic self-sufficiency, family and caregiver supports and integrated community participation.
Before joining Amerigroup, Ms. Friedman was interim director for a nonprofit foster care agency for children and adolescents who have experienced severe neglect and abuse. She also served as president and chief executive officer of a private organization which owned and operated residential treatment facilities, group homes, family preservation and in-home services in several states for adolescents with mental health and/or intellectual disabilities.
Ms. Friedman has held a number of leadership positions in the child and adolescent services field, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, foster care, mental health and substance use and juvenile justice, and has extensive experience in the areas of program development, new business strategy, marketing, merger and acquisition opportunities, and operations management of home and community-based services and facilities.

Dennis Kuo, MD

Dennis Kuo, MD

Division Chief of General Pediatrics, University at Buffalo

Dennis Kuo is a primary care pediatrician with a special interest in children with disabilities and medical complexity.  He is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, Division Chief of General Pediatrics at UBMD Pediatrics and an attending physician at Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo, NY.  His academic work has focused on family-centered care and family-identified health care needs of children with medical complexity, and more recently has evolved to care coordination design and health care system reform.

Dr. Kuo's interest in family-centered care dates back when he was a practicing pediatrician in New Jersey that cared for numerous children with special health care needs.  He has been a Board Member of Parents' Place of Maryland, and while in Arkansas, he helped found the Arkansas Family-2-Family Health Information Center and remained as a Steering Committee member assisting with staff training and project collaboration.  Dr. Kuo has held numerous grants in Arkansas and New York funded by the Health Services and Resources Administration, including the Arkansas System of Care State Implementation Grant for Children with Special Health Care Needs and the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems project.  He is the current Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children With Disabilities (COCWD), following six years of serving on the Executive Committee of the COCWD. 

Dr. Kuo's older daughter was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) in 2005 when she was five years old.  Dr. Kuo and his wife, Kathrine, have connected with many families and devoted many volunteer hours to the Arthritis Foundation advocating for awareness of JA.

Dr. Kuo is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He completed his pediatrics residency training at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and his fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University, and he previously served on the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis

Health Management Associates

Sharon Lewis is a nationally lauded expert in disability policy spanning home and community-based services (HCBS), education, employment, independent living supports, and person-centered services. At Health Management Associates (HMA), she works with federal partners, states, providers and consumer advocates to advance opportunities for people with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of community, across the lifespan. Ms. Lewisis a collaborator and consensus builder with a natural ability to put policy into practical perspective.

Ms. Lewis came to HMA having served in presidentially appointed leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, Senior Disability Policy Advisor to the HHS Secretary, and Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. At HHS, she improved access to quality integrated home and community-based services across multiple programs and funding sources in collaboration with states, stakeholders and other federal agencies. At HHS, Ms. Lewis co-founded the Administration for Community Living, established in 2012 to maximize the independence, well-being and health of older adults and people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. As part of the executive leadership team, she helped manage $1.9 billion in national, state and local programs. Ms. Lewis championed investments in preventative home and community-based supports and social services, reducing reliance on unnecessary facility-based care. In collaboration with CMS leadership, Ms. Lewis led significant reforms in Medicaid HCBS policy and regulations to ensure community integration and increase person-centered services. She also increased investment in research and development in HCBS quality metrics.

As Senior Disability Policy Advisor to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, and as a Kennedy Public Policy Fellow for the U.S. Senate HELP Subcommittee on Children and Families, she advised members on legislative strategy and disability-related policy issues in education, employment and health care, including passage of amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Affordable Care Act. At the state level in Oregon, Ms. Lewis led public policy, legislative strategy and grassroots organizing for multiple non-profit advocacy organizations and coalitions working on issues of importance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Ms. Lewis's personal passion is ensuring that the perspectives of people with disabilities, and their families, are central to the development of policies and programs that affect their lives. As a parent to three wonderful daughters, one who experiences intellectual and developmental disabilities, she hopes to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities for all.

Nanfi Lubogo

Nanfi Lubogo

Co-Executive Director of PATH--Parent 2 Parent and Family Voices of Connecticut

Nanfi N. Lubogo of Cromwell, CT, serves as Co-Executive Director for Family Voices State Affiliate Organization (SAO): PATH Parent to Parent/Family Voices of CT, a statewide parent support network for families of children and youth with special health care needs/disabilities. She serves on various committees, councils and boards both in CT and nationally. Current appointments include; CT State Innovation Model - Consumer Advisory Board, CT Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Advisory Committee & Family Advisory Network. Mrs. Lubogo represents Family Voices on the National EMS Advisory Council (NEMSAC) and as the SAO Representative to the Family Voices Board of Directors. Mrs. Lubogo is a Maternal and Child Health/Public Health Leadership Fellow (MCH PHLI) and Partners in Policy Making Graduate.

Jill McCormick

Jill McCormick

Program Director, Washington State Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment Family to Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC) and Salish Family Youth and Systems Partner Round Table (FYSPRT)

Jill McCormick is a parent of three young adults impacted with Special Healthcare Needs; a son on the Autism Spectrum, a daughter on the Autism Spectrum, impacted also by Behavioral Health Challenges and moderate asthma, and a son with a complex heart condition. This allows her perspective as an impacted family. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from University of Oregon and Masters course work in Special Education through Grand Canyon University. Ms. McCormick has been managing federal grants with PAVE for the last nine years and with the F2F HIC for the past six years. During this time, she was the Project Coordinator and in the last two years has become the Project Director. She has extensive experience in supervision, grant program tracking, direct services, and program oversight. She will have the responsibility for the day-to-day work within the grant, the development of training curriculum, as well as the development of reports for the Board, Advisory Committee, and funding source. The office of Director also has the responsibility for working with the many systems and community partners and to manage the sub-contracts and the contractual obligations that are tied to the Family-to-Family grant goals, Title V project work, and Washington State's Behavioral Health and Medicaid Transformation Initiative. Ms. McCormick is the alternate FV-SAO Representative for the Board. 

Aimee Ossman

Aimee Ossman

Vice President, Policy Analysis and Implementation, Children’s Hospital Association

Aimee Ossman is Vice President of Policy Analysis and Implementation at the Children's Hospital Association, representing over 220 hospital organizations and pediatric programs dedicated to improving child health through innovation in care, education and research. The Association advances child health through its children's hospital membership, advancing public policy, child advocacy, quality, pediatric information systems, pediatric operations improvement, and education across a wide range of legislative and public constituents.

Ms. Ossman leads the Association's policy analysis agenda, which supports children's hospitals' state and federal advocacy on Medicaid, CHIP and other policy issues. This includes leading the Associations efforts to influence development and implementation of major health policies that impact children.

Ms. Ossman joined the Association in 2001 as associate director, Medicaid and State Policy, and became director in 2005 and Vice President in 2014. Prior to joining the Association, Aimee held a variety of health policy positions inside and outside of government. She was a health insurance specialist with the Health Care Financing Administration (now Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), working on health care work incentives for employed people with disabilities. Aimee also worked for the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau on a variety of children's health issues, including issues impacting children with special health care needs. Additionally, she served as a health policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Ossman holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Public Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  

James Perrin, MD

James Perrin, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

James M. Perrin, MDis professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and former director of the Division of General Pediatrics at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and associate chair of pediatrics for research at MGH.  He holds the John C. Robinson Chair in Pediatrics and founded the MGH Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy, a multidisciplinary research and training center with an active fellowship program in general pediatrics, and directed the center for over 15 years.  He is past president (2014) of the American Academy of Pediatrics, former chair of its Committee on Children with Disabilities, and past president of the Ambulatory (Academic) Pediatric Association.  For the American Academy of Pediatrics, he also co-chaired a committee to develop practice guidelines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and then a group advising the AAP on the implementation of the guidelines. His research has examined asthma, middle ear disease, children's hospitalization, health insurance, and childhood chronic illness and disabilities, with recent emphases on epidemiology of childhood chronic illness and organization of services for the care of children and adolescents with chronic health conditions.  He headed the Clinical Coordinating Center (based at the MGH) for the national Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network and directed the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health, a multisite collaborative aiming to improve evidence-based care for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.  He also directed the Evidence Working Group reporting to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau for the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders and Genetic Diseases in Newborns and Children.  Dr. Perrin was the founding editor of Academic Pediatrics, the journal of the Academic Pediatric Association. 

Dr. Perrin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served on Institute of Medicine Committees on Maternal and Child Health under Health Care Reform, Quality of Long-Term-Care Services in Home and Community-Based Settings, Enhancing Federal Healthcare Quality Programs, and Disability in America; the National Commission on Childhood Disability; and the Disability Policy Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance.  His experience includes two years in Washington working on rural primary care development and migrant health.  After his fellowship at the University of Rochester, he developed and ran a rural community health center in farming communities between Rochester and Buffalo.

He received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.  He also served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  A graduate of Harvard College and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, he had his residency and fellowship training at the University of Rochester and has also been on the faculties of the University of Rochester and Vanderbilt University.

Peters D. Willson

Peters D. Willson

Senior Specialist, Policy and Constituency Issues, Association of American Medical Colleges

Peters D. Willson brings more than 40 years of professional experience in federal government relations and advocacy, including more than 20 years leading federal relations for the National Association of Children's Hospitals (N.A.C.H.) and more than 14 years as a member of the Family Voices Board.  As vice president for public policy for N.A.C.H., Mr. Willson directed federal lobbying, policy analysis, and grassroots and grass tops advocacy for the nation's children's hospitals.  He was twice honored by Family Voices for his advocacy on behalf of children with special health care needs.  Currently, Mr. Willson is a senior advisor and speech writer to the chief public policy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In addition to his service on the Family Voices Board, Mr. Willson is a current member of the Public Policy Council of the National March of Dimes Washington, DC, office, and a former member of the Board of The Alan Guttmacher Institute. He also served as a member of the Institutional Review Board of the Inspira Health Network in Vineland, NJ.  Mr. Willson was a full-time caregiver for two elderly members of his family from 2008 to 2012.

Mr. Willson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor's degree in government.  He received his master's degree in public and private management from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Marcia O'Malley

Marcia O'Malley

Former Executive Director, Family TIES of Nevada; Media Consultant, Reno, NV, Ex-Officio Family Voices Board President

Marcia O’Malley is a professional multimedia specialist with over twenty years of experience working with and for nonprofit organizations. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director of Family TIES of Nevada in 2003, Ms. O'Malley served as the organization's Outreach Specialist and coordinated the development of Nevada’s Family Voices. She also served as the state coordinator and co-regional coordinator for National Family Voices' Region 9 representing consumers in discussions regarding health care.

The parent of a teenage son who has Down syndrome, Ms. O'Malley has combined her personal and professional experience, resulting in major accomplishments.Such accomplishments include establishing the Nevada Family-to-Family Health Information and Education Center, co-chairing the Statewide Covering Kids and Families Coalition which promoted the Nevada Check Up and Medicaid health insurance programs for children, serving on the governor-appointed Nevada 2-1-1 Partnership, and on the Title IV-B Committee. Ms. O'Malley also worked closely with the state’s Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs Program on a number of initiatives including facilitating a parent-focused committee that addressed the underutilization of the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program.

During her tenure on the Family Voices Board, Ms. O'Malley worked to apply her nonprofit and multimedia experience to enhance Family Voices’ visibility, stability, and impact.