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We Are Advocates

We’re deaf, ourselves - and have a purpose. We are people with lived experience and expertise in health, legal, and marketing. We are passionate about equal and accessible health reform efforts. We promote new ideas to strengthen the healthcare system. We bridge access and work towards culturally responsive medical care. We are supported by a 50 year old non-profit with pioneering experience empowering extraordinary deaf communities. We are deaf and healthy.
Join Us
Track Record of Awarded Grants
Robust Community Network
Competitive Rates with High Quality Deliverables
Adaptable, Creative, Disciplined and Women-Led
Track Record of Awarded Grants
Robust Community Network
Competitive Rates with High Quality Deliverables
Adaptable, Creative, Disciplined and Women-Led

Meet the Team

We are backed by a 50-year-old pioneering nonprofit with a simple mission: creating a better world for deaf and hard of hearing people. Since 1975, Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. ("CSD") has been working to empower deaf communities, working with its talented and diverse team to become one of the world's most innovative companies. CSD has contributed to advancing health access for decades and continues to pave the way forward for our extraordinary deaf communities.

Jessica Kennedy, Esq.

President

Jessica (she, hers) is a Deaf attorney known to roll up her sleeves and dig in for health equity. Kennedy contributed to implementing and overhauling Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace (MNsure) after the Affordable Care Act and subsequent dynamic policy landscape as deputy general counsel and health policy director for MNsure. She earned her healthcare chops as an attorney for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, advising on Medicaid, aging services, and privacy issues. She received her J.D. with honors from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She serves on the boards of MNsure, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association, and People Incorporated, Minnesota’s largest nonprofit mental health provider. At 5’1, she’s small, but she’s throwing punches, “DeafHealth is loud and clear.”

Allysa Dittmar, MHS

Senior Director

Allysa (she, hers) is a foremost Deaf public health expert, known best for her innovation and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognized by Forbes 30 under 30, Dittmar is a successful entrepreneur with an appetite for adversity. “We need to underscore the idea that overcoming systematic barriers is essential for achieving health equity,” says Dittmar. She has distinct and complementary experience throughout the public health field: private market, public sector, and academia, making her a highly versatile and valuable asset of the DeafHealth team. Having previously worked at the Maryland Governor’s Office and the Maryland Department of Health, she serves on the boards of the Maryland Association of the Deaf and the State of Maryland Telecommunications Access program, Maryland Relay. She completed her Master’s in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and cheers for the Philadelphia Eagles from her home near Columbia, Maryland.

Aylah Cadwell

Public Health Outreach Coordinator

Aylah (she, hers) is an experienced writer, content creator, and health advocate. For a young Deaf business owner, Cadwell is an old soul who brings grounded and creative insight to her role as an outreach and marketing advisor. She engages communities and empowers them with vibrant and impactful visuals that add color to their experiences. "The essence of healthcare lies not only in treating ailments but in recognizing the humanity within each patient,” comments Cadwell. “Healthcare without humanity is just mechanics." Cadwell comes to DeafHealth with a background in compliance, policy advocacy, and organizing. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Gallaudet University and is a lifelong learner of the language of the stars.

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