Meet the Staff

Sarah Kuh
Director

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Sarah has been the Director since the Access Program was founded as a small pilot program by the Dukes County Health Council in 1999. Under Sarah’s leadership the Access Program has grown into a vital community resource serving more than 2,500 Islanders each year. She is active in the development of several related health access initiatives including Island Health Care, the Island Medical Interpreting Service, Vineyard Smiles and Healthy Vida/Martha’s Vineyard Partnership for Health. Sarah is a public health professional with over 30 years of experience working in varied community health and advocacy programs in Massachusetts and California.

Mary Leddy
Assistant Director

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Mary began as a Health Access Specialist in 2001 and became the Assistant Director in 2014. She came to the Access Program with a background in public health including women’s health and senior services. Mary became a certified SHINE Counselor (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders) in 2008 and developed a specialization in health benefit programs for elders, which includes expertise in the intersection of multiple programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Mary teaches an annual Medicare seminar at the adult education program.

Vani Pessoni
Health Access Specialist

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Vani has been with the program since 2012. She is a certified medical interpreter and worked in hospital registration for many years before transferring her customer service skills to the Access Program. We are fortunate to have her as a bilingual Navigator. Vani helps our clients with a smile on her face and the tenacity of a true advocate.

Maria Mouzinho
Health Access Specialist

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Maria started working at the Access Program in 2002 and has been here ever since! She is bilingual Portuguese-speaking and bicultural, from Brazil. She has participated in quarterly MassHealth and Navigator trainings for 14 years, and is a certified Navigator. We value having someone who can put our Brazilian clients at ease because of their shared background. Maria is also the only Portuguese-speaking SHINE counselor on the Vineyard.

Shawn Scherer

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Shawn is the newest addition to our staff, though she is already well-known and well-liked on the Vineyard. She was hired by Island Health Care to help their patients to apply during the 2014-2105 Open Enrollment period, and she is already an invaluable member of our team! Shawn is a certified Navigator and works at Island Health Care in Edgartown and the Vineyard Health Care Access Program office in Oak Bluffs.

Kristen Lepine
Vineyard Smiles Coordinator

Kristen joined the Vineyard Smiles team in 2014. Her job entails working with our dental service providers, Commonwealth Mobile Oral Health Services; Dr. Khoury, who is the Island’s CMOHS dentist; our local schools and the school nurses; and the students who are Vineyard Smiles patients and their families. Kristen’s background working in a school has proved invaluable in understanding how to integrate dental services into the busy school day at six public schools on the Vineyard.

Debbie Simon
Vineyard Smiles Assistant

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Debbie is a dental assistant and has been the Vineyard Smiles assistant since 2005, when we conducted an oral health needs assessment for the Island. Debbie is Dr. Khoury’s assistant in the schools. She also teaches our oral hygiene program, Tooth Tutoring, in all of the local kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Debbie coordinates the adult and senior dental hygiene clinics as well.