Staff

Deborah Kelch
Executive Director
Deborah Reidy Kelch is the Executive Director of the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP). Prior to joining ITUP, Deborah had 30+ years of experience analyzing and working to improve health care in California, including 15 years as policy and fiscal staff to the California Legislature and more than 15 years as owner of Kelch Associates, an independent health policy consulting firm. Deborah received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from CSU Sacramento and her bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.
Elia V. Gallardo, Esq.
Director of Health Policy Research
Elia works collaboratively with ITUP’s board, staff, and advisors to monitor and analyze federal, state and local policies, legislation, and research affecting health care coverage, access, and health care delivery in California. Prior to joining ITUP, Elia’s positions include Executive Director of Government Relations and Program Oversight with the Alameda Alliance for Health and Director of Government Affairs for the California Primary Care Association. During her 20 years in the health care arena, Elia was a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Primary Health Care National Service Award recipient, a Los Angeles County Bar Association Public Service Award recipient, and a 2005 Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award recipient. Elia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from U.C. Berkeley and a law degree from UCLA School of Law. She has been admitted to the California State Bar.
Trish Violett
Health Policy Analyst
Trish is the health policy analyst for ITUP, where she serves as key researcher and writer for select ITUP publications and research projects. Previously, Trish has worked for the California Hospital Association developing educational programs and for the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California researching health and health care issues in California. Trish has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Davis and a Master of Public Policy from California State University, Northridge.
Emili LaBass
External Affairs Coordinator
Emili serves as the External Affairs Coordinator for ITUP where she is responsible for developing and maintaining ITUP connections and communications with statewide and local partners, funders, health care leaders, state and local agency staff, stakeholders and the media. Before joining the ITUP team, Emili spent nearly three years as Senior Program Coordinator at the California Primary Care Association providing support to California's community health centers. Emili has her Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Beth Abel
Office Manager
Beth provides administrative support and maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures. Prior to joining ITUP, Beth worked at a non-profit trade association for California tow truck companies where she collaborated with company owners to provide education and training for tow truck operators throughout the state. Beth received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Kent State University with a concentration in Health Promotion and Education.
Samantha Escobar
Office Assistant
Samantha supports the ITUP staff, Office Manager and Executive Director through providing clerical and administrative assistance as well facilitating organization processes. Prior to joining ITUP, she worked as a guest teacher for grades k-12 at a Charter School. Samantha received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a concentration in Disability Studies.