Alaska Primary Care Association Staff

Executive Team

 

NANCY MERRIMAN
Executive Director

Leads the implementation of the APCA Strategic Plan in collaboration with the Board of Directors and the APCA staff

MPH, MBA

Nancy has spent the past 24 years working in the Alaska health sector. Originally from Kodiak, she moved to Anchorage and worked for the Municipality Department of Health & Human Services, joining the Denali Commission in 2002, where she managed the Health Facilities Program over the last three years of her tenure. In January 2013, she was appointed Executive Director of the APCA. She enjoys spending time with family, cooking, reading, and relaxing at her cabin in Flat Lake.

 

 JON ZASADA
Director, Policy Integration

Leads the APCA health policy team supporting policy analysis and advocacy, outreach, and enrollment services

 

Jon came to APCA in 2016 with 25 years of experience in community health center and social services administrative and advocacy.  Highlights include the development of a statewide system of community centers and the new Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center.  He is dedicated to supporting APCA members in understanding and advocating for the needs of their health centers and patients.  Originally from Fairbanks, Jon enjoys going to his cabin in Hope as much as possible.

 

 MARIKO L. SELLE
Director, SC AHEC sector

Leads the Southcentral Alaska Health Education Center (AHEC), a workforce development division of the APCA in cooperation with Providence Alaska and the University of Alaska

MPH

 

Mari is a former health care consultant, quality director, wellness advocate, State Primary Care Office TA, and health researcher. She is passionate about her role in advocating for Alaskan’s health by addressing the diversity and distribution of the health workforce as the Director of the SC AHEC. Mari is a member of Anchorage East Rotary, active in her church, and loves to spend time with her young family.

 

 

PATTY LINDUSKA
Sr. Director, Training & Technical Assistance

Leads the TTA team in providing services to Community Health Centers in Alaska

RN, BS, PCMH CCE, PF

 

Patty moved to Alaska in January of 1978 to work as an RN in the village of King Cove where she spent the next 20 years. She and her husband Joe have been married for 36 years; their family is their passion. Patty has worked in health care for over 40 years in a variety of capacities. She brings her expertise in executive leadership, quality improvement, program development and grant writing to the PCA. In her spare time, she enjoys fly fishing, gardening, cooking and reading.

 

Staff Directory

 

ALEXA LAWSON
Health Education Coordinator, SC AHEC sector

Focuses on supporting post-secondary students seeking health care career development

BS in Sociology
Masters in Global Development

Originally from Montana, a variety of work and life experiences eventually brought Alex to Alaska in 2016. Alex’s passion is to cultivate partnerships to discover and utilize existing resources for transformation within marginalized communities. With an adventurous spirit and avid love of the outdoors, Alex is occupied with hiking, biking, skiing and camping. You may also find her exercising culinary creativity in the kitchen or planning her next international exploration.

 

 

 CASSANDRA BUCKRIDGE
Administrative Manager

Manages the front office administrative staff, serves as Board Liaison, and provides support for the Executive Director

With a background in corporate administration spanning several industries, Cass has a broad range of experience to support our teams as they travel the state. As a lifelong Alaskan and mother of two boys, Cass has a passion for helping Alaskans and is dedicated to supporting APCA’s staff as they work to ensure all Alaskans have access to quality health care.

 

 CORTNEY SENKLER
Accountant

Manages all accounting and fiscal reconciliation including grant file management and reporting

BA Professional Accounting

Cortney joined APCA in 2016 a few months after relocating to Alaska. Her keen eye for detail keeps our complex fiscal reporting and grant management accurate and complete. Outside of work, she loves to get outdoors, spend time with friends and family, and travel to tropical places.

 

DEJONNA WALKER
Events Coordinator 

It takes a special set of organizational skills and personable spirit to keep the head office in order and Dejonna provides all of the internal administrative support for APCA staff and stakeholders with aplomb. She is a recent transplant from Dallas, Texas, who joined the APCA to further her career and remain engaged with the medical field and support Alaskans. 

 

GENEVIEVE MINA
Communications Specialist

Digital and hard copy communication supporting the Health Workforce Policy Team

BA Political Science

Genevieve is a lifelong Anchorage resident with a background in Alaska politics, community outreach, and health policy analysis. She recently graduated from UAA with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Communications and is also a Seawolf Debate alumna. Raised in an immigrant family of nurses, she is passionate about APCA’s mission to expand health care access, and cares deeply about the intersection of people and policy. Outside of obsessively following health policy and #akleg on Twitter, she enjoys thrifting, amateur birding, and empowering underrepresented voices in local government.

 

JUDITH LEWALLEN 
Clinical Services Coordinator 

Clinical services support and training to clinicians, clinic administrators, staff and boards of community health centers and other safety net providers 

 Judith completed her Family Nurse Practitioner master’s degree at the University of Texas and returned to SW Missouri to work in rural health.  She and her husband, Bill, moved to King Cove, Alaska in 2008, where she worked for Eastern Aleutian Tribes until 2010. She returned to SW Missouri and taught Nursing for 5 years while working summers at rural health facilities in Alaska.  Judith continued her passion for supporting rural health care when she joined APCA in October 2019 as the Clinical Services Coordinator.  She loves gardening, reading, and cooking. Her 8 grandchildren are her pride and joy. 

 

 

JESSIE MENKENS
Safety Net Initiatives Program Manager

Addresses Medicaid policy, social determinants of health, and coverage initiatives at the state and federal level

Jessie Menkens has worked in Alaska’s nonprofit sector throughout her career, focusing on advocacy, public policy, philanthropy and community building. Jessie joined APCA in 2014 and spent the next four years managing a statewide Navigator program. Jessie successfully helped advocate for Medicaid expansion in Alaska and she now oversees a new nonpartisan initiative called Alaskans Together for Medicaid. In 2017, Jessie was recognized nationally by Families USA receiving the Health Advocate of the Year Award. Jessie enjoys volunteering, cooking, baking and reading. She loves spending time outdoors with her husband, two kids and Malamute. 

KIRSTEN VEECH 
HR & Travel Specialist 

Travel and HR administrative support 

As the HR and Travel Specialist, Kirsten handles the complex logistics of making sure our staff get around the state, and around the country, safe and happy. Kirsten is a true outdoorswoman who enjoys hiking, fishing, and camping in our beautiful state in her free time.  

NELLIE ROEHL
Clinical Applications Coordinator

Provides AZARA DRVS support and training to clinicians, clinic administrators, staff and boards of community health centers and other safety net providers

Nellie is a lifelong Alaskan who was raised on the Aleutian Chain. Throughout her professional career she had the opportunity to work in the tribal health system, transitioning from the IHS EHR to Cerner, which a unified EHR system with all of the Alaska tribal health organizations. During her tenure, she served as a lead for accreditation and PCMH transformation. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, boat rides, and spending time with family and friends.

NYABONY GAT
Student Success Coordinator, SC AHEC sector

 

Nyabony has worked with the SC AHEC since 2015 where she manages data and facilitates multiple health career camps and academies. She recently received her B.S in Health Sciences from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her heart is set out of working with the underserved and meeting the health needs of communities through health equity. The AHEC has been instrumental in being able to address these gaps and Nyabony is honored to be a part of this mission! Outside of this, she enjoys volunteering and working and supporting on numerous community initiatives.

PENNEY BENSON
Practice Management Specialist

Trains and coaches community health center teams and individuals in practice management, quality improvement, and patient centered medical home recognition

D.D., PF

Penney has worked in health care for the past 15 years. She previously worked as the Health Director of a successful Community Health Center & Indian Health Services Clinic for either years. She has successfully revitalized operations and turned around underperforming units to achieve sustainable productivity gains and customer satisfaction. Penney enjoys painting, photography, gardening, beach combing and of course spending time with family and friends.

SARAH DUSHKIN
Health Careers Training Coordinator

Serves as the instructor for both CMAA and CCMA programs

Sarah is a lifelong Alaskan who’s certified in Medial Assisting from Charter College. Her previous experience includes work at Alaska Native Medical Center where she worked in both Medical Assisting and Medical Administrative Assisting. She also worked as the Clinical Application Coordinator and Case Manager at Eastern Aleutian Tribes. Sarah joined the APCA TTA team in December 2017. Outside of work, she enjoys camping, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

SEVILLA I. LOVE
Integration Coordinator

Provides training and technical assistance to community health center’s integration of behavioral health and primary care; leads team-based care coaching

LCSW

Sevilla comes from an ancestry of pioneers who arrived in Alaska during the 1950’s. Sevilla has spent her 18-year Alaskan career working on the front lines of behavioral health integration, telehealth, team-based care, ground breaking interagency programs and national quality improvement work. Her experience spans from rural to urban primary care, tribal health and the AK Psychiatric Institute. Sevilla spends her free time caring for her family.

SHARAYAH FOSTER
Quality Improvement Coordinator

Provides training and technical assistance for community health centers in quality improvement and patient centered medical home lead

BS Psychology, MPH

Sharayah is a lifelong Alaskan who graduated with an MPH from University of Arizona. Her previous experience includes work at a FQHC where she gained experience leading Ambulatory, Behavioral Health, and PCMH accreditation/certification, compliance with HRSA’s Program Requirements, and comprehensive quality improvement activities. Sharayah joined the APCA Training and Technical Assistance team in 2017. She enjoys beach combing, camping, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

 

STEPHANIE HUPTON 
Finance Specialist 

Financial data entry and administrative support 

Stephanie joined APCA in 2019 as our Finance Specialist. Her background in healthcare includes direct patient care and billing. With her attention to detail and passion for altruism, Stephanie will support the admin goals of excellence and efficiency. 

SUZANNE NIEMI
Practice Management Coordinator

BA Accounting, MHA
CPA, CMPE, PCMH CCE

Suzanne has been involved in the health care industry for over 30 years and with the Community Health Center program since she moved to Alaska in 2001. She has worked for hospitals and ambulatory clinics across the country. Suzanne has previous experience working for private non-profit, tribally operated and public entities. She has experience in grants management and compliance, finance, strategic planning, clinic operations, HRSA operational site visits, and preparing successful HRSA grant applications.

 TARA FERGUSON-GOULD
Quality Improvement Program's Manager

Provides quality improvement, patient centered medical home training & coaching for community health centers

CHA/P, IHI-IA, PF, PCMH, CCE, LSSBB

Tara is a lifelong Alaskan who initially became involved in health care in the 1980’s as a first responder. Tara went on to provide patient care as a Community Health Aide/Practitioner and begin her work in Quality Improvement in an FQHC, where she spent over a decade focusing on improving patient care. Tara began work at the APCA in 2013 and currently serves as the lead for Quality Improvement and Improving Population Health initiatives. Tara enjoys spending time with her loved ones, camping, fishing and hunting.

TERESA NOVAKOVICH
Health Education Coordinator and Program Assistant

APCA Office & SC AHEC sector

 

Teresa is a long-time Alaskan, professional photographer, and former bookkeeper and HR manager for her family-owned business. She has volunteered extensively in her community and church over the years, earning an Outstanding Volunteer Certificate of Appreciation from the Superintendent of Schools and President of the Anchorage School board. Teresa enjoys baking, photography, and spending time with her family.

 

 Updated 11/01/2019 by Genevieve Mina