The Government Relations department works with policy decision-makers and government officials at the local, state and federal levels to promote the mission of Parkland. They accomplish this in part by maintaining relationships with government organizations and community partners and through public advocacy. They also serve as a conduit for Parkland staff to communicate with state and federal legislative officials.
Parkland’s Government Relations team advocates legislative priorities that save lives, promote a healthier Dallas County and help maintain a safe workplace and health care environment for our patients and staff. To learn more, see our legislative priorities for the 83rd Texas Legislature.
Katherine spent more than 15 years working at the Texas Capitol in both the legislative and executive branches. Prior to joining Parkland, she was an advisor to Governor Rick Perry for health policy for four years. During her tenure, she provided budget and policy recommendations to the Governor on health and human services related issues. She was also responsible for overseeing the policy direction and budgets for the Health and Human Services Commission, Department of Family and Protective Services, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the Department of Aging and Disability Services to ensure the dissemination of the Governor’s agenda.
Prior to her work in the Governor’s Office, she was a senior policy analyst for the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. In that capacity, she advised Chairman Jane Nelson regarding legislative and special issues related to human services and assisted the Chair with the health and human services budget and appropriations decisions in her role on the Senate Finance Committee. In addition, Yoder served as Chief of Staff to former Texas State Rep. Suzanna Hupp of Lampasas.
Katherine received her undergraduate degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.
William serves as the department lead on federal policy, where he supports Parkland’s advocacy and intergovernmental relations efforts. William has 20 years of professional experience in health practice and public policy.
Prior to joining Parkland, William served as legislative director for the Health and Human Services Committee of the National Governors Association. He also served in key advisory roles in the Congressional policy process. He was Legislative Director and Senior Policy Adviser to Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) and served as a Professional Staff Member to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce under the leadership of Congressman John D. Dingell (D-Michigan). William started on Capitol Hill as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 2005 Louis Stokes Urban Health Policy Fellow and worked in the Office of Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-New York) and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, William holds master's and doctorate degrees in health management and policy from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Elisa manages and analyzes policy issues relating to Parkland for legislative agenda building. She is a native of San Antonio and has more than five years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has worked as a Development Assistant for a Federally Qualified Health Center, CentroMed, in San Antonio. She also served as the Grant and Special Events Coordinator for American Sunrise, founded by former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. For eight years, Elisa participated in the development of various research projects at Colorado State University, South Texas Health Research Center, and UT Southwestern Medical Center. While in graduate school, she also served as the Community Health Intern at Susan G. Komen Dallas County Affiliate.
Elisa has a Master of Public Health, with a focus on Management and Administration, from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health-Dallas campus. She also has a Master of Arts in International Relations from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.
To learn more about the work Government Relations does on behalf of Parkland, please contact:
Katherine Yoder, Vice President
William Garner, Director
Elisa Hernández, Public Policy Administrator
Parkland’s Government Relations team is available to speak to your organization on a variety of topics related to the work we do. For more information or to request a speaker, contact the Parkland Speakers Bureau.