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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.
Rich LavigneManaging Attorney
Rich Lavigne is the Managing Attorney for ABC for Health. He is a graduate of Northland College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and earned his law degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His background includes environmental chemistry, land surveying, and wetland restorations, as well as five years in private law practice. Rich has served on several municipal government boards and committees and currently chairs the Board of Directors for the Public Interest Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Ryan S. CoAgency Operations Manager
Ryan is the Agency Operations Manager at ABC for Health, Inc. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive & Convergent Media from North Central College. At ABC for Health, Ryan provides data and information management, select grant and program management, and serves as the firm's in-house videographer, multimedia designer, and social media specialist. He also helps administer HealthWatch Wisconsin membership, training activities, and facilitates Dane County HealthWatch Coalition meetings. Ryan considers himself "a jack of all trades, master of some." He’s always exploring ways to merge the intricate nuances of healthcare and coverage with the opportunities available within new media. Outside of office hours, Ryan spends his time as a writer, gamer, & proud parent of his shiba inu Natsu.
Sarah BrandtPart-Time Health Benefits Advocate
Sarah is a Health Benefits Advocate at ABC for Health. She obtained her BS from UW-Madison in Rehabilitation Psychology and also received a minor in 3D Studio art. She is now back at UW in pursuit of her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. She has extensive experience working with people with disabilities across multiple settings. At ABC, Sarah assists WI residents navigate state, federal, and private benefits to optimize their health care coverage. Through this work, she aims to remove some of her clients’ worry and burden regarding financing their health care so they can focus on improving their health. With the knowledge she gains at ABC and her current Master’s work, she hopes to incorporate benefits counseling into her future work with individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment. In her free time, Sarah enjoys wood working and refurbishing furniture.
Elena completed her Master’s Degree coursework for Gender and Women’s Studies at UW-Madison in May of 2017, where she was a Teacher’s Assistant for GWS 103: Women and their Bodies in Health and Disease. She joins the ABC for Health Team as Bilingual Health Benefits Advocate, where she hopes to put her passion for working to reduce the incidence and impact of health disparities to good use. Elena grew up in Madrid, Spain, and lived there until she moved to St Paul, Minnesota (where her mother is from), to finish her BA in History at the University of St Thomas. While at UST, she worked in Residence Life and also earned minors in English and American Cultural studies. Elena has a background in education, community organizing, youth leadership and Sexual Assault/Intimate Partner Violence prevention efforts. She has been a volunteer with the UNIDOS against Domestic Violence Helpline since July of 2017. If you let her, Elena will talk incessantly about the amazing opportunities being bilingual and bicultural have granted her, how she experiences language as a fundamental part of her identity, and how the two things she misses most about Spain are the Sun and the food. And the architecture. And the art museums. And her family and friends, of course.
Felipe is a Bilingual Health Benefits Assistant with ABC for Health. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Public Health. After graduating, Felipe worked in Washington D.C where he gained experience in health policy, advocacy, and research and was able to use these skills to co-author a policy paper that was published in 2018. Felipe hopes to use his background in advocacy and policy to help individuals of all backgrounds and economic status obtain affordable healthcare coverage. Outside of office hours Felipe spends his time playing games, hanging out with friends, and listening to music.
- (608) 261-6939 ext. 217
Juan is a Bilingual Health Benefits Advocate at ABC for Health. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and obtained a Certificate in Chican@/Latin@ Studies. As an undergraduate student, Juan served as a mentor/tutor for the PEOPLE program and Physics Learning Center, intern at St. Mary’s Cardiac Rehab Program, and executive board member for PALMA (a pre-health student organization focused on providing resources to aspiring physicians of underrepresented backgrounds). Additionally, he had the privilege of studying abroad in Chile where he was able to discuss healthcare systems and learn about some of the practices and spiritual beliefs used by traditional healers. Apart from spending time with his family, Juan loves to go on bike rides with his partner, play soccer with friends and enjoy picnics by the lake.
Samantha "Mana" Kleiser
- (608) 261-6939 ext. 226
Samantha is a Health Benefits Assistant at ABC for Health. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in African Cultural Studies from UW-Madison in December of 2018. During her time there, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Fes, Morocco where she was able to focus on speaking Arabic and researched public health systems (and their problems) of Morocco. Samantha is excited to use this position to help low income individuals with their access to affordable health care. In her free time, Samantha enjoys camping, rock climbing, spending time with family and friends, and of course, the occasional Netflix binge.
My Coverage Plan, Inc.
- Web Developer
- (608) 261-6939 ext. 219
Taylor Smith is a web developer for ABC for Health, Inc. and My Coverage Plan, Inc., where he specializes in interface design and user experience. Taylor received a B.A. in Mathematics from Arizona State University and completed post-bacc work in both linguistics and computer science. His professional background ranges from documentation of endangered languages to choral music arrangement to tech consulting for arts-centric startups. When not building the face of MCP’s applications, Taylor enjoys a number of creative hobbies including music, writing, and photography, and harbors a minor obsession with board games.
ABC for Rural Health, Inc.
Chief Operating Officer (715)485-8525
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.
Patty TurnerHealth Benefits Advocate
Patty is a Health Benefits Advocate at ABC for Rural Health, working closely with the Polk County Health Department and Health and Human Services. Patty joined ABC after working for five years as the Supervisor of Patient Advocates for a local community hospital where she assisted with patient support, express enrollment of pregnant women and children, presumptive disability, and charity care. She was a Certified Application Counselor for the Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment and partners on the ABC for Health portion of the CHIPRA grant—a project to connect children to health coverage in northern and western Wisconsin.