Geographic Health Equity Alliance

The Geographic Health Equity Alliance (GHEA), a CADCA initiative, is a CDC funded National Network dedicated to reducing geographic health disparities related to tobacco and cancer.

We define geographic health disparities as the differences in health behaviors and health outcomes related to where people live. Scientists have found that the locations in which we live, work and play have an enormous impact on our health. We believe that advancing health equity means everyone – regardless of their location should have the opportunity to achieve their best health.

Our network supports the implementation of effective public health practices in places that need them the most. We work closely with state tobacco and cancer programs and their partners to provide training and support on how to reduce health disparities and improve the health of communities across our nation.

Meet the Team

Andrew Romero, M.Ed.

Andrew Romero, M.Ed.<br />

Andrew joined the CADCA team in August 2018 as the Director of the Geographic Health Equity Alliance. Prior to CADCA, Andrew served as Director of Health Policy at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, where he led a team with long list of Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change accomplishments. In this role, Andrew also served as a strategy and talent development consultant for Tobacco Free Florida, where he developed a variety of effective tools and trainings for public health professionals and coalitions in Florida and across the nation.

In both his professional and volunteer life, Andrew is passionate about giving others the tools to do their very best work. After serving as an executive of a young professional leadership and advocacy non-profit for 7 years, he likes to volunteer his time as a mentor, helping other non-profits improve through better management and leadership practices.

Kellen Schalter, MPH
Public Health Manager

Kellen Schalter, MPH<br />
Public Health Manager

Kellen has a background in substance use prevention and community coalition building. She earned her Master’s in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota – School of Public Health, and her Bachelor of Arts in Physiology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to CADCA, Kellen served as a Coalition Coordinator for the Salt Lake County Department of Youth Services. In her role, Kellen managed the implementation of evidence-based public health approaches to youth substance use prevention and facilitated engagement of community members and partners.

In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places, playing the piano, and hanging out with her dog, family, and friends.

Karolina Deuth, MA
Manager, Evaluation and Research

Karolina Deuth, MA<br />
Manager, Evaluation and Research

Karolina Deuth joined CADCA in 2017. She conducts the evaluation of CADCA’s annual training events and manages program evaluation for GHEA and the National Coalition Institute. She earned a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Religious Studies from American University. When not at work, Karolina enjoys making jams and pickles and crocheting.




Abby Nellis, MPH

Abby Nellis, MPH<br />

Abby is CADCA’s Public Health Associate. In this role, Abby works closely with the Public Health Programs Manager to reduce geographic health disparities related to tobacco and cancer through implementation and development of the Geographic Health Equity Alliance. Abby received her Master’s in Public Health from Oklahoma State university, where she specialized in health equity and policy as it relates to rural and underserved communities. She is passionate about using her skills to create meaningful change in the lives of those who are most vulnerable to health inequities.

In her free time, Abby enjoys all things outdoors and is an avid reader of all genres.



CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug free communities globally. For more information about CADCA, please visit