Our Staff

Tekisha Dwan Everette

Executive Director

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” - bell hooks

Dr. Tekisha Dwan Everette’s passion for social justice was fueled by her personal experiences and influences as a child. As a youth, she experienced delays in diagnosing asthma, and faced challenges accessing and navigating the health care system. These experiences gave Everette first-hand knowledge of the importance of health and health care access. This, combined with her admiration for social justice trailblazers such as Thurgood Marshall, Barbara Jordan, and Sandra Day O'Connor, inspired Everette to dedicate her life’s work toward eradicating health care inequities through advocacy and policy.

Everette has built a successful career in public policy, particularly health care policy, and advocacy in the non-profit, state, and private sectors. Before taking the helm of Health Equity Solutions (HES), she served as the Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association, where she provided strategic leadership on policy and advocacy initiatives with the White House, several federal agencies, and Congress, which led to important victories for people with and at risk for diabetes. Prior to this, Everette worked as a government relations consultant with Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, LLC, where she represented the interests of several nonprofit health care organizations on issues such as health reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and federal appropriations. Everette has also worked for the Service Employees International Union, RESI, the State of Maryland, and the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation.

Everette earned her doctorate in Sociology from American University with a concentration in race, gender, and social justice as it relates to social policy.  She received her Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Center of Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from the same institution.

Everette is an alumna of the Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders and the National Urban Fellows America’s Leaders of Change program. She is a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Association of Black Sociologists..

When Everette is not advocating for health care policy and social justice, she enjoys fulfilling her thirst for cultural enrichment through travel. She believes seeing the world helps one to expand their worldview and cultural understanding and her goal is to visit every US city and touch every continent at least once.  In her spare time, Everette enjoys listening to music, writing poetry, dancing, and cooking.

Alan Aleia

Director of Operations & Finance

As a lifelong caretaker, healthcare equity is central to Alans' personal motivation for advocacy.  As an executive at one the largest operators of hospitals in the country, Alan learned that there are many stakeholders involved with healthcare service delivery and that complex regulations and numerous reimbursement models pose obstacles for marginalized patients that may not have the ability to navigate to the care they need.  Healthcare access must improve to create a more civil and equitable society and improve the wellbeing of all in our community. 

Most of Alan Aleia’s business career has focused on innovation and creating efficiencies with payment and cost reimbursement models.  After graduating from American International College, Alan joined the audit practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and earned his Certified Public Accountant credentials.  He later took a position in the insurance industry where he held increasingly responsible roles in financial management.  He is the lead innovator for a unique business process and technology that substantially improved the efficiency of premium recovery and claims settlement.  His innovations have resulted in 5 US Patient awards.   In addition, he led the team that brought these innovations to market, demonstrated commercial viability and later became a successful business which was acquired by a global services company.  

Alan next moved into product management and business development roles where he worked at early stage technology organizations before joining a healthcare revenue cycle services firm which was acquired by the largest publicly traded operator of hospitals and surgical centers in the United States. It was here that Alan learned the business side of healthcare delivery and came to appreciate the complexities of various cost reimbursement models and how they potentially influence the impact of health outcomes.

Samantha Lew

Policy and Advocacy Analyst

Samantha Lew received her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy Practice from the University of Connecticut. During that time, she completed two practicums focusing on public policy and research, in which were at the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition and the Connecticut Association for Human Services. This drove her passions even further of affecting change on the policy level. Samantha recognizes and highly values investigative work regarding policies on health care and service access and in creating equitable systems in which are successful and sustainable for all Connecticut residents.

In her most recent work as a Research Assistant for the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work, Samantha provided infrastructure development assistance on several grant projects, as well as recently presented at the 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health with colleagues on their publication of a review and analysis of 51 State’s policies addressing substance-exposed infants.

Invigorated by her move to the United States when she was very young, Samantha sees a just health care system for Connecticut, in which all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity and socio-economic status can access. Samantha strives to learn something new every day and bring that enthusiasm into her professional capacities and personal life.

Ashley Cheng

Intern (Summer 2019)

Ashley Cheng is a senior at George Washington University studying Psychology and Public Health. She is passionate about helping others, especially vulnerable populations, attain the highest standard and right to health. Ashley has always been motivated to learn and understand how to alleviate systemic obstacles that stand in the way of accessible, quality healthcare for all.


As a Policy and Advocacy Intern, she is conducting a statewide policy scan in efforts to collectively systematize the Connecticut General Assembly’s legislation that address health equity, with a focus on social determinants of health and vulnerable populations. Ashley provides additional support on various qualitative and quantitative projects, from producing survey summary data tables and informative presentations to writing and editing memos and reports.


In her downtime, Ashley likes to watch cooking videos and shows, read historical fiction, and spend time with her family and friends.

Kaitlin Hunter

Intern (Spring 2019)

Kaitlin is a second-year health policy student at the Yale School of Public Health. She is currently working on a report on equity in Connecticut’s Medicaid program.  This report will help guide Health Equity Solution’s long-term priorities.  Her hobby is listening to an absurd number of podcasts! 

Margaret Kellogg

Intern (Winter 2018; Spring 2019)
In Margaret's capacity as Programs Intern, she assists in the design and facilitation of all HES workshops, traveling across the state to present to key public health stakeholders (including community health workers and medical providers at federally-qualified health centers) about topics such as health equity, social determinants of health, and storytelling for advocacy. Margaret also collects and analyzes evaluative data from workshop participants in order to improve HES content and delivery. To round out her work, Margaret assists the Program Manager on administrative tasks, such as writing grant reports, booking event venues, designing webinars, and performing background research for HES programmatic activities.

Margaret plans to graduate from Yale College in May 2020 with a B.A. in Sociology, concentrating in Health and Society.  In addition, Margaret is dual-enrolled at the Yale School of Public Health, where she hopes to earn a Master’s in Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences the following year.


Her hobbies include teaching health classes in New Haven public high schools and compiling music playlists based on mood and the weather.

Connie Liu

Policy & Advocacy Intern (Summer 2019)

Connie Liu plans to graduate in 2021 from Cornell University with a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management. She is driven by her belief that healthcare is a human right. With an initial interest in public health and further gaining knowledge in medical anthropology and the sociology of health, she has determined her niche of interest is policy. Connie is determined to affect positive change by creating inclusive, upstream-focused health policies.

As a policy and advocacy intern, she plans and helps organize bill ideas for next year's legislative session. This includes planning 2019 Listening Sessions in major cities throughout Connecticut, which are known as HES's target locations. She is also responsible for tracking the progress of 2019 legislation with a health equity lens. She also spends copious amounts of time in the Legislative Office Building, hoping that Congress will start on time and pass the bills HES is supporting!

 When not imagining a world with equitable access to healthcare, she enjoys spending time outside, eating ice cream, and listening to alternative indie music.

Francesca Maviglia

Intern (Fall/Winter 2018-2019)

Francesca is a first year MPH student at the Social and Behavioral Sciences department of the Yale School of Public Health. During her internship, she has worked on reviewing and expanding HES' workshops, as well as designing a Train-the-Trainer program to prepare new facilitators to deliver workshops on Health Equity. Francesca is currently in the process of analysing the feedback collected by HES on past workshops, as well as streamlining the evaluation process.

Farah Rahman

Intern (Spring 2019)

Farah Rahman is driven by her passion for addressing disparities and social injustices in the world of healthcare. She is a fierce advocate of shifting the narrative of political and social efforts to incorporate the human dimension in their solutions. Inspired by her time in India, her birth country, Farah has dedicated her educational career to becoming a person for others. She hopes to successfully incorporate social justice in her practice while pursuing a career in medicine starting this Fall.

Farah completed a double major at UC San Diego in Biology and Global Health where a majority of her work was focused on learning about the health of refugee populations abroad and locally. She is currently finishing her Masters in Public Health in Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). Over the year, Farah has been researching disparities in medical outcomes such as Diabetic Retinopathy in the New Haven community. Her time at YSPH has emphasized the power of public and private partnerships in creating sustainable solutions, and she hopes to implement this framework in furthering health equity in local communities.

In her off time, Farah enjoys traveling, cooking, and finding some semblance of a work-life balance.