We envision a vibrant community

of families whose children are healthy, confident and ready for school.


Child Health Partnership has decades of experience in the communities we serve, as well as the agility needed to respond to the complex and changing needs of today’s families.

Child Health Partnership began its community nursing services through the Thomas Jefferson Health District in the Virginia Department of Health in 1991. In 2008, we became an independent nonprofit organization known as the Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHIP). In October 2019, we renamed our organization Child Health Partnership to more clearly convey our focus on child health.

Our staff reflects the diversity of the families we serve. About half of our families are newcomers from other countries. We support them with bilingual staff and interpreters to help ease the complexity of communicating about the health care needs of their children. We also locate one of our offices near the city neighborhoods we serve so that our staff are close-by members of the neighborhood. We strive to meet all our families where they are with the best support we can provide. 

Our Commitment to Racial Health Equity

Since our founding in 1991, the staff and board of Child Health Partnership have strived to provide supportive, culturally aware, and trauma-informed care to the families we serve, building on the strengths parents have as their child’s first and best teachers. Our families are ethnically, culturally, and racially diverse. We have supported the healthy development of children and families with deep roots in the communities of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Louisa—communities that have a history of racial injustice—as well as families who are newcomers from many other countries, including those ravaged by poverty, war, and political oppression.

Our staff has the honor of providing services to children and families in their homes, and of sharing in both their joys and challenges, as trusted partners. We acknowledge that health care inequities present challenges to Black and brown families, and that centuries of race-based economic injustice in our nation and community continue to limit opportunities for some families to thrive, to manage the stress of overcoming obstacles, and to live their dreams beyond meeting everyday needs for transportation, housing, and food security.

In 2020, we witnessed the murder of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately impacted Black and brown families because of health and economic inequity. In response, our staff formed a task force as part of its Staff Council, focusing on race and equity. In addition, the board established a Health Equity committee to understand how our organization can better respond to systemic racism and implicit bias in health care. Our goal is to take action for change that will remove barriers to equitable care for children and families marginalized because of race and other identity characteristics. We recognize that children and families may also face barriers to equity based on their economic status, mental and physical health challenges, sexual preference, gender identity, age, and language.

We are also looking inward, with humility, to continue to draw on the diversity of experiences and perspectives of our staff and to expand the diversity of our board, so that as an organization we better understand the complex needs of our families and meet them more effectively. We recognize we have more work to do in these areas.

Our core value that each child deserves every opportunity for strong physical and mental health infuses our work for health equity and the diversity of our organization. As we continue to learn and advocate for equitable health care, we are committed to honest and open communication. We welcome all meaningful feedback and dialogue with our supporters and partners as we aim to continuously improve our service to children, families, and the community.


Child Health Partnership supports families to build nurturing home environments and to promote the health and well-being of children in our community.

Our Staff


Jon Nafziger, MPA

Jon Nafziger, MPA

Executive Director


Juliana Weaver, MA

Juliana Weaver, MA

Family Support Supervisor



Jessica Knight, RN, BSN

Jessica Knight, RN, BSN

Nursing Supervisor


Kate Mallek, MELP

Kate Mallek, MELP

Director of Development


Rosemary Heflin, MSW

Rosemary Heflin, MSW

Family Support Supervisor


Torri Ayers, BS

Torri Ayers, BS

Outreach Coordinator and Senior Family Support Specialist



Administrative Staff

Karen Neilson, Director of Administration, 434-964-4702
Roxanne Muniz, Administrative Associate, 434-964-4700

Community Health Nurses

Rachel Adams, RN, BSN 434-872-1028
Emily Koester, RN, MSN 434-964-4700 ext.120
Caleigh Smith, RN, BSN 434-964-4700 ext.114


Family Support Specialists

Kassandra Baltazar, FSS, BSW 434-964-4700 EXT 116
Ciera Edmonds, FSS, BA, 434-964-4700 ext. 115
Barbara Lesich, FSS,IMH-E® (I) 434-964-4700 ext. 112
Hannah Mack-Boll, FSS 434-964-4700 Ext 111
Naydamar Maldonado, FSS,BS 434-964-4700 Ext. 109
Emily Smith, FSS,BS 434-964-4700 Ext. 105

Fluvanna Office

Ruth Anne Earhart, FSS  434-987-8351
Teri Lamb, RN, BSN 434-987-8230

Louisa Office

Courtney Jones, RN, BSN 434-326-7904
Ericka Jones-Ayers, FSS 434-987-8399


 No positions posted at this time.  

Board of Directors

 Ana Abad-Jorge, Ed.D., MS, RDN

Originally from Cuba, Ana Abad-Jorge earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Rollins College and her master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Florida. She worked at the University of Virginia Medical Center for 27 years as a pediatric registered dietitian/nutritionist in acute pediatrics, pediatric clinics, and the Newborn and Pediatric Intensive Care units. She also served as the program director for UVA’s Dietetic Internship Program for 20 years. After earning her education doctorate in 2013, Ana served as faculty and program director for the online bachelor’s program in healthcare management at UVA until 2020. She now serves as an assistant professor of clinical nutrition within the Department of Health Professions at James Madison University.  Ana is married with four children and enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.


Allie Bryan

Allie Bryan moved to Charlottesville from New York City, where she worked for nearly a decade in the nonprofit sector providing social and educational services for at-risk children and families. Now raising two young children with her husband, she is excited to be a part of an organization that builds strong communities by coming alongside children and their parents. Allie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Spanish from Colgate University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in nonprofit management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU.


  Elizabeth Carpenter, RN

    Elizabeth Carpenter is the RN Care Coordinator at the International Family Medicine Clinic at UVA working with the   refugee and Special Immigrant Visa holders who are resettled to the Charlottesville area by the International Rescue       Committee. Elizabeth previously worked as a Community Health Nurse with Child Health Partnership and as a labor and delivery nurse in Charlottesville and Seattle. Prior to nursing school Elizabeth earned a degree in technical theater and built  props at the Seattle Repertory Theater. Elizabeth is the parent of two teens with her husband Dan and enjoys hiking and volunteering with PACEM and as a COVID vaccinator.

Shane Cook, Secretary

Shane Cook is a Director at CFA Institute, a nonprofit member association headquartered in Charlottesville, whose mission is to lead the investment management profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Shane spent three years working in retail and commercial banking in the Charlottesville area. Shane earned his MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University with concentrations in Finance and Management. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College. He is a 2016 graduate of the Board Development Academy through the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

Mary Gibson, PhD, RN

Mary Gibson is a BSN and MSN (in public health nursing) graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing and earned her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied nursing history, particularly focusing on Virginia’s public health history. During her 20-year career at UVA School of Nursing, she taught undergraduate and masters level public health nursing as well as undergraduate obstetrics. She authored the community assessment chapter for several editions of the standard nursing text for public health nursing. In 2019 Mary retired from the School of Nursing and holds emerita status. She now guest lectures on obstetric topics as well as public health history at the school. She is currently the chair of the Advisory Board of the School of Nursing’s Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, is a member of the Accreditation Committee for Midwifery Education, and volunteers in the COVID vaccination drive, in addition to her work on the board of the American Association for the History of Nursing. Early in her career she was a public health nurse in the Charlottesville Albemarle area. This experience led her to work in obstetrics at the University of Virginia’s outpatient clinic where she was involved in the regionalization of high-risk pregnancies on a Virginia Dept. of Health grant. Eventually, after experience in employee health and sexually transmitted infection research, she worked in labor and delivery. She became a full-time clinical instructor in obstetrics before embarking on her doctoral program. Following graduation she returned to the School of Nursing, where she worked until her retirement. Mary was a board member of Child Health Partnership for nine years until 2020, when her term expired and she remained on the Program Committee and the Health Equity Committee. Her passion is mothers and babies and their needs in the community.

Claudette Grant, Vice-Chair

Claudette Grant is originally from Hartford, CT. She completed her undergraduate work in Urban Studies at the University of Connecticut and has a master’s degree from the University of Virginia in Urban and Environmental Planning. Claudette has worked as a planner for the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Her work in the housing field includes community organizing for Piedmont Housing Alliance, housing counselor for Housing Opportunities Made Equal, and loan assistant for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Claudette currently works as Community Outreach and Engagement Specialist at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine Cancer Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and being involved in the community through her work at church.

Ashley Palmer

Former Imagine Award winner (2011) Ashley Jurney is an enthusiastic member of her community as well as a passionate and market-savvy real estate agent. She is originally from Buffalo, NY and currently resides in the heart of Charlottesville with her son Noah and fiancé, Gary. She studied Biology and Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated with a BS degree in 2015. After college she worked as a Clinical Applications Analyst at the University of Virginia. She has been awarded the Accredited Buyers Representation (ABR®) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Counsel (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) Rising Star of the year 2018, and voted Best of C-Ville Weekly, Best REALTOR® in Charlottesville 2019. As a graduate from the Child Health Partnership program, she is very excited to serve as a new board member and chair of the fundraising committee, giving back to her community in a greater capacity and helping to bridge the gap between our families and board members.


Cara Pates, Treasurer

Cara Pates is a Virginia native and graduate of The College of William and Mary (BBA in Accounting) and UVa’s McIntire School of Commerce (MS of Accounting). Cara has 7+ years of experience in public accounting and is a Tax Manager for KPMG, LLP. She and her husband Seth, a Charlottesville native, moved back to town 4 years ago. Cara enjoys reading, cooking, and chasing after her two kids.

Susan Payne

Susan Payne began her marketing career in Hartford, CT, where she served as Director of Commercial Development for a large insurance company. Previously she worked with all the clients of Payne, Ross overseeing their marketing plans. She draws on her research experience to examine the spectrum of marketing vehicles available to develop advertising that not only is creative, but outperforms the competition. Today, she is excited to head her own agency, Blue Ridge Group. Her dedication to promoting tourism for the region is evidenced by 14 years of board service to Virginia Tourism Corporation. Susan has been appointed to the VTC by Virginia’s last four governors.

Kathy Rhyne

Katherine L. Rhyne, a UVA graduate, retired to the Charlottesville area after a career practicing law in Washington.  She was a senior partner at King & Spalding LLP, a global law firm, where her practice focused on defense of mass tort and class action litigation, environmental regulatory issues, and crisis management for large corporate clients.  Kathy was also known for her work with scientific and medical experts.  She and her husband have been CHP supporters since moving to Charlottesville.

Nareen Scott

  Nareen Scott, originally from Maryland, is the Director of People Operations for the Legal Aid Justice Center. Prior to joining LAJC she spent 8 years as the Administrator for the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. Transferring from Morgan State University in Baltimore, she earned a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Old Dominion University. While spending time with family, traveling, music and running a business as an Independent Beauty Consultant are things she loves, she also enjoys volunteering and mentoring with nonprofits in the Charlottesville and surrounding areas that focus on youth, young adults and women.

Vickie Southall, MSN, RN

Vickie Southall is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Virginia, where she teaches pediatrics and community health nursing. She is involved in many volunteer activities in her hometown of Louisa, and her collaboration of teaching with community service garnered her UVA’s first Excellence in Public Service Award, an all-University award from the Provost.


Toya Trager

Toya Trager is the Director of Marketing and Administration for family-owned and operated Trager Brothers Coffee. For 12 years she has worked alongside her husband William in growing the family’s organic coffee brand and promoting the local food movement. As the mother of a special needs child who required intensive home health care, she understands the importance of the role Child Health Partnership plays with support and outreach to families in the Charlottesville area community.

Dana Rexrode, MA, LPC, NCC

Dana Rexrode is the regional director of operations for the VA-North region of Health Connect America, an agency that provides community based behavioral and mental health services to children and families. She obtained her bachelors in psychology and masters degree in professional counseling from Liberty University and is a licensed professional counselor. Dana is currently pursuing her doctorate in Leadership with a focus on Organizational Management from Carolina University. She and her husband, Nathaniel, enjoy spending time  with their three young adult children in the outdoors, whether that be in their native Albemarle County or on the sand at the beach.


Autumn Wade

Autumn Wade grew up in Madison Heights, VA and spent time in Framingham, MA and Heidelberg, Germany before calling Charlottesville home. She earned her B.A. in Mathematical Sciences and German Studies at Sweet Briar College (Holla Holla!). Autumn is a Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at S&P Global Ratings and has over 15 years of experience focusing on delivering value through efficiencies and quality execution in roles. Autumn lives with her husband Jordan and her two birds Sam and Jake.

Elizabeth Willingham

Elizabeth Willingham, Chair

Elizabeth Willingham is the retired co-founder of Silverchair, a Charlottesville software development company and one of the nation’s leading providers of online product development and technology platform services to scholarly publishers. She currently serves on the company’s board of directors, as well as on the board of the Community Investment Collaborative, a local nonprofit supporting under-resourced entrepreneurs. She works as a guide at Monticello and is an avid traveler, reader, and loyal fan of the basketball team of Duke University, her alma mater.

Community Partners


University of Virginia                   

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