About Us

About Us

The New England Rural Health Association was established in 1997 with funding from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The Association serves as the rural health association for the six New England states. We are a non-profit, membership-driven organization that serves as a regional rural health advocate. Headquartered in Maine, the Association is governed by a Board of Directors and administered by an Executive Director.

Our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of communities throughout rural New England. Our vision is that the Association serves as the forum for promoting healthy rural communities and solutions to the unique health challenges facing rural New England.

Our Objectives are to:

  • Serve as a unified voice for the promotion of rural health needs and issues in New England.

  • Identify rural health needs and issues in New England.

  • Share timely information about key state and federal rural health policies and programs.

  • Educate and advocate for rural health.

  • Encourage networking and collaboration in support of rural health.

Our organization includes hundreds of members from across the region who are also committed to improving the health and well-being of our rural communities. 

Together, our board members and executive director work hard on behalf of our members to advance the work of the New England Rural Health Association and improve the health of rural New Englanders.

If you need assistance, feel free to contact us with questions, suggestions, and concerns. We appreciate your input, and are always looking for new ways to help rural communities and organizations throughout New England.

Our Bylaws can be read here.

Board of Directors

Lora Gerard - Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging - VT - President

Michael Pancook - Consultant - ME- President-Elect

Luca Fernandez - State Office of Rural Health, Program Administrator - VT - Secretary 

Kirby Lecy - Manager of Healthy Community Initiatives, MA DPH - MA - Treasurer

Jeffrey Waldron - MS, PA-C, Faculty, Franklin Pierce Masters PA Program - NH - Member At Large

Lori Fedewa - CT State Office of Rural Health -Ex-Officio

Nicole Breton - ME State Office of Rural Health - ME - Ex-Officio

Cathleen McElligott - MA State Office of Rural Health - MA - Ex-Officio

Manuel Ortiz - MPA, CAGS, Chief, RI State Office of Primary Care and Rural Health - RI - Ex-Officio

John Olson - VT State Office of Rural Health - VT - Ex-Officio

Stephen Martin - MD, Director of the Rural Scholars Program, UMASS Medical School - MA - Board

Jeffrey Dodge - Private Practice - RI - Board

Sue Woods - Physician iMAT Hub, Southern Maine Health Care, Course Development, Roux Institute/Northeastern University, & Adjunct Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine - ME - Board

Elizabeth Winterbauer - MPH, CPHQ, Vermont Analysis and Programming Services - VT - Board

Ann Turner - MS, RN, CCM, Clinical Director, Integrated Healthcare - NH - Board

Sharon O'Connor, MBA, MS, Senior Research Scientist - CPDE | Dartmouth - NH - Board

Roberta diFlorio-Alexander, MD, MS, Staff Radiologist/Associate Professor - Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center/Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth - VT - Board

T.J. Clarke II, Executive Director - Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc. - CT - Board

Justin Hamrick, Primary Care Office Director / Associate Research Analyst - Connecticut Department of Public Health - CT - Board

Micaela Maynard, AHEC Scholars Program Manager - University of New England - ME - Board

Alison Warfel, Chief Operating Officer - Block Island Health Services - RI - Board

John Gale, NRHA President - Life Time