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Meet Our Team Now

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

karen

KAREN FESSEL

DR PH, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Karen founded the Autism Health Insurance Project after struggling to secure services for her son, who has Asperger’s.
Laura Levandowski

LAURA LEVANDOWSKI

SECRETARY
Laura has been an advocate and champion of children with autism and learning differences for 12 years.
Lisa Valerio

LISA VALERIO

TREASURER
Lisa is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend – all which gives her drive, inspiration and passion in life.
Betsy Brazy

BETSY BRAZY

DIRECTOR
Betsy is an attorney practicing special education law in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Feda Almiliti

FEDA ALMILITI

Feda is one of the leading experts on health insurance issues related to Autism in the state of California.
Lajoyce Porter

LAJOYCE PORTER

LaJoyce L. Porter is a sole practitioner in Oakland, CA.

STAFF

karen

KAREN FESSEL

DR PH, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Karen founded the Autism Health Insurance Project after struggling to secure services for her son, who has Asperger’s.
Debra Nelson

DEBRA NELSON

APPEALS SPECIALIST
Debra Nelson has a background in policy analysis, philanthropic advising, fundraising, and advocacy for mental health and autism issues.
4

MARCY SMITH

APPEALS ADVOCATE AND NEWSLETTER
Marcy and her family were clients of MHAIP several years ago and she has been eager to help other families in the same way ever since.
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