HCM Strategists Welcomes Three New Staff Members to the Health Innovation Practice

By Mac Walker -

Valarie Clark, MPA previously worked for the American Association of Medical Colleges; Krista Forbes recently worked in community sustainability for ECO District Hampton Roads; and Yuri Velasquez joins HCM from the Florida Department of Health. They bring their community engagement experience and health policy expertise to HCM’s work with the NIH’s All of Us Research Program.

Washington, D.C. – HCM Strategistsone of the nation’s leading healthcare advocacy, policy and engagement firms, has announced that three new staff members will be joining the Health Innovation practice. Valarie Clark, Krista Forbes and Yuri Velasquez will be supporting the NIH’s All of Us Research Program in various roles, working to help build and engage a diverse participant community that has been historically underrepresented in research. 

“Here at HCM Strategists, we pride ourselves on a relentless push for equity in our work with the NIH’s All of Us Research Program on behalf of patients and underrepresented communities,” said Michael Manganiello, founding partner at HCM. “Our talented and dedicated staff is constantly working to improve the lives of patients and help build a participant community truly reflective of the diversity of our country. I am thrilled to welcome three extremely talented and experienced individuals to our team. I look forward to all the great work Valarie, Krista and Yuri will do to further our mission and help meet the goals of the All of Us Research Program.”

Valarie Clark, MPA serves as the Director of Stakeholder Engagement for HCM’s Health Innovation team. In this role, she serves as a primary point of contact to the All of Us Research Program. Valarie brings broad leadership experience, innovative thinking and a deep commitment to medicine and community engagement.

“This is a unique opportunity to play a critical role in the future of innovative research. It allows us to listen, align and engage with communities that haven’t traditionally been included in essential conversations,” said Valarie Clark. “I am proud to be a part of HCM’s work for the All of Us Research Program and look forward to working alongside the incredible staff on the Health Innovation practice, who are leading the way on healthcare advocacy, policy and engagement.”

Krista Forbes is a Senior Associate, Community Engagement on HCM’s Health Innovation team. Specifically, she focuses on outreach and engagement for community stakeholders in the All of Us Research Program.  Krista works to develop and nurture community relationships built on transparency and trust. She has extensive experience working closely with community members and leaders, making her an invaluable asset for the HCM team. 

“Outreach and engagement with community members who are underrepresented in health research are vital to the future of improving healthcare, and fundamental to HCM’s work with the All of Us Research Program,” said Krista Forbes. “I am excited to bring my background and experience working with community leaders in making a significant impact through HCM’s Health Innovation team.”

Yuri Velasquez will be joining the firm as a Senior Associate, Community Engagement on HCM’s Health Innovation team working for the All of Us Research Program. Most recently, he worked as a Health Educator and Prevention and Training Consultant for the Florida Department of Health. In this role, he provided STI, HIV and hepatitis prevention education to Community-Based Organizations. Yuri has also served as an ambassador for several national campaigns, including the Greater Than AIDS – “I Got Tested” campaign, the CDC campaign for HIV Treatment Works and the ViiV HIV Hang-up campaign. 

“HCM is well known for its healthcare advocacy and engagement work, and that is why it was the perfect opportunity for me to continue working to engage and educate underserved communities,” said Yuri Velasquez. “I have followed HCM’s great work for over a decade now and am thrilled to be joining such a passionate organization.”

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