MeHAF Board of Trustees
MeHAF’s statewide Board of Trustees oversees the work of the foundation and its members serve as responsible stewards for the foundation’s resources. The Board brings a wealth of expertise and experiences from leaders who represent the diversity of Maine.
Dennis King, FACHE
Dennis P. King, of Freeport, Maine, is the recently retired Chief Executive Officer of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, the nonprofit integrated mental healthcare delivery system of MaineHealth, covering Southern, Central and Western Maine. From 1999 to February 2015, he served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, Maine. Mr. King brings to his current role more than 35 years of experience in the field of healthcare, including more than 30 years in senior administrative positions in Maine hospitals. He was previously the founding Chief Executive Officer of The Acadia Hospital, the only free-standing private psychiatric hospital in northern Maine. Mr. King is the past President of the National Association of Psychiatric Healthcare Systems (NAPHS); past Chair of the Maine Hospital Association and past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System. Mr. King was also the Charter President of Casco Bay Sunrise Rotary Club. Dennis earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Maine and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Michael Lambke, MD
Mike Lambke is a practicing family medicine physician offering family centered, community based medical care in Skowhegan since 1998. He is recognized as a medical staff leader, one time medical director and a current board member at Redington-Fairview General Hospital. Aiming to improve the health of the population of Somerset County and central Maine, he has collaborated with local organizations, Skowhegan Farmers Market, Skowhegan Maine Street, Somerset Public health, and Maine Grain Alliance on topics of childhood obesity, worksite wellness, community and family development. Work with these organizations and Connecticut-based Wholesome Wave yielded substantive additions to the federal Farm bill improving access to healthy local produce for SNAP recipients in urban and rural areas. To improve access to high-quality healthcare and medical education, he is actively engaged with the Tufts University School of Medicine-Maine Medical Center longitudinal integrated curriculum since 2010. This novel educational process focuses students on individuals and families as they engage with healthcare in rural areas improving the longevity of practicing physicians and the humanity of physicians in training. While always appreciative of learning, he has grown increasingly grateful for a humanities education at Loyola University Chicago and clinical medical education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Residency at Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency, subsequent professional practice and the stories of our community members now weaves a complex tapestry of life from this formative fabric of ideas. In 2008, he was recognized as the Maine family physician of the year by the Maine Academy of family physicians and has received several teaching awards from Tufts medical students.
Samuela Manages, MD, FAAFP
Samuela Manages is a family medicine physician at Pines Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Van Buren, where she has practiced since 2008. Sam sits on the Board of the Maine Medical Association, and is a member of the Cary Medical Center Medical Executive Committee as well as the Pines Health Services Quality Improvement Committee. She is active with the Van Buren Resiliency Project/Community Advocacy Group and is a volunteer physician at Camp Adventure for Children with Diabetes. Sam enjoys spending time outdoors whitewater rafting, skiing, and snowshoeing and is an enthusiastic traveler.
Edward Miller, MS
Ed Miller retired as the Senior Vice President for Public Policy for the American Lung Association of the Northeast where he was responsible for providing leadership to the public policy initiatives of the organization in the seven state region covering New England and New York. He had served in this capacity since July 2007. From 1986 until 2007, he served as the CEO of the American Lung Association of Maine. During that time the organization’s assets grew from less than half a million to over two million dollars. The Maine chapter was recognized as a leader in both mission focused work (e.g. the first and only state to receive straight A’s on the annual American Lung Association nationwide Tobacco Control Report Card) and in fundraising where its 31 year old Trek Across Maine remains the most successful American Lung Association fundraiser in the nation raising nearly $2 million dollars a year. Ed is on the Board and is a past president of the Maine Public Health Association. He was a founding member and chair of the Maine Coalition on Smoking OR Health. Ed has served on numerous boards, advisory councils and commissions during his career. Prior to joining the American Lung Association Ed served as the first Director of the Division of Health Promotion and Education in the Bureau of Health (now the ME CDC) from 1973 until 1986. Ed recently completed a three year contract as a policy consultant to the American Lung Association of the Northeast. When not working, he enjoys kayaking, snowboarding, cycling, guitar, beach-combing and reading. He lives in Hallowell and Ocean Park.
Claudette is a Business Development Consultant and Cultural Broker that has extensive experience in intercultural communications for both for-profit and nonprofit sectors. As Executive Director of In her Presence, she sits on multiple boards in Portland and is deeply connected to community-based initiatives across the city. 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. A highly proficient negotiator, both intuitive and resourceful, she collaborates with executive leadership in businesses and to develop organizational capacity and culture to promote opportunities for New Mainer success.
Bruce Nickerson, CPA
Bruce Nickerson is the recently retired Executive Vice President and Chief Strategies Officer of Bangor Savings Bank, a Northern New England community bank based in Bangor Maine. He is a Maine native and a Maine-licensed CPA with over 30 years of diverse business, leadership, financial management, and board advisory experiences primarily in the areas of banking, insurance, private/venture capital, and non-profits. Bruce currently serves as a Board member at UpStart Maine (a Bangor non-profit focused on bringing the Bangor region's entrepreneurial programs together to support entrepreneurship from the earliest networking and idea formation stage through incubation and acceleration), Delta Dental Plan of Maine, and Bangor YMCA Foundation; as a volunteer Advisory Board member to North Atlantic Capital (a Portland venture capital firm focused on growing technology-based companies), CEI Ventures (a Brunswick socially responsible venture capital firm) & Scratchpad Accelerator (a Bangor seed accelerator that helps start-ups explore, pivot, and grow their companies); and formerly as a Board member at Unity College. A graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in Business Administration, Bruce is lives in Holden Maine with his wife Sharon.
Grace Odimayo, DMD
Dr. Grace Odimayo, DMD, is a general dentist providing preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures in Farmingdale. She received her dental training at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, graduating in 2003. Dr. Odimayo came to the United States in 2002 from Nigeria where she had training, and practiced dentistry in Nigeria and in Great Britain prior to coming to the US. 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. Her approach to practice is to listen to patients and understand the context of their lives as a way to inform the care she provides. In her practice she sees pre-school children with MaineCare coverage, and provides pro-bono services for the Head Start program. She will bring her perspective as a dental professional and the perspectives and experiences of her patients to MeHAF’s Board.
Susan Roche, Esq.
Sue Roche is the Executive Director of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) and been at ILAP since she joined as the organization’s first staff attorney in 2000. Located in Portland, ILAP is Maine’s only statewide immigration legal aid organization. ILAP helps Maine’s immigrants keep their families together, gain protection from persecution and domestic violence, attain residency and work authorization, and become proud U.S. citizens. ILAP builds stable families and improved opportunities, allowing Maine’s immigrants to contribute to their communities for generations to come. Sue has specialized in family based immigration, remedies for noncitizen domestic violence and crime victims, and removal defense. She has been an invited presenter at regional and national conferences of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Sue received a B.S. in Business Administration and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire, and she received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. She is admitted to the Maine Bar.
Catherine Ryder, LCPC ACS
Catherine Ryder serves as Chief Executive Officer for Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS) where she has been employed for 28 years. She believes in developing models of care that align with the principles of healthcare reform and is passionate about ensuring access to appropriate levels of care, bending the cost curve and reducing stigma associated with behavioral health. She believes integration of healthcare is critical and is proud to represent an agency noted for its trauma-informed, recovery-based approach to services. Catherine has led several major integration initiatives with funding from the Maine Health Access Foundation, and is proud of the clinical and fiscal sustainability of those models which address the triple aim of healthcare reform. Catherine is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a MS in Counselor Education, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She has completed the certificate program in Primary Care Behavioral Health from University of MA and is a graduate of the Hanley Leadership Development program for healthcare leaders in Maine. Catherine is a member of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership Board, the Alliance for Addictions and Mental Health Services Board, and the Mental Health Risk Retention Group Board. She also serves on the Maine Military Leadership Council and the Muskie School of Public Health Advisory Committee.
Clarissa Sabattis, RN
Clarissa Sabattis is the current Chief of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and Native of Houlton, Maine. She is a Registered Nurse and prior to her current post, spent most of the past seven years working as part of a team to establish a Public Health Infrastructure for the Wabanaki Tribes in Maine. Clarissa is passionate about the health and well being of her people, and her focus is to improve conditions that impact their overall health status.
Abdulkerim Said, BAS, CHW, BHP, MHRTC/B
Abdulkerim Said was born and grew up in Ethiopia. Atlanta, Georgia was his first destination, after living there for four years, he relocated to Maine and studied at the University of Augusta. Abdulkerim speaks more than three languages. He is the father of two boys and two girls. He is actively involved in the Lewiston/Auburn area. He is the Founder and Executive Director of New Mainers Public Health Initiative a nonprofit, community-based organization which focuses on education, advocacy, and empowerment regarding health food choice for refugees and the immigrant community. Abdulkerim participates as a local stakeholder at Community Health Workers to increase awareness in the New American community. Abdulkerim studied and earned his bachelor’s degree of Applied Sciences from the University of Maine at Augusta. He is an active member and the co-founder of a collaboration of community-based organizations lead by immigrants focused on health and advocacy. Abdulkerim is very engaged in advancing health disparities and health equity in the state of Maine through education, advocacy, and empowering the immigrants and refugee’s community based in Lewiston. He is a former member of MeHAF’s Community Advisory Committee. Abdulkerim is extremely passionate about improving the disparities of healthcare and fighting to reduce the barriers between the providers and the community. He is an active member of the Maine Statewide for Public Health Council Community Adviser Group and a board member for one of the big CAP agencies in Maine. Abdulkerim lives in Auburn, Maine with his four children and wife.
Toho Soma, MPH
Toho Soma is a Senior Research Associate for the Center for Excellence in Health Innovation at the University of New England, where he focuses on substance use prevention and interprofessional education. Prior to this he was the Public Health Director for the City of Portland. In addition to being on the Board, Toho also sits on the Board of Directors of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership. Toho holds an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently pursuing an MS in Health Informatics at UNE. He and his husband Jason live in Portland.
Odette Thurston, MBA
Odette Thurston joined HeadInvest in the fall of 2019 as a Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager, serving as a wealth advisor to many families. Prior to joining HeadInvest, 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. She has held senior portfolio manager positions at Ark Asset Management and J. & W. Seligman in New York City, where she co-managed both institutional and mutual fund assets totaling $3 billion. Odette began her investment career at Morgan Stanley, serving seven years in the equity research department. She also channeled her investment expertise into financial writing, working as a columnist for TheStreet.com (James Cramer’s premier financial news website) and as a staff writer with SmartMoney Magazine. Odette is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Maine Island Trail Association and is a member of the Finance Committee at the Maine Health Access Foundation. She received her MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and her Bachelor of Arts in History from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She lives in Falmouth, Maine with her husband, Scott and their dog, Dory.
Ian Yaffe recently joined the DHHS Commissioner’s office as Chief Operating Officer for COVID-19 to build systems and tools to support communities and organizations. Ian is on leave through 2021 from his position as Executive Director of Mano en Mano where he joined the staff in 2010 after working in several seasonal jobs in Massachusetts and Colorado. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2009 with a degree in Latin American Studies and Education and spent a semester at the Universidad de La Habana in 2008. Outside of Mano en Mano, Ian is a Chief Boatswain’s Mate in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and serves on the Boards of Directors of CEI and the Maine Philanthropy Center. He also represents Mano en Mano on Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations.