Familiar Faces Leadership Network Profiles

The Familiar Faces Leadership Network is a cohort of 13 elected officials. Over the next year, the Leadership Network will participate in peer exchanges, technical assistance and other learning opportunities exploring the systems at play in the behavioral health and justice continuum and the level of interaction required to achieve a supportive care model for familiar faces.

These brief leader profiles are part of a series highlighting individuals who are championing cross-systems collaboration and data sharing within their jurisdictions to improve outcomes for familiar faces of justice, health and human services systems. As part of the Familiar Faces Initiative, NACo’s Familiar Faces Leadership Network is generously supported by Arnold Ventures.

Hon. Candace Andersen

Candace Andersen is Supervisor of District Two in Contra Costa County, California, which is located an hour east of San Francisco. Previously, Supervisor Andersen worked as a lawyer, beginning her career as a prosecuting attorney in Hawaii. After moving to California, Supervisor Andersen served as Mayor of Danville, Calif. and was elected county supervisor in 2012. Supervisor Andersen is dedicated to promoting and protecting community safety, exercising fiscal responsibility and protecting standards of living across the county. Supervisor Andersen was integral to the adoption of the Stepping Up Initiative and implementing Laura’s Law (Assisted Outpatient Treatment). In addition to her elected role, Supervisor Andersen serves on several county committees and boards including the Mental Health Commission and the Public Protection Committee and Street Smarts, a road safety program. Supervisor Andersen believes in the importance of supporting community members with compassion and recognizing that broken care continuums within the county prevent individuals with behavioral health conditions from accessing effective care.

As a member of the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Supervisor Andersen looks forward to learning from other jurisdictions about engaging county partners as Contra Costa County builds the infrastructure for data integration and analysis across departments.

Hon. Adriann Barboa

Adriann Barboa is the Chair of the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners in New Mexico. Bernalillo County is home to nearly 680,000 residents, as well as Albuquerque. In addition to her elected role, Chair Barboa is the Field Director of Strong Families New Mexico (SFNM). SFNM is an advocacy organization working to address issues like equitable access to health care and police accountability across the state. As a native New Mexican, Chair Barboa is dedicated to supporting her community through building cross-sector relationships, improving public safety through supporting first responders across the county, expanding health care and veterans’ services, protecting the environment and growing Bernalillo County’s economy through creating new jobs. Under Chair Barboa’s leadership, Bernalillo County recently approved budgets for the Medical Sobering Center; this center will provide non-emergency medical assistance to individuals with substance use disorders.

Chair Barboa is committed to supporting familiar faces in her county through establishing a data-sharing infrastructure and continuum of behavioral health care. One of the barriers facing the county is a lack of connection and collaboration between agencies – an issue Chair Barboa aims to solve through investing in data-sharing structure. By joining the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Chair Barboa looks forward to learning about creating data-sharing systems.

Hon. Carlo Esqueda

Carlo Esqueda is the Criminal Justice Council Chair and the Clerk of Courts for Dane County, Wisconsin. Dane County is home to nearly 562,000 residents and the state’s capital, Madison. Previous experience in the data sector uniquely positions Clerk Esqueda to lead collaborations between the county’s Criminal Justice Council (CJC), Department of Human Services and Department of Information Management. The Dane County CJC represents cross-sector leadership working to create stronger care continuums. Clerk Esqueda oversees the CJC’s behavioral health, pretrial and racial disparities subcommittees. The CJC relies on data-sharing across departments to inform the Community Restorative Court and the Safety and Justice Challenge Innovation Fund; both of which aim to reduce disparities in the Dane County criminal legal system and decrease recidivism. Clerk Esqueda also led the creation of a pilot program that sends alerts to the Department of Human Services when clients are booked into custody. In addition to booking notifications, the pilot program supports providers in identifying the most appropriate treatment and services for participants.

Clerk Esqueda plans to implement best practices learned from participating in the Familiar Faces Leadership Network as he and fellow Dane County leaders work to improve communication between justice and behavioral health service providers. His goal for Dane County is to ensure care continuums are responsive to individuals’ needs.

Hon. Wendy Jacobs

Wendy Jacobs is the Vice-Chair of the Board of County Commissioners in Durham County, North Carolina. Durham County is home to nearly 325,000 people and is a corner of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. In addition to serving as Vice-Chair, Commissioner Jacobs is on multiple committees and boards including the Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Durham County Social Services Board, the NACo Health and Human Services Steering Committee and the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) Smart Growth Committee. TJCOG is an advocacy organization made up of Durham, Orange, Chatham, Moore, Lee, Wake and Johnston counties, working with communities to enhance statewide cross-sector collaborations in policy development and technical assistance. Commissioner Jacobs is passionate about addressing racial and economic disparities across the county and excited to learn more about peers’ innovative approaches to tackling the sources of these inequities to promote long-term solutions. Her passions are reflected in her priorities as an elected official; Commissioner Jacobs is dedicated to building stronger Cradle-to-Career continuums across Durham County and creating jail diversion strategies that prevent individuals from entering the criminal legal system.

Durham County currently partners with Duke University on Data+, a program that analyzes trends between justice and health systems’ data points. While Data+ is led by Duke University, Commissioner Jacobs hopes to enhance the county’s use of Data+ and incorporate analysis into municipal service delivery. As a member of the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Commissioner Jacobs hopes to collaborate with fellow leaders on strategies that improve data sharing and diversion efforts. Commissioner Jacobs’ long-term vision is to unite county leaders across North Carolina in better serving familiar faces by sharing these strategies and best practices.

Hon. Peter Koutoujian

Peter Koutoujian is Sheriff of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, located 20 miles outside of Boston. Sheriff Koutoujian is a former Massachusetts state representative, having served as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care, the Joint Committee on Public Health and the Joint Committee on Financial Services. As a state representative, Sheriff Koutoujian advocated for families and vulnerable populations on issues including mental health, domestic violence prevention and substance use. His efforts to address these areas motivated the Sheriff to create two state commissions – the Commission on Oxycontin and Other Drug Abuse and the Commission to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. As Sheriff of Middlesex County, he led the county as a founding member of Data-Driven Justice (DDJ, now Familiar Faces Initiative) and as one of three pilot sites funded by Arnold Ventures to enhance data collection. This role positioned the county to develop and expand collaborative strategies for analyzing data from across the county’s criminal legal system. As a result of his leadership, the Middlesex County Restoration Center will open in 2023, underscoring the dedication to providing behavioral health support services in the community as an alternative to involvement in the criminal legal system. The Restoration Center will create an ecosystem of care for individuals identified through data sharing to implement long-term solutions beyond jail diversion.

Through his collaboration with the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Sheriff Koutoujian is working to standardize data-sharing approaches that create lasting positive change for familiar faces. Sheriff Koutoujian hopes to bring Middlesex County’s data-sharing strategy to a national stage and facilitate conversations on evidence-based best practices and lessons learned in the county.

Hon. Sharon Meieran

Dr. Sharon Meieran serves as Commissioner for District One of Multnomah County, Oregon. Commissioner Meieran is a former lawyer, an emergency physician and a volunteer for Portland Street Medicine, an organization that provides medical care to individuals experiencing homelessness. Since her election in 2020, Commissioner Meieran has put mental health advocacy, homelessness, environmental preparedness and digital equity at the forefront of her agenda. Commissioner Meieran championed the statewide expansion of the Emergency Department Information Exchange (EDIE), a familiar faces alert and information exchange system for hospital emergency departments. She also worked closely with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to implement FUSE (Frequent User System Engagement) in Multnomah County and identify frequently utilized services for additional investment. She has led community engagement assessments of the county’s mental health services and established the Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network, a regional crisis triage and stabilization center.

Commissioner Meieran’s diverse professional experience pushes her to advocate for better data integration across government, criminal legal systems and health care service providers. Working with the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, she hopes to explore building integrated care systems that improve outcomes for familiar faces.

Hon. Mary Lou Pauly

Mary Lou Pauly serves as the Mayor of the City of Issaquah, Washington. Issaquah is located in King County, about 20 minutes south of Seattle. Previously, she served on the City Development Commission, the City Council and outside of elected roles as a civil engineer and environmental consultant. Mayor Pauly strives to meet her community where they are to serve and support a diverse population. Her dedication to the community fostered the establishment of the Issaquah Behavioral Health and Homeless Outreach program and the CARES program, both of which have reduced repeat behavioral health-related 911 calls. The Behavioral Health and Homeless Outreach program provides navigators that make referrals, share appointment reminders and, if necessary, provide transportation to and assistance at appointments. The CARES program was piloted seven years ago by the local fire department chiefs to address underlying needs of repeat callers to local emergency medical services. The CARES and Outreach programs are rooted in cross-sector communication and information sharing, bringing Mayor Pauly to the Familiar Faces Leadership Network.

Mayor Pauly convenes city leaders to build consensus and improve fragmented systems. By joining this network, Mayor Pauly looks forward to learning about how peers are fostering buy-in from their county leaders and joining training opportunities around building better care continuums.

Hon. Vickie Raines

Vickie Raines is County Commissioner of District Three in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Grays Harbor County is located roughly two hours south of Seattle and is home to about 80,000 residents. Commissioner Raines has served as an elected official for decades, having previously served as mayor of Cosmopolis, a city in Grays Harbor County, for 12 years and as a city council member for three years prior. Commissioner Raines also serves as Chair of the Great Rivers Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization Board. Commissioner Raines is passionate about establishing efficient government practices and improving public safety and health systems. As a county leader, Commissioner Raines has worked to establish the Grays Harbor Justice Center Collaboration in addition to expanding emergency medical services. In her role as a member of the county health board, Commissioner Raines has worked diligently to create collaborative systems between criminal legal and public health officials that have enabled officials to make evidence-based decisions surrounding familiar faces.

Nationwide, county leaders recognize the importance of building collaborative, cross-sector care continuums. Commissioner Raines looks forward to learning best practices in program development and messaging from partner counties to improve care systems in Grays Harbor County.

Hon. Shannon Reid

Shannon Reid is County Commissioner of District Two in Douglas County, Kansas. Douglas County is home to nearly 120,000 individuals and located an hour south of Kansas City. In addition to her role as a county official, Commissioner Reid is the Court Advocacy Coordinator at The Willow Domestic Violence Center, where she helps individuals and families navigate the legal system. Commissioner Reid has also served as a volunteer advocate at the Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center. Her experience working with these organizations has shaped her approach to leadership, centering her efforts in empathy and compassion. Commissioner Reid believes in the importance of investing in affordable housing, transforming the criminal legal system through innovative, people-centered measures and making government more accessible to under-served or vulnerable individuals. Under her leadership, Douglas County recently opened a Treatment and Recovery Center, which connects community members to behavioral health resources.

As a member of the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Commissioner Reid looks forward to learning more about the successes of other counties and gaining opportunities to advocate for changes in state legislation to create better outcomes through data sharing.

Hon. Susan Schafer

Susan Schafer is a Board Member of McLean County, Illinois, representing the county’s ninth district. McLean County is two hours south of Chicago and home to nearly 170,000 residents. Board Member Schafer is a member of the McLean County Executive and Justice committees, chair of the Health Committee and vice chair of the Legislative Subcommittee. Since elected in 2010, Board Member Schafer has worked diligently to create positive changes in McLean County’s behavioral health system. In 2015, she led efforts to create and implement the county’s Mental Health Action Plan and has since led efforts to update this plan. She utilizes her council connections to facilitate communication across different county agencies to encourage data-sharing and coordination throughout McLean County. Board Member Schafer believes in the importance of developing long-term solutions to create lasting outcomes benefiting the community. For example, to address shortcomings in qualified behavioral health and justice service providers in McLean County, Board Member Schafer and others worked with Illinois State University to develop a post-graduate program for nursing students in behavioral health services. This workforce pipeline has enhanced the county’s ability to expand and strengthen public health and safety initiatives.

Board Member Schafer advocates for the importance of providing care continuums to everyone; joining the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, she hopes to gain insight into how to address issues that require a solution, but don’t often attract funding or media attention. She also looks forward to sharing how McLean County is navigating obstacles in implementing innovative data sharing programs and services.

Hon. Janet Thompson

Janet Thompson serves as County Commissioner of Boone County, Missouri, which is home to 190,000 residents. Prior to her election, Commissioner Thompson served as a Public Defender in Missouri for nearly 25 years and an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In addition to her elected role, Commissioner Thompson serves on many boards, including the Boone County Family Resources (BCFR), Criminal Justice Administration and the Judicial and Law Enforcement Task Force. Commissioner Thompson actively supports Boone County’s efforts to address systemic gaps by participating in local initiatives that identify growth areas, including Stepping Up and the Functional Zero Task Force (FZTF). FZTF is a collaborative effort between government agencies and service organizations to end housing insecurities. Commissioner Thompson plays an active role in researching effective practices and maintaining connections with partners to support building care continuums. As a result, Boone County recently expanded its mental health staffing structure through the creation of two new positions, a Community Mental Health Liaison and a Justice and Behavioral Health Coordinator.

As part of the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Commissioner Thompson hopes that increased exposure to nationwide models and practices will encourage health care systems to provide data sets to help counties and service providers have a higher-level view of cross-system issues. Commissioner Thompson has found that meaningful progress does not come easy, but that the wide-reaching impacts of positive care continuums is proof that even small systemic changes are worthwhile.

Hon. Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson serves as Mayor of Salt Lake County, Utah. Salt Lake County is home to nearly 1.2 million people. Prior to being elected Mayor in 2019, Mayor Wilson served on the Salt Lake City Council for ten years and was the first woman to have been elected to the Salt Lake City Council. As a council member and now as Mayor, she has heralded initiatives around ethics and criminal legal reform, environmental preservation and increasing government efficiency. Mayor Wilson’s focus in establishing ethical and criminal legal reform resulted in the establishment of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC). CJAC is a committee consisting of individuals from the criminal legal and justice systems who collaborate to structure county policy and initiatives. Under Mayor Wilson’s leadership, Salt Lake County recently implemented a Jail Reentry Resource Program, a collaborative effort between the public defender and criminal legal services that supports individuals as they transition from jail back into the community. The Justice Resource Reentry Program strengthens partnerships between county government, nonprofits and the criminal legal system to reduce recidivism. In addition to her efforts in jail diversion, Mayor Wilson also co-established the Salt Lake County Opioid Taskforce to coordinate efforts and solutions to the opioid crisis.

As a member of the Familiar Faces network, Mayor Wilson hopes to work with peers to develop strategies to enhance coordination between justice, health and human service systems.

Hon. David Zook

David Zook serves as Mayor of Cache County, Utah, located an hour north of Salt Lake City with a population of approximately 150,000. Prior to his election, Mayor Zook served as the City Manager of Nibley, Utah and as a member of the Hyde Park Planning Commission. Throughout his tenure as a public servant, Mayor Zook has prioritized improving public safety, enhancing economic development, preserving Cache County’s natural landscape and improving internal county operations. Although Cache County is a smaller, rural county, Mayor Zook is dedicated to ensuring residents receive high quality services on par with those in larger jurisdictions. Since elected, Mayor Zook has created a public defender’s office, increased the number of ambulances in the county and opened a Children’s Justice Center to foster healing in the community. As the chief executive for Cache County’s health, mental health and homeless coalitions, Mayor Zook is uniquely positioned to implement best practices and solutions across the county, creating more effective and efficient care continuums.

By participating in the Familiar Faces Leadership Network, Mayor Zook hopes to learn about other counties’ cross-system data-sharing models and strategies to divert individuals from the criminal legal system.