About Us


William McKendree

William McKendree, Director

For over 25 years, Bill McKendree has worked to realize a simple notion: That every individual, regardless of their circumstances, can access all of the care they need to live a healthy and productive life. 
Since its creation, Bill has been the director of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Benefit Solutions Program. Prior to his work at PHBSP, he was program manager for the Allegheny County APPRISE office – Pennsylvania’s Health Insurance Assistance Program. And before running Allegheny County APPRISE, Bill was director of the Western Pennsylvania Center for Aging Services, helping thousands of Pennsylvania’s seniors access medical, legal, and social services.In addition to his work at PHBSP, Bill teaches at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy, and is preceptor for the School’s Experiential Learning Program at the Birmingham Free Health Clinic. He also teaches classes on health law and health care policy at Penn State University, La Roche University, and Community College of Allegheny County.

Donna Wolfson

Donna Wolfson, Board Member

Donna L. Wolfson is a retired employee benefits paralegal, with nearly 30 years’ experience working with qualified retirement benefit plans and employer welfare benefit plans. A graduate of Penn State University and Duquesne University’s Paralegal Benefits Institute, she earned the professional designations of Qualified Plan Administrator and Qualified 401(k) Administrator from the American Association of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.

Donna is co-founder and secretary of the Western PA Kidney Support Groups, a non-profit self-help organization for those with kidney disease, dialysis patients, kidney and pancreas transplant recipients, those waiting for a transplant, and caregivers.

The Western PA Kidney Support Groups has worked closely with Bill McKendree since 2013, assisting those patients who are eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid due to End-Stage Renal Disease. Bill has been a frequent speaker at the Support Group educational seminars.

David McDonald

David McDonald, Board Member

Dave McDonald’s main claim to fame is that he was a teacher at North Allegheny High School for 38 years and a coach for 15 years before retiring in 2006. While at North Allegheny he served as the English Department’s Chairperson for several years, overseeing curriculum and instruction and directing in-service activities for his department. He was also selected to be a Staff Development Trainer, instructing staff on a variety of teaching modalities. And this serves him well in helping adult learners. 

A long-time officer in his teacher’s union, he was the Executive Vice President of a 600+ member organization and served on the union’s various negotiating teams leading to successful teacher contracts.

He currently is the President of North Allegheny Retired, a 350+ member organization that provides social and educational activities for its members. After being trained by Dr. McKendree in 2007 on Medicare and its functions, he runs a number of workshop seminars each year on that topic for retired and current staff members who need explanation and has assisted Dr. McKendree in a number of community outreach sessions since 2007.

Marilyn Howe

Marilyn Howe, Board Member

Marilyn is a Professor Emeritus at PennWest Clarion University. Prior to the professorship, she was a partner in an international management consulting firm in Pittsburgh that focused on organizational topics for middle managers and CEOs. She is the author and co-author of peer-reviewed publications and has presented at numerous local, state, regional, and national conferences. Additionally, Marilyn has provided consultative services, reviewed manuscripts (textbooks) for Pearson, Prentice-Hall, and Jossey-Bass and manuscripts/research proposals for professional organizations. 

Marilyn’s current focus pertains to issues that affect older adults. She recently published, Ageism and Age Discrimination in Healthcare, Allegheny County Law Library, and is co-authoring a manuscript, Age Discrimination, for William S. Hein & Co. Publishing. She brings these scholarship areas as well as her research agenda to the PHBSP Board. 

She is appreciative of the opportunity to be a member of an organization whose primary interests are directed toward the pursuit of helping others understand and navigate the healthcare system.

Kaitlin Kerr-Heidenreich

Kaitlin Kerr-Heidenreich, Board Member

Kaitlin is a disabled artist and advocate. She holds degrees in English Literature, Nursing, and Nursing leadership (MSN, RN) and currently works as a nurse educator for disability awareness. Kaitlin lives with several physical disabilities. On her better days, Kaitlin focuses on running a Shakespearean theatre company with her husband. She is also a published poet, and she serves on several committees and teams for organizations working toward more equitable healthcare and disability justice, such as the Faith Above My Ability, The United Way’s #IWantToWork Campaign, and the Pennsylvania Health Action Network (PHAN). She also volunteers for PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape) as a sexual assault counselor and is a trained intimacy choreographer/director for theatre (a role grounded in boundaries and consent). Much of her work grows out of the reality of living with a rare chronic pain disorder and the goal of finding meaning in art, advocacy, and connection with others.  


Jonathan Heidenreich

Jonathan Heidenreich, Board Member

A Summa Cum Laude Graduate from Point Park University, Jonathan Heidenreich is a classical actor, director, poet, and secondary English educator. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Shakespearean Theatre Co. Food for Groundlings. And outside of the arts, Jonathan has experience drafting documents for corporate loans. 
He is an enthusiastic, passionate, and creative individual who is wholly invested in fostering the academic, social, and emotional development of mentees in any arena. Jonathan is also one whose fervor for inspiring the potential of those around him is as unwavering as his capacity for constructing positive relationships and pathways of communication with students, colleagues, and collaborators. 

Joy Cao

Joy Cao, Creative Director

Joy Cao is a student pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy with an interest in clinical work. In addition to being a full-time student, she works as a hospital intern, clinic provider, and PIER mentor, and she holds multiple leadership positions in student organizations such as SilverScripts, Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP), and Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP).

Joy is also very passionate about artistic pursuits. She is a freelance photographer, senior staff photographer for The Pitt News, and creative director for PHBSP. She hopes to use her skills in digital production and design to increase patient access to healthcare insurance education and counseling services.

School of Pharmacy

University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

PHBSP partners with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. Students are given the opportunity not only to learn about Medicare and Medicaid in a traditional classroom setting but to apply their knowledge and understanding to actual client consultations. Throughout the school year, select students are invited to continue working with PHBSP via the School of Pharmacy Internship Program. Students work alongside PHBSP’s Director, Dr. McKendree to create a database for informational podcasts and Zoom videos to educate the community on relevant healthcare topics.