Debbie Silverstein, State Director
Debbie taught Middle School Earth Science and High School Math for 30 years in the Stow, Munroe Falls City School District. In addition to her teaching duties, Debbie served in various capacities in her local teachers’ association and was active in bargaining and grievance processing. She became active in SPAN in 2008, first as a local leader, then as Regional Coordinator for Region 6 and now as the State Director.
Johnathon Ross, M.D., SPAN Ohio Secretary
Dr. Johnathon Ross is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national health reform group with over 18,000 members (PNHP). He is a graduate of Cornell University and received his medical degree in 1975 from the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. In addition to his medical degree, he has a master’s degree in health policy and administration from the School of Public Health of the University of Michigan. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and currently practices and teaches general internal medicine at St Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a 500 bed center city teaching hospital in Toledo, Ohio. His experience inside the health insurance industry convinced him of the logic and need for a national health insurance program.
Barbara Walden, SPAN Ohio Treasurer
Barbara Walden worked for BCTGM Local 19 and IBT Local 507 for 35 years, ending with her retirement in 2000. Providing health care for members, what to cover and how to pay for it, was a constant concern. In 1996 she attended the Founding Convention of the Labor Party, and a major plank in their platform was achieving single-payer health care. The Party’s intense dedication to this cause inspired her, and in 2001 she joined with other health care activists in the Cleveland area to help establish what is now known as SPAN Ohio.
Brad Cotton, MD, Executive Committee
Brad Cotton is honored to have served almost 40 years in emergency medicine. Brad began working as an EMT and as an emergency department (ED) tech in 1978, graduating from the Kent State University School of Nursing 1982. Brad worked 3 years for the City of Cleveland EMS, while working part-time as an RN at St. Luke’s ED and also taking requisite pre-med science courses at Cleveland State.
Brad graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine 1991 and OSU emergency medicine residency in 1994. Brad worked 15 years at Adena Regional Medical Center, serving as EMS Medical Director for Ross County and on the Ohio Region V EMS Advisory Board. Brad published research work done with Ross County EMS EKG transmission to the emergency department that resulted in revision of Ohio EMS Board rules. Leaving Adena in 2011 when the corporatization of medicine became such that all the ED physicians left, Brad now works at Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s ED, the 3rd busiest adult ED in Columbus.
Brad notes that the ED is “the overwhelmed lifeboat of a sinking Titanic health care system, and, as on the Titanic, the 1% is surviving, while the rest of us are locked below decks to drown.” Brad is passionate about health care justice as he is face to face every day with all those good deserving Americans who fix our cars, wait on us at Wal-Mart, cut our hair who suffer immensely from our profits first, care second private insurance based non-system. Brad’s faith as a Quaker sustains his activism, believing that all persons are sacred and that we are called to work for compassion and justice for all. Brad is most excited about serving to advance the mission of the Ohio Single Payer Action Network.
Brad is married to Toye, whom he met when both were volunteers for Circleville EMS. Brad finds it romantic that he and Toye were both RNs when they married. Brad and Toye have raised a number of children, hers, theirs, and now three grandchildren. Lastly, Brad shares that “Working for health care justice is working for a livable future for us all.”
Bill Davis, Executive Committee
Bill Davis is a healthcare activist devoted to seeing that our healthcare system become more equitable and accessible for healing the sick, supporting the weak and comforting the afflicted, no matter what a person’s circumstance.
Since 2009, Bill has attended the annual SPAN Conference in Columbus. He has also attended two national Single Payer strategy conferences and several seminars sponsored by Physicians for a National Health Program. He has read many books and articles on the subject of healthcare reform.
Although not a clinician, Bill is a member of PNHP and spent the last nine years of a career in information technology at a local health system, so he has some first-hand knowledge of what goes on in hospitals and doctors’ offices and the attending waste. Since retiring in 2016, he has spent much of his time speaking to people and listening to their concerns about healthcare.
Sean Nestor, Executive Committee
Sean Nestor is an activist from Toledo who began organizing through the Occupy movement in 2011. Described as a "sharp-eyed local political analyst" by the Toledo Blade, he has organized electoral efforts with Move To Amend, NORML, and the Green Party. His most recent victory was being granted a low-power FM radio license by the FCC through his work as Founder and Treasurer of Toledo Integrated Media Education. He works as a systems administrator for a Fortune 100 company and as a teacher in the University of Toledo's College of Engineering.
Mayo Makinde, Executive Committee
Mayo is a community advocate from Columbus, Ohio who attended Marysville High School. He later transferred to the Columbus Public School system where he attended Eastmoor Academy High School and graduated in 1998.
Shortly after high school, Mayo began taking classes at Columbus State Community College. However, he was later recruited by Western Kentucky University to play football. In 2002 Mayo helped lead the Western Kentucky Big Reds to their first National Championship in the Gateway Conference. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in 2004.
Through the Democratic Party Mayo was hands-on with Democratic campaigns flowing through Franklin County. During February of 2005, he began volunteering for the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. It was at this juncture that he gained insight on how grassroots organizing of policy can lead to a bill becoming law. In 2006, he coordinated the Barbara Sykes campaign for State Auditor, while assisting the Ohio Democratic Party with the African American Outreach and GOTV campaign. He was also active in the local and state NAACP at this moment of his young life.
He joined organizations such as “Simba Nation”, a youth mentoring program. In November 2007, the group traveled to Oakland, California for the “The National Gathering of the “Justice for Youths Conference”; an organization initiated by Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover. He also runs a youth program called "Counseling and Encouraging Minority American Youth" where he teaches young people the pure fundamental skills of better decision making when faced with sex, violence and drugs.
In 2008, Mayo ran for the 27th Ohio House of Representative’s seat. Although he didn’t win the election, he continued to serve his community. During that year, Mayo was selected to be president of the East Columbus Civic Association, where he partnered with faith based organizations to fight for change and equality.
His claim to fame in Columbus was his work bringing the private and public sector together to find a resolution for underserved communities when the city of Columbus closed 12 recreation centers in 2009 due to a budget crisis. Mayo was able to lead community members and faith based leaders to city hall to advocate for the reopening of those centers in the city's underserved areas. This included his own neighborhood center at Krumm Park.
Mayo is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. When not volunteering with his fraternity, Mayo spends his leisure time as a lead host of Global Views, a political talk show. Mayo worked for Franklin County for 13 years. These years were divided between the board of elections, jobs and family services, and the sheriff’s office. In 2016 Mayo took another run for the Statehouse seeking to represent the 25th district. Finding viewpoints aligned with the US senator from Vermont, Mayo became a local surrogate for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders for America. He later went on to join the Ohio delegation (representing from the 3rd congressional district) for the Sanders campaign at the DNC convention in Philadelphia. Since 2016, Mayo has become more active with progressive organizations, such as Move to Amend, Ohio Revolution, Our Revolution NW Ohio, and Ohio Progressive Alliance. He is also on the state board of the Single Payer Action Network (SPAN OH). His work with Our Revolution & SPAN Ohio have respectively lead him to Capitol Hill lobbying Congress for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Bill (prudent banking act) & to the Ohio Statehouse for the Single Payer legislation initiated in the Ohio Senate. Mayo has been elected as a local central committee ward leader for his county Democratic Party, representing Linden. Linden is one of the most underserved communities in Columbus. Mayo is still active in his role as a Columbus community advocate while living as a small business owner.
Marcia Hartman, Executive Committee
As a 20-year-old, Marcia worked on a Student Health Organization project — an offshoot of the Medical Committee for Human Rights. That experience taught her to worry about access to health care - and close to 50 years later, she's still worrying! Marcia went on to get a graduate degree in Community Health Organization and Administration. Spent her career in human service agencies — mainly those serving individuals with developmental disabilities but also did a stint in the