About ITUP

The mission of Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) is to promote innovative and workable policy solutions that expand health care access and improve the health of Californians, through policy-focused research and broad-based stakeholder engagement.

As an independent facilitator and honest broker, ITUP seeks common ground among diverse stakeholders and establishes connections among health care payers, providers, government and advocates. Based on its research and real-world practical information from an extensive network of community health care leaders, ITUP educates and informs policymakers on policy challenges and opportunities, best practices from around the state, and innovative options to improve access and health outcomes.

ITUP also offers technical assistance and consulting services to policymakers, state agencies, researchers, clinics, counties, health plans, and other interested parties. To advance the implementation of health reform in California, ITUP hosts an annual statewide conference in Sacramento and facilitates regional workgroups and statewide issue workgroups on topics affecting the health of Californians.

ITUP is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with core funding from the Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, The California Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the California HealthCare Foundation. ITUP also receives specific project-based contracts, including current funding from L.A. Care Health Plan to facilitate a behavioral health stakeholder workgroup in Los Angeles County.


Lucien Wulsin, J.D. founded ITUP in 1996 following the failure to pass comprehensive health reform at the federal level. For more than twenty years under Lucien’s leadership, ITUP was a consistent voice keeping the state’s focus on the plight of the uninsured and highlighting creative financing and delivery system approaches to address the health care system challenges California faced, including more than 7 million uninsured Californians. Following passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the ITUP team contributed background research and expertise helping to guide California’s health reform implementation efforts.

Lucien Wulsin retired as ITUP’s Executive Director in March of 2016 and is currently an independent consultant and author.

Board of Directors

headshot-1 John Arensmeyer, Board Chair and CEO, Small Business Majority
laura hogan Laura Hogan, Board Treasurer and Consultant
M Mulkey picture Marian Mulkey, Board Secretary and Consultant
Tangerine Brigham, Chief Administrative Officer, Population Health, Alameda Health System
Richard Chambers, Former Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Molina Healthcare, and Former CEO of Molina Healthcare of California and CalOptima
Howard Kahn, Former CEO, L.A. Care Health Plan
Sharon Levine, M.D., Former Director and Senior Advisor for Public Policy, Pharmacy, and Professional Development, The Permanente Medical Group of Northern California
jim lott Jim Lott, Consultant


deborah-photo Deborah Kelch
Executive Director Deborah Reidy Kelch is the Executive Director of the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP). Prior to joining ITUP, Deborah had 30+ years of experience analyzing and working to improve health care in California, including 15 years as policy and fiscal staff to the California Legislature and more than 15 years as owner of Kelch Associates, an independent health policy consulting firm. Deborah received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from CSU Sacramento and her bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.
Deborah Cosentino
Director of Administration
Deb organizes and manages ITUP’s financial and administrative systems including human resources, technology infrastructure, insurance, legal compliance, and facilities. Before joining ITUP, Deb worked for Housing California where she oversaw day-to-day office operations and served as Membership Coordinator for the organization. Her extensive background includes administrative and marketing roles in risk management, environmental, and healthcare consulting; higher education and research; fundraising; and domestic and international sales. A native of California, she was employed on the East coast for ten years before returning to Sacramento in 2001.
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Amy J. Lai, CMP
Director of Programs
Amy oversees the coordination and administration of all ongoing ITUP programs, including the annual ITUP conference and regional and statewide workgroups. She also manages ITUP’s broad-based network and e-communications. Amy was previously the Association Services Director for Shaw/Yoder/Antwih, Inc., a legislative advocacy and association management firm.  In this role, she managed the events and education for the California Transit Association and the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation. Amy has worked closely with volunteer leadership as an administrator for the California Dental Association. She became a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in 2008 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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Elia V. Gallardo, Esq.
Director of Health Policy Research
Elia works collaboratively with ITUP’s board, staff, and advisors to monitor and analyze federal, state and local policies, legislation, and research affecting health care coverage, access, and health care delivery in California. Prior to joining ITUP, Elia’s positions include Executive Director of Government Relations and Program Oversight with the Alameda Alliance for Health and Director of Government Affairs for the California Primary Care Association. During her 20 years in the health care arena, Elia was a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Primary Health Care National Service Award recipient, a Los Angeles County Bar Association Public Service Award recipient, and a 2005 Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award recipient. Elia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from U.C. Berkeley and a law degree from UCLA School of Law. She has been admitted to the California State Bar.
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jk Jeffrey Kho
Development Director
Jeffrey supports the executive director in managing ITUP grants and fund development activities, including grant writing, reporting and evaluation. Based in Los Angeles, Jeffrey also supports ITUP research and workgroups. Prior to joining ITUP, he worked in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of External Affairs supporting their day-to-day operations and coordinating outreach for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Youth Council. He also worked with the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance conducting urban planning and public health research in the Los Angeles Chinatown. Jeffrey received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Asian American Studies from UCLA. Email Jeffrey
lg Lauren Grabowski
Policy and Communications Analyst
Lauren designs social media platforms and ITUP blogs to promote creative and workable policy solutions. In addition, she provides health policy research and analytical support to the ITUP team members. Prior to joining the ITUP team, Lauren worked for CanCan Health and Breathe California of Los Angeles County, both nonprofits focused on disease prevention and health promotion. Lauren received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Society with a Public Health minor from UCLA. Email Lauren
be Brianna Entler
Communications Analyst
Brianna provides communications and digital support to promote ITUP and its mission. In addition to working with ITUP, Brianna consults on content strategy and management with a focus in digital mediums. Her previous experience includes positions in agency, in-house, and freelance settings. Her work in communications garnered industry recognition including 2015 Communications Professional of the Year. Brianna received a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Miami and a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of St Andrews.
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ba Beth Abel
Project Associate
Beth coordinates project-based work and research and provides administrative support for the executive director and ITUP staff. Prior to joining ITUP, Beth worked at a non-profit trade association for California tow truck companies where she collaborated with company owners to provide education and training for tow truck operators throughout the state. Beth received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Kent State University with a concentration in Health Promotion and Education.
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Advisory Council

Joan Allen, SEIU-UHW Healthcare Workers West
Mayra Alvarez, The Children’s Partnership
John Baackes, L.A. Care Health Plan
Charles Bacchi, California Association of Health Plans
Isabel Becerra, Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers
Kim Belshé, First 5 Los Angeles
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., California Primary Care Association
Shana Charles, California State University, Fullerton College of Health & Human Development
Colleen Chawla, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Gary Cohen, Blue Shield of California
Michael Cousineau, USC Keck School of Medicine; Price School of Public Policy
Joel Diringer, J.D., Diringer & Associates
Anastasia Dodson, Department of Health Care Services
Adam Dougherty, M.D., M.P.H., Sutter Medical Center Sacramento
Toby Douglas, Centene
Susan Fleischman, M.D., Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Hector Flores, M.D., Family Practice Department, White Memorial Medical Center/Family Care Specialists Medical Group
Veronica Flores, M.A., Community Health Councils
Norma Forbes, Fresno Healthy Communities Access Partners
Jon Freedman, Health Management Associates
Alvaro Fuentes, Community Clinic Consortium, Contra Costa County
Kelly Green, Covered California
Jay Hansen, California Medical Association Foundation
Scott Hauge, Small Business Association of California
Mark Herbert, Small Business Majority
Percy Howard, III, LCSW, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions
David Hurst, Health Plan of San Joaquin
Kerry Hydash, Family HealthCare Network
Mitch Katz, M.D., Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Jennifer Kent, California Department of Health Care Services
Gerald Kominski, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Maria Lemus, Vision y Compromiso
Burt Margolin, The Margolin Group
Louise McCarthy, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
Alan McKay, Central California Alliance for Health
Anne McLeod, California Hospital Association
Erica Murray, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
Mike Odeh, Children Now
Jeffrey Oxendine, UC Berkeley School of Public Health/Center for Public Health Practice & Leadership
David Panush, California Health Policy Strategies
Gary Rotto, Borrego Health
Roderick Shaner, M.D., Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Herrmann Spetzler, Open Door Community Health Centers
Micah Weinberg, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Wendi West, Partnership HealthPlan of California
Walter Zelman, California State University Los Angeles

Annual Reports