Leadership Team


Samantha Olds Frey
Chief Executive Officer

Samantha has nearly a decade of experience in health care and appropriations policy and as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at IAMHP.  She is responsible for coordinating legislative strategies, testifying before legislative committees and working closely with state agency administrators to formulate and implement policy that positively impact members. 

Prior to joining the association, Samantha was Research and Appropriations Analyst for Illinois House of Representatives where she helped negotiate and craft the Medicaid Reform Act of 2010, the $2.7 billion Medicaid reform package known as the SMART Act of 2012, and the Medicaid Expansion package authorized by the Affordable Care Act in 2013. 

Samantha was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 for her work in public policy in 2015. 

Samantha earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St. Louis University and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University.



Alaina Kennedy
Chief Operating Officer

Alaina leads IAMHP’s committees related to Health Plan operations, state compliance, healthcare quality, and provider relations focusing on developing comprehensive best practices for improving and streamlining operations, contractual compliance, health care quality, and provider engagement.

Prior to joining the association, Alaina was Government Relations manager at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.  During her tenure at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, she led the federal policy, budget and advocacy agenda and diligently lead efforts to secure health care and housing access and remove health care disparities.  Alaina also was a legislative and budget analyst for the Illinois Speaker of the House of Representatives and lead staffer on the Illinois Department of Public Health issues and policy. 

Alaina was awarded the National Council on Behavioral Health's Addressing Health Disparities Leadership Fellowship and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary in Health Studies with a specialization on Bioethics, Humanities and Society from Michigan State University.



Trisha Rodriquez
Director of Legislative Affairs

Trisha will lead IAMHP’s work in coordinating and executing legislative strategies, and formulating health care policy that moves the managed care
program forward and enhances the Medicaid experience for consumers.  She will also manage committees in order to develop best practices for
improving health plan operations, health care quality and accessibility, and provider relations.

Prior to joining the Association, Trisha was a Policy and Budget Analyst for the Illinois Senate.  She has several years of experience working on
various legislative initiatives, including a $3.8 billion hospital tax assessment update, as well as the historic Illinois Legislative Black Caucus health
and human services pillar legislation.  Trisha earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Business from the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign.






Judith Ruiz-Branch
Director of Public Policy & Government Relations

Judith will play a vital role in leading external communications and advocacy efforts, developing and maintaining relationships with community-based
organizations, and assisting with provider relations efforts.  She will also work across teams to streamline messaging in order to most effectively craft
and convey the Medicaid story.

Judith’s background is in journalism and public relationsand prior to joining the Association, she was a reporter/producer in Chicago news for many
years, and most recently served as a public relations and community relations manager, and senior account executive. She has extensive experience
crafting brand messaging and identifying key opportunities to tell newsworthy stories. Her newsroom and public relations experience gives her a
unique perspective when it comes to positively advancing the narrative of Medicaid Managed Care. Judith earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast
Journalism, with a minor in Latin American Studies from Columbia College Chicago.








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