Big changes in the Florida CHAIN family

July 23, 2015

Contact: Damien Filer / 850-212-1858 /

Big changes in the Florida CHAIN family 

TAMPA – In recent years, Florida has been on the front lines of the national debate over health care reform. Florida CHAIN has played a critical role in helping to sign up more than a million Floridians on the Marketplace and advocating for nearly a million more still caught in the coverage gap. Now, as Florida CHAIN looks ahead to its first annual conference in September and begins preparation for the upcoming legislative session and opening of the Marketplace again this fall, many exciting changes are taking place within the Florida CHAIN family.

Florida CHAIN CEO Leah Barber-Heinz will be stepping down to serve as the Director of Communications and Advocacy for A Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, a new health foundation focused on infusing resources into the most impoverished areas of St. Petersburg (Leah’s home town) to improve health outcomes. Lisa Grossman, Florida CHAIN’s first Executive Director, and a ten-year veteran with the organization, will transition from Operations and Finance Director to Interim CEO starting July 27.

“Under Leah’s leadership Florida CHAIN has solidified its role of national prominence in the health care advocacy community,” said Florida CHAIN Board Chair Chris Fisher. “She will be sorely missed but has put in place a strong foundation for us to build on moving forward for which we will be forever grateful.”

“This has been an extremely difficult decision because Florida CHAIN is family and it has been such an honor to serve as the CEO,” said Barber-Heinz. “It has truly been a privilege to be on the front lines in the implementation of historic health reforms and I look forward to continuing to work with the large family of health advocates in Florida as the fight for access to quality, affordable health care continues.”

Other staff changes

Starting on July 27, Scott Darius will be promoted from his current role as Florida CHAIN’s Digital and Community Organizer to Advocacy Director. As of August 5, Kyle Simon will be the new External Affairs and Communications Director. Laura Brennaman was also recently named Policy and Research Director.


Lisa Grossman was Florida CHAIN’s first official Executive Director from 2004-2007 helping Florida CHAIN incorporate and become its own non-profit organization. Lisa is a graduate of Tulane University and received her Masters in Social Work from Boston University.

Scott Darius graduated from the University of Florida College of Law. In 2012, he joined Florida CHAIN as an intern and last year Scott joined Florida CHAIN’s staff as the Digital and Community Organizer and became an Affordable Care Act Navigator.

Kyle Simon’s background includes several years of health policy, advocacy, and political experience working with policymakers on Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, Kyle has experience as an Adjunct Professor teaching U.S. Government.

Laura Brennaman has been a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Fellow with the College of Nursing at the University of New Mexico and a Jonas Foundation Health Policy Scholar with the American Academy of Nursing.


Florida CHAIN is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all Floridians by promoting access to quality, affordable health care. CHAIN stands for Community Health Action Information Network and should be capitalized. Florida CHAIN’s website is