Who We Are

The Center staff is made up of people who have decades of experience working in public health at the local, state and national levels. In addition, national and regional experts provide technical assistance on topics such as financial analysis, legal analysis, operations and management, facilitation, stakeholder engagement, health improvement planning, quality improvement, communications and evaluation.

Our History

Since 2012, the Center for Sharing Public Health Services has served as a national resource on cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS), building the evidence and producing and disseminating tools, methods and models to assist public health agencies and policymakers as they consider and adopt CJS approaches.

The Center for Sharing Public Health Services is a national initiative managed by the Kansas Health Institute with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Our Staff

Gianfranco Pezzino, M.D., M.P.H.


Gianfranco Pezzino, M.D., M.P.H., Director, leads the efforts of the Center for Sharing Public Health Services, a multi-year, multi-million dollar national initiative managed by the Kansas Health Institute and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Center provides access to tools, techniques, expertise and resources that support better collaboration across boundaries by public health departments, allowing them to do more together than they could do alone.

In addition to his work at the Center, Gianfranco also is a Senior Fellow at KHI and serves as the Shawnee County, Kansas, health officer.

Prior to joining KHI, Gianfranco most recently served as state epidemiologist and medical director for the bioterrorism program within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Gianfranco earned a medical degree magna cum laude at the University of Bologna, Italy, and a master’s degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, is board-certified in preventive medicine and public health and is certified in evaluation practice from George Washington University.

Charles Hunt, M.P.H.

Deputy Director

Charles Hunt, M.P.H., Deputy Director, also is a Senior Analyst at the Kansas Health Institute, working primarily on population health strategies with a focus on improving public health systems. Charlie also holds an adjunct faculty appointment with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Previous experience includes several positions in state government, where he most recently served as state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Charlie earned a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s degree in health education from the University of Kansas.

Grace Gorenflo, M.P.H., R.N.

Senior Consultant

Grace Gorenflo, M.P.H., R.N., is a public health consultant with over 25 years of experience with governmental public health departments. Grace specializes in sharing public health services across political jurisdictions; public health agency quality improvement, performance management and accreditation; and community health improvement planning. Her clients include local, state, tribal and territorial health departments; state and national public health organizations; and non-profit hospitals.

Grace is an adjunct professor for the Department of Health Policy and Administration, College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University; and she is on faculty for the Northwest Public Health Practice Center’s Public Health Management Certificate Program in the School of Public Health, University of Washington. She serves on advisory committees for the Master of Public Health programs at the Pennsylvania State University and at Central Michigan University.

Grace has published articles and book chapters on quality improvement, accreditation, local health department infrastructure, and managed care. She received a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia. Grace worked for 10 years as a registered nurse in acute care and research settings, and for 30 years she volunteered for community organizations dedicated to medically underserved populations.

Sydney McClendon


Sydney McClendon, Analyst, also is an Analyst at the Kansas Health Institute. She conducts research and policy analysis on issues related to access to care, market innovation and population health, such as health insurance coverage, KanCare performance measures and barriers to accessing care.

Prior to joining KHI, Sydney was a research assistant for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in Washington, D.C., where she tracked delivery system reform in the Medicare program. Previously, she was a rural health intern at Georgia Southern University and a researcher at Grinnell College.

Sydney holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grinnell College.

Cathy McNorton

Communication Coordinator

Cathy McNorton, Communication Coordinator, also is the Senior Communication Specialist at the Kansas Health Institute. She ensures we effectively communicate health policy issues. She edits and formats documents, and helps to create, implement and evaluate awareness campaigns that include print and electronic media.

Prior to joining KHI, Cathy worked in communication, development and membership for a professional association.

Cathy holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washburn University, where she majored in marketing and management.

We’re well positioned to act on many issues that impact health.