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Our Staff

Our Washington, DC, staff is committed to furthering the goals of the coalition, bringing deep government relations and Capitol Hill experience, research expertise and insights, as well as networking and partnership ideas that bring our members' work and collaborations to fruition.

TRCC Staff

Barbara Petee
Barbara Petee

President

Ms. Petee has led The Root Cause since its founding in 2015. Drawing from more than 36 years of experience in healthcare communications and government relations, Ms. Petee leads the Coalition's efforts that focus on Advocacy, Education and Research to unite cross-sector organizations under the common goal of achieving health equity. The Coalition's membership has grown from 17 inaugural partners into a diverse collection of more than 90 leading organizations from various states, sectors and services.

In addition to advocating for policies that lead to the achievement of health equity for all, Ms. Petee has spent more than a decade addressing the social determinants of health so as to develop and lift-up sustainable solutions that can be scaled and replicated across the nation, thereby improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Committed to helping develop and implement a new model of healthcare delivery that considers all the physical, mental health and social needs of individuals, Ms. Petee’s work in the social determinants has been widely recognized across the nation. She has served on numerous national boards and committees throughout her career and is currently a board member of the Alliance to End Hunger; The Nature Conservancy, Ohio; and WGTE Public Media.

Thomas Dorney
Thomas Dorney

Director

Tom Dorney is Director of The Root Cause Coalition. He leads the Washington office’s day-to-day advocacy efforts, manages its operations and supports the work of the Executive Director, board and membership groups.

In his prior role, Mr. Dorney served as senior policy advisor to Congressman John Lewis. He advised on all health matters in Rep. Lewis’ work as Chairman of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and developed legislation and initiatives focused on HIV/AIDS providers, kidney and cardiac health, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Mr. Dorney holds a Master of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from The Catholic University of America.

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling
Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling

Senior Advisor, Research and Communications

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PhD, MPA, is the Senior Advisor, Research and Communications for The Root Cause Coalition. She also is the owner of Fruitful LLC, a food and nutrition consulting business in Washington, DC. With nearly 15 years of experience working at nonprofits, member associations and the United States Department of Agriculture, Alexandra specializes in the intersection of consumer insights, communications and public affairs. Prior to Fruitful LLC, Alexandra served as the Vice President, Research & Partnerships, for the International Food Information Council.

Hannah Miller
Hannah Miller

Senior Advisor, Advocacy

Hannah Miller is the Senior Advisor for Advocacy for The Root Cause Coalition. She manages the organization's advocacy efforts by analyzing priority issues affecting health disparities and tracking relevant legislation and regulations that address them.

She has extensive experience working with state legislators across the country and researching and writing about key public policy issues related to social and economic equity. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University and earned her Master of Science degree from American University’s School of Public Affairs.

Madison Flores
Madison Flores

Programs Manager

Madison Flores is the Programs Manager for The Root Cause Coalition. She coordinates the organization’s Annual National Summit, among other events, aimed at uplifting the Coalition’s key educational goals surrounding the social determinants of health.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Southwestern University. During her time at Southwestern, she assisted in the publication of “Civility through Comparative Lens: Challenges and Achievements” in Crossing Boundaries: Political Incivility in the Parliamentary, Electoral and Media Arena, with Dr. Emily Sydnor and served as the Events Coordinator for Southwestern University’s Student Foundation. Ms. Flores has also worked on a number of congressional campaigns and served as an intern for Congressman John Lewis.