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.
Amy J. Lai, CMP
Director of Programs
Amy oversees the coordination and administration of all ongoing ITUP programs, including the annual ITUP conference and regional and statewide workgroups. She also manages ITUP’s broad-based network and e-communications. Amy was previously the Association Services Director for Shaw/Yoder/Antwih, Inc., a legislative advocacy and association management firm. In this role, she managed the events and education for the California Transit Association and the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation. Amy has worked closely with volunteer leadership as an administrator for the California Dental Association. She became a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in 2008 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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.
Jeffrey Kho
Development Director
Jeffrey supports the executive director in managing ITUP grants and fund development activities, including grant writing, reporting and evaluation. Based in Los Angeles, Jeffrey also supports ITUP research and workgroups. Prior to joining ITUP, he worked in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of External Affairs supporting their day-to-day operations and coordinating outreach for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Youth Council. He also worked with the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance conducting urban planning and public health research in the Los Angeles Chinatown. Jeffrey received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Asian American Studies from UCLA.
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.
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.