Disability Policy Consortium

John Winske- Executive Director

John is the Executive Director of the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC), a cross-disability advocacy and research organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. He brings more than thirty years’ experience in building coalitions of people with a wide variety of disabilities to bring about policy change to empower his community. John is the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities. He has more than twelve years’ experience in non-profit management and has served on the Board of Directors of more than a dozen non-profit organizations. As the CEO of non-profits he has built a reputation for developing and acquiring funding for innovative programs designed to empower people with disabilities. His projects have been funded by a variety of organizations and foundations including Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, Community Catalyst, National Easter Seals Society, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Department of Transportation, Administering Agency on Developmental Disabilities and the Boston Foundation.

Mr. Winske served as the Vice President of Human Resources and Development with the Boston Center for Independent Living. In addition to his work in the non-profit arena Mr. Winske has also started four businesses. His unique blend of non-profit and for profit experience has allowed him to cross pollinate best practices from both sectors. Mr. Winske has testified before Congress on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Special Education. He has extensive experience in public speaking and conducting training sessions.

Jeff Gentry- Director of Operations

Jeff holds a Master of Divinity degree and is deeply committed to creating an inclusive society through community engagement and workforce development. Whether Jeff is booking a meeting, approving a W.B. Mason purchase, or writing a grant, he is dedicated to working beside and behind the gifted leaders at DPC. Jeff is also proud to serve as the Executive Director of 70/30 Partners, a workforce development nonprofit that is aggressively pursuing a 70% workforce engagement rate for people with disabilities. For 12 years Jeff was an Executive leader at Triangle, Inc., a Malden-based nonprofit that provides abuse prevention, leadership development, and workforce development services for over 2,000 individuals and families every year. When he’s not working, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife Kellie and forcing his children to watch the 11-time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Dennis Heaphy - Healthcare Advocate

Over the last several years, Dennis is been a "leader" in health reform. He has shared his immense knowledge and expertise with consumers and policy makers, whether they want it or not.

Dennis is co-chair of Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR), a coalition of disability and other healthcare advocates working on the Dual Eligibles Initiaitive and broader healthcare reform. He serves as chair of the Massachusetts One Care Implementation Council. Prior to working at DPC, Dennis served as Americans with Disabilities Act Project Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and consultant. In addition to his work in public health, Dennis’ experience includes teaching English as a Second Language at St. Francis House, serving as a chaplain at Georgetown University and adjunct faculty member at Emmanuel College.

Dennis holds an M. Div, Med and MPH. You might say he likes learning. He is a misanthrope who loves his brothers, but prefers his dog, Vinny, over human beings.

Liz Hardy-Jackson- Event Coordinator

Artist, Trouble Shooter, Project Manager and Event Coordinator.

Liz has been associated with the DPC for ten years. During that time, she coordinated a project called StreetScapes. It reviewed compliance by the City of Boston with the Americans with Disability Act in public construction with emphasis on street and sidewalk construction across all of Boston’s twenty-three neighborhoods. The goal was to ensure that curb cuts and sidewalks are accessible to, functional and safe for use by residents of and visitors. On this project, she worked with the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and the City of Boston to monitor compliance. The result was a revived Disability Commission, a new Disability Commissioner and $40 million for repair and construction.

Currently, she is the coordinator of the DPC’s Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony.

A personal motto is, “If you want it done, call me.”

Maggie Sheets- Research Assistant & Healthcare Advocate

Maggie has worked at the DPC since July of 2014.

Maggie holds a Master’s Degree in Health Communication from Emerson College.

With the DPC, Maggie has collaborated with other staff to develop surveys and obtain data on experiences of community health workers, plan events such as an anniversary event for the One Care program, and conduct research on housing issues facing people with disabilities.

Recently, Maggie managed all logistics (including site reservations, acting as liaison between focus group sites, participant recruitment, supervising event activities, and transcribing and analyzing proceedings) for five focus groups with MassHealth enrollees. She also continues to conduct outreach to college students with disabilities to encourage them to become more involved in disability advocacy.

Maggie’s personal motto is: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!'-Audrey Hepburn.

Lenora Somervell- Community Organizer

Lenny Somervell is an organizer and advocate at the DPC and a former JOIN fellow. Since joining the DPC, she has worked on issues of housing, architectural access, civil rights, and healthcare for people with disabilities both in Massachusetts and at the federal level. This past year she helped to defend the Affordable Care Act and secured increased funding for the Alternative Housing Voucher Program in the conference committee’s budget. She is also working to bring Massachusetts in line with the ADA.

Charles Carr - Legislative Liaison

Charles Carr is the principal owner of Charlie Carr Consulting, a business that provides management consultation, executive coaching, strategic planning and Board and staff training for private and public entities. He brings over 40 years of knowledge and experience gained both inside and outside of state government that provides a unique advantage to his clients. His projects include health care reform, legislative advocacy, government relations and program improvement and redesign. Appointed in 2007, Charles Carr was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) for 8 years. He took the agency in a different direction and emphasized Community Living programs such as Money Follows the Person, Youth in Transition and Nursing Home Transition as the bedrock to support employment and economic self-sufficiency. He strengthened the Vocational Rehabilitation program by incorporating Human Resources staff into the process to create a pipeline with local businesses of qualified people with disabilities to fill previously "hidden jobs." During his tenure over 1,000 people with significant disabilities transitioned out of nursing homes into the community as a result of MRC programs and he raised the bar from 3,200 people entering competitive integrated employment to 3,700 per year and eliminated sheltered workshops. In 1980, he founded the Northeast Independent Living Program in Lawrence, Massachusetts where he built one of the top five independent living centers in the country (awarded by the World Institute on Disability in 1995). In 1974, Mr. Carr co-founded the Boston Center for Independent Living, only the second of its kind in the world. This lead to his escape from 8 years of institutionalization. He attended college during and after being institutionalized and earned and Associates degree and a Bachelor of Science.

Much of the local work in the Independent Living Movement was developed and designed on the national level, so Mr. Carr founded with other national leaders in the Independent Living Movement the first national voice for Independent Living Centers; the National Council of Independent Living (NCIL). As Vice President of the NCIL in the 1980s and 90’s, Mr. Carr was an influential advocate for stronger federal disability policies, including the Fair Housing Act, Rehabilitation Act, Civil Rights Restoration Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He partnered with members of Congress and other advocates to pass legislation mandating and funding independent living centers. More recently, he has led advocacy efforts in Massachusetts around affordable, accessible housing; personal assistance services; and employment.

Mr. Carr continues to elevate the social and economic independence for people of all disabilities by offering support and seasoned consultation to organizations so that they can compete in the fast-paced and ever-changing business sector and still stay true to the Independent Living philosophy.

One Care Ombudsman Office

Dr. Burton D. Pusch – One Care Ombudsman Director

Burton D. Pusch received his Doctorate in Rehabilitation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Pusch’s 25+ year career has focused on ensuring full inclusion, equitable rights, self-determination, and innovative program design for persons with disabilities. He has served on regional, state and national committees; established innovative local and state programs and businesses, including five not-for-profit corporations; consulted for public and private independent living, rehabilitation and health care organizations; conducted research for the CDC; and designed, taught and evaluated curricula, including undergraduate and graduate courses at postsecondary educational institutions.

Scott McManus - Ombudsman

Scott began his employment at the One Care Ombudsman office in July of 2016. Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree from Suffolk University.

Scott has 24 years of Human Service Management experience working primarily with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.

Scott’s role at the OCO is to assist One Care members who may have questions about their plan or who may want to file a complaint against their plan. Scott serves as a “neutral entity” in problem solving complaints and looks for a resolution satisfactory to both the member and the One Care plan.

Assisting Individuals in living their lives as independent as possible is what motivates Scott to help others.

Amanda Shea - Community Outreach Manager

Amanda joined the One Care Ombudsman office in December 2016 as the community outreach manager.

Amanda graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2012 with a B.A. in women's studies and psychology. During her college career, she worked, organized and volunteered with Boston area non-profits that focused on education and equality campaigns in the LGBT and mental health communities.

Since entering the professional sphere, she has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sector and started her own marketing company. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Voices of Mental Health, a peer-run website dedicated to ending the stigma around mental health conditions.

Amanda's role with the One Care Ombudsman team is to build strong community partnerships, market the OCO, develop educational materials, and manage the OCO website and social media.

She brings her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping others to the OCO.