MeHAF announces the election of Claudette Ndayininahaze, Grace Odimayo, DMD, and Odette Thurston, MBA, to our statewide Board of Trustees and Kenney Miller, MSc, Noah Nesin, MD, Reshid Shankol, MD, MPH, and Shirley Weaver, MT(ASCP), MA,PhD, to our statewide Community Advisory Committee. MeHAF’s statewide Board oversees the work of the foundation and stewards its resources and the CAC advises on strategy and provides input and valuable perspectives from diverse communities and populations across Maine.
Claudette Ndayininahaze is a Business Development Consultant and Cultural Broker with extensive experience in intercultural communications for both for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She is deeply connected to community-based initiatives across Portland, both as Executive Director of In Her Presence, and in her role on multiple nonprofit boards in the city. She also brings her experience as a leader in a multinational corporation. As a community leader who has herself gone through the immigration process, she has a unique ability to anticipate challenges New Mainers face and utilizes her professional expertise to empower people and communities.
Grace Odimayo, DMD is a general dentist providing preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures in Farmingdale. Dr. Odimayo came to the United States in 2002 from Nigeria having previously practiced dentistry in both Nigeria and in Great Britain. As a general dentist, she sees firsthand the importance of preventive and restorative services for children, young adults, and older adults relative to their general health and nutrition, as well as their ability to work, attend school, and maintain full and healthy lives.
Odette Thurston, MBA is a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager at HeadInvest. Prior to joining HeadInvest in 2019, Odette was a financial advisor and member of the Investment Committee at Cribstone Capital Management. Odette has extensive experience in investment and portfolio management, equity research and financial planning through a career that spans more than 20 years. Odette also currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Maine Island Trail Association. She has been a member of MeHAF’s Finance Committee since 2018.
New Community Advisory Committee Members:
Kenney Miller, MSc is the Executive Director of the Health Equity Alliance (HEAL). During his nine-year tenure at HEAL Kenney has overseen the agency’s growth and transformation from a small social service agency into a regional force for health and social justice throughout Maine. He is the co-founder of the Maine Harm Reduction Alliance, and the Maine Coalition for Sensible Drug Policy. He has co-founded several state-level health-focused conferences and helped jump-start numerous collaborations and projects to benefit Maine’s most marginalized communities.
Noah Nesin, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC). He has served as Chief of Staff of Penobscot Valley Hospital, as Medical Director of Health Access Network, and as Chief Quality Officer at PCHC. Dr. Nesin serves as the chair of Maine’s Academic Detailing Advisory Committee, on the Hanley Center for Healthcare Leadership Development’s board, is Vice President of the Maine Public Health Association, co-founded Maine Quality Counts’ Maine Chronic Pain Collaborative, and is a member of AHRQ’s National Integration Advisory Council.
Reshid Shankol, MD, MPH is a licensed social worker and physician from Ethiopia currently working as a case manager at Community Clinical Service Family Health Care and was part of the first group of African immigrants to move to Lewiston. He currently serves as chair of the New Mainers Public Health Initiative board. In addition to his medical degree, he has a Master’s in Public Health. He is passionate about ensuring that all people have access to care that is timely, of high quality, and culturally appropriate.
Shirley Weaver, MT(ASCP), MA, Ph.D. was the founding director of the Maine AHEC System and the Maine Geriatric Education Center at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Associate Director of the Harvard Geriatric Education Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She has focused on workforce training and education issues at national and state levels to improve health care for rural and underserved communities. In retirement her volunteer efforts are invested in Kennebunk’s age-friendly community, Vet2VetMaine, and the Maine Council on Aging.