Our Board

Debra M. Borrero

Director of School Choice Programs for the Capitol Region Education Council

Debra currently serves as the Director of School Choice programs for the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). She has worked in education policy for over 15 years, with experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

As Director, Debra provides leadership and overall direction of the program while utilizing her background in communications and community involvement; she cultivates relationships with superintendents and boards of education to better serve students in the 29 schools districts enrolled through the Hartford Region Open Choice Program. She manages the program’s $1.3 million dollar budget, and is responsible for overseeing the support services for students and districts, marketing and recruitment, and the coordination of the program’s diverse staff.

She also functions as CREC’s representative to the Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) at the State Department of Education, facilitating the application and placement process for students interested in CREC’s magnet schools and the Hartford Region Open Choice Program. Since she became Director of School Choice Programs, the program has seen a 73% increase in enrollment. 

In 2015, she was nominated as Manager of the Year. Debra left Trinity to work for Governor M. Jodi Rell and was promoted to serve as Deputy Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. In this role, she advocated the Governor’s public policy and legislative priorities with primary focus on committees of cognizance in education, environment, housing, transportation, commerce, and energy.

Shelley D. Geballe, JD, MPH

Yale School of Public Health & Yale Law School

"Everyone in Connecticut should have the opportunity to live a long, healthy life, regardless of their income, education, ethnic background or zip code.  Health Equity Solutions will help move our state toward this most important of goals."

Shelley D. Geballe is a Lecturer in Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health where she teaches Health Disparities, Health Policy Practicum, and Public Health Law for Non-Lawyers.  She also is a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and co-teaches the Legislative Advocacy Clinic. She is the Distinguished Senior Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children which is a state research and advocacy organization that she co-founded in 1995, and served as its president from 1995 through 2008.                                            

Geballe graduated from Yale Law School in 1976 and the Yale School of Public Health in 1995.  She practiced civil rights law for more than a decade, representing, among others, Connecticut's foster children in litigation against the state child welfare department, inmates with HIV/AIDS in litigation against the state department of correction, and school children with HIV/AIDS who were being excluded from the New Haven Public Schools. Her publications include Geballe, Gruendel & Andiman, Forgotten Children of the AIDS Epidemic (Yale University Press, 1995).

Geballe has consulted internationally on public health and AIDS law in China and South Africa, and has served on many state commissions and task forces on topics ranging from Connecticut's property tax cap to child and adult mental health services in Connecticut. Most recently, she co-founded and now serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors of a new non-profit that provides professional reporting about Connecticut government, policy and politics.

Kristen N. Hatcher, Esq.

Managing Attorney, Benefits Unit

“Health equity in Connecticut is something that can be achieved.  There are multiple factors that contribute to the striking disparities that exist. Accordingly, in order to achieve health equity, we must address the issue on many levels.  Health Equity Solutions will play one of the most important roles on the road to health equity, as it will lead the charge to move essential policy change forward.”

Kristen Noelle Hatcher, Managing Attorney of the Benefits Unit at Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. (CLS), oversees its Public Benefits practice.  CLS is the largest legal services program in the state.  There, she and her unit advocate through individual and class legal representation, as well as systemic advocacy on behalf of low-income people to gain access to healthcare, food assistance, income maintenance, energy assistance, child care assistance and other programs that help individuals meet their basic needs. 

Hatcher’s journey to health equity work began while attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT where Hatcher completed course work that examined the history of race in the United States and its impact on health, housing, education, law and other systems in the U.S.  She drew on this knowledge working for a managed Medicaid nonprofit organization serving Connecticut and performing interventional research in the public health system in Denver, CO.  This work inspired Hatcher to attend law school, so that she could address health inequities in new forms.  Upon graduating from the University of Colorado, School of Law, Boulder CO, Hatcher returned to Connecticut and soon thereafter joined CLS.  Hatcher participated on the Health Disparities Committee of the Sustinet Board.  Since 2010, Hatcher has served on the CT Commission on Health Equity, where she served on the executive committee and chairs the youth committee.  In the spring of 2011, she completed a Health Equity Fellowship Program with the Connecticut Health Foundation and in 2012 was invited back to serve as a Senior Fellow for the program.  In August, 2011, Hatcher was appointed to the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Regional Health Equity Council for Region I, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.  In 2013, Hatcher was appointed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Regional Advisory Board for New Britain.  In 2014, Hatcher was appointed to the CT Medical Program Oversight Council.     

Bruce T. Liang, M.D.

Dean, UConn School of Medicine; Director, The Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiovascular Center; Chief, Division of Cardiology; Ray Neag Distinguished Professor of Vascular Biology

“Health Equity is and should be front and center of any effort for excellence in quality, which all health care providers should strive to achieve.”

Dr. Bruce T. Liang is a graduate of Harvard College and Medical School.  After residency training at University of Pennsylvania and cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he joined the faculty at University of Pennsylvania.  In 2002, he assumed his current positions as Director of Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiovascular Center and Chief of Cardiology at University of Connecticut Medical Center, the Ray Neag Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, and Chief of Cardiology at the University of Connecticut Health Center.  Under his leadership, the Calhoun Cardiovascular Center has won a number of awards on quality and service.  In 2011-2012, Dr. Liang served as the interim dean of the UConn School of Medicine. 

Evelyn Mantilla

Mantilla Leadership Solutions
"As a social justice issue, health equity is one of prime importance to me.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity participate in the effort to arrive at the solutions that every Connecticut family deserves."

Evelyn Mantilla is the owner of Mantilla Leadership Solutions, an independent consulting firm providing strategic communication services, as well as training and public speaking and political consulting services. She is a respected leader who served in the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative for 10 years (1997 – 2007). She was the first openly bisexual woman in the Connecticut General Assembly and was also the first Hispanic woman to serve as Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

As an activist and legislator, Mantilla has spent her professional career working on civil rights and equality issues – particularly focusing on her work with disenfranchised communities. During her tenure as a legislator, she represented an urban district with an overwhelming majority of Latinos / Puerto Ricans – a district with one of the highest populations living in poverty in the state.

In addition to her legislative work, Ms. Mantilla has worked as an advocate for women’s rights and as a small business owner consulting to nonprofits and electoral campaigns. She has served on numerous boards, commissions and public committees, and uses her unique combination of talents, bilingualism and activist experience to be an advocate for social justice issues.

Marta Elisa Moret, MPH

President, Urban Policy Strategies

“Despite sound evidence that there are interventions that can increase accessibility and acceptability to high quality prevention-driven health services, our systems have failed to make long-term commitments to programs that can improve health through the reduction of racial and ethnic disparities. I am delighted to be part of an effort that blends science with policy and offers a passionate commitment to change for Connecticut's low-income and underserved populations.”

Marta Elisa Moret is the president of Urban Policy Strategies, a New Haven-based consulting firm that conducts research and policy assessment in public health. UPS evaluates the impact of community-based interventions in areas such as HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity, substance abuse, and cardiovascular diseases. UPS uses evidence-based approaches to enhance the capacity of African-American, Latino, and Native American community organizations to implement successful disease prevention programs. This work has served as a model for community-academic partnerships in addressing public health issues facing underserved families and children. 

Previously, Ms. Moret was the Deputy Commissioner for the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services, Vice President for Program at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and Program Director at the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Presently, Ms. Moret is on the board of the Women’s Health Research at Yale.  She is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Eastern Evaluation Association. She has served Yale as a member of the Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors and was Assistant Director and a fellow of the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.  She earned her Master of Public Health degree from the Yale School of Public Health.

Elaine O'Keefe, MS

Executive Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS & Executive Director, Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health

Elaine currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), the Executive Director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health, and is a lecturer of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. Prior to her work at the CIRA, Elaine served as the Health Director for Stratford, Connecticut and as the AIDS Division Director for the City of New Haven. Elaine is a founding member of the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS and the Women’s AIDS Coalition. 

She created the City’s first dedicated AIDS unit in the New Haven Health Department during the early days of the epidemic. Elaine has also held various state and national leadership positions. She is a former president of the CT Association of Directors of health and past president of the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). While active in NACCHO she launched and chaired an HIV Advisory Committee that advocated for progressive HIV policy at the national level.

Elaine has received various awards over the years for her contributions in the AIDS/HIV and broader public health practice milieu. She is a recipient of the CT State Health Commissioner’s AIDS Leadership award, the C.E.A. Winslow award for Public Health Leadership, and co-recipient of the Franz Edelman Management Science award for her involvement in the Yale sponsored evaluation of the New Haven NEP.