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Board of Directors

As a Federally Funded Health Center, more than half of our board members are actual patients at our centers. That means they visit the same doctors, nurses, and clerical staff and receive the same level of care you do. BCHN Board members either live, work or have a strong interest in the Bronx. They bring a wide range of expertise, skills and interests to their role, and are fully committed to BCHN's mission and goals.

Board Officers

Zahra Elmekkawy, MIA - President
Zahra Elmekkawy is a senior executive with broad policy, operations, and risk management experience in both the private and public sectors. Over the past four years, she led an accelerated transformation of AIG's global operational risk management framework, including the design and implementation of programs to evaluate, monitor and remediate risks, and enhance risk culture. She previously held various positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As Senior Vice President, she directed the area responsible for the supervision of 150-plus foreign banking organizations in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Prior to that role, she served as COO, with responsibility over HR, operations, and financial management activities in the Bank Supervision function. She's also held various leadership roles over the Market Risk and Policy Departments, and represented the Federal Reserve at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland for four years.

Ms. Elmekkawy strongly believes that healthcare is a human right: Her involvement in BCHN stems from her long-standing interest in this field; it has also led her to pursue an Executive Masters in Public Health at Columbia University. Ms. Elmekkawy holds a B.S. (Journalism) & B.A. (International Affairs) from Boston University, and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.

BCHN Board member since 2016.

Eduardo Alayon, LMSW - Vice President

Eduardo Alayon was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and moved to the Bronx as a child. He received a Bachelor's Degree from Mercy College and a Masters Degree in Social Work/Administration from Hunter College. Over the course of his career, Mr. Alayon worked as a counselor for a detoxification program administered by the Hunts Point Multi-Service Corporation. He has been working for the last thirty years as the administrator in mental health treatment programs and community residence programs for South Bronx Mental Health Council, Inc., a long established community based organization in the South Bronx.

Over the past thirty years, Mr. Alayon has maintained an active role in the community as a Board Member for various organizations essential to the Bronx. He has been a Board Member and a member of the health committee of the Bronx Planning Board No.2, an organization that spearheaded the rebuilding of the South Bronx; Board Member of the Health Systems Agency Borough-Wide Coordinating Council; Community Board Member of Lincoln Hospital; and has chaired the Hunts Point Multi-Service Corporation and the Bronx Developmental Services, Inc. In addition to serving as Treasurer of the Acacia Network Board of Directors, Mr. Alayon is the Chairman of the General Development Orientation Council, Inc.

BCHN Board member since 2011.


John Ruiz, BLA - Treasurer

John Ruiz has served the families and children of New York State for 36 years, including three years with the New York City Board of Education.

Mr. Ruiz is a graduate of State University of New York (SUNY) Empire State College with a Bachelor of Art in Labor Studies. He has certifications in Industrial Labor Management Relations from Cornell University and Conflict Resolution from Long Island University.

As a union activist, he held elected leadership positions with the NYS Public Employees Federation, one of the largest professional unions in the country.

As an Executive Board and Council leader, he insured that the conditions and rights of employment of his constituency were not infringed upon. He provided representation at hearings before the NYS Workers' Compensation Board and in all matters before Labor Administrative hearings.

Mr. Ruiz is married, with one son and two grand children, Kayla and John-Martin, all living in the Bronx.


David Fletcher, Ph.D. - Corporate Secretary

David Fletcher is currently on the faculty of Lehman College, School of Education, and the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Middle and High School Education. He is College Liaison to, Millennium Art Academy and the Stevenson Educational Campus, two high school programs in the Bronx.

Mr. Fletcher is also very much involved in developing service-learning and career exploration and development programs in K through 12 schools. His other interests include developing clinically based college education programs to support students' social, emotional, and academic development.

BCHN Board member since 2009.


Charles Barnett, BBA - Recording Secretary
Bio coming soon.

BCHN Board member since 2016.



Board Members

Robin Bethea
Bio coming soon.

Marjorie Cadogan, JD

Marjorie A. Cadogan is Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Human Resources Administration's Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (HRA/OCHIA). HRA/OCHIA works to connect New York City residents and small business owners to coverage and care. In collaboration with a broad network of partners, the Office delivers outreach, education and training on public and private health insurance. HRA/OCHIA also coordinates an enrollment initiative that lets New Yorkers get insured at city agency offices and events throughout the five boroughs. Engaged in policy research and analysis to inform its efforts and help improve access to coverage for all New Yorkers, HRA/OCHIA provides timely health insurance information to residents and small businesses through its website, NYC Health Insurance Link, and print materials.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Cadogan worked at the Primary Care Development Corporation and served in a variety of legal positions at the NYC Law Department, NYC Loft Board and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. She is a member of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education and sits on the NYS Health Foundation's Community Advisory Committee. Ms. Cadogan is a graduate of Fordham University and received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law.


Arthur G. Edwards, MPA

Arthur G. Edwards is known for his committed service to community health care, planning and advocacy in New York City. He is a native of Georgetown, Guyana and has been a resident of the Bronx since 1963. He received his undergraduate degree from the City University of New York (CUNY) in Pre-Law and holds an MPA in Health Policy and Management from New York University's (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Mr. Edwards is a retired Senior Health Care Program Planner Analyst of the New York City Health & Hospitals Corporation (HHC). Upon retirement, he joined the Commission on the Public's Health System to advocate for public health funding in New York State and City budgets. He also fought for health care services for NYC residents, regardless of ability to pay, race and/or ethnicity or diagnosis. He served as Co-Chair of the Commission on the Public Health's System (CPHS), and is the Founder-President of the Eileen Edwards Memorial Fund, Inc. targeting activities critical to the prevention of diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.

BCHN Board member since 2001.


Tanya Johnson, MS
Bio coming soon.

BCHN Board member since 2018.

Millie Pacheco, BA
Millie Pacheco was born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx. She attended College of New Rochelle where she earned a B.A. in Adult Education. Over the course of her career, Ms. Pacheco worked for the New York State Department of Civil Service as a a Sr. Personnel Specialist and Trainer.

Ms. Pacheco served on the board of Hunts Point Multi-Service Center, and currently serves on the board of the Tanio Lions Club - Bronx Chapter.

Ms. Pacheco has stated that the greatest goal she could strive for as an educator/trainer is having students become productive lifelong learners who are thinkers and problem solvers.

BCHN Board member since 2016.

Victor Quarshie, BSc

Victor Smart Quarshie was born Accra, Ghana in West Africa and migrated to the United States in 2000. While in Ghana, he served in the Ghana Air Force for 12 years. Mr. Quarshie has a great passion for community services. To continue his community involvement, he received his BSc in nursing from Herbert H Lehman College in Bronx, New York and is currently serving as the President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for the Medical Science & Dr. Mary E. Walker Medical Science Academy, High School located in Bronx, New York.

Mr. Quarshie is the Secretary for the Ghana Veterans Association (G.V.A.) which he has been a member for the past 13 years.



BCHN Board member since 2015.

Sandra Piggee, LCSW

Sandra Piggee is the proud mother of two sons, Tracy and Javier. A native Tennessean, growing up she attended New York City Catholic schools. She received her BA in Sociology from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and her Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University.

For the past 40 years, Ms. Piggee has worked as a Social Worker, starting her career at Catholic Charities where she honed her skills, and they tested her metal. She moved on to the position of Assistant Director of Senior Services at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. At the present time, she works for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a Special Consultant II. During her long career as a social worker she looked for various ways to give back to her church and her community, volunteering over the years on several committees in her church, St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic , in Harlem and as a friendly visitor at the New York Rehabilitation Center on 34th Street. A resident of the Bronx, Sandra has been active in her community. She is a founding board member of Bronx Community Health Network, Inc., and for the past 15 years she has served on the Montefiore Comprehensive Health Care Center Community Advisory Board (CHCC-CAB).

BCHN Board member since 1996.


Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas is a native New Yorker, and has spent his life experience in the field of Community Service. Serving a stint in the US Army, as a Preventive Medicare Specialist, his responsibilities were to ensure the health and safety of all military personnel.

After leaving military life, he continued his government service through the United States Postal Service. During his career he was elected Branch President of New York City, a full time position with Local 300 National Postal Mail Handlers Union. Mr. Thomas continued this position for 12 years, and then retired in 2005.

After serving 38 years in government service, the passion to serve his community and fellow man still burns brightly. As a result, he joined the BCHN Board of Directors in 2006, where he is currently active on several committees. In addition to community service, Mr. Thomas owns several businesses and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

BCHN Board member since 2006.


Interested in becoming a Board Member?
If you are a patient at one of our health centers, or if you live or work in the Bronx and are interested in improving the health of individuals and families, especially those without health insurance, please complete the membership application and return by fax (718) 741-5460, or mail to:

Bronx Community Health Network, Inc.
Attn: Membership Committee
One Fordham Plaza, Suite 1108
Bronx, NY 10458