Meet Our Board of Directors
Sheila A. Schuster, Ph.D.
KVH Board Chairperson
Dr. Schuster has been a clinical psychologist for nearly 50 years, and a renowned champion for mental health and healthcare state and federal advocacy in Kentucky for nearly 40 years. She helped establish the Kentucky Mental Health Coalition in 1982, was the first Executive Director for the Kentucky Psychological Association, and currently leads the Advocacy Action Network, overseeing an umbrella of organizations fighting for healthcare, mental health, social justice and disability issues. Among many leadership roles, she has recently served as Chair of the Board for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, and is also a founding board member for Kentucky Voices for Health. Dr. Schuster earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Louisville.
Jiten Shah, M.S.
Jiten has spent more than 410,000 hours (45+ years) of his service career leading the Green River Area Development District (GRADD). Jiten had a front-row seat for some of the region’s biggest projects, including the Natcher Bridge development and Owensboro Riverport. He began as a regional engineer for GRADD, and then held a variety of positions before assuming the Executive Director position in 1987. Jiten’s career was dedicated to improving key community issues such as transportation barriers, economic and workforce development issues, and how to better assist aging populations – establishing a world-class senior meals and health nutrition program for the entire seven-county GRADD region. Jiten earned his Master of Science in Environmental Engineering Technology and Environmental Technology from West Virginia University.
Richard J. Seckel, M.S.W.
Rich is currently Director of the Kentucky Equal Justice Center (KEJC), and has worked at KEJC for more than 40 years. Rich is a well known poverty law advocate among state policymakers, and is recognized with the Distinguished Nonprofit Leadership Award by the Kentucky Nonprofit Network. Rich is a founding board member for Kentucky Voices for Health, as well as the first Chair of the Board for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Community Advisory Committee. Rich earned a Master of Social Work degree from West Virginia University.
David Allgood, M.A.
David is the Director of Advocacy for the Center for Accessible Living (CAL) and a lifelong advocate for Kentuckians with disabilities. He has spent his career at CAL the last decade working to empower individuals with disabilities to become self advocates so that they can remain in the community or a setting of their choice. David earned a Master of Arts in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky.
Col Owens, J.D.
Col spent 45 years of his career in legal aid services in both Kentucky and Ohio where he specializes in policy advocacy to support working poor families. He has taught Poverty Law at both Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and is very involved with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, including many leadership and board of trustee roles. Col was an elected member of the Covington Public Schools Board of Education, he served on the Kentucky School Boards Association Board of Directors, and is a lifetime member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich appointed Col to the Ohio Advisory Council on Healthcare Payment Innovation, and Col also served on several healthcare reform committees established by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Col graduated from Harvard College and went on to earn a law degree from Boston University School of Law.
Susie Starling, B.S.N., M.A.
Susan is a retired healthcare professional, serving as President and CEO of Mercy Health’s Marcum & Wallace Hospital for over 20 years, working diligently to transform the quality and delivery of healthcare in rural Kentucky. Among many accolades and state and federal appointments throughout her career, Susan is former Chair to the Kentucky Hospital Association and Kentucky Rural Health Association boards, respectively. Susan was instrumental in the development of a statewide trauma system in Kentucky, and strongly believes that rural Americans deserve local access to quality healthcare. Susan earned a Master of Nursing in Rural Health Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.
Barbara Gordon, M.A.
Barbara is the Director of Community Engagement for the University of Louisville’s Trager Institute, where also serves as part-time faculty for the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work. She spent more than a decade of her career as program administrator and branch manager for the Kentucky Department for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services and the Office of Aging Services, respectively. Barbara has also served as Director for the Division of Social Services at Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) for over 17 years. Barbara earned a Master of Arts in Community Agency Counseling from Western Kentucky University.
Sandra George, M.A.
Sandra is the Chief of Services and Development for Northkey Community Care, one of northern Kentucky’s community mental health centers (CMHC). Sandra works to transform lives and communities through excellence in mental health, substance use, and developmental disability services and has spent her career in a variety of behavioral health roles, including as an early childhood mental health therapist, a school based therapist, and a coordinator for school based mental health services. Sandra earned a Master of Arts in Community Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati.