Our Team

Jump to: Profiles of Executive Team | Provider Circle

We are a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers, organizers, designers, writers, policy experts, and developers that includes a handful of staff, a talented cohort of fellows and interns, countless volunteers, and a network of thousands of health care providers committed to improving democracy through healthcare.

Profiles of Executive Team

Dr. Alister Martin (he/him), MD MPP, Founder and Board Chair

Alister Martin is a practicing emergency physician and former Chief Resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a dual degree graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Medical School joint degree program and served as a former Health Policy Aide to Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Congressman Raul Ruiz of California and blends state and federal policy knowledge with hands-on patient experience. He now serves as faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Center for Social Justice and Health Equity working at the intersection of public policy and medicine. He leverages his background in politics, healthcare policy, and the field of behavioral economics to use the ER as a place to build programs that serve the needs of vulnerable patients that frequent it and most recently launched Vot-ER with a team of physicians, policy and behavioral science experts. 

Aliya Bhatia (she/her), Acting Executive Director

Aliya Bhatia is the Chief Operating Officer at Vot-ER & Civic Health Month. In her role as COO, she supports Vot-ER to advance towards its vision of healthy communities powered by an inclusive democracy. She previously worked at the crossroads of education, housing, and health & wellness at Purpose Built Communities. Aliya began her career as a Teach For America corps member in New Orleans and as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Atlanta. While at BCG, she supported a range of clients across sectors both on business strategy and on diversity & inclusion efforts. She completed her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School as a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow and is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Kristina M. Whiton-O’Brien (she/her), MSW, LICSW, Director of Partnerships

Kristina Whiton-O’Brien is the Partnerships Director at Vot-ER. She received her BSW from Providence College and her MSW from Boston University. During the first part of her career she specialized in adoption preparation, placement and support in both the public and nonprofit sectors. She then engaged in training, outreach, and legislative advocacy as a Director for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Most recently, Kristina worked at the Boston University School of Social Work as the Assistant Director of Online Advising and Field Education where she developed partnerships across the country for MSW field placements and grew the program from 30 students to over 600. She has taught many professional education programs as well as policy and ethics graduate courses. In addition to her social work career, she was named an Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Legislature and was then appointed to the Plymouth County Commission on the Status of Women as an inaugural member in July of 2018. She has been a Vice Chair and Secretary on this Commission which promotes programs and policies to advance women and girls in the community.

Leah Ford (they/them), Organizing Director

Leah Ford (they/them) is the Organizing Director at Vot-ER. They hold their Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis and a B.A. in Sociology from Rhodes College. Leah began their organizing journey working on a ballot initiative campaign and leading issue advocacy campaigns around reproductive health/rights in Tennessee. Most recently, Leah served as the Campaign Manager for a state legislative candidate who made healthcare access a central part of her platform, helping her to secure a strong primary win. In 2021, Leah was honored to be named in the Memphis Flyer’s 20 Under 30 class of “outstanding young people who are making the Bluff City a better place.”

Our Provider Circle

Our Provider Circle includes healthcare providers and health policy experts who advise Vot-ER on its programs and occasionally speak about or write on the intersection of civic engagement and health.

Deborah Turner, MD JD

President, League of Women Voters of the US

Halea Meese, MD

Former Co-Chair, Med Out The Vote

Maria Santos, MD

Former Policy Chair, Latino Medical Student Association

Alberto Cifuentes, LMSW

Doctoral Candidate, UConn School of Social Work

Donald Berwick, MD MPP

President Emeritus and Senior
Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Christina C. Morone, PA-C

Co-Founder, One Nation Every Vote & Emergency Department PA, Mass General Hospital

Lillian Shirley, RN MPH MPP

Former Public Health Director, State of Oregon

Zonía Moore, MD Candidate

Captain of winning 2020 Healthy Democracy Campaign team

Jon Kusner, MD

Former Co-Chair, Med Out The Vote