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Meet the Staff
Susan Jo Thomas
Prior to this position, Susan Jo worked for Social Interest Solutions, a not-for-profit technology company based in Sacramento, California. Before SIS, Susan worked for 22 years at Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. While at HHC, Ms. Thomas implemented and managed programs to maximize financial benefit to the institution while ensuring patients received all services and benefits for which they qualified. In addition to her “day job”, Susan Jo was an addictions counselor and an adjunct faculty member of several local universities.
Susan Jo Thomas has been a supporter of the CKF organization since the creation of the Robert Wood Johnson initiative. She was closely involved with the Central Indiana CKF Coalition and had served on the Board for Covering Kids & Families of Indiana since 2006.
Ms. Thomas earned a B.A. in Political Science, Women’s Studies and Afro-American Studies at Indiana University. She also completed a Doctorate of Jurisprudence and a Masters of Social Work from Indiana University. Susan Jo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Susan Jo is a MVP of the Indiana Fever (WNBA) and is an avid fan of Tony Stewart, NASCAR driver. She is a lay leader at the Riverside Baptist Church in Muncie and watches Jeopardy nightly.
Director of Finance
Annette is responsible for the financial management, accounting, human resource functions and assists in resource development activities. Annette works closely with the Executive Director, Board of Directors, Finance Committee to develop and achieve the financial and strategic goals of the organization. She is responsible for managing the budgets for our organization, local coalitions and government grants.
Prior to joining the organization, Annette worked for 9 years as a manager of a regional CPA firm which worked with local government agencies and not for profits and 7 years as Controller at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. She was responsible for all the accounting functions, such as accounting system development, internal control, cash management, federal grant oversight, and financial reporting. In the past, she assisted with developing and implementing strategic plans in financial and operational controls that help improve the bottom line.
Annette is a CPA and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a minor in Computer Science from Ball State University.
Deputy Director of Operations
Norma is responsible for working closely with the Schools Committee and local coalitions across the state. Norma collaborates with other CKF staff in providing local coalition partners technical assistance and training to develop, implement and evaluate outreach, enrollment, and retention work plans to achieve the strategic goals of ensuring access to health care. Prior to joining Covering Kids & Families of Indiana, Norma was the Director of Milton Adult Day Services in South Bend. She oversaw day center operations for 70 clients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Norma was responsible for coordinating marketing activities, community and corporate grant writing and developing and managing the Advisory Board and staff. She functioned as a liaison to caregivers, community resources and senior living facilities. Norma has over 20 years’ experience in community and mental health services, serving as the director of a community health center and an inpatient adult psychiatric mental health facility.
Norma received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Indiana University at South Bend and her Masters in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing from Valparaiso University. She serves on the Board of Community Hospital of Bremen and volunteers at her church.
Director of Public Policy
Originally a native of western Michigan, Mark has been a resident of Indiana since 2004 and presently lives west of Indianapolis in Plainfield. He holds a graduate degree in Social Work from Ohio State University, where he was awarded a leadership fellowship that afforded him his first glimpse into public policy work.
Mark has a professional background in collaborative social services efforts, from grassroots organizing to leadership of statewide organizations. He has worked with youth and adults with developmental challenges, children with behavioral difficulties, and also in child abuse prevention.
He most recently served as Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, Indiana Chapter and was a registered lobbyist throughout his tenure. His public policy passion is the building of supports that help others to attain their highest potential, while also reducing barriers to that end. For Mark, accessible healthcare for all is an absolute necessity.
Outside of his professional life, Mark enjoys spending his free time with his family, which generally involves finding ways to constantly entertain his energetic son, Joshua.
Director of Marketing & Community Engagement
Doris is responsible for the work of the Marketing Committee and promoting the CKF brand.
Doris Higgins joined CKF in August of 2013 as the Director of School Health Services for the CHIPRA III grant which ended January 14, 2016. In this role she provided support, technical assistance and training to six grant partners conducting school-based outreach.
Doris has more than twenty- five years of experience in the nonprofit sector including seven years as Northern Indiana Program Manager for the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) providing training and support for over 110 volunteers, their sponsoring organizations and the communities they served. She next served as the Executive Director of Volunteer Southwest Michigan where her team provided support to over 300 organizations in three counties by recruiting and matching volunteers, and by providing consulting and training services to effectively manage those volunteers.
Doris has a Bachelors in Business from Indiana University Bloomington and a Masters in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Doris started her career in the Peace Corps and is committed to both the grassroots outreach and advocacy that CKF-IN provides.
Director of Training & Information
Blake is responsible for collecting and analyzing data and coordinating all aspects of training and the use of technology throughout the organization.
Before joining CKF, Blake worked at Eskenazi Health as the administrator of all public programs including Medicaid, HIP, Hoosier Healthwise and the hospital’s charity program. He also managed 30 people on public health coverage programs. Blake has been in and around public health for over seven years, and his experience includes information technology, grant writing, policy creation and implementation, management, public speaking, and direct service.
Blake has B.S. in Physics from Purdue University School of Science in Indianapolis, IN.
Director of Outreach & Coalition Development
Marci provides technical assistance to both coalitions and partners statewide to develop, implement and evaluate effective outreach, enrollment and retention strategies. She is also responsible for encouraging and supporting the implementation of the coalition model to existing CKF-IN coalitions as well as target communities for CKF-IN coalitions and building critical partnerships at the state level in order to address IHCP program implementation issues and successes.
Prior to joining CKF-IN, Marci served nine years as Health Care Access Coordinator for Memorial Hospital and Health System. Duties included coordinating outreach, enrollment and retention efforts in a large, urban Disproportionate Share facility. In addition, she fostered community relationships with schools, early childhood providers, mental health facilities, clinics and hospitals to improve health care access for the medically underserved. As the healthcare landscape changed, Marci provided education to partners preparing communities for new health coverage options for Hoosiers, including Presumptive Eligibility, Healthy Indiana Plan and Marketplace programs.
Marci has over twenty years’ experience as a program eligibility expert and providing technical assistance for building successful coalitions with vested partners.
Marci earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Indiana
University, Bloomington, Indiana.
2016 Annual Report Released
New Director of Public Policy
Indiana Gains in Children's Healthcare Coverage
CKF-IN Schools & Early Childhood Committee Meeting
CKF-IN Marketing & Communications Committee Meeting
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