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.

Amanda Bickel

Health Benefits Advocate Assistant
(608) 261-6939 ext. 207
Email Amanda

Amanda Bickel is a Health Benefits Advocate 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.

Laura Steigerwald

Staff Attorney
(608) 261-6939 ext. 226
Email Laura

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.

Maggie Seifert

Legal Intern

Maggie is just finishing her second year at University of Wisconsin Law School, where she is active in the Health Law Student Association, Women’s Law Student Association and UW Interprofessional Health Counsel. She also writes for the Wisconsin Journal of Law – Gender and Society. She has done internships at both the Center for Patient Partnerships and the Center for Health Law Equity, earning a Certificate in Consumer Health Advocacy. Before law school, Maggie got her nursing degree at Creighton University, where she acquired a minor in health administration and policy. Maggie received direct patient experience by working in the Creighton University Medical Center Emergency Room and through other field experience in fulfilling her nursing school’s clinical requirements. Maggie says she hopes to bring her “unique knowledge of disease processes, diagnoses as well as regulation and compliance issues that come with treatment” to her internship at ABC.

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.

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.

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.

Carlyn Graham

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

Carlyn Graham is a Health Benefits Advocate Assistant at ABC for Health. Carlyn has a degree in Sociology from The Colorado College. As part of her education, Carlyn has traveled to Paris, France and Bali, Indonesia. Before coming to ABC for Health, Carlyn worked as a Fellow at the Caring for Colorado Foundation. She also has a long background in volunteering for organizations such as: the Rural Community Development Program, the Refugee Assistance Program and the Student Conservation Association.

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.

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. A graduate of Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Matt has communications and marketing experience from past jobs at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Catholic Charities, and Access to Independence. Matt completed AmeriCorps service in post-Hurricane Katrina Louisiana and served as a Service Manager with Covenant House New Orleans. He also has worked with the Family and Children’s Center as a Program Aide in Alternative Education. Matt says, “The enthusiasm and positive information radiating from ABC for Health and HealthWatch must flow efficiently from the grasstops to the grassroots. I look forward to the challenge of growing this network - and working with the HealthWatch team.”

Polly Shoemaker

Staff Attorney
(608) 261-6939 ext. 209

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.