Our Leadership

Tasha Blackmon :: President and Chief Executive Officer

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tasha Blackmon is a dynamic, collaborative leader, mentor and coach who brings more than 20 years of business operations experience to her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Michigan’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Cherry Health provides integrated health care services to 70,000 patients in Barry, Eaton, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Ottawa and Wayne counties.

During her 15 years with Cherry Health, Blackmon has championed health justice through aggressively disrupting healthcare disparities. Her experience comes from an operational perspective, having established high standards of care and developed integrated healthcare systems that treat an individual’s health needs holistically, rather than symptomatically. She has led numerous large-scale expansion and development projects and held six positions within Cherry Health before becoming CEO in 2018. As an accomplished and mission-minded leader, it is imperative to Tasha that our community is healthier, one patient at a time.

An eloquent and inspiring speaker, Tasha has a way of being heard on behalf of those who do not have voices, and for those whose voices have been silenced because of the barriers that they face. She is passionate and personally driven to ensure that all patients served in her home community, and surrounding areas, receive the highest quality of care.

Education

  • B.S. – Michigan State University
  • M.B.A. – Cornerstone University
  • Executive Fellowship – University of Kansas Medical Center

Professional & Community Engagement

      • Black Impact Collaborative Health and Wellbeing Committee – 2020 to present
      • Children’s Advocacy Center Board – 2018 to present
      • Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park Board of Directors – 2018 to present
        • Executive Committee member- 2019 to present
        • Diversity and Inclusion Committee member – 2019 to present
      • Grand Valley State University – Vice Provost for Health Advisory Board – 2018 to present
      • MHA Advisory Committee for Grand Valley State University – 2019 to present
      • Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) – Board of Directors – 2018 to present
      • National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
        • Subcommittee of Health Center Financing – 2016 to present
        • Committee on Health Center Excellence and Training – 2016 to present
      • National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) – 2016 to present
      • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – Member – 2015 to present
      • United Way Steering Committee – 2018 to present
      • Wesorick Center Advisory Council – 2018 to present
      • YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids (GRYMCA) Board – 2020 to present

 

Linda Constantino :: Chief Financial Officer

With 25 years of financial planning and management experience at Cherry Health, Linda Constantino is a proven leader who successfully navigates the constantly changing health care landscape through an approach focused on preparation and creativity to meet the medical, dental and behavior health needs of patients.

Constantino joined Cherry Health in 1993 as an accountant and later served as finance and human resources manager and finance director until being named Chief Financial Officer in 2011. Under her leadership, Constantino helped manage two major initiatives in Cherry Health’s history, including a merger with two behavioral health organizations – Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance and Touchstone innovaré. – and the completion of the $27-million Heart of the City Health Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.

Constantino started her career as a CPA at Ernst & Young and earned her license during her time with the firm. She also worked for Pension and Group Services, Inc., as the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based firm’s vice president of finance before joining Cherry Health.

Education

  • B.B.A. – Western Michigan University

Professional & Community Engagement

  • Michigan Primary Care Association – Finance Officers Committee – 2000 to present
  • Michigan Blood – Board Member – 2012 to 2017
  • Kent Health Plan
    • Board Member – 2010 to 2015
    • Treasurer – 2012 to 2015
  • MiBiz CFO of the Year Award – Runner Up – 2013
  • YMCA Women of Achievement Award – Recipient – 2012

Timothy Hill, DDS :: Dental

With a passion for increasing access to oral health care for underserved communities, Dr. Hill joined Cherry Health right out of dental school in 2006 as a general dentist and later served as director of dental services until being named chief oral health officer in 2020. His more than 13 years at Cherry Health has not only fueled his growth as a dentist and healthcare leader, but it also serves as the driving force behind Dr. Hill’s commitment to helping as many patients in our community as possible by providing high-quality, patient-centered care. In addition to his work at Cherry Health, Dr. Hill is actively involved with the Michigan Dental Association’s Committee on Access to Care. He also provides clinical leadership for students at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry and the University of Michigan School Of Dentistry.

Education

  • D.D.S. – University of Michigan School of Dentistry
  • BA. – Grand Valley State University

Professional & Community Engagement

  • Michigan Dental Association
    • Committee on Access to Care – Member, 2018 to present
    • Dental Assistant Work Group – 2016 to present
  • West Michigan District Dental Society – Member
  • American Dental Association – Member

Leslie Pelkey, MD, FACP :: Chief Medical Officer/Internal Medicine

As an internal medicine physician with more than two decades of community health experience, Dr. Leslie Pelkey is committed to improving health outcomes for those facing significant inequities in access and quality of care.

Dr. Pelkey joined Cherry Health in 2003 as a physician and was named Associate Chief Medical Officer in 2015. In her current role as Chief Medical Officer, she provides a clinical perspective to advance Cherry Health’s mission by leading the necessary culture change and collaborative efforts to engage staff and align resources in order to improve the quality of care and overall patient experience.

In addition to her leadership role at Cherry Health, Dr. Pelkey continues practicing medicine as a board-certified internist at Heart of the City Health Center Adult Medicine, where she enjoys working with students across disciplines including pharmacy, social work and medicine. Dr. Pelkey is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), and is also a member of the Kent County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).

Education

  • M.D. – University of Michigan School of Medicine
  • B.S. – University of Iowa

Professional & Community Engagement

  • Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP)
  • Kent County Opioid Task Force – 2016 to present
  • Health Net Clinical Committee – 2016 to present

Julie Tatko :: Chief Operations Officer

Shaped by her experience as an educator and resource coordinator for immigrant families early on in her career, Julie Tatko brings a unique style of leadership to Cherry Health that is rooted in the value of establishing strong systems and policies that support all members of the community.

As Chief Operations Officer, Tatko provides the administrative and operational oversight of the organization with an emphasis on medical and behavioral health programming. Prior to joining Cherry Health in 2018, she was director of operations and enabling services at Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA).

In addition to providing training, technical assistance and guidance to more than 45 health centers across the state, Tatko directed MPCA’s Michigan Health Endowment Fund initiative addressing the social determinants of health through supporting community health workers and health center patient care teams throughout Michigan.

Education

  • M.S.W. – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A. – Wheaton College

Professional & Community Engagement

  • Health Net of West Michigan – Board Member – 2019 to present
  • Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance
    • Founding Board Member, Vice Chair – 2018 to present
    • Steering Committee Member – 2016 to 2018
  • Michigan Community Health Network – Operations Committee Co-Chair – 2018 to present