Dignity Alliance Massachusetts is comprised of an amazing group of experts and advocates in a wide range of related fields. We have shared brief biographies of some leaders. This alphabetic list does not include everyone.

Frank Baskin

Frank Baskin chairs the Behavioral Health Work Group. A social worker for more than five decades, Frank has worked directly with older adults, their families, and providers in nursing homes, other congregate facilities and within the community. He has leadership positions on the Nursing Home Committee for Mass Chapter NASW, and the Older Adult Behavioral Health Network (formerly Mass Aging and Mental Health Coalition – MAMHC.

Charles Carr

Charlie Carr is a disability rights pioneer who has been active in the independent living and disability rights community for over 40 years. He is a co-founder of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts.

Meg Coffin

Meg Coffin co-leads the Home and Community-Based Services Work Group. Since 2017, she has served as CEO of the Center for Living & Working, a non-profit independent living center in Worcester that empowers persons with disabilities through innovative programs.

Judith Fonsh, MSW

Judi has been a social worker specializing in nursing home care. She serves on the Board of Directors of Life Path, an Aging Services Access Point and an Area Agency on Aging.

John Ford, JD

John chairs the Assisted Living Workgroup. He has more than 50 years of experience as a legal services attorney. He currently is with the Northeast Justice Center. He is active in numerous state and national organizations including the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys at the national and state level, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging, and the Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute. He is an appointed member of the Attorney General’s Elder Justice Council.

Lachlan Forrow

Dr. Lachlan Forrow has been a member of the Coordinating Committee since shortly after the organization was founded, and serves as co-chair of the Communications Work Group, He brings decades of experience as a practicing clinician and as a statewide and national leader in efforts to improve the care of patients with serious illness and conditions.

Priscilla O'Reilly, Lachlan Farrow and Meg Coffin at a PCA Rally (2023) at the Embrace, Boston
PCA Rally 2023: Priscilla O’Reilly, Lachlan Farrow and Meg Coffin

Arlene Germain

Arlene Germain is a co-founder of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts and chair of the Facilities Work Group, and is co-founder and executive director of the Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (MANHR). MANHR, founded in 2000 by grassroots volunteers, is the only statewide consumer group advocating for improvements in the care, dignity and quality of life for MA nursing home residents.

2023 Meeting with Undersecretary for Health, EOHHS.  Pictured: Richard Moore, Sandy Novack, Amy Bianco (EOHHS), Niameh Mahaniah - Undersecretary, Arlene Germain and Paul Lanzikos
2023 Meeting with Undersecretary for Health, EOHHS.
Pictured l-r: Richard Moore, Sandy Novack, Amy Bianco (EOHHS),
Niameh Mahaniah – Undersecretary, Arlene Germain and Paul Lanzikos

Bill Henning

Bill Henning is a co-founder of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts and a co-leader of its Coordinating Committee. For the past 20 years, he has been the executive director of the Boston Center for Independent Living, a non-profit, civil rights organization committed to eliminating discrimination, isolation and segregation of people with disabilities.

Bill Henning at 2017 IL Education Day at the State House with Senate President Karen Spilka
Bill Henning at 2017 IL Education Day at the State House with Senate President Karen Spilka

Christopher Hoeh

Chris Hoeh has brought his perspective of a person living with a spinal cord injury to a wide variety of disability rights work since 2017. He has active roles in the Coordinating Committee, the Home and Community Based Services Work Group and the Communications Work Group. Currently he is a MA Registered Advocate with the United Spinal Association, the vice chair of the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Workforce Council.  Chris has taken an active role in a number of advocacy efforts including: Accessible MA, a legislative campaign to increase accessible workplaces and housing; organizing and direct engagement with state officials to improve Non-Emergency Medical Transportation for MassHealth members; and as a member of Dignity Alliance MA.

Jennifer Kaplan, JD

Jeni Kaplan co-chairs the Home and Community-Based Services Work Group. She is a senior attorney at the Center for Public Representation (CPR), a national legal advocacy center for people with disabilities, which she joined in 2020 after ten years in the federal courts.  As such, she works to promote the integration and full community participation of older adults and people with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in nursing facilities and other institutions.

Paul Lanzikos

Paul Lanzikos is a co-founder of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts, co-leader of the Coordinating Committee, and co-chair of the Long-Term Care/Nursing Facilities Work Group. He has 50 years of experience in designing, implementing, managing and analyzing programs serving older adults and has testified before Congressional panels, federal executive agencies, and state legislative bodies regarding elder care policy and program development at the state and national levels.

Barbara L’Italien

Barbara is the Executive Director of the Disability Law Center, the federally designated protective service agency for disabled persons in the Commonwealth. She has served in the Massachusetts Legislature both as a Senator and a Representative.

James Lomastro

Jim Lomastro chairs the Veterans Services Work Group. His expertise includes rehabilitation, behavioral health, addictions, and senior care, while special interests include Small Houses (vs. large institutional living for veterans and others), decarceration, and social justice.

Senator Richard T. Moore

Senator Moore is part of the leadership team of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts and chairs the Legislative Work Group. As a health policy expert, environmental leader, social policy advocate, and educational administrator, he has served in numerous elected and appointed positions in local, state, and national governments and the non-profit sector over a fifty-year career.

Sue Rorke

Sue Rorke manages DignityMA’s website and social media. She is an IT specialist with the MetroWest Center for Independent Living.

Peter Tiernan

Peter has 25 years of experience as a consultant, CFO, and senior manager of several state agencies. His core expertise is on matters related to the public financing and operation of home and community- based services. He is experienced with state Medicaid program financial management, oversight, program design and evaluation, policy management, and process redesign. He is the principal of HCBS Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to advancing the availability and efficacy of home and community- based services for older individuals.

Brianna Zimmerman

Brianna is a Systems Change Advocate with Stavros Center for Independent Living serving western Massachusetts.