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Samantha Cornell

Director of Community-Based Services , Access Health

Samantha Cornell, JD, is the director of community-based services for Access Health, a community non-profit in Muskegon, MI dedicated to dismantling health barriers. Cornell also serves as the director of Access Health’s Regional Health Collaborative (RHC)  Muskegon Community Health Innovation Region (CHIR), a multisector collaborative with over 120 stakeholder and 1,000 resident partners working to align and support countywide health improvement initiatives.

Cornell spearheads the Muskegon Sustainable Health Intervention Partnership (SHIP), a ten-year project supported by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) ComPASS Program. SHIP aims to reduce health disparities and enhance economic mobility for Muskegon County residents by designing, implementing, and evaluating a local solution to the benefits cliff dilemma.

Cornell brings a dedication to pursuing innovative policy solutions to expand access to services and address socially determined barriers to wellness, including the effort to obtain the nation’s first Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Certification for Access Health’s C3 Health Plan, which remains the nation’s only multishare coverage plan to hold CMS certification. In partnership with the local health system, Cornell developed a playbook for utilizing community benefit funds to increase access to care for Muskegon’s most vulnerable residents. 

Cornell’s work is rooted in strong relationships with health delivery partners, coalitions, cross-sector stakeholders, grassroots organizations, and community- and resident-led organizations. This is reflected through her leadership of community-engaged initiatives, the most notable of which is Livability Lab, Muskegon County’s community-led change accelerator engine, informed through participatory research, community priority setting, root cause analyses, and more.