Veronica Willeto DeCrane, Tolu Thomas and LaKisa Ward Bring Extensive Experience to NSO's Board of Directors

DENVER, COLO. (May 14, 2024) — The National Service Office (NSO) for Nurse-Family Partnership® and Child First announces the appointment of three new members to the Board of Directors. The NSO welcomes Veronica Willeto DeCrane, Tolu Thomas and LaKisa Ward as they each offer extensive experience in managing operations and implementing improvements in various organizational settings.

Charlotte Min-Harris, President and CEO of The National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First, said, “Veronica Willeto DeCrane, Tolu Thomas and LaKisa Ward’s appointments to our Board of Directors brings a sense of excitement as we welcome their expertise and perspectives. Their collective experience in education, healthcare administration and community empowerment bring invaluable perspectives to our boardroom discussions. We’re thrilled to welcome them and look forward to the impact they will undoubtedly make in advancing our mission.”

All three individuals have demonstrated expertise in operations management, whether in a nonprofit setting, in trauma-informed programs and education or in healthcare management. They have all contributed to improving processes, managing teams, and achieving organizational objectives in their respective fields. Together, they embody NSO’s commitment to inclusivity, cultural sensitivity and impactful decision-making.

Veronica WilletoVeronica Willeto DeCrane, M.Ed., a member of the Many Hogans Clan and born into the Mexican Clan, is a Navajo citizen with deep roots in Ojo Encino, New Mexico, currently residing in Billings, Mont., with her family, including seven children. With over 13 years of experience in education and youth development, she specializes in creating safe, healing spaces for Indigenous children and integrating cultural and language preservation into youth programs. As the Training and Technical Assistance Manager at the University of Montana’s National Native Children’s Trauma Center, Willeto DeCrane collaborates with Tribal Nations to develop programs supporting the resilience of Indigenous youth. She also serves on several national boards, advocating for trauma-informed care and healthy youth development.

Tolu ThomasTolu Thomas serves as Chief Quality Officer & Chief Administrative Officer at Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), overseeing clinical operations, compliance, risk management, informatics and population health for the $28 million federally qualified health center in Baltimore, Md. Since joining in 2021, she facilitated successful re-accreditation with The Joint Commission and National Committee for Quality Assurance, established an obstetrician practice and managed a transition to electronic medical records. Under her leadership, HCH earned four Community Health Quality Recognition Badges in 2023. With a background encompassing roles at Kaiser Permanente, The Institute for Family Health and Gennesaret Medical Center, Thomas brings extensive expertise. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Informatics, and a Master of Business Administration. Recently, she assumed responsibility for revenue cycle management, driving improved coding, billing and collection practices.

LaKisa WardLaKisa Ward, a dedicated advocate and seasoned professional, brings over 23 years of experience at Versability Resources Inc. in Hampton, Va, to her role as Vice President of Programming and Operations. Beginning her journey as a direct support professional, she has demonstrated remarkable leadership, now spearheading initiatives like the Idea Advisory Team to empower employees, foster growth and create a culture of connection within the organization. Ward is the CEO and founder of Inspired Leadership Coaching Services, LLC where she coaches leaders to be intentional in their leadership. Ward’s commitment extends beyond her professional realm; she founded Circle of Friends, aiding families in need year-round. Her deep involvement in community sports and as a devoted mother underscores her passion for youth advocacy. With a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University and a Bachelor of Science from Bluefield College, Ward also brings her social justice and mental health skills.

“On behalf of the NSO Board, we are so excited to welcome and work alongside Veronica Willeto DeCrane, Tolu Thomas and LaKisa Ward,” said Paurvi Bhatt, chair of the NSO Board. “Their extensive experience and commitment to communities brings a new level of dynamism to our board as we work together to advance NSO’s mission.”

The National Service Office Board of Directors is composed of dedicated and diverse professionals from across the country who volunteer their time and skills to provide governance and leadership to advance the organization and its mission.

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About the National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First

The National Service Office (NSO) is the central, unified operational structure for two evidence-based programs: Nurse-Family Partnership and Child First. In 2020, what was formerly the NSO solely for Nurse-Family Partnership joined forces with Child First, a merger empowering two proven, evidence-based models to share complementary expertise, infrastructure and integrated support services. The resulting unified entity works to ensure that health care, early childhood development and the mental health of the entire family are delivered in proven ways to achieve long-term positive outcomes.