Our Staff

Office of the President

David Sandman Read more

President and CEO

David Sandman

President and CEO

David Sandman

David Sandman

President and CEO

David Sandman

David Sandman, Ph.D., is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), a private foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Since 2006, NYSHealth has invested more than $120 million in initiatives to improve health care and the public health system in New York State. Equally important, the Foundation is committed to sharing the results and lessons of its grantmaking; informing policy and practice through timely, credible analysis and commentary; and serving as a neutral convener of health care leaders and stakeholders throughout New York State.

Dr. Sandman was named President and CEO in 2016, after serving as NYSHealth’s Senior Vice President. Previously, Dr. Sandman was appointed by the Governor of New York as Executive Director of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the “Berger Commission.” The Commission was a nonpartisan, broad-based panel charged with evaluating and reforming the State’s health care delivery and financing systems. It developed recommendations to reconfigure the supply of hospitals and nursing homes to best respond to community needs for high-quality, affordable, and accessible care.

After serving as Executive Director of the Berger Commission, Dr. Sandman became a Managing Director of Manatt Health Solutions, where he advised health care providers, foundations, payers, associations, government, and companies regarding development of new health care programs, services, and restructuring plans. Earlier, he was a Vice President at Harris Interactive, a global research and consulting firm. Prior to joining Harris Interactive, Dr. Sandman served as Assistant Vice President at the Commonwealth Fund, where he was responsible for projects related to health care coverage and access, health care in New York City, Medicare, and quality of care issues. He also served as a policy analyst with the City of New York Department of Health; at a number of community-based HIV/AIDS organizations; and as a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Sandman received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Haverford College, and his Master of Public Administration degree and Ph.D. from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and a member of the Herman Biggs Society; he also serves on Philanthropy New York’s Board of Directors.

Olivia Williams Read more

Executive Assistant

Olivia Williams

Ph: 212-584-7674

Executive Assistant

Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams

Ph: 212-584-7674

Executive Assistant

Olivia Williams

As Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), Olivia Williams is responsible for directly supporting the president and assisting in the facilitation and execution of administrative responsibilities for NYSHealth. Her duties include coordinating meetings and travel arrangements; preparing correspondence and reports; maintaining schedules; and assisting with managing the executive office. Ms. Williams also serves as liaison to the Board of Directors.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Williams worked in the education industry for 10 years. She served as a high school teacher at Westfield Ninth Grade Center, Westfield High School, and Dekaney High School in Houston, Texas, teaching 9th–12th grade math to students in general education, special education, and the English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

Ms. Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Houston and a teaching certificate from Texas Teachers.

Program

Brian Byrd Read more

Program Officer

Brian Byrd

Ph: 212-292-7297

Program Officer

Brian Byrd

Brian Byrd

Ph: 212-292-7297

Program Officer

Brian Byrd

As Program Officer, Brian Byrd manages the New York State Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) Special Projects Fund, a $3 million annual funding opportunity that allows NYSHealth to respond to opportunities that fit the organization’s mission, but fall outside the Foundation’s two priority areas. The Special Projects Fund also serves as an opportunity to be responsive to the changing health care environment, especially to innovative ideas that emerge from the health field.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Mr. Byrd was the director for community partnerships for CARE, an international humanitarian organization. He was responsible for building relationships with policymakers, the media, and government and corporate officials. Before that, he was deputy director for membership affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Byrd has considerable experience in the health field. As a senior government relations advisor, he worked on public health policies and services in New York. He was also an assistant director with the Rockefeller Foundation, where he managed an HIV/AIDS project in Africa.

Mr. Byrd holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Public Administration degree from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He is a member of Philanthropy New York’s PhilanthroPost editorial board and Health Policy Working Group Program Planning Committee. He serves on the board of the Overseas Press Club of America and the advisory committee for Witness.

Victoria Casani Read more

Program Assistant

Victoria Casani

Ph: 212-292-7391

Program Assistant

Victoria Casani

Victoria Casani

Ph: 212-292-7391

Program Assistant

Victoria Casani

As Program Assistant, Victoria Casani directly supports the Vice President for Programs and the Empowering Health Care Consumers and Special Projects Fund program teams. She is responsible for assisting with event coordination, grants management, grantee communications, and research. She works closely with program staff to help design and develop grant opportunities.

Ms. Casani previously served as the Special Projects Fund Intern. As the Special Projects Fund intern, she worked collaboratively with program staff members to identify and support projects that address important health care and public health issues in the State but that are outside of the Foundation’s priority areas. Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Casani worked as a physician office assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), an institution dedicated to treating and researching cancer. At MSKCC, she served as an assistant to both the chief and clinical director of renal services of the department of medicine.

Ms. Casani holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Fordham University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree from the New York Medical College School of Health Sciences and Practice, with an expected graduation date of May 2018.

Nupur Chaudhury Read more

Program Officer

Nupur Chaudhury

Program Officer

Nupur Chaudhury

Nupur Chaudhury

Program Officer

Nupur Chaudhury

As Program Officer, Nupur Chaudhury focuses on NYSHealth’s priority area on building healthy communities, which leads neighborhood-level and policy interventions to increase residents’ access to healthy, affordable food options, improve the built environment, and link communities with healthy lifestyle programming.

Ms. Chaudhury brings a background in community-based health, urban planning, and community organizing. Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Chaudhury was the director of neighborhood health development at the Center for Health Equity, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In her role there, she led the expansion of the Shop Healthy program, aimed at changing the food retail environment in the City’s poorest neighborhoods, and was also part of the planning team developing the City’s Neighborhood Health Action Centers. She has also worked with Rebuild by Design as a resiliency planner post-Hurricane Sandy by building and strengthening neighborhood coalitions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Prior to that, Ms. Chaudhury was the first health coordinator for the Brownsville Partnership, developing its agenda linking the built environment, health, and violence to its work on active living and healthy eating.

Ms. Chaudhury holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College, a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University, and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and American Planning Association, as well as serves on the boards of Made in Brownsville and University of Orange.

Derek Coy Read more

Veterans' Health Officer

Derek Coy

Ph: 212-292-7295

Veterans' Health Officer

Derek Coy

Derek Coy

Ph: 212-292-7295

Veterans' Health Officer

Derek Coy

As Veterans’ Health Officer, Derek Coy focuses on expanding veterans’ access to community-based services; leveraging federal and private funds to increase the dollars available to returning veterans in New York State; and serving as a thought leader, convener, and advocate to improve the health of returning veterans and their families.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Mr. Coy served as the development manager at The Doe Fund, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycles of recidivism and homelessness, where he revamped and modernized its fundraising efforts. Before that role, Mr. Coy was the annual fund officer at the American Civil Liberties Union, helping produce STAND, the organization’s bi-annual magazine, and its annual appeals. Mr. Coy has considerable experience working in the veteran space, and used his role as senior development associate at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to advocate for changes in our nation’s capital.

Mr. Coy received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Alpha Theta, from the University of Houston Clear Lake, and a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern History from the City College of New York, where he focused on 20th century Iranian history. He is also a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and served a yearlong deployment to Iraq’s Anbar Province in 2005.

Blandine Etienne Read more

Administrative Assistant

Blandine Etienne

Ph: 212-292-7291

Administrative Assistant

Blandine Etienne

Blandine Etienne

Ph: 212-292-7291

Administrative Assistant

Blandine Etienne

As Administrative Assistant, Blandine Etienne is responsible for supporting NYSHealth’s team of program officers. Her duties include coordinating travel arrangements; assisting with meeting and event planning; tracking expenses and submitting expense reports; and providing general administrative assistance.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Etienne has used her customer service and administrative skills in the telecommunications, allied health, and publishing industries.

Ms. Etienne has an Associate’s degree in Biology from Kingsborough Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Cornell University.

Sharrie McIntosh Read more

Vice President for Programs

Sharrie McIntosh

Ph: 212-584-7676

Vice President for Programs

Sharrie McIntosh

Sharrie McIntosh

Ph: 212-584-7676

Vice President for Programs

Sharrie McIntosh

As Vice President for Programs at the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), Sharrie McIntosh, M.H.A., oversees the Foundation’s priority areas, Empowering Health Care Consumers and Building Healthy Communities, as well as its focus on Veterans’ Health and its Special Projects Fund. Ms. McIntosh plays a leadership role in further developing the Foundation’s program areas and ensuring the quality and accountability of its grantmaking through program and grantee evaluations. As a member of the leadership team, she assists in developing and implementing the Foundation’s goals and strategies; identifying emerging opportunities and strategic niches; and building partnerships with other foundations and key stakeholders.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. McIntosh worked as senior vice president and chief program officer at The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, where she managed the portfolio of programs focused on humanizing health care for patients and health care professionals, as well as implemented strategic priorities and cultivated partnerships and collaborations. She also was a vice president at The Lewin Group, a premier health and human services consulting firm, where she worked with a wide range of clients, including government agencies, hospitals, and foundations, on improving access to care for vulnerable populations, delivering culturally responsive care, and program design and evaluation. Ms. McIntosh also worked as the affiliations administrator at the New York University School of Medicine/Langone Medical Center, where she was responsible for managing its affiliation agreement with NYC Health + Hospitals.

Ms. McIntosh received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master in Health Administration degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Stephanie Mehlman Read more

Special Projects Fund Intern

Stephanie Mehlman

Ph: 212-584-7686

Special Projects Fund Intern

Stephanie Mehlman

Stephanie Mehlman

Ph: 212-584-7686

Special Projects Fund Intern

Stephanie Mehlman

As an intern, Stephanie Mehlman provides support to NYSHealth’s Special Projects Fund. She works closely with staff to identify and support projects that address important health care and public health issues in New York State that are outside the scope of the Foundation’s priority areas.

Ms. Mehlman previously served as an intern for the Research Management Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she supported process improvement initiative needs of the department and gained experience in managing the grant application process for hospital-based researchers.  While an undergraduate, Ms. Mehlman worked on a quality improvement program at Ocshner Hospital that aimed to reduce the 30-day readmissions rate of Medicare outpatients.

Ms. Mehlman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Tulane University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Health Administration degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, with an expected graduation date of May 2018.

Amy Shefrin Read more

Program Officer

Amy Shefrin

Ph: 212-584-7673

Program Officer

Amy Shefrin

Amy Shefrin

Ph: 212-584-7673

Program Officer

Amy Shefrin

As Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), Amy Shefrin works with program staff, grantees, and key stakeholders to develop new ideas and practical solutions to policy questions. She manages projects related to NYSHealth’s work on empowering health care consumers to better advance the needs of patients and consumers in the health care system. She has worked on a wide range of projects, including efforts to innovate new models and payment arrangements, maximize enrollment in coverage, address the needs of undocumented immigrants, inform implementation of health reform in New York State, expand safety-net providers, leverage federal options for high-need populations, and pursue emerging opportunities.

Ms. Shefrin brings to NYSHealth a background in nonprofit capacity building, coverage expansion initiatives, and research and analysis designed to directly inform policy. Prior to joining NYSHealth in August 2011, she served as a senior analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, conducting health policy studies for Congress. Previously she worked for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Health Insurance Access to expand access to coverage in the public and private health insurance markets. Ms. Shefrin has also worked for the U.S. Senate, the New York City Office of Management and Budget, and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice.

Ms. Shefrin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Bronwyn Starr Read more

Program Officer

Bronwyn Starr

Ph: 212-292-7855

Program Officer

Bronwyn Starr

Bronwyn Starr

Ph: 212-292-7855

Program Officer

Bronwyn Starr

As Program Officer, Bronwyn Starr focuses on NYSHealth’s priority area on building healthy communities, which leads neighborhood-level and policy interventions to increase residents’ access to healthy, affordable food options, improve the built environment, and link communities with healthy lifestyle programming. Ms. Starr also has managed projects to support county health departments in reducing health disparities and preventing chronic disease; expand primary care access and capacity in the most rural parts of New York State; and increase recruitment and retention of New York State’s primary care workforce.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Starr led a program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that helped primary care providers improve medication adherence for their patients. She previously worked in the international health sector with Catholic Relief Services and Planned Parenthood, and was a New York City emergency medical technician for 10 years.

Ms. Starr holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Health degree from New York University. She serves on the steering committee for Community Food Funders.

Liz Ward Read more

Senior Program Assistant

Liz Ward

Ph: 212-584-7681

Senior Program Assistant

Liz Ward

Liz Ward

Ph: 212-584-7681

Senior Program Assistant

Liz Ward

As Senior Program Assistant, Liz Ward directly supports the Vice President and the team of program officers and associates responsible for NYSHealth’s work on building healthy communities and veterans’ health. She is responsible for assisting senior management and program staff with event coordination, grants management, grantee communications, background research, and financial accounting. She works closely with program staff to help design and develop grant opportunities.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Ward worked as an executive assistant for a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm. She was responsible for assisting with event planning, communications, public relations, and general administration. Ms. Ward also worked as a paralegal for the Consumer Assistance Program at Health Law Advocates and as a development intern at Health Care for All, both in her hometown of Boston. She also worked at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Western MA Food Bank, where she assisted people with their SNAP benefits applications and helped organize community outreach events.

Ms. Ward earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a certificate in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Policy and Research

Emma Wager Read more

Policy and Research Associate

Emma Wager

Ph: 212-584-7678

Policy and Research Associate

Emma Wager

Emma Wager

Ph: 212-584-7678

Policy and Research Associate

Emma Wager

As Policy and Research Associate, Emma Wager works in collaboration with the Director of Policy and Research to enhance the Foundation’s internal analytic capabilities. Ms. Wager also works with program and communications staff on conducting research and analytics to inform the Foundation’s policy agenda and contribute to internal and external publications.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Wager served as a fellow at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) in Boston. At HPC, she worked with a team to implement a first-in-the-nation program aimed at regulating cost growth among state payers and providers through the development of state-mandated performance improvement plans for organizations with excessive spending. She has previously worked as a research assistant at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and as an intern at the Connecticut State Senate.

Ms. Wager has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University.

Mark Zezza Read more

Director of Policy and Research

Mark Zezza

Ph: 212-584-7672

Director of Policy and Research

Mark Zezza

Mark Zezza

Ph: 212-584-7672

Director of Policy and Research

Mark Zezza

As Director of Policy and Research at the New York State Health Foundation, Mark Zezza, Ph.D., works in close partnership with Foundation staff to develop the evidence base necessary to support a proactive policy agenda that advances and magnifies outcomes in the Foundation’s key programmatic areas of Empowering Health Care Consumers and Building Healthy Communities.

Dr. Zezza joined the Foundation after spending nearly two decades using advanced analytics to evaluate the impact of various health policy initiatives for private payers and providers, as well as for local and federal government agencies. As a vice president at the Lewin Group, he was responsible for applying economic, financial, and statistical tools to design and evaluate health care policies. While at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Dr. Zezza analyzed all facets of Medicare payments to private plans participating in Medicare managed care programs, as well as updates to payment systems for hospitals. Dr. Zezza has also worked as a research director for The Brookings Institution, helping to launch pilot initiatives in accountable care delivery models. At The Commonwealth Fund, he worked with leading researchers and health care provider organizations across the country to identify best practices in changing provider incentives based on concepts from behavioral economics, cognitive psychology, and organizational innovation.

Dr. Zezza holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Dickinson College, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from The New School, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Communications

Maureen Cozine Read more

Senior Director, Communications

Maureen Cozine

Ph: 212-292-7752

Senior Director, Communications

Maureen Cozine

Maureen Cozine

Ph: 212-292-7752

Senior Director, Communications

Maureen Cozine

As Senior Director, Communications, Maureen Cozine oversees all communications activities for the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). She is responsible for developing the overall communications strategy to advance NYSHealth’s mission to improve the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. The Foundation’s key communications priorities include sharing the results and lessons of the Foundation’s grantmaking; developing and disseminating timely, credible analyses of and commentary on pressing policy issues; and serving as a neutral convener of health care leaders and stakeholders throughout New York State.

Prior to joining NYSHealth in January 2010, Ms. Cozine held a number of positions at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), most recently as senior communications officer and director of policy connections. In that role, she managed RWJF’s relationships with federal policymakers and worked with grantees to communicate effectively and build relationships with elected officials, the media, and other key audiences.

Ms. Cozine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Colgate University and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She serves on the board of the Communications Network, a national membership organization for communications professionals working in the social sector.

Stephany Fong Read more

Senior Communications Associate

Stephany Fong

Senior Communications Associate

Stephany Fong

Stephany Fong

Senior Communications Associate

Stephany Fong

As Senior Communications Associate, Stephany Fong supports NYSHealth’s communications strategies through capturing and sharing stories, news, and information relevant to NYSHealth’s mission. She is responsible for developing the Foundation’s social media presence, updating and streamlining website content, promoting the Foundation’s work, and drafting and editing written materials for external and internal audiences.

Prior to joining NYSHealth in 2015, Ms. Fong served as a Health Promotion Assistant at Columbia University’s Alice! Health Promotion office, developing and implementing health initiatives to improve physical activity, nutrition, and healthy relationships among students. Previously, Ms. Fong interned at Camino Public Relations, American Heart Association, and Orange County Health Care Agency.

Ms. Fong holds a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She serves on the editorial board of Philanthropy New York’s PhilanthroPost and on the Engagement Advisory Council at The New York Women’s Foundation.

Michele McEvoy Read more

Communications Officer

Michele McEvoy

Ph: 212-292-7293

Communications Officer

Michele McEvoy

Michele McEvoy

Ph: 212-292-7293

Communications Officer

Michele McEvoy

As Communications Officer, Michele McEvoy is responsible for supporting the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) communications initiatives. Her duties include assisting with press releases and Foundation-related announcements, editing NYSHealth publications and materials, and maintaining the Foundation’s website. Ms. McEvoy serves as the liaison for reporters and researchers seeking information about the Foundation’s work.

Ms. McEvoy has more than 10 years experience in the nonprofit field. Prior to joining the Foundation in January 2011, Ms. McEvoy was director of communications and fundraising at Grace Institute, a nonprofit providing tuition-free job training to underserved New York City-area women. Ms. McEvoy has also worked for the American Society for Microbiology as part of the production team for Microbe, the Society’s monthly magazine.

Ms. McEvoy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from University of Maryland at College Park and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University.

Alexandra Smith Read more

Communications Intern

Alexandra Smith

Ph: 212-584-7688

Communications Intern

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith

Ph: 212-584-7688

Communications Intern

Alexandra Smith

As the Communications Intern, Alexandra Smith works to support the Foundation’s marketing and communications initiatives. Ms. Smith assists the communications department in maintaining the Foundation’s website and editing NYSHealth written materials, publications, and grant outcome reports.

Prior to joining NYSHealth, Ms. Smith worked as a fellowship associate at Echoing Green, a leading social enterprise funder. She was responsible for building and strengthening Echoing Green’s community of fellows through event programming, online community management, and other special projects.

Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from New York University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy Analysis at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with an expected graduation date of May 2018.

Finance, Operations, and Investment

Amy Driver Read more

Senior Director, Finance and Operations

Amy Driver

Senior Director, Finance and Operations

Amy Driver

Amy Driver

Senior Director, Finance and Operations

Amy Driver

As Senior Director, Finance and Operations, Amy Driver oversees finance and operations activities for the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). She is responsible for implementing policies and procedures that promote good stewardship of the Foundation’s resources. Ms. Driver oversees accounting, human resources, grants management, and facilities. She is responsible for the annual audit and tax returns. Ms. Driver’s priorities are to ensure that NYSHealth is an excellent workplace, that its operations are efficient, and that its legal and financial compliance requirements are met.

Ms. Driver has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in finance, administration, fundraising, and public affairs. She joined NYSHealth after 10 years in finance and administration for Children’s Rights, an advocacy organization working to reform the child welfare system nationwide.

Ms. Driver received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Area Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Elisa Nikoloulias Read more

Finance ​and HR Associate

Elisa Nikoloulias

Finance ​and HR Associate

Elisa Nikoloulias

Elisa Nikoloulias

Finance ​and HR Associate

Elisa Nikoloulias

As the Finance and HR Associate, Elisa Nikoloulias is responsible for accounts payable and receivable, payroll, reconciliations, vendor management, grants accounting, investment accounting, and assistance with the annual audit and budget. She also assists with Human Resources, including benefits administration and annual benefits review.

Ms. Nikoloulias worked in the finance departments of two top theatrical publishing houses before transitioning her love of education, human rights, and finance to the nonprofit world where she was the finance and operations manager for the National School Climate Center, a nonprofit that helps schools integrate crucial social and emotional learning with academic instruction. Prior to joining the Foundation in June 2011, she was the finance manager for PILnet, a nonprofit focused on connecting with local partners to develop the institutions essential to rights-respecting societies.

Ms. Nikoloulias graduated from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater/Communications. She is a Certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional.

Nick Smirensky Read more

Chief Investment Officer

Nick Smirensky

Ph: 212-584-7670

Chief Investment Officer

Nick Smirensky

Nick Smirensky

Ph: 212-584-7670

Chief Investment Officer

Nick Smirensky

As Chief Investment Officer, Nick Smirensky is responsible for managing the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) investment portfolio and developing its investment strategy. He works with the Foundation’s Investment Committee to develop asset allocation policy, selects investment vehicles, and evaluates performance.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Smirensky was deputy chief investment officer and director of alternative investments with the $155 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund. He was director of New York’s College Savings Program and director of budget and financial analysis at the New York State Comptroller’s Office prior to joining the Common Retirement Fund.

Mr. Smirensky holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, and a Master of Arts degree from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Columbia University. Mr. Smirensky is a trustee and a member of the Investment Committee of the New York State Teachers Retirement System and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Administration. He is also a member of the board of directors of the National Health Law Program.

Ursula Stewart Read more

Grants Manager

Ursula Stewart

Grants Manager

Ursula Stewart

Ursula Stewart

Grants Manager

Ursula Stewart

As Grants Manager, Ursula Stewart is responsible for ensuring that best practices are followed in compliance with regulatory and audit requirements. In addition, Ms. Stewart oversees the overall success of the database environment by implementing strategic solutions to continuously enhance NYSHealth processes.

Ms. Stewart has more than 25 years of grants management and grants management information data systems administration experience. She serves on the Salesforce Foundation Customer Advisory Council and was recently recognized by Salesforce with a Salesforce Trailblazer Award in the category of innovation. She has keynoted and presented at numerous philanthropic and technology conferences and events; provides strategic analysis of philanthropic processes and systems data management expertise to many philanthropic organizations; and is recognized for leading NYSHealth’s innovative use of its grants management system. She was co-chair of the 2016 Grants Managers Network Conference. Previously, she served as client relations specialist at MicroEdge, a technology provider for the philanthropic community. In this role, Ms. Stewart was the liaison between MicroEdge and grants management professionals throughout the country and internationally, as well as managed the development of educational sessions for the company’s annual conference. In her earlier grants management experience, Ms. Stewart worked for the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. She was co-chair of the Grants Managers Network and led its transition to a national nonprofit organization. She is a co-author of “Best Practices in Grants Management,” a guide to administering a grantmaking program.

Ms. Stewart is president of and meeting facilitator for the Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Dr. Alvin S. Teirstein Sarcoidosis Support Group. She has also served as an advisory board member for PEAK Grantmaking New York region and chaired its program and membership committees. Ms. Stewart attended the Juilliard School with studies in French horn and music composition.

Brunnie Urena Read more

Receptionist / Senior Office Assistant

Brunnie Urena

Ph: 212-584-7682

Receptionist / Senior Office Assistant

Brunnie Urena

Brunnie Urena

Ph: 212-584-7682

Receptionist / Senior Office Assistant

Brunnie Urena

Brunnie Urena has more than 14 years of administrative experience in nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining the New York State Health Foundation, Ms. Urena was an administrative assistant at the Salvation Army of Greater New York where she served in the training department and assisted with scheduling, preparing curriculum and training materials, and performing a variety of other administrative tasks.

Our Board

NYSHealth is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, with one-third (respectively) appointed by the State Governor, the President of the State Senate, and the State Assembly Leader. The Board members serve three-year renewable terms. While all Board members participate actively in the governance and guidance of the Foundation, three—Courtney Burke, Ellen Rautenberg, and Robert G. Smith—are voting members.

Ellen Rautenberg (Chair)

President and CEO (Retired)

Public Health Solutions

Courtney Burke

Chief Operating Officer

Healthcare Association of New York State

Mary E. Craig, M.S.H.C.

President & CEO

Mary Craig Consulting Services, LLC

Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D.

Radiologist, Author

Michelle A. Koury, M.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Crystal Run Healthcare

John T. Lane

Managing Director (Retired)

J.P. Morgan

Kathleen Preston

Vice President, Government Programs

New York Health Plan Association

Robert G. Smith, Ph.D.

Founder and Chief Investment Officer

Smith Affiliated Capital Corp.

Community Advisory Committee

The Community Advisory Committee serves to broaden community input and perspectives on the development and implementation of activities related to NYSHealth’s strategic priorities. Committee members inform the Foundation’s strategies and plans, serve as a source of local expertise and connections in communities throughout New York State, inform the Foundation of organizations that could be productive grantees and partners, and increases the visibility of the Foundation throughout the State. The Committee reflects New York State’s rich diversity in terms of geography, race and ethnicity, and areas of expertise.

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, M.S., Ed.D.

Professor of Public Health

CUNY School of Public Health

Linda Beers

Public Health Director

Essex County Public Health

Chuck Bell

Programs Director

Consumers Union

Rebecca Bostwick

Managing Director

Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion

Lauren Bruckner

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Oncology

University of Rochester Medical Center

Kate Ebersole

Principal

KEE Concepts Consulting

Anne Erickson

President & CEO

Empire Justice Center

Robin Gelburd

President

FAIR Health

Janice Harbin, D.D.S.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Anthony L. Jordan Health Corporation

Gail Speedy Mayeaux

Executive Director

Southern Tier Community Health Center Network

Theo Oshiro

Deputy Director

Make the Road New York

Claire Parde

Executive Director

Healthcare Consortium

Amanda Parsons, M.B.A., M.D.

Vice President, Community & Population Health

Montefiore Medical Center

Susan Stuard

President

Lake Fleet Consulting

Bridget Walsh

Senior Policy Analyst

Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy

Kevin D. Watkins, M.D., M.P.H.

Public Health Director

Cattaraugus County Health Department

Carrie Whitwood

Executive Director

Ardent Solutions

Kimberly A. Williams, L.M.S.W.

Vice President of Integrated Policy and Program Services

Mental Health Association of New York City