Our Staff

Sandra Baker, She/Her

General Operations Assistant

Sandra Baker joined HES in 2021 having spent her career until then in fund development in the private school and social services arenas. Having seen and experienced inequities in healthcare at an early age, she is drawn to our mission to promote health equity in Connecticut. Sandra received her associate's degree from Briarwood College.

Sandra is also passionate about her volunteer work with the Simsbury Second Chance Shop and advocating for people who experience homelessness. She enjoys gardening and interior decorating in her spare time.

Emily Bohmbach, She/Her

Policy & Advocacy Specialist

Emily Bohmbach joined Health Equity Solutions after working in clinical medicine throughout her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She gained significant interest in reducing health inequities and working in health policy while working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emily graduated with her bachelors in Allied Health from the University of Connecticut in 2021, and with her Masters in Public Health from Dartmouth College in 2022. Throughout her masters degree, Emily was a Health Equity Intern at the Yale New Haven Health System. Upon graduation from her masters, Emily was a recipient of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice 2022 Social Justice Award.

Ayesha R. Clarke, She/Her

Interim Executive Director

Ayesha Clarke, a native and current resident of Hartford, CT, has built a career centered on elevating the voices of those often left out around the city of Hartford. Holding master's degrees in social work with a policy practice concentration (UCONN) and public health (Benedictine University), Ayesha has a passion for policy and advocacy work centered on health and education. Her professional career was bolstered by her public office position and community service.

Before her role at Health Equity Solutions, Ayesha was the Vice President of Operations at COMPASS Youth Collaborative. She contributed to strategic goals and objectives and the organization's overall management. She served as the Hartford Board of Education Chairperson, where she has served in elected office, assuring that policies were created with an equitable lens.

Ayesha is a member of The Citadel of Love, the Greater Hartford Branch NAACP, and the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. Ayesha further serves the community through her active participation as a Board of Trustees for The Children's Museum, an Executive board member of Community Health Resources (CHR), and a proud member of the Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Kevin Collins, He/Him

Director of Training and Outreach

Kevin Collins comes to Health Equity Solutions after working in academia for the last 11 years. He most recently served as the Director of the Jeh Johnson ALANA Cultural Center at Vassar College where he conducted many equity, inclusion, and justice workshops for faculty, students, and administrators in addition to oversight of campus-wide cultural programming, and direct support and advocacy for and alongside students of color.

Kevin has worked in equity, inclusion, access, and belonging initiatives at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Sam Houston State University, and Texas A&M University. Kevin is passionate about justice, equity, and inclusion and motivating people and institutions to center the experiences, wellbeing, and access for those on the margins.

Kevin earned his BA in Sociology from the University of Illinois and his Master’s in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Joliet, Illinois. In his free time he loves cooking, binge-watching shows (old and new) on myriad streaming services, listening to music, and reading.

Samantha Lew, She/Her

Manager of Policy & Advocacy

Samantha Lew received her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy Practice from the University of Connecticut. This drove her passion 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.

Ichchha Pradhan, She/Her

Policy & Advocacy Specialist

Ichchha Pradhan received her B.A. in Political Science (Policy and Development concentration) and B.A. in Psychology from University of Rochester, NY. Ichchha also completed a one-year fellowship focusing on Statistics and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. She is incredibly passionate about exploring and leveraging the intersection of advocacy, data analysis and community engagement in creating equitable policies and working towards health equity.

Prior to joining HES, Ichchha worked as a Research Assistant/ Researcher at University of Rochester Medical Center on a project titled "Women on the Road to Health” (WORTH) under Dr. Diane Morse, in collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Sue (Yale University) and Dr. Karen A Johnson (Columbia University). The project explores the specific impact of trauma and social determinants of health in the lives of justice involved women as a whole and in particular, women recently released from incarceration. During her undergraduate career, she interned at non-profits in Rochester, NY and Kathmandu, Nepal while also completing a service-learning program in Procida, Italy.

Born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, Ichchha enjoys traveling, taking fun classes (dance, drawing, fitness etc.), watching thriller/ drama shows and spending time with friends and family.”

Dashni Sathasivam, She/Her

Manager of Policy & Outreach

Dashni Sathasivam is compelled by the intersection of health policy and advocacy and believes engaging communities and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by policies as central to achieving structural changes that advance health equity.

Originally from Wisconsin, her role as the Latino Outreach Coordinator with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center's Cancer Health Disparities Initiative and service as a City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps Member informed her community-based participatory approach to health and partnership building.

Dashni graduated with a Master’s in Public Health in health policy from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). She holds a Bachelors of Science in Gender & Women's Studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Karen Siegel, She/Her

Director of Policy

Karen Siegel, Director of Policy, comes to policy work from a prior career writing and editing health-focused material for a wide range of audiences. She conducted advocacy and policy-focused health research at Connecticut Voices for Children with a particular interest in promoting health equity in Connecticut’s Medicaid program and through state-level health systems transformation. Karen also engaged in research on infectious disease control policies in preschools in Singapore. Karen is passionate about social and racial justice in her home state of Connecticut informed by years of living in Southeast Asia, which broadened her understanding of how the structures of government impact perceptions of cultural differences. She earned an MPH from John’s Hopkins University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. In her time away from work, Karen enjoys traveling, reading, and being goofy with her family.

Taylor Tucker, He/Him

Program Manager of Training & Outreach

Taylor Tucker received his Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Social Work from the University of Connecticut with a concentration in policy practice. He is passionate about health equity and creating a place where everyone has affirming and equitable healthcare access. He believes in work directly informed by the community by creating and supporting policy, training, and advocacy that fits their unique needs.

Previous to working at HES, Taylor worked with the Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work where he designed and implemented training in a two-part program focused on voter engagement, knowledge and rights, support, and student political advocacy. Before his college experience, Taylor served in the U.S Navy. While in the Navy, he worked as a mechanic shop manager and led multiple trainings that focused on working and supporting various sailor identities, job advancement knowledge, and overall health and well-being while deployed.

Taylor believes in building inclusive communities through fostering intentional empathetic relationships centered on a strong sense of belonging by utilizing real human experiences and storytelling. He is excited about his role at HES and continuing his passion for working in health equity and building and delivering trainings. In his downtime, Taylor enjoys camping with his family and friends, challenging himself to try and cook new recipes, and traveling.

Namandje Wali, She/Her

Program Manager of Training & Outreach

Namandje Wali received her Bachelor of Public Health from the University of Connecticut, Masters of Healthcare Administration from the University of New Haven, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Public Health in Leadership, Equity, and Advocacy from Tulane University. Through her passion for education, Namandje committed her career to the belief that excellence in education, service, and practice are enhanced when both brewed and maintained in an inclusive and equitable environment and believes the right to health is a fundamental part of our human rights and of our understanding of a life in dignity.

Prior to joining HES, Namandje served as the Postpartum Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Birthright Doulas of Southern CT. In this capacity, and with the influence of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Namandje designed and implemented support groups and workshops for new families as they navigated the unknown of birthing and new parenting. Similarly, in her previous work at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Namandje served as the Equity and Organizational Culture Coordinator where she was able to continue to develop her passion for equitable care interventions. It was through these experiences, that Namandje saw first-hand barriers to not only accessible care but quality care also.

Born and raised in New Haven, CT, in her free time, Namandje loves to travel home to spend time with her family, try new recipes, and binge-watch reality TV shows and true crime documentaries. Namandje is a proud member of the Manchester/Greater Hartford Area graduate chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Harley Webley, She/Her

Policy & Communications Specialist

Harley Webley, born in Jamaica and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, she is no stranger to the impact of policy change on creating greater opportunities for individuals and their families. Earning her degree in Health Sciences from Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU), with minors in Sociology and Healthcare Management, Harley has a passion for building healthier communities, through social action.

As an undergrad, she founded ECSU’s first-ever Minority Health Conference and was granted the 2021 Social Justice Initiative award. The conference highlighted health inequities faced by historically underrepresented groups in Connecticut. New to Health Equity Solutions, Harley is thrilled to continue fueling her passion by empowering communities through policy and advocacy work. In her free time, Harley enjoys dressing up, working out, and spending time with loved ones.