Farley Center Staff

Shale Wong, MD, MSPH

Executive Director

Dr. Wong is a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics and family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, teaching child health, advocacy, policy and health care reform with focused interests in integrated care and achieving health equity. She is vice chair for policy and advocacy in the CU Department of Pediatrics. She served as health policy advisor to First Lady Michelle Obama for development and implementation of her signature child obesity initiative, Let’s Move, and assisted in launching Joining Forces to improve wellness and resilience of military families. She was a senior program consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a lifelong dancer, she is inspired to advance health through the arts.


Emma Gilchrist, MPH

Deputy Director

Ms. Gilchrist is an instructor in the CU Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. As deputy director of the Farley Health Policy Center, she oversees the planning, execution, and completion of its programs and projects. She has been a project manager and qualitative researcher for federal, state, and foundation grants and contracts; and works to improve health through policies that advance behavioral health integration, prevention and health promotion, community engagement, and workforce development. Ms. Gilchrist enjoys mentoring students and fellows. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan, and she previously worked at the University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease.


Larry A. Green, MD

Senior Advisor

Dr. Green is distinguished professor of family medicine and the Epperson-Zorn Chair for Innovation in Family Medicine and Primary Care at the University of Colorado. As a family physician, his roles have included medical practice, residency director, investigator, teacher, and department chair. He directed the RWJF national program office, Prescription for Health, focused on unhealthy behaviors in primary care practice. He also directed the Colorado Health Foundation initiatives, Advancing Care Together and Upstream! Together, aiming to change practices to provide integrated care and prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. He founded and directed the Robert Graham Policy Center, and is a regular member of the National Academy of Medicine. His current work focuses on redesigning how clinical practice, health professions education, physician certification, and clinical research are done.


R. Mark Gritz, PhD

Director of Operations

A Colorado native, Dr. Gritz received his PhD in economics from Stanford University. He has more than 30 years’ experience in directing and managing demonstrations, evaluations, research, and technical assistance projects designed to improve economic, health and other outcomes affecting vulnerable populations. Many projects involved youth, veterans, and the elderly. D. Gritz has held several corporate management positions, directing more than 100 scientific and technical staff, managing the financial performance of international business units and intellectual property portfolios. Current work focuses on healthcare value and its association with socio-economics factors to rapidly respond to research and policy analysis needs of government agencies in Colorado.


Lauren Hughes, MD, MPH, MsC, FAAFP

State Policy Director

Dr. Lauren S. Hughes is an associate professor of family medicine and the State Policy Director of the Farley Health Policy Center. Her research interests include rural health, primary care and public health alignment, and graduate medical education. Dr. Hughes previously served as Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation in the Pennsylvania Department of Health, where she launched the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a new payment and delivery model that transitions rural hospitals to multi-payer global budgets. She serves on the American Board of Family Board of Directors. She earned her MD from the University of Iowa, her MPH in health policy from the George Washington University, and her MSc in health services research from the University of Michigan as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. In 2018, she was named a Presidential Leadership Scholar by Presidents Clinton and Bush.


Susan Mathieu, MPP

Medicaid Policy Director

Ms. Mathieu has two decades of experience in health care policy and program development. Previously, she managed the program design section in the health programs office at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing where she led the development of new programs and health care reform initiatives within the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC). Before this she managed the ACC and designed and implemented Colorado’s early expansion to open Medicaid eligibility to include adults without dependent children. She has also served as consultant to multiple states regarding re-design of their Medicaid programs. When employed at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, she focused on the financing of long-term services and supports and issues related to an aging society.


Musheng Alishahi, MSc

Research Assistant

Ms. Alishahi is a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado School of Public Health. She received her MSc in epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health, and has worked in various capacities in public health research, programming, and evaluation related to substance use and behavioral health. Her research interests include addressing how policies impact social determinants of health and healthcare access of marginalized populations. She is currently working with the Farley Health Policy Center team in assessing healthcare cost and utilization of children and youth in foster care data to inform policies at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance.


David K. Aylward, BA, JD

Senior Advisor

Mr. Aylward’s expertise lies in the intersection of social innovation, public policy, communications and IT, and finance. He is expert in the design of the new complex coalitions and systems required for innovation and systemic transformation. As CU Department of Family Medicine faculty, he is focused on the design of systems to help challenged communities thrive. He assists with new initiatives to address gross health disparities to transform the wellbeing of targeted communities in the Denver metropolitan region on behalf of the university and its partners. As chief counsel and staff director, he led the staff of the U.S. House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee during the advent of competition in telecommunications, the break-up of AT&T, the emergency of the cable television industry, and the introduction of electronic and competitive securities trading.



Hallie Conyers-Tucker


Ms. Conyers-Tucker is a senior at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and is majoring in global health, policy and culture. She is especially interested in working with public health policies that focus on the most vulnerable and underserved communities, and is passionate about addressing stigmas and social determinants of health to improve overall health outcomes in communities. Her interest in rural communities stems from the fact she grew up in rural Ketchikan, Alaska. As part of the Farley Health Policy Center team, she looks forward to growing her understanding about how health policy is formed, and to working on projects that implement changes in the community. She has recently become interested in the intersection between law and health.


Frank deGruy

Frank deGruy

Senior Scientist

Dr. deGruy has chaired the family medicine department since 1999, and before this he chaired the University of Alabama Department of Family Medicine. He has served as president of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association and the North American Primary Care Research Group. Dr. deGruy is a board member for the National Network of Depression Centers, the Family Physicians’ Inquiries Network, and of the Colorado Institute of Family Medicine. He chairs the National Integration Academy Council, and sits on the editorial board for The Annals of Family Medicine and Families, Systems and Health. He is the created and writes Precipice: Pushing the Edge of Family Medicine, an annual publication that addresses hard problems in primary care, and he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.


Stephanie Gold, MD


Dr. Gold is a practicing family physician at Denver Health and an assistant professor in the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine. Her policy work focuses on improving health and wellbeing for all through payment reform and system transformation, including the integration of behavioral and social health with medical care. She coordinates the Farley Health Policy Center’s health policy journal club. Dr. Gold completed medical school at the University of Virginia; family medicine residency at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Track; and a health policy fellowship with the Farley Health Policy Center following residency. She serves on the board of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians and is a member of the Colorado Primary Care Payment Reform Collaborative.



De'Janae' Guillory-Williams, BS

Graduate Research Assistant

Ms. Guillory-Williams is a current Master of Public Health Candidate in Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. As a recent Bachelor of Science in Biology Pre-Medicine graduate from Florida A&M University, she has a strong background in research, science and health. Through her experiences, she has gained knowledge on how to effectively conduct research, properly manage data and also has experience in outbreak investigations. Her interests are in public health policies that address health equity issues among underrepresented communities. She also has interest in epidemiology, specifically in the study designs and analyses used to identify disease treatment and prevention. She recently completed her practicum with the Farley Health Policy Center and is currently working as a graduate research assistant with the FHPC team. 


Sarah Hemeida, MD


Dr. Hemeida is an assistant professor in the CU Department of Family Medicine and practicing family physician, caring for low-income and indigent populations at Denver Health, one of the largest safety-net hospitals systems in the country. She joined the Farley Health Policy Center as its first policy fellow in collaboration with the Robert Graham Center of Washington, DC. Dr. Hemeida completed a NRSA primary care research fellowship, and earned her MPH with a focus in health systems management and policy. Her interests lie in primary care and integrated behavioral health, workforce and education, and the social determinants of health. She is also a passionate dancer, and travels nationally to perform and instruct in various Afro-Latin dances when time permits.


Jessica Kenny

Jessica Kenny, PhD


Dr. Jessica Kenny, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry within the Colorado School of Medicine and an integrated psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Her area of expertise is integrated behavioral health for youth and families in primary care and other medical specialties. She is committed to increasing access to behavioral health for underserved populations, addressing health inequity, and providing trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive care. Her current research involves factors related to addressing adolescent depression and suicidality in pediatric primary care. She is also involved with training, supervision, and teaching for psychology and medical trainees, program development and outcomes evaluation, and systems-level advocacy. 


Stephanie Kirchner, MSPH, RD


Ms. Kirchner is a community engagement and practice transformation specialist with expertise in stakeholder engagement, consensus building and behavioral health integration. She is an instructor in the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine, and her work supports practice and community teams in the adoption of sustainable, evidence-based, patient-centered methods. She has been working in quality improvement and practice transformation since 2006, collaborating with partners and stakeholders associated with the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, Advancing Care Together, EvidenceNOW, Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, Colorado State Innovation Model, and the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force.



Kyle Leggott, MD


Dr. Kyle Leggott is assistant professor at the CU Department of Family Medicine and family physician with health politics experience whose expertise includes policy development and translation, the intersection of policy with state-based health care legislation, and innovative approaches to addressing healthcare reform. He seeks progressive and innovative approaches to address health inequities by promoting systems based and policy level interventions. Dr. Leggott is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado, where he recently finished a fellowship in health policy and politics. Dr. Leggott serves as a board member for the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians and is a physician blogger for the American Academy of Family Physician's Fresh Perspective blog. He provides both outpatient and inpatient care to patients, and, teaches family medicine residents at the University of Colorado.


Linda Niebauer

Communications Coordinator

Ms. Niebauer was among the early leaders in the development of practice-based research having laid the groundwork for the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network, and playing a similar role for several Colorado practice-based research networks. As a communications and convening specialist, she participated in the RWJF national program office Prescription for Health, focusing on unhealthy behaviors in primary care practice. And then with the Colorado Health Foundation initiatives, Advancing Care Together and UPSTREAM Together, she worked to better integrate behavioral health and primary care and raise awareness of preventing mental, emotional and behavioral problems. Besides Farley Health Policy Center communications, Ms. Niebauer also supports communications in the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine.



Conoshia Odum, BA

Center Coordinator

Conoshia Odum is a business services professional in the CU Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, supporting the administrative functions of the Farley Health Policy Center. She previously coordinated pediatric grand rounds and other large events in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Prior to her family’s move to Colorado, she supported the Institute for Human Development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was heavily involved in the institute’s individual advocacy and family supports efforts. Presently, she enjoys engaging in activities that allow her to learn more and to become more involved in public health. 



Bahroze Rakeen, BA

Graduate Research Assistant

Bahroze Rakeen is a doctoral student of the Clinical Health Psychology program at University of Colorado-Denver. He has experience in conducting comprehensive assessments, individual therapy, and case management at community mental health settings. His current interests include studying public attitudes towards displacements related to climate change and the psychosocial needs of the displaced populations. As part of the Farley Health Policy Center team, he contributes to ongoing behavioral health projects and hopes to learn more about how psychologists can inform public policy.


Alison Reidmohr

Alison Reidmohr MA

Communications Officer

Alison Reidmohr has worked in communications and health policy for more than 10 years in Montana and Colorado. After moving to Colorado in 2017, she started work as the tobacco communications strategist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, leading statewide media campaigns, including those promoting the Colorado QuitLine and Tobacco Free Colorado. She was promoted to deputy communications director and led CDPHE’s COVID-19 prevention marketing efforts through 2020. Her focus and expertise lie in policy and legislative communications, communications strategy, and public health marketing. In 2022, she earned her master of arts degree in communication from the University of Colorado, Denver, after conducting original research on Colorado’s digital contact tracing application, CO Exposure Notifications. She works full time for the Farley Health Policy Center, for which she leads all communications activities.