About Us

Who we are

Established in July 2001, CNYAHEC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community-based organization working to improve health care access, delivery, and outcomes in a 14-county region of Central New York.

The CNYAHEC service area is home to 24 hospitals located in predominantly rural areas serving a total regional population of over 1.62 million people. There are numerous geographic pockets of federally designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) within the CNYAHEC region, specifically in the areas of primary health care, mental health care, and dental health care.

The mission of CNYAHEC was adopted in June 2002 and reads as follows:
CNYAHEC, through collaborative efforts, improves access to quality health care by promoting improvements in the supply, training, development and distribution of health professionals in a 14-county area.

Strategic planning is guided by the mission and allows CNYAHEC to focus its efforts in four priority areas:

  1. Health careers exploration
  2. Continuing education programs and services
  3. Clinical training opportunities
  4. Community partnership development

Our Region

Located in Cortland, New York, the CNYAHEC office is found in the heart of its service area and central to the counties it serves. The CNYAHEC 14-county regional service area includes Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

Our Staff

Richard Merchant

Mandy Qualls
Center Director

Judi Wesser
Training and Education Manager

Board Members

James X. Kennedy, LMSW, MS
Director of Compliance
REACH Medical

Vice Chair
David W. Felton
President & Chief Executive Officer (Retired)
Crouse Community Center Nursing Facility

Fred Farley, PhD, FACHE, CNAA
Assistant Professor
Mansfield University
Adjunct Professor
Binghamton University

Joanne O’Brien
Associate, Health Occupations Education
New York State Education Department

John Sigg, PhD
Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences
& Human Performance
Ithaca College



Mark E. Warfel, DO, FAAFP
Program Director
St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program Director of Medical Education
Mohawk Valley Health System

Dan Young
Senior Business Advisor Empire Advocates
Allison A.N. Duggan, MD, FACS Clinical Quality Medical Director Crouse Health

Michael L. Ogden
President & Chief Executive Officer
Bassett Healthcare Network – Little Falls Hospital

Tammy L. Austin-Ketch, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Nursing
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Brian Forrest, SPHR
Vice President of Human Resources
Cayuga Medical Center
Cayuga Health System

Ex-Officio Member
Carrie A. Roseamelia, PhD
Assistant Dean for Rural Medicine and Research Assistant Professor
Dept. of Family Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University