Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish physician and actor from Tla’amin Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada.
Evan is a full-scholarship alumnus of St. Michaels University School and of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific of Victoria, BC. He stars in the Emmy-winning TV-movie “Lost in the Barrens” and its nominated sequel “Curse of the Viking Grave”. Besides numerous episodics like “The Beachcombers” and “Black Stallion”, he also appears in the feature film “Toby McTeague” and the Fox-TV movie “Lakota Moon”. On the stage, some of his highlights include the role of Edmund in Women in View’s “Lear”, Creature Nataways in the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, and Jamie in Headlines Theatre’s “Mamu.”
Evan stars as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in ShadowCatcher Entertainment’s SMOKE SIGNALS, written by Sherman Alexie and directed by Chris Eyre. SMOKE SIGNALS won the coveted Audience Award for best film and the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998. He also won Best Actor awards from the American Indian Film Festival, and from First Americans in the Arts, and a 1999 Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best Debut Performance’. He has been a regular on the CBC TV-series DA VINCI’S CITY HALL and APTN’s RAVEN TALES. He won a 2011 Gemini Award for co-hosting the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards along with Adam Beach.
Kathleen Shurba is the Oral Health Outreach Coordinator in the Community Health and Wellness department at NATIVE HEALTH in Phoenix, AZ. Kathleen oversees the Oral Health Outreach program which provides dental screenings, fluoride varnish applications, oral health education and referrals to thousands of children throughout Maricopa county annually, focusing on Native American Indian/Alaskan, Latino/Hispanic and low-income children. Additionally, the program provides oral health education to pregnant women and community group.
Millicent Kane, BHT, Life Is Precious Program Manager/Prevention Specialist
Millicent is a Behavioral Health Technician and is currently the Program Manager as well as a Prevention Specialist for the Life Is Precious Suicide Prevention Team for the White Mountain Apache Behavioral Health Services. She graduated in 2004 from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Her experience includes work as a Peer Support for Native American Connections in Phoenix Arizona, and Head Start teacher at Whiteriver Head Start. Since her position at ABHS she has gained experience in suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention services, she runs groups, provides outreach and is an ASIST and SafeTALK facilitator. She is a White Mountain Apache tribal member attended Alchesay High School and resides in Whiteriver with her family.
As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jon leverages three decades of for-profit and non-profit experience to develop an expanded, innovation-centered network of stakeholders focused on all aspects of health and well-being.
He continuously engages influencers and partners in furthering policy and systems change. Jon is particularly focused on fostering relationships that engage new sectors and catalyze innovation. Working with the leadership team, he is responsible for crystallizing and developing new initiatives that further Vitalyst’s mission and goals.
Jon also drives all of Vitalyst’s earned, paid, online and offline communications, including media outreach, publications, websites, podcasts, webinars and newsletters and publications.
Cora M. Phillips holds a Bachelor’s Degree from NAU in Public Administration & Social Planning, a Master’s Degree from ASU in Clinical and Community Social Work.
She served as Executive Director for Navajo Nation Division of Social Services and Division of Health, consecutively. Her work has been in government, policy analysis, research, child welfare systems, juvenile justice, Health, Environmental Health, Education, Indigenous Cultures, healing methodologies, epigeneticism, cancer prevention, cultural ethnography, cultural competency, etc.
Schuyler Hall, M.P.S.
Outreach & Policy Specialist, Region IX
Schuyler Hall has nearly five years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors bringing health policy to the local level. He currently serves as an Outreach and Policy Specialist in the Region IX Director’s Office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Schuyler’s portfolio includes Nevada, Arizona, and tribal affairs across the region.
Diana “Dede” Yazzie Devine, Native American Connections President/CEO has been working with Native American urban and tribal entities since 1972 and has been employed as the CEO of Native American Connections (NAC) since 1979 – for over 38. NAC is a 501 (c) 3 Native American operated nonprofit corporation that provides comprehensive behavioral health services, affordable housing, and community based economic development opportunities. With Native Americans as a priority population, NAC offers innovative research-based behavioral health counseling services integrated with Native cultural and traditional healing practices. In addition, NAC developed, owns and operates over 750 units of affordable housing for working families and permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals along the light-rail in Central Phoenix. NAC is also a leader in multi-family housing LEED Platinum Certified building.
Jami Snyder serves as the Deputy Director for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid program, providing a full range of health care services and supports for 1.9 million Arizonans at a cost of $12 billion annually. Prior to her current role, Ms. Snyder served as the Medicaid Director for the state of Texas. She has over 18 years of experience in the health and human services industries, including extensive regulatory experience stemming from her tenure with the Texas Medicaid program as well as her prior service at both AHCCCS and the Arizona Department of Health Services, where she was charged with overseeing the state’s Medicaid-contracted health plans and ensuring compliance with established federal and state managed care mandates.
Ms. Snyder holds a master’s degree in political science from Arizona State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Dr. Arredondo currently resides in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona where she is raising her family amongst an extensive family unit. She has travelled throughout the United States for pleasure and education. After graduating college in Minnesota she worked in mental health treatment and research in San Francisco, CA and at Stanford University. Dr. Arredondo completed her medical school at University of Washington in Seattle and then Psychiatry Residency and Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale University. Since that time she has worked in both inpatient care, outpatient care, and emergency care and in both the private and public sector.
Mark Carroll, MD. is the chief health officer for The NARBHA Institute. He has served in many health care leadership positions, including roles as the physician program consultant for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, chief medical officer at Flagstaff Medical Center, vice-president for population health at Northern Arizona Healthcare, and director of the Indian Health Service national Telemedicine and southwest Native American Cardiology programs. His experience has involved work in diverse public, private, and academic health care settings, at local, regional, and national levels. Dr. Carroll has served on a number of organizational boards and is an active community volunteer.
Hazel Alvarenga is an Opioid Epidemiologist in the Office of the Director at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Hazel assists the Chief Medical Officer and Clinical Initiatives Project Manager with data projects involved with the agency initiative to reduce the effects of the opioid epidemic in Arizona. Her past research includes work in social determinants of health and health disparities. Hazel holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from The University of California Irvine and a master’s of public health degree in research epidemiology and global health from Loma Linda University.