Kenney Miller (he/him/his) has served as the Executive Director of the Health Equity Alliance (HEAL) since June of 2011. With a Master’s of Science in Social Anthropology, Kenney is a consummate student of culture and society and has devoted his career to addressing the ways in which social forces influence, shape, and collide with human health. He has spoken widely on the impact of stigma and discrimination on health outcomes, the need to transform health systems to be more culturally and structurally competent, and the value of cultivating these principles into a key pillar of HEAL’s work. During his tenure at the Health Equity Alliance 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, through which he propelled the philosophy of ‘harm reduction’ to center-stage and amplified the need to better integrate principles of compassion, science, and pragmatism into Maine’s 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 including people living with HIV, people who use drugs, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with a history of incarceration, and others.
Dr. Noah Nesin has been a family doctor in Maine since 1986, first in a private, solo practice and then in FQHCs, and has served as Chief of Staff of Penobscot Valley Hospital, as Medical Director of Health Access Network in Lincoln, ME, as Chief Quality Officer at Penobscot Community Heath Care (PCHC), and now as Chief Medical Officer at PCHC. Throughout his career Dr. Nesin has led efforts in evidence-based prescribing and in practice transformation to improve efficiency and to use health care resources judiciously. Dr. Nesin serves as the chair of Maine’s Academic Detailing Advisory Committee, the body which oversees the Maine Independent Clinical Information Service, sits on the Advisory Committee for the Lunder Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine, serves on the board of the Hanley Center for Healthcare Leadership Development, is Vice President of the Maine Public Health Association, was a co-founder of Maine Quality Counts’ Maine Chronic Pain Collaborative and is a member of AHRQ’s National Integration Advisory Council, which is currently focused on treatment of substance use disorders across the country. Dr. Nesin has received a variety of recognitions, including the Maine Harm Reduction Alliance Harm Reduction Hero award, the Maine Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor of the Year, the Lisa Letourneau, MD award for Excellence in Primary Care, the Maine Primary Care Association Physician Excellence Award, and the Maine Medical Association President’s Award for Distinguished Service.
Dr. Shankol is a licensed social worker and physician from Ethiopia currently working as a case manager at Community Clinical Service Family Health Care. He received his advanced medical degree in Ethiopia, from Jimma University School of Medicine in 1995. He was part of the first group of African immigrants to move to Lewiston to make a new home and has brought his energy and experience to the community ever since. As he pursued his education in the United States, he volunteered at the Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston. He continues to volunteer his skills and experience, currently serving as chair of the New Mainers Public Health Initiative board. In addition to his medical degree, he has a Master’s in Public Health from Purdue University in 2017. He is passionate about ensuring that all people have access to care that is timely, of high quality, and culturally appropriate. He has brought that commitment to his work and will bring it to MeHAF’s Community Advisory Committee.
Shirl Weaver has a long history of involvement in health professions education, both in military and civilian capacities. Shirl 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. Through those organizations she has focused on workforce training and education issues at national and state levels to improve health care for rural and underserved communities, such as: improving the distribution of health care providers, especially primary care providers; increasing health career awareness and preparation of rural and underserved youth; preparing providers to care for our increasingly older population; and increasing rural veterans’ access to care and services to address special mental health needs. Shirl continues those interests in retirement in where her volunteer efforts are invested in Kennebunk’s age-friendly community, Vet2VetMaine and the Maine Council on Aging, while attempting to stay ahead of the deterioration of her 18th century home.