PACT organization and people


The PACT Project is a collaboration of Partners In Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It’s employees are from a diverse background, but are all dedicated to community health workers’ power to transform the domestic healthcare system.

The PACT staff includes:


Dr. Heidi L. Behforouz, Executive Director
Heidi is currently the Executive/Medical Director of the PACT Project, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s (BWH) Jen Center for Primary Care. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994 and completed her residency at BWH in 1997 with a fellowship in women’s health concluding in 1998. Heidi is a founding member of the BWH Division of Global Health Equity where PACT administratively resides. As Executive/Medical Director of PACT, Heidi oversees all projects and replication efforts. She also is a member of many committees at Harvard Medical School, Partners Healthcare, and BWH regarding primary care innovation, complex care management, and community health. 

Ayesha Cammaerts, Director of Operations
As PACT’s Director of Operations, Ayesha collaborates with the management team to oversee PACT’s business functions, including HIV program management, strategic planning, finance, and administration.  Previously, Ayesha was the Chief of Staff for Medicaid for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and supported the implementation of the State Health Care Reform.  As a Senior Clinical Policy Analyst at the Office of Clinical Affairs from 2005 through 2007, she implemented the passage of the Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Benefit. From 1999 to 2003, Ayesha worked in community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, first at Glide Memorial Clinic and then as the Clinical Health Educator on the HIV/AIDS outpatient primary care unit at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. She received her MBA in 2004 in healthcare management from Brandeis University’s Heller School. 


Brenna Ford, Accounts Manager

As PACT’s Accounts Manager, Brenna manages grant, financial, and procurement activities. Prior employment includes having worked as a financial analyst with the Windows marketing team at Microsoft, and a project coordinator of newsletter sponsorships and production with the Massachusetts Medical Society (publisher of New England Journal of Medicine).

Jane Dykema, Administrative Coordinator, Executive Assistant to Dr. Behforouz
Before coming to PACT, Jane earned her BA at University of Michigan and had experience working in an insect lab, a community center and a bookstore.  As Dr. Behforouz's Assistant and the Administrative Coordinator for PACT, Jane supports Dr. Behforouz's schedule, manages interns and volunteers, contributes to communications and development efforts and coordinates administrative tasks for PACT as a whole.


Training and Technical Assistance:

Jessica Aguilera-Steinert, LICSW, Director of Training and Technical Assistance
Jessica has a broad background in social work, public health and training, with specific training and expertise in providing technical assistance to various types of progressive health organizations.   As the Director of Training and Technical Assistance and in her previous role as Director of Client Services at PACT, she has lead the program development, staff training, supervision, curriculum development and outreach components of the HIV Health Promotion Programs.  In addition she has trained over 500 Community Health Workers, managers, and clinicians in various community health, mental health, management, and professional development themes.  Jessica's professional career began in Honduras where she was a Community Health Worker in an urban community health center.  

Samuel Slavin, Coordinator of Training and Technical Assistance
Samuel has experience in a wide range of community health projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Boston. Since starting at PACT, he has worked as the Research Coordinator for a diabetes community health worker program, piloted at Codman Square Health Center. He has done direct service as a community health worker for Haitian patients in Boston with diabetes and HIV. Since becoming Coordinator of Training and Technical Assistance, he has trained PACT's own CHWs and he has designed and conducted a Training of Trainers for the leadership of HIV Care Coordination programs in New York City 

Lara M. Gómez, MS, Director of Evaluation and Research
Lara’s background is in social sciences and the provision of public services, including social determinants of health. Since she joined PACT in 2008, she has headed the Research team, completing two NIH grants looking at the transition of patients through the HIV Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) program and into the innovation of the CHW and patient curricula from a Community-based participatory perspective; as well as analyses on the effectiveness and cost-benefit of the HIV program presented at scientific and professional forums. Currently, she is leading the Monitoring and Evaluation initiative at PACT, working with programmatic teams in defining logic models, indicators and other metrics to assess the health of interventions and evaluate their impact. 

Isaac Kastenbaum, Quality Improvement and Business Development Analyst
Isaac joined PACT in 2008 with a background in public health, economics, and management information systems. In his 3 years at PACT, he has worked to develop and improve systems to support evaluation, quality improvement, and business development; this includes collaboratively designing a smartphone- and web-based care management system with a local health IT firm to support CHWs’ field-based work. Isaac has also supported PACT’s transformation into a training and technical assistance organization; he has managed proposal and marketing content development, relationship maintenance, and project planning for new sites. 


HIV Health Promotion Program

Rachel Weidenfeld, MSW, MPH – Program Manager
Rachel has extensive experience in the Boston HIV/AIDS community and has participated in both research and clinical work around addiction, homelessness, and health disparities. She also helped to develop and implement program evaluations in clinical and case management settings in Boston and Springfield, MA. As program manager at PACT, Rachel manages daily operations of the HIV program, supervises the community health workers and administrative staff, and manages quality improvement.

Julie Barnes, LMHC – Clinical Supervisor
Julie Barnes, the PACT Clinical Supervisor, is a bilingual gringa LMHC. She holds a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University and a B.A. in Gender Studies from Columbia University. With over a dozen years of direct service & supervisory experience with marginalized populations, Julie has strong roots in Boston HIV community. She brings a passion for holistic health, harm reduction, strengths-base engagement, social justice & cultural competence to her creative and collaborative work with clients & staff. Julie is committed to integrating wellness into care through yoga, expressive arts, meditation, & spiritual practices. She is also an ordained Interfaith Minister & a movement therapy facilitator.  

Direct Service Staff: Letty Mercado, Sori Santana, Agnes Nansubaga, Cristina Suarez, Annette Owens, Adam Chamberlain, Greg Jules, Niva Cruz, Luz Nelia Benitez, Miguael Arauzo

Ayana Cole, Program Assistant
Prior to PACT, Ayana worked extensively with the Boston community of working adolescents.  She has worked in community health roles with the Children’s Trust Fund of MA, volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children, and helped established the Social Capital Inc- Dorchester Youth Council in partnership with DotWell.  As a new member of PACT, Ayana will assist in the coordination of the Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) and Health Promotion programs while supporting the Program Manager.

Rachael Bacon, MS, Research Assistant
Rachael has a M.S. degree in Health Education and Health Promotion from VA Tech, and previously worked as an Analyst with the U.S. Department of State Refugee Processing Center. She currently serves at PACT as a bilingual Research Assistant with the HIV program.


If you are interested in joining the PACT team, please check the “What you can do” page for any available positions. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email the PACT Project with your resume and interests at [email protected]