Debbie Silverstein, State Director
Debbie taught Middle School Earth Science and High School Math for 30 years in the Stow, Munroe Falls City School District. In addition to her teaching duties, Debbie served in various capacities in her local teachers’ association and was active in bargaining and grievance processing. She became active in SPAN in 2008, first as a local leader, then as Regional Coordinator for Region 6 and now as the State Director.
Vann Seawell, SPAN Ohio Secretary
Former hospital worker, Bloomington Hospital, Bloomington, IN. M.A. Economics, Indiana University. Lecturer, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Staff representative for Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU), Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), UNITE HERE and Workers United, 1984 - 2013.
Barbara Walden, SPAN Ohio Treasurer
Barbara Walden worked for BCTGM Local 19 and IBT Local 507 for 35 years, ending with her retirement in 2000. Providing health care for members, what to cover and how to pay for it, was a constant concern. In 1996 she attended the Founding Convention of the Labor Party, and a major plank in their platform was achieving single-payer health care. The Party’s intense dedication to this cause inspired her, and in 2001 she joined with other health care activists in the Cleveland area to help establish what is now known as SPAN Ohio.
Brad Cotton, MD, Executive Committee
Brad Cotton is honored to have served almost 40 years in emergency medicine. Brad began working as an EMT and as an emergency department (ED) tech in 1978, graduating from the Kent State University School of Nursing 1982. Brad worked 3 years for the City of Cleveland EMS, while working part-time as an RN at St. Luke’s ED and also taking requisite pre-med science courses at Cleveland State.
Brad graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine 1991 and OSU emergency medicine residency in 1994. Brad worked 15 years at Adena Regional Medical Center, serving as EMS Medical Director for Ross County and on the Ohio Region V EMS Advisory Board. Brad published research work done with Ross County EMS EKG transmission to the emergency department that resulted in revision of Ohio EMS Board rules. Leaving Adena in 2011 when the corporatization of medicine became such that all the ED physicians left, Brad now works at Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s ED, the 3rd busiest adult ED in Columbus.
Brad notes that the ED is “the overwhelmed lifeboat of a sinking Titanic health care system, and, as on the Titanic, the 1% is surviving, while the rest of us are locked below decks to drown.” Brad is passionate about health care justice as he is face to face every day with all those good deserving Americans who fix our cars, wait on us at Wal-Mart, cut our hair who suffer immensely from our profits first, care second private insurance based non-system. Brad’s faith as a Quaker sustains his activism, believing that all persons are sacred and that we are called to work for compassion and justice for all. Brad is most excited about serving to advance the mission of the Ohio Single Payer Action Network.
Brad is married to Toye, whom he met when both were volunteers for Circleville EMS. Brad finds it romantic that he and Toye were both RNs when they married. Brad and Toye have raised a number of children, hers, theirs, and now three grandchildren. Lastly, Brad shares that “Working for health care justice is working for a livable future for us all.”
Bob Krasen, Executive Committee
Bob Krasen was a Catholic priest for 17 years in 4 parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland, an occupation which helped him develop a social conscience. He worked in social services in Columbus until retirement 2006, when he became an activist for "health care for all" in SPAN Ohio.
Sean Nestor, Executive Committee
Sean Nestor is an activist from Toledo who began organizing through the Occupy movement in 2011. Described as a "sharp-eyed local political analyst" by the Toledo Blade, he has organized electoral efforts with Move To Amend, NORML, and the Green Party. His most recent victory was being granted a low-power FM radio license by the FCC through his work as Founder and Treasurer of Toledo Integrated Media Education. He works as a systems administrator for a Fortune 100 company and as a teacher in the University of Toledo's College of Engineering.
Johnathon Ross, MD, Executive Committee
Dr. Johnathon Ross is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national health reform group with over 18,000 members (PNHP). He is a graduate of Cornell University and received his medical degree in 1975 from the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. In addition to his medical degree, he has a master’s degree in health policy and administration from the School of Public Health of the University of Michigan. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and currently practices and teaches general internal medicine at St Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a 500 bed center city teaching hospital in Toledo, Ohio. His experience inside the health insurance industry convinced him of the logic and need for a national health insurance program.
Marcia Hartman, Executive Committee
As a 20-year-old, Marcia worked on a Student Health Organization project — an offshoot of the Medical Committee for Human Rights. That experience taught her to worry about access to health care - and close to 50 years later, she's still worrying! Marcia went on to get a graduate degree in Community Health Organization and Administration. Spent her career in human service agencies — mainly those serving individuals with developmental disabilities but also did a stint in the