NEPA Community Health Care is thankful for the engaged community members who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to serve on our Board of Directors. As a federally qualified health center (FQHC), federal guidelines dictate the composition of our Board as well as their responsibilities.
Comprised of at least nine members, the majority of our Directors must be health center patients and, as such, representative of the community and populations served by the health center. The guidance of our Directors ensures the integrity of our organization, utilizing their professional experience and personal connections to our community. Board members are often selected for their unique expertise in relevant subject areas such as finance, law, community relations and healthcare compliance. A position on a Board of Directors, however, isn’t only for the seasoned or highly accomplished professionals of our community. There will always be a place at our table for the new, the young and the passionate – whatever your job title may be!
NEPA Community Health Care consistently invites new members to join our Board of Directors.
To learn more about the difference you can make, please contact our administrative office at (570) 278-5156.
Kristen Follert, MS | Chief Executive Officer
As a 15 year resident of Susquehanna County and member of the NEPA CHC family since 2017, Kristen Follert has demonstrated long-term commitment to northeastern Pennsylvania and the Health Center Program.
Kristen has 20 years of healthcare experience, including a decade of supervisory, quality improvement and operational strategy work – most recently as NEPA CHC’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining us, Kristen served in key roles with ProCare Physical Therapy, Friendship House and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Among Kristen’s notable contributions to NEPA CHC are her work operationalizing the health center’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program and Care Management service line, as well as strengthening the organization’s Quality Assurance program through collaborations with community and industry partners.
As an active member of her community, Kristen places a high value on volunteerism. She currently volunteers as President of the Parent-Teacher Organization of Lathrop Street Elementary School and as a Girl Scout leader. In past years, she has also served as an elected official on the Montrose Area School District Board of Directors and has a history of avid involvement with the community’s many festivals and fundraising events.
Kristen and her husband, Tom, reside in Montrose with their three children. In moments away from work, Kristen enjoys trips with her family and connecting with friends and neighbors.
Board of Directors
Judith Herschel | President
As a descendent of local dairy farmers, business owners, railroad workers, veterans and even a county historian, Judy Hershel’s roots are planted deep in Susquehanna County. She is a graduate of Mansfield University where she earned a dual degree in Sociology and Anthropology. Early in her career, Judy had the opportunity to travel abroad as an archeologist but soon refocused her career path on social services. She spent over five years in urban Philadelphia working as an Intensive Case Manager for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania and later as a Psychiatric Social Worker for the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems. While those experiences proved invaluable to her professional goals, getting back to Susquehanna County was always a priority for Judy. In 2005, she moved home to accept a role with Trehab where she served as a Drug & Alcohol Counselor for nearly 15 years. During her tenure, Judy focused on treatment, education and program development in our community and correctional facilities. Elected to public office in November 2019, she now proudly serves as a Susquehanna County Commissioner.
Judy joined NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors in 2019, bringing extensive experience not only in counseling and human services but also in the criminal justice, healthcare and educational arenas. Of all this, Judy’s proudest achievement will always be her role as a wife and mother. True to her roots, Judy and her husband, Eric, are raising their two amazing boys in the heart of Susquehanna County.
Stuart Shapiro, MD, MPH | Vice President
Few individuals understand all aspects of healthcare, and especially long-term care, as Dr. Stuart Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro has enjoyed a successful and diversified career as a businessman, entrepreneur, high-ranking government official, long-term care executive, and physician. Throughout this career, he has moved seamlessly between the public and private sectors.
Dr. Shapiro holds a medical degree with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a masters degree in Public Health from Harvard University. He completed his post-graduate medical education at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals, is Board Certified in three clinical specialties, and has authored numerous articles on management and healthcare. Dr. Shapiro has practiced clinical medicine in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and remains licensed in Pennsylvania and New York State. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Shapiro has held academic appointments at medical schools, law schools and business schools. He has experience as an expert witness and consultant before state and federal regulatory agencies, has testified in both state and federal courts, and has also worked closely with the drug and medical device divisions of the FDA.
Among his many notable achievements, Dr. Shapiro served as Chief Executive Officer of the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia, at which time America’s Promise Alliance was launched. Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, served as General Chairman, and Presidents Clinton and Bush were Honorary Chairmen. In attendance were all living Presidents, with Nancy Reagan representing her husband. Following his tenure as CEO, Dr. Shapiro remained active in the programs of America’s Promise by directing the National Job Shadowing Initiative through which one million students annually shadowed a workplace mentor.
Dr. Shapiro currently maintains a medical-legal consulting practice, serving as an Active Strategic Consultant to businesses and non-profits alike. His expertise ranges from quality of care matters, to staffing, to standards of care. He has implemented long-term care reimbursement systems, developed regulations and legislation, and served on multiple statewide Commissions.
Now residing in Susquehanna County, NEPA Community Health Care is thrilled to utilize Dr. Shapiro’s time and talents as a member of its Board of Directors.
Lori Mitchell, MBA | Treasurer
Lori Mitchell began her education at the University of Pennsylvania before obtaining her MBA from Louisiana State University and an accounting degree from the University of New Orleans. Before retiring from Capital One in April 2016, Lori contributed more than 25 years to the consumer finance industry and was instrumental in underwriting, compliance and asset management. Most of her career was spent building a $4 billion business portfolio with 140+ clients and completing over $10 billion in transactions.
Lori now serves as an industry consultant specializing in capital structure, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions. Based in New Orleans, she provides leadership counseling to lending executives that are critical to growth to enhance return on investment. Her expertise ranges from buy-here-pay here auto finance portfolios to direct and indirect lending including sales finance, tax lien arbitrage, small dollar credit, marketplace lending and securitized transactions. Lori’s personal interests include real estate investing, scuba diving, skiing and golf.
Andrew Coolbaugh | Secretary
Andrew Coolbaugh graduated from the Elk Lake School District in 2002 and now serves as Volunteer & Project Coordinator as well as Certified Recovery Specialist with Trehab, a community action agency serving seven counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. In his role as Volunteer & Project Coordinator, Andrew directs volunteer recruitment, training and orientation; supervises a team of Certified Recovery Specialists, employees and volunteers; and plans and implements new programs and events at the Community Resource Center of Susquehanna County. As a Certified Recovery Specialist, Andrew works to support individuals in overcoming barriers as they work toward long-term recovery. In addition to empowering clients to take an active role in their own recovery planning, Andrew assists his clients in gaining access to MAT programs, enroll in PA Medicaid, find housing and pursue employment.
Andrew is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology through Keystone College. He and his wife, Alicia, have two children and reside in Montrose.
Kenneth Cooper | Member & Past President, 2017 – 2019
Ken Cooper was born and raised in McKinleyville, California. Before attending Brigham Young University in Idaho, Ken served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, part of which was spent on the Crow and Cheyenne Reservations in Montana. Ken then spent 28 years in Maryland, where he was co-founder and partner of Professional Benefits Solutions, a firm which brokered employee health and welfare plans as well as retirement plans on a national and international basis. Ken moved to Montrose in June 2011 and now serves as an ecclesiastical leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He and his wife, Susan, have been married since 1982 and have six children together.
Traci Decker, MS | Member
Traci Decker is a summa cum laude graduate of Misericordia University where she earned a degree in Professional Studies and certification in Child Welfare Studies. During this foundational period of her education, Traci chose to concentrate her studies in the areas of Human Services Agency Management and Social Work – a path which has served her well. Traci then went on to pursue her graduate education with the University of Phoenix, where she focused on organizational, physiological and lifespan Psychology. Before joining Trehab, a community action agency serving seven counties of northeastern Pennsylvania, Traci worked in behavioral health rehabilitative services with Youth Advocate Programs in New Milford as well as NHS in Montrose.
Traci has worn many hats during her tenure with Trehab, including Prevention Specialist, Addiction Counselor, Lead Counselor and Acting Treatment Supervisor, and finally Clinical, Prevention and Independent Living Supervisor – the role she continues to serve today. Traci’s personal interests include traveling, tiny living and practicing mindfulness.
Elisabeth Landes, CRT | Member
More than a lifelong resident of Susquehanna County, Liz Landes is a dedicated humanitarian committed to improving the quality of life for families in the Great Bend area. Her passion for philanthropy and belief in the power of community has resulted in more than a dozen successful events and thousands of dollars raised to develop the Specialist Lee A. Wiegand Memorial Park in Great Bend, Pennsylvania. Liz additionally serves as Chair of the Musa Stiles VFW Auxiliary Post #6223‘s Youth Program and Veteran’s Support committees.
Outside of her community improvement efforts, Liz has held licensure as a Respiratory Therapist for 10 years. She is employed with Endless Mountains Health Systems in Montrose, where she helps her patients live their best lives with the assistance of therapeutic respiratory programs. Liz and her husband, Ray, reside in Great Bend and have three children and two grandchildren.
Macy Matthews | Member
Macy Matthews knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the medical field, but not in a traditional role. Following graduation from Mountain View School District in 2009, Macy earned her undergraduate degree in Health Services Administration from James Madison University and is actively pursuing her Masters of Health Administration from the University of Scranton. Macy has devoted her career to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and currently serves as a Specialized Business Senior Manager within their Global Medicine division where she co-manages a team of 30 members helping patients around the world seek advanced medical care with CHOP.
Macy’s Susquehanna County roots keep her engaged in our service area, eager to give back to the community which helped shape her personally and professionally. In her moments away from work and school, Macy enjoys spending time at Elk Mountain and Crystal Lake with friends, family and her beloved golden retriever.
Todd Moffett, Esq | Member
Before earning his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1985, Todd Moffett began his educational career at Washington state’s Whitman College where he majored in Political Science. Over the past 34 years, Todd’s legal practice has focused on employer sponsored and individual retirement plans and investment vehicles – primarily involving large employers, banks and life insurers but also accident and health insurers, mortality and longevity risk transfer solutions. Todd has served as Corporate Counsel for the Prudential Insurance Company of America since 1998.
Supplemental to his expansive career, Todd has long made time for active involvement in his community. In addition to serving on NEPA Community Health Care’s Board of Directors since 2020, he is a Senior Warden with the Christ Episcopal Church in Susquehanna, PA and is active on numerous Diocesan committees and initiatives with the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in Bethlehem, PA.
Joseph Plonski | Member & Past President, 2014 – 2017
Before entering the workforce, Joe Plonski spent two years at the University of Scranton where he studied Accounting. Joe then began his expansive career operating his family’s dairy farm and went on to manage the Blooming Grove Hunting & Fishing Club’s Fish Hatchery for 15 years. While both of these opportunities served him well, Joe found his true calling as a Heavy Equipment Operator and Foreman with PennDOT, where he also had the privilege of serving as a Union Steward for 12 years.
In addition to being NEPA Community Health Care’s longest-standing Director, Joe is actively involved as a Board member with the Susquehanna County chapter of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and as a former Chairman of the Susquehanna County Democratic Party. Joe maintains membership with the AFSCME and PARSE, key organizations devoted to promoting the welfare of active and retired state employees. True to his farming roots, Joe keeps on the move with a beef cattle operation even in retirement. In his spare moments, Joe enjoys spending time with his daughter and granddaughter, big game hunting, fly fishing and skeet shooting.
Rachael Thomas, Esq | Member
Rachael Thomas completed her undergraduate education at Mansfield University where she triple-majored in Psychology, Political Science and Philosophy – Pre-Law with a minor in Business. After graduating with magna cum laude honors, Rachael went on to earn her law degree from Wayne State Law School in Detroit, Michigan. She currently serves as a partner with DeWitt & Thomas Law Offices PC, focusing primarily on estates, real estate and corporate law. As a Susquehanna County native, it was important to Rachael to move home when starting her family and she is now a proud wife and mother of two rambunctious boys!