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Policy and Research Advisor

Donna Friedsam serves as Policy and Research Advisor, as well as Principal Investigator for Covering Kids & Families-Wisconsin, in addition to her primary role as the Health Policy Programs Director at the UW Population Health Institute.

Donna Friedsam



Molly Bandt, JD, joined Covering Kids & Families Wisconsin in 2013. Molly comes with a background in training and legal service, helping people and organizations understand and access legal rights for the elderly, people with disabilities and employees. She earned her JD from UW Madison and has a distinguished career with advocacy and state agencies.

Molly Bandt


Healthcare Outreach Specialist

Jeni Appleby

Jeni Appleby rejoined Covering Kids & Families- Wisconsin in 2011 as an Outreach Specialist located at Community Advocates in Milwaukee. Through the REACH BC+ (Retention and Enrollment to Achieve Children's Health and Build Capacity +) project, Jeni provides BadgerCare+ outreach and support to CESA 1, which is comprised of 45 school districts in southeastern Wisconsin.

Jeni Appleby


Communications Specialist

Lauren CnareLauren Cnare joined Covering Kids & Families in 2012 to support outreach and enrollment activities through all the communication channels from traditional to social to spread the word about CKF’s strategies to build systems that connect children and their families to health insurance coverage through BadgerCare+ and the Health Insurance Marketplace. She’s worked in healthcare marketing and communications for 25 years.

Lauren Cnare


Evaluation and Dissemination CoordinatorAllison Espeseth Dissemination Coordinator

Allison Espeseth has worked with Covering Kids & Families since 2004. She has been involved in assessing the effectiveness of strategies for public health coverage outreach in schools since 2007 and currently leads project evaluation and dissemination efforts.

Allison Espeseth


Healthcare Outreach Specialist

Caroline Gomez, Outreach SpecialistCaroline Gomez has been a Healthcare Outreach Specialist with Covering Kids & Families since 2011. Her first project was REACH BC+ (Retention and Enrollment to Achieve Children's Health and Build Capacity +) working with pupil services school staff from Madison Metropolitan School District and the CESA 8 school districts in northeastern Wisconsin. She recently joined her CKF colleagues at the Milwaukee office where she is working with UW Cooperative Extension county faculty and the Milwaukee Enrollment Network on community outreach and education related to the Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplace in Milwaukee and statewide.

Caroline Gomez


Healthcare Outreach Specialist

Photo of staff member Jean Nothnagel joined Covering Kids & Families-Wisconsin in 2010 as an Outreach Specialist. Jean currently leads the REACH BC+ (Retention and Enrollment to Achieve Children's Health and Build Capacity +) project in the CESA 3 region that represents 31 school districts in southwestern Wisconsin, and lends support to other school based projects, program planning and evaluation.

Jean Nothnagel


Healthcare Outreach Specialist

Danielle_Zirkel_Outreach Specialist

Danielle Zirkel is a Healthcare Outreach Specialist at Covering Kids & Families based in Milwaukee.  She has been engaged in outreach and educational efforts surrounding BadgerCare+ and the Affordable Care Act in the southeastern region of Wisconsin. Danielle also provides support to the Milwaukee Enrollment Network and the Milwaukee Health Watch coalition. Prior to joining CKF in 2010, Danielle provided case management services for children, families, and individuals with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings in the Milwaukee area. Danielle earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 2011.

Danielle Zirkel