Advisory Council

Jack Geiger Website

Jack Geiger, MD
Arthur C. Logan Professor of Community Medicine Emeritus
City University of New York Medical School
New York, NY

Dr. Jack Geiger is the Arthur C. Logan Professor of Community Medicine Emeritus at the City University of New York Medical School. He has previously served as professor and chairman of Community Medicine at SUNY-Stonybrook School of Medicine and Tufts University Medical School, as well as Visiting Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

He is a founding member and past president of Physicians for Human Rights, a founding member and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a founding member and past president of the Committee for Health in South Africa, and a founding member and national program coordinator of the Medical Committee for Human Rights. Dr. Geiger has led or participated in human rights missions for PHR, the United Nations, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science to former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Kurdistan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and South Africa.

Most of his professional career has been focused on the related issues of health, poverty, and civil rights. Dr. Geiger initiated the community health center model in the USA, founding and directing the nation’s first two community health centers, in the Mississipi Delta and in Columbia Point, Boston. These centers became models for what is now a national network of more than 1000 CHCs serving some 17 million low-income and minority patients.

Dr. Geiger is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the IOM’s highest honor, the Lienhardt Award, for “outstanding contributions to minority health.” In recognition of his work on racial and ethnic discrimination in health care, the Congressional Black, Hispanic and Asian American Caucuses have created the H. Jack Geiger Congressional Fellowships on Health Disparities for young minority scholars.

Bethany Hamilton WebsiteBethany Hamilton, JD
Program Specialist (Policy), Community HealthCorps
National Association of Community Health Centers

Bethany Hamilton currently applies her experience in law, policy analysis and federal grants management as a Program Specialist (Policy) for the Community HealthCorps team at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to grant compliance, Bethany works with a team that develops and applies effective interventions, such as national service, to address the social determinants of health for underserved populations without sufficient access to health care. She also provides technical assistance to Community HealthCorps grantees on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act on AmeriCorps members. Prior to joining NACHC, she served as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow from 2008-2010 at Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. – Geneva, NY where she provided legal assistance and representation to underserved populations. As a legal fellow she launched a Reentry Law Clinic and served in her second year as one of three national representatives for the fellowship. Following her Legal Fellowship, she joined Equal Justice Works as staff to successfully manage its 700 member Summer Corps (AmeriCorps) program for law students and assist with the coordination of the groundbreaking Public Defender Corps fellowship.

Bethany earned a BA from the University of Miami, a certificate from Cornell University, and a JD with a certificate in the advanced study of health law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She has been a pupil of Law Professor and health law expert Alan Meisel, as well as Former U.S. Secretary of Health Donna Shalala. At the University of Pittsburgh School of Law she successfully re-launched the school’s Street Law Clinic and served as an Assistant Editor for two years with the Pittsburgh Tax Review. She is also an inaugural class Gates Millennium Scholar (a program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Law, Health and Society MeetingRobert Pettignano, MD, MBA  (NCMLP Advisory Council Chair)
Medical Director – HeLP
Medical Director Quality – Medicine Service Line
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University
Atlanta, GA

Dr. Robert Pettignano is Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University. He is the Medical Director of Quality for the Medicine Service Line and Co-President of the 1998 Society at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Pettignano is also the Medical Director of the Health Law Partnership (a medical-legal partnership). He has practiced both in the private and academic sectors. Dr. Pettignano completed medical school at Ross University (Dominica, West Indies), his pediatric residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, his pediatric critical care fellowship at Egleston Children’s Hospital at Emory University, and his MBA at Kennesaw State University. He was elected to the American College of Critical Care in 2000, and has been recognized by the Emory University and Orlando Regional Healthcare pediatric residents as Teacher of the Year.

Steve Scudder WebsiteSteven Scudder, JD
Counsel, Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service
American Bar Association

Steven Scudder graduated from the Franklin Pierce Law School (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law) in 1983. He was in private practice for a short time and then became director of the New Hampshire Pro Bono Program. For 10 years he led that program and the New Hampshire Bar Association’s other lawyer referral and public service initiatives. Mr. Scudder had been doing consulting for the ABA Center for Pro Bono since 1986 and in 1994 was hired as the Center’s director. In 1996 he became Counsel to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. During the past 19+ years he has led many successful national pro bono initiatives, has spoken and written extensively about pro bono, and has provided extensive consultation to programs across the country. Mr. Scudder is a recipient of the University of New Hampshire School of Law Bruce E. Friedman Pro Bono Service Award (2013), the New Hampshire Bar Association’s L. Jonathan Ross Award for Outstanding Commitment to Legal Services (2011) and the National Association of Pro Bono’s William Reece Smith Jr. Special Services to Pro Bono Award (2008).

Woody ThorneWoody Thorne, MSEd
Vice President of Community Affairs
Southern Illinois Healthcare
Carbondale, IL

William Russel “Woody” Thorne serves as the Vice President of Community Affairs for Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH). SIH is an integrated health care system comprised of three hospitals, multi-specialty physician facilities, and clinics with the mission of improving the health and well being of all of those residing in the communities served by SIH facilities. Thorne oversees the organization’s marketing and communications functions, charitable foundation, and community health improvement work through their Community Benefits department. Thorne is an active volunteer and board member on numerous community and regional economic development and health planning organizations.

Patti Vanhook websitePatti Vanhook, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAAN
Associate Dean for Practice and Community Outreach
East Tennessee State University College of Nursing
Johnson City, Tennessee

Dr. Patti Vanhook is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 1994. She has practiced in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee in rural health and university-based health centers and hospitals as a bedside nurse, nurse administrator, acute and primary care nurse practitioner. She has experience in the grass-roots development of rural health clinics to meet the needs of the underserved and uninsured. She currently is the Associate Dean for Practice and Community Outreach for the East Tennessee State University College of Nursing and Associate Professor in the College of Nursing. In this role she is responsible for administrative operations of thirteen nurse-managed primary care and episodic care practices including FQHC, RHC, and school-based clinics. She continues to practice as a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner providing health care to the underserved and uninsured. She was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2012.