The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority today named Linda Wharton Boyd, PhD., to serve as its new Director of Communications, External Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement. In that capacity, she will build strategic partnerships across the city with various community-based organizations, to include nonprofits, faith-based institutions, and diverse populations; she will also serve as the liaison to the Council of the District of Columbia. The Exchange also added Alison Nelson to its staff as Executive Assistant to the Director.
Wharton Boyd joins the Exchange staff from the DC Department of Health (DOH), where she has been the Senior Advisor, Communications and External Affairs, and helped the agency establish a social media presence. She earlier served as Director of Communications for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, and was a member of the Mayor’s Executive Cabinet and the official spokesperson for the Mayor and the Government of the District of Columbia.
Nelson, who will also work on special projects, comes to the Exchange staff from the University of South Florida College of Public Health, where she has been a member of research teams focused on lack of minority population accrual for clinical trials, fatherhood, and childhood obesity.
“I am pleased to add these talented people to our staff as we build an on-line, one-stop marketplace for individuals, families and small employers to find, compare, and purchase high-quality health insurance,“ said Mila Kofman, J.D., the Exchange Authority executive director. “They will help us make critically important connections to organizations throughout the District.“
Linda Wharton Boyd, PhD, has spent much of her professional career working to improve the lives of District residents. She is a communications professional with a proven record of success in communications, marketing, public affairs, media relations, organizational development, strategic planning, and problem solving with the ability to effectively design, implement and manage internal and external communications and marketing programs, projects, information campaigns, promotions, as well as achieve organizational goals beyond expectations. In addition to her work at the Department of Health and the Executive Office of the Mayor, Wharton Boyd has also served as Chief of Staff/Chief Communications Officer for Councilmember Michael A. Brown; Chief Communications Officer for the DC Public Schools; Director of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for the DC Department of Human Services/Office of the Deputy Mayor For Children, Youth, Elders And Families; and Director of the DC Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications. Wharton Boyd holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Master’s in Speech Communications from the same University. She is a resident of the District.
Alison Nelson recently has served as a Research Coordinator for the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute-Health Outcomes & Behavior, in Tampa FL; a research team member and co-advocate for the Embracing Fatherhood Initiative, and a Research Assistant with the Family Health Self-Empowerment research team working to modify and prevent obesity. Nelson received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Maternal Child Health from the University of South Florida College of Public Health, in 2012. She also is a Certified Nursing Assistant and an American Heart Association Health Care Provider.