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.
Bob Krasen, Executive Committee
Bob Krasen was a Catholic priest for 17 years in 4 parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, an occupation which helped him develop a social conscience. He worked in social services in Columbus until retirement in 2006, when he became an activist for "health care for all" in SPAN Ohio.
Matt Noordsij-Jones, MD, Executive Committee
Dr. "NJ" received his M.D. from Medical College of Wisconsin. He recently completed his Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at Wright State University. NJ has a B.S. in biochemistry and genetics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. While there, he served as a research assistant for UW Hospitals in the area of pediatric infectious disease, studying osis. Following his undergraduate career, he worked in Boston as a biochemical analyst. Med-peds intrigues NJ because he enjoys the complexity of medicine as well as the personal aspect of pediatrics. In his spare time, NJ enjoys running, rowing, and gardening/landscaping. He also won two gold medals, a silver, and a bronze in the Rowing National Championship.
Tim Kettler, Executive Committee
Tim Kettler is a resident of Coshocton County where he lives with his wife Roberta and son Malcolm. Together they have operated Action Septic Service Inc. for the past 32 years. Tim is a member of the Board of Directors of Coshocton Environmental and Community Awareness Inc., a local environmental advocacy and educational non-profit. Politically, personally and professionally the issue of healthcare has been at the forefront of the challenges small businesses face and Tim has supported The Healthcare for All Ohioans Act since first joining the State Council in 2005. Tim is an Ohio EPA Certified Wastewater Operator and the scope and responsibility of his work is focused on outcomes that protect the public health. Through his personal, professional and community activities Tim has found himself along with the rest of us at the intersection of Health Care and Environmental Justice.