Our Team

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Pareesa Charmchi Goodwin

Executive Director

Pareesa is a dynamic and strategic health advocate and leader.  She comes to the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative (COHI) from Community Catalyst where she served as the State Advocacy Manager for the Children’s Health Initiative.  In that role, Pareesa worked with health advocates in six states, including Connecticut, to improve access to quality health coverage for children. Her experience in the children's health field also includes work with Boston University’s Catalyst Center on research projects related to financing strategies and improving care for children and youth with special health care needs.


Prior to joining Community Catalyst, Pareesa worked for Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh within the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services. Her work in the Mayor’s office increased inter-agency collaboration and streamlined City services to better support people with substance use disorders.


Pareesa sees COHI as ready to further its longstanding strategy of combining collaboration with advocacy to ensure that Connecticut policymakers support access to affordable, high quality oral health care, especially for those most harmed by lack of accessibility and affordability. 


Pareesa holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Music from Chapman University.


Christian Kallfelz

Communications & General Operations Assistant


Christian's interest in community based non-profit service began with a volunteer role for the City of Dublin Ireland Youth Services Board. Since then, Christian worked as a Community Program Coordinator and Certified Youth Mentor for the Hartford Knights Youth Organization as well as a General Operations Specialist for Health Equity Solutions. Through this opportunity he gained a sense of the inequities faced by our community and the necessity for access to resources and care. Christian employs an affinity for human services, the written word, and interpersonal skills as contribution to the COHI team.