Staff Directory



Bobby Peterson

   
  • Executive Director
  • (608) 261-6939 ext. 201
  • Email Bobby

Bobby is the founder and Executive Director of ABC for Health, Inc. and My Coverage Plan, Inc. A 1987 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Bobby began his law career at the Center for Public Representation. In 1994, Bobby founded ABC, which continues to connect children and families with health care benefits through advocacy and benefits counseling. Bobby has extensive experience representing clients with access to health care and coverage issues, particularly health insurance claim denials. From 1993 to 2001, Bobby co-chaired the American Public Health Association Maternal and Child Health Section committee on Children with Special Health Care Needs, and in 1998 he helped found the Public Interest Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Bobby was recognized as one of the top lawyers in Dane County in 2001 and 2003. In 2005 he helped initiate HealthWatch Wisconsin, a statewide membership organization to promote better access to health care and coverage, and in 2010 he founded a new subsidiary organization, My Coverage Plan Inc, an innovative new technology firm to help providers and consumers connect to and maximize all available health care coverage. Bobby is also the project director and principal investigator on numerous state, federal, and private foundation grants.

Brynne McBride

   

Brynne is the Chief Operating Officer of ABC for Health, Inc. She engages in direct legal advocacy and litigation on behalf of clients, drafts and manages contracts, and negotiates with federal, state, and private benefits and insurance institutions. She oversees ABC for Health’s growing HealthWatch Wisconsin project and is a frequent commentator on the HealthWatch WatchDog. She serves as the agency’s representative on community boards, including Community Shares of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, and the State Bar of Wisconsin's Public Interest Law Section. She was recently recognized by the State Bar of Wisconsin as "Lawyer Demonstrating Exemplary Commitment to Community." Brynne received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and her undergraduate degrees from Bryn Mawr College.

Mike Rust

   

Mike is the Chief Operating Officer of ABC for Rural Health in Balsam Lake, WI. Mike is a Health Benefits Counselor and a pioneer in developing the concept and practice of health benefits counseling. Through his investigative efforts, he uncovered widespread misapplication of the Medicaid Deductible Feature, the Family Fiscal Unit determination process, and birth cost recovery systems. He has written a health care competency model and curriculum for Wisconsin's public health workforce, and he continues to work with health care providers and public health offices across Wisconsin to promote clinic, hospital, and agency-based health benefits counseling. Over the past two years, Mike has focused his advocacy efforts on access to mental health and substance use treatment services; while also continuing to work on issues related to HealthCheck (EPSDT), Birth Cost Recovery, and the development of training and technology to support benefits counseling work at clinics, hospitals, and health departments.

Alex Bernell


  • Finance Assistant

Alex is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working to obtain degrees in Economics and Political Science. Serving as a writer for The Daily Cardinal (a student newspaper), he has covered various financial and political issues. Alex has acted as secretary of the Pre-Law Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this past year where he gained experience as head of communications, including social media. He has also volunteered as a tutor and mentor for middle school students as a Badger Volunteer and has volunteered at the Clean Lakes Alliance.

Amanda Bickel


Amanda Bickel is an Executive Assistant at ABC for Health. Before coming to ABC for Health, she was a Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for SERRV International. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in French and a certificate in African Studies. Amanda has also spent time volunteering and traveling, including spending time doing Disaster Relief in Leogane, Haiti.

Amanda Grady


Amanda is a Staff Attorney at ABC for Health. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she was a judicial intern at the WI Court of Appeals (Judge Sherman), a legal extern at the WI Department of Justice (working in the Medicaid Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit), a student prosecuting attorney in the Winnebago Co. District Attorney’s office, and a student attorney with the Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project. After law school, Amanda was a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Food and Drug Administration in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. She also spent a few months on rotation in FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel. Most recently, Amanda worked at the Dane County Circuit Court as a Staff Attorney. Before law school, Amanda worked as a Public Health Analyst at RTI International, where she was Project Coordinator for the North Carolina Site of the Tuberculosis Epidemiologic Studies Consortium. Amanda has a B.A. in Biological Sciences and in History, Philosophy & Social Studies of Science and Medicine from the University of Chicago and a MPH from Emory University.

Anna Kaminski

   
  • Health Benefits Counselor Manager
  • 608) 261-6939 ext. 216
  • Email Anna

Anna Kaminski is a Bilingual Health Benefits Counselor at ABC for Health. Anna meets with patients under provider contracts and engages in direct patient advocacy on behalf of the clients by negotiating with federal, state and private insurance institutions and helping them to navigate the complicated healthcare system. Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Northeastern University in Boston with minors in Latin American Studies and History. Before returning to Madison, her hometown, and joining ABC for Health Anna worked with primarily Spanish-speaking clients as a Public Benefits Specialist at Instituto del Progreso Latino in Chicago and before that as an Employment Specialist in the Washington DC area at CASA de Maryland.

 

Claire Culver


  • Health Benefits Advocate Assistant
  • (608) 261-6939 ext. 225
  • Email Claire

Claire joins ABC for Health as a Health Advocate Assistant after providing case management and client services in the area of energy assistance. At Energy Services for Dane County, Claire determined eligibility of low income individuals and households to receive state and public benefit assistance to aid in reducing the cost of gas and electric bills. She has also worked in Medical Translation, working with PartnerHealth to translate various hospital materials, including pamphlets, charts, and check-lists, from English into Spanish, ensuring that important patient and family engagement tools could also be made available to Spanish-speaking patients. Claire received her degrees from UW-Madison in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies and Spanish. While a student, Claire spent time in Merida, Venezuela and Antigua, Guatemala. Claire’s volunteer work includes ESL Tutoring, translation, and assisting in an emergency food bank. Claire, originally from Portland, OR, says serving low-income families and individuals has been a very humbling, and at the same time, extremely rewarding experience that has given her a much greater appreciation for the numerous organizations that offer a helping hand to those in need. She says that working with ABC for Health is an incredible way to further her understanding of the complexities of the healthcare system, and be part of a positive change in the lives of Wisconsin residents.

Kenton Zink


  • Health Benefits Counselor Manager
  • (608) 261-6939 ext. 220
  • Email Kenton

Kenton is a Bilingual Health Benefits Counselor Manager with ABC for Health, Inc. Kenton conducts interviews and provides counseling services to patients under provider contracts, engages in direct patient advocacy on behalf of clients, and negotiates with federal, state and private benefits and insurance institutions. Kenton contributes strong experience in working with families on health care and other issues, robust knowledge of program and policies, and technical skills in case management and training. Before joining ABC, Kenton worked for Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation and for a Community Health Center and Migrant health facility as a medical assistant and interpreter. Kenton has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Laura Steigerwald

   

Laura is a staff attorney at ABC for Health. Laura graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2014 where she obtained the Pro Bono Award of Distinction and the Stearns-Show Scholarship. Before attending law school, she graduated summa cum laude from UW Whitewater with a degree in Human Resources and a minor in Legal Studies. She has over 3 years of experience working with the Unemployment Appeals Clinic at the law school, and volunteer experience as a student advocate representing primarily low-income individuals in administrative hearings and in appellate briefing to the Labor and Industry Review Commission. She has also worked for organizations like the Center for Media and Democracy, and interned for the WI Court of Appeals (Judge Blanchard). Before Laura started her legal education, she worked in the information technology sector. In her spare time she enjoys working on and restoring boats, boating and jet skiing, and doing anything and everything related to boats and the water.

Matt Keller


  • HealthWatch Wisconsin Membership Coordinator
  • (608) 261-6939 ext. 218
  • Email Matt

Matt is the HealthWatch Wisconsin Membership Coordinator. HealthWatch Wisconsin is a project of ABC for Health devoted to improving health care and health coverage in Wisconsin. Matt regularly communicates with HealthWatch members, hosts monthly teleconferences with local HealthWatch Coalitions, and coordinates health care trainings and workshops. Matt graduated from UW - La Crosse with a degree in Political Science and completed AmeriCorps service in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana. He has worked on high-profile political field campaigns and provided marketing efforts for positive non-profit associations.

Polly Shoemaker


Polly is a Staff Attorney at ABC for Health. Polly is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received the V. Russell Whitesel Award for Excellence for her work in the Government & Legislative Clinic and the Katherine Held Memorial Award for her contributions to the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society. She has been a legal intern for the Dane County Corporation Counsel, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, and End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. Prior to law school, Polly worked in local government education with UW-Extension’s Local Government Center and also worked for Epic as a healthcare IT proposal writer. Polly has undergraduate degrees in Music and Classics from Lawrence University and is an active musician with Four Seasons Theatre in Madison.

Rich Lavigne


  • Managing Attorney
  • (608) 261-6939 ext. 203
  • Email Rich

Rich Lavigne is a staff attorney for ABC for Health. Rich received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Northland College and worked in fields including environmental chemistry, craft brewing, land surveying and wetland restoration prior to attending law school. He earned his law degree at the University of Wisconsin and worked as an intern for ABC for Health throughout law school. After graduation, he spent five years in a diverse private practice that included family law, criminal defense, real estate, probate administration, business consulting, general civil litigation, appellate practice and freelance legal writing and editing. Prior to returning to Madison and ABC for Health, Rich served on various boards and committees for the City of Ashland, Wisconsin and co-founded the non-profit Agriculture & Energy Resource Center. Rich provides direct legal advocacy and representation to clients along with general program support, writing and editing services and development assistance.