The Bloomberg American Health Initiative is pleased to announce the 2018 MPH and DrPH Bloomberg Fellows.

Fellows receive a full scholarship to earn a master of public health or doctor of public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Bloomberg Fellows program represents an innovative way to train the next generation of public health leaders, as it requires not only a commitment to public health practice from the students, but also a commitment of collaboration from the organizations for which they already work. Applicants must apply to the program with support from their organizations. Fellows can study full time or part time and, upon completion of the program, they agree to work for their organization for at least one additional year. Learn more about the Bloomberg Fellows program

The 2018 Bloomberg Fellows are:

Addiction and Overdose

Hannah Johnson– New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) – New York, NY

Hannah is a Senior Policy Analyst and the Public Health Deputy Team Lead for the Heroin Response Strategy (HRS), where she is responsible for coordinating and tracking the efforts of HIDTA-funded Public Health Analysts across 22 states. The analysts are responsible for working within their states to identify key stakeholders, improve data collection and dissemination across agencies, and support evidence-based overdose prevention efforts. Hannah works to create systems and procedures for measuring progress on these projects, and to connect them to subject matter experts, funding opportunities, and relevant training.

Funded and led by 10 regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Heroin Response Strategy (HRS) initiative exists at the intersection of city, state, and Federal government, with team members sitting at more than 30 agencies around the country. The HRS funds both a law enforcement officer and a public health practitioner in 22 states across the country.

Eric Harkness – Tennessee Department of Health – Nashville, TN

As the director of the Office of Health Policy, Eric leads a team that conducts research and evidence, reviews and facilitates a collaborative process for expertise and policy development, and helps craft key messages and policy positions. The office plays a key role in the department’s response to the opioid epidemic. Eric also serves on the Opioid Mission Control Group, which provides direction and coordination to the diverse actions and strategies.

The Tennessee Department of Health's mission is to "Protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee."  One of the biggest challenges the state is facing is the battle with the opioid epidemic. As part of Central Appalachia, Tennessee is a “ground zero” for this epidemic. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths in Tennessee reached a new high of 1,631. Tennessee's response is deliberate and robust, and the department is working with many partners across many sectors on a public health approach that includes: prevention through education; data collection, regulation and enforcement, and partnership. 

Billina Shaw – Prince George’s County Health Department -  Largo, MD

Billina is the Medical Director of Mental Health Services within the Behavioral Health Division for the Prince George’s County Health Department, where she has both clinical and administrative responsibilities. Clinically, she provides mental health treatment for dual diagnosis adults, and consultation and trainings for clinicians. Billina is on the Prince George’s County Drug Overdose Fatality Review team and provides consultation to the Program Chief on the overdose initiatives.

The Prince George’s County Health Department has been in existence since 1927. The 580-strong department serves a diverse population of 909,535 residents in Maryland’s second largest and most racially and culturally diverse jurisdiction. The county is comprised largely of urban and suburban communities, anchored by long-standing rural communities. The Department is organized around six major program areas, the Behavioral Health Division is the lead division in the focus area of addiction and overdose and provides jail-based substance abuse treatment, court services assessments, case management, and community substance abuse screenings.

Elise Andrews – Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Service – Baltimore, MD

Elise is a Program Analyst in the Office of Quality Improvement with the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (BCDHHS), and works within the agency and with stakeholders to promote assessment and accountability across all initiatives. Elise has been leading the charge developing processes to complete annual needs assessments and strategic plans, formulating performance measures, and implementing continuous quality improvement.

The Baltimore County Department of Health is comprised of five bureaus: Clinical Services; Prevention, Protection and Preparedness (PPP); Behavioral Health; Community Health Services and Healthcare Access. It is the vision of BCDH to have healthy people living, working and playing in Baltimore County. With a County population exceeding 830,000 persons, BCDH is dedicated to its mission of promoting health and preventing disease.

Adelaide Murray - JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. – Bow, NH

Adelaide serves as a Project Associate with JSI and is part of the NH Community Health Institute staff and a key staff person on the Center for Excellence portfolio of projects. Adelaide has been involved in analytic work to support planning and development of two regional Integrated Delivery Networks for behavioral health services as part of New Hampshire’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment initiative (Medicaid Waiver). She has also been involved with the development of a quality improvement network for Specialized Medical Care for abused and neglected children as well as various activities within the Center for Excellence relating to Substance Misuse Prevention and Treatment and Recovery.

JSI Research & Training Institute (JSI) is a public health management consulting and research organization dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities in the United States and around the globe. The mission is to improve the health of underserved people and communities and to provide a place where people of passion and commitment can pursue this cause. JSI and its affiliates have provided high-quality technical and managerial assistance to public health programs worldwide.

Alison Miller - North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – Raleigh, NC

Alison is the epidemiologist for the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (NC OCME). She is responsible for tracking all deaths investigated by the medical examiner system in North Carolina. In her position, she is focused on assuring the quality of data collected by the medical examiner system with the goal of providing accurate and timely data to local, state, and national entities such as the Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) at the University of North Carolina, Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AC-HIDTA), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). She is also responsible for producing the annual report and special reports intended to highlight emerging trends, such as the rapid rise in deaths involving fentanyl analogues.

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (NC OCME) oversees the operations of the state’s entire medical examiner system which investigates all sudden, unexpected, and violent deaths in North Carolina. As an agency within the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NC DPH), the NC OCME works to promote and contribute to the highest possible level of health for the people of North Carolina and works with other public health partners to inform public health initiatives.

Sarah Danforth – Prevention Point Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

Sarah serves as the Harm Reduction Specialist for Prevention Point Pittsburgh. She is responsible for organizing volunteers for syringe exchange sites, leading overdose prevention training for community organizations, and contributing to the development of new programs. Sarah also manages three needle exchange sites, and is developing a more comprehensive wound care program by creating a safer injection education curriculum for the volunteer nurses and doctors who work in the program area.

Prevention Point Pittsburgh (PPP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health empowerment services to injection drug users. PPP is deeply rooted in a concern for the wellbeing of not only its clients, but the general health of the entire community.

Adolescent Health:

Mia Stange - Community Pediatric Programs – Bronx, NY

Mia is a Research Specialist with Community Pediatric Programs. In her current role she manages three targeted initiatives designed to combat the pervasive health disparities affecting patients in the South Bronx: 1) group medical care; 2) the mother-infant dyadic therapy program; and 3) the Terra Firma medical-legal partnership. She has developed skills in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, project management, and direct service delivery.

The mission of Community Pediatric Programs (CPP) at Montefiore Medical Center is to provide comprehensive, compassionate, family-centered health care to New York City's most medically underserved children and their families, both homeless and domiciled. CPP is a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home serving the Morrisania and Hunts Point/Mott Haven neighborhoods of the South Bronx, the second poorest congressional district in the United States. Established in 1987, CPP sees nearly 11,000 patients each year through a cluster of three Federally Qualified Health Centers and a mobile medical clinic. The program was founded as a provider of mobile medicine, but opened its first fixed-site health center in 1993 as formerly homeless/at-risk families moved to public housing units located in the surrounding community.

Matthew Chin - Charles B. Wang Community Health Center - New York, NY

Matthew is a Research and Evaluation Associate for the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. In this position, Matthew has worked on a range of projects that have contributed to the Health Center’s mission to provide high quality and affordable health care to the underserved, with a specific focus on Asian Americans. One of Matthew’s main responsibilities is to provide program evaluation support to the Health Center’s various programs. Evaluation projects that he has worked on have included: an evaluation of a Hepatitis B health education comic book; an evaluation of a parents of children with special needs skills training program; and evaluations of youth programs implemented by the Health Center’s Teen Resource Center (TRC).

The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (“the Health Center”) was founded in 1971 as a volunteer-run free clinic that has since evolved into a Federally Qualified Health Center and Level III Patient Centered Medical Home. The Health Center provides high quality, affordable, and culturally competent health care services to the Asian American community in 5 locations in New York City – 3 sites in Manhattan’s historic Chinatown and 2 sites in Flushing, Queens. The majority of the Health Center’s patients are low-income, limited English proficient, Asian Americans with limited options for accessing affordable, culturally competent healthcare.

Maia Gibbons - Youth Empowered Society (YES) Drop-In Center – Baltimore, MD

Maia began serving at YES as an AmeriCorps VISTA in July of 2014. In this role Maia worked to expand the capacity of the organization’s Workforce Development programming and services. Maia currently serves as the Workforce Development and Education Coordinator for YES, she created and tracked metrics to assess the program’s effectiveness while also supervising the new VISTA member and a team of interns. In addition to programming and working directly with clients, Maia has made advocacy a key component of her role. She served on a citywide taskforce for youth employment opportunities and was part of a team that designed a trauma-informed jobs assessment that was eventually adopted by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

Founded and run by formerly homeless youth and their allies, the YES Drop-In Center provides a safe drop-in space for youth ages 14-25 who are experiencing homelessness. YES’s mission is to prevent and eliminate youth homelessness through the synergy of youth and ally partnerships. YES grew out of the work of the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative (BHYI) Youth Leaders, a group of youth with personal experiences of homelessness that formed as an arm of the BHYI Coalition to help set its direction during 2009-10. Among other priorities, they identified the need for and worked to create a comprehensive, one-stop-shop drop-in center for youth, located in a central location, and staffed by formerly homeless young adults with whom the youth could relate.

Kathleen Kelley - National Association of County and City Health Officials – Washington, DC

Kathleen Kelley works with NACCHO as a Program Analyst in the HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis department. Kathleen’s work supports the core functions of local public health by assessing the challenges, needs, and successes of Local Health Departments related to HIV, STI, and hepatitis prevention and care. She supports NACCHO’s mission of being a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for change for LHDs by helping to advocate for them and implement programs that meet their needs.

NACCHO is the membership association for the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments (LHDs) in the United States. NACCHO’s vision is health, equity, and security for all people in their communities, and its mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice for change for LHDs around the nation. NACCHO implements this vision and mission by advancing policy and practice in program areas devoted to community health, environmental health, public health infrastructure and systems, and public health preparedness.

Environmental Challenges:

Jennifer Spiller - Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan – Grand Rapids, MI

Jennifer is the Direct Services Program Manager for Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan. She oversees the implementation of the organization’s Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids program, Breathe Easier asthma program, and all HUD Healthy Home Rating System (HHRS) assessments conducted as part of the local HUD-funded lead hazard control program. Jennifer recently led a team in designing a more effective and efficient in-house tool to assess more than 500 complex data points and quickly turn the data collected into a helpful, easy-to-read report for parents and partner organizations. She also led the effort to significantly improve the effectiveness of the HUD HHRS tool for local use without compromising the tool’s integrity as part of a national program.

The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with the mission of improving children’s health and well-being by eliminating harmful housing conditions. Healthy Homes provides community education, direct services, and policy leadership to ensure that children 0-5 years of age are protected from hazards such as lead poisoning, poor indoor air quality, asthma triggers, burns, and accidental injury.

Ivana Castellenos - American Public Health Association – Washington, DC

Ivana serves as a Policy Analyst for the APHA. In this role she is responsible for research, writing and communication activities, coordinating events, meetings, and calls; and assisting with grant, budget and contract management. Ivana has also been a lead contributor to several projects within the healthy community design portfolio. This includes the development of the Transportation and Health Tool, a landmark tool developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, Ivana was heavily involved with the creation of an interactive website with data from the Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2016 Benchmarking Report.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) champions the health of all people and all communities. APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy (Center) highlights the connections between communities — where we live, work, play and learn — and our collective health. The Center advances evidence-based policies and practices to in support of APHA’s central challenge to create the healthiest nation in one generation. Improving environmental health and justice is one of the Center’s core priorities and includes a robust portfolio across three focus areas: natural environment, healthy community design, and environmental health systems and partnerships.

Deirdre Clarke - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Washington, DC

Deirdre Clarke has worked in EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) as a Program Analyst since September 2016. She supports the Office Director, Chief of Staff, senior managers, and staff in advancing the mission and goals of OAP, which are to improve air quality, address climate change, and restore the ozone layer. Deirdre provides advice and assistance to the Office Director and Chief of Staff on the management and implementation of key atmospheric program and policy issues. Deirdre ensures that analyses and policy development efforts are coordinated within OAP and other EPA program offices. She develops briefing materials, issue papers, analyses, and recommendations on the Office's programs to agency senior management.

The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment by implementing polices and regulations aimed to safeguard the environmental health of spaces where Americans live, learn, and work. EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) focuses on both mitigating domestic and international air pollution and improving air quality. OAP prevents air pollution by regulating emissions from industrial facilities across the country. OAP also oversees regulation of air pollution which crosses state lines. To better understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, OAP tracks domestic emissions of greenhouse gases.

Ann Rose - St. Mary's County Health Department – Leonardtown, MD

Ann serves as the Environmental Health Specialist Supervisor at the St. Mary’s County Health Department. Ann has supervised a range of programs,  from rabies prevention to outdoor air quality, recreational beaches, and operation and maintenance of septic systems utilizing best available technology. Ann supports public swimming pool inspections and participated in the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness group researching and developing policies related to pet management and solid waste disposal in the event a local case developed.

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) serves a largely rural community of about 110,000 residents with diverse occupations ranging from Amish farming to high tech aerospace contractors associated with the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The Naval Air Station employs 22,400 military, civilians and defense contractors, and is home to the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), including the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD). The robust Amish community includes over 1,400 members.

Obesity and the Food System:

Micaela (Mica) Root – Philadelphia Department of Health – Get Healthy Philly - Philadelphia, PA

Mica is the Senior Projects Coordinator with Get Healthy Philly at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Mica's work focuses on building collaborations to increase joyful movement, appealing tap water, and high-quality food in school, early childhood education, and community settings. She serves as adviser to the Mayor’s Office of Education on its Healthy Schools initiative. 

Get Healthy Philly was created in 2010 as an innovative multidisciplinary collaboration of public health, academic institutions, community based organization, and the private sector with the goal of tackling the underlying risk factors driving the epidemic of chronic disease facing Philadelphia.

Kaitlyn Neises-Mocanu – Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation – Mariana Islands

Kaitlyn is the Special Assistant for Policy, Sustainability, and Development with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation in the Northern Mariana Islands.  Kaitlyn works to improve existing programs and service delivery, and plans, analyzes and evaluates current and evidence-based best practices in health policies and programs for system development.  Kaitlyn is involved in educating policymakers and government official on issues of health care financing and health disparities and serves as the Center’s legislative liaison.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, originally established in 1978 as the Department of Public Health and Environmental Services, has responsibility for the island’s only hospital, a community health center, ancillary health services such as pharmacy, laboratory and radiology.  CHCC is responsible for all public health functions and programs for the territory.

Alyssa Auvinen – Washington State Department of Health, Tumwater, WA

Alyssa is the Project Director for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) grant.  She is responsible for coordinating stakeholder partnership, sustainability and evaluation planning, strategic communications, and implementing healthy food initiatives in communities.   Alyssa has experience providing technical assistance to community-based organization and agencies, in developing and implementing culturally-based nutrition guidelines, and coalition building.

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) provides programs and services to prevent illness and injury, promote healthy living and working spaces, and empower people to make healthy choices through culturally-sensitive health information.  DOH is responsible for providing technical assistance to state agencies on adoption and implementation of Healthy Nutrition Guidelines in vending, cafeterias, and institutions as a result of a state Executive Order.

Richard Sadler – Michigan State University Division of Public Health, Flint, MI

Richard’s work focuses on food access in Flint, MI, communities.  He works with community partners on various projects to address the issue of food deserts as a geographer. Richard is trained in geographic information science, environmental science and urban planning, and is the GIS expert within the Division of Public Health.  Richard has been conducting community-engaged research on Flint’s food system and is involved with several new food system initiatives including local food production, food aggregation facilities, mobile markets, healthy corner stores, and grocery store campaigns.

The Michigan State University Division of Public Health was moved to Flint in 2014 with a directive to create a community-based public health research unit studying the social determinants of health and chronic disease among Flint resident. 

Violence:

Amanda Capitummino – Sitkans Against Family Violence, Sitka, AK

Amanda’s work focuses on domestic violence, sexual assault, and teen dating violence primary prevention strategies in school and community settings.  She works with School Program Coordinators to expand healthy relationships curricula to schools in various outlying communities in Alaska, and builds capacity for parent engagement to broaden the reach and scope of healthy relationship messaging in the home setting.  Her focus includes both men and women, boys, girls, parents and community members, and promotes conversations around healthy relationships and respect.

Sitkans Against Family Violence (SAFV) is located in the remote town of Sitka and has been providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1980.  SAFV operates a 25-bed shelter, serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes. 

Josh Peterson – Minneapolis Health Department, Minneapolis, MN

Josh is a Senior Public Health Specialist with the Minneapolis Health Department, focusing on designing and implementing a data-informed youth violence intervention program for youth at the highest risk of becoming involved with violence.  Josh partners with the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and provides individualized long-term services to young people with demonstrated risk factors associated with violence.

The Minneapolis Health Department (MHD) is the local public health agency for the City of Minneapolis, delivering public health interventions directly and in partnership with other government and community agencies.

Susan Wismar – Ohio Health Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio, Columbus, OH

As the Prevention Education Coordinator, Susan creates and implements the prevention strategies for the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio. Currently, Susan is launching Green Dot, a multi-level bystander prevention program, at local high schools. The goal is to measure reduction in first-time perpetration of sexual violence and community norms change during the 5-year program. Susan is also responsible for leading the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee and co-leads the Ohio Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Consortium.

The Ohio Health Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio is the comprehensive sexual violence intervention and prevention program serving Franklin County. It provides a full range of sexual violence prevention and intervention services including a 24-hour Rape Helpline, Hospital Advocacy at 14 local emergency departments, Aftercare Advocacy, and Prevention Education.

The 2018 DrPH Fellows are: 

Addiction and Overdose

Ransom Wyse - The Tennessee Department of Health – Nashville, TN

Ransom, an epidemiologist, serves as the Director of the Office of Population Health Surveillance. He leads a team of more than 20 staff and researchers who systematically collect, analyze, and disseminate health data for statewide surveillance systems and one registry. He is also the Principal Investigator for two of the surveillance systems housed in this office: the Tennessee Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Tennessee Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. Ransom works with engaged stakeholders across the state and at the CDC to ensure superlative data quality for each of these programs. He is determined to apply innovative surveillance strategies to accurately capture the characteristics of Tennesseans afflicted by acute and chronic conditions, including those related to pervasive tobacco use and the opioid epidemic. By contextualizing and disseminating this information to the right audiences, novel interventions can be better designed and deployed to improve health outcomes across the state. 

The Tennessee Department of Health's mission to "protect, promote, and improve the health and prosperity of the people of Tennessee" encompasses a robust and deliberate response to addiction and overdose. Population health surveillance will be central to this effort, providing the data for evidence-based programs and policies to address these crises.  

Lauren Niles - The National Committee for Quality Assurance – Washington, DC

Lauren is a Senior Health Care Analyst at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where she works on the development of quality measures and standards related to behavioral health, substance use and dependence (SUD), and pain management and opioid therapy.  Lauren’s recent work has included developing a suite of measures that address depression care; re-evaluation of two measures that assess initiation and engagement in treatment for SUD; and the development of measures to assess high-risk opioid prescribing practices. 

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve health care quality.  NCQA develops quality standards and performance measures for a broad range of health care entities, including health plans, providers, and medical groups. 

Environmental Challenges

Robert Fyda - Southern Nevada Health District – Las Vegas, NV

Robert is an Environmental Health Engineer in the Solid Waste and Compliance branch of the Southern Nevada Health District.  Robert’s work focuses on septic systems, working across departments, jurisdictions and agencies to ensure new businesses and homes have current sewage disposal systems that are designed appropriately. Robert works with the Planning Department to ensure that current water supply is not overburdened through approval of land use applications. Using legal and financial levers, Robert works with the Solid Waste Plan Review unit to ensure solid waste sites can be properly cleaned in the event a site is abandoned.

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is the local public health authority for Clark County, Nevada, serving over 2 million residents, more than 73 percent of Nevada’s total population.  SNHD work to assess, protect, and promote the health, environment, and well-being of Southern Nevada communities, residents, and visitors. 

Elizabeth Boyle – National Academies – Washington, DC

Elizabeth is a Program Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), where she works with experts to develop reports and activities that advise the nation on environmental challenges.  Elizabeth was the lead project director on a recently released report by the National Academies Press that reviewed and provided recommendations to improve the Environmental Protection Agency’s research grant program known as Science to Achieve Results. She is currently working in other important environmental health areas, such as how human biological samples stored in research repositories can help answer questions about environmental and occupational health exposures, and how disparate data sources can be integrated to inform environmental health decisions. Elizabeth is a current doctoral student in the Environmental Health concentration at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) provides expert advice on pressing challenges facing the nation.  The work of NASEM helps provide policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine. 

Obesity and the Food System

Jaclyn Bertoldo - Stanford University Residential & Dining Enterprises – Burlingame, CA

Jaclyn is the Assistant Director of Food Choice Architecture with Stanford University Residential & Dining Enterprises.  Jaclyn works with food producers and manufacturers to develop new programs and culinary solutions to implement healthy and environmentally sustainable menu initiatives.  In partnerships with Menus of Change University Research Collaborative and World Resources Institutes Better Buying Lab, Jaclyn works to leverage behavioral insights and implementation science to inform business strategies, choice architecture, and organizational policy. Jaclyn is replicating her research at six university sites thorough the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative and has developed a toolkit of new labeling and marketing strategies to share throughout the foodservice sector.

Stanford University Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) is the second largest auxiliary within Stanford University.  Its mission is to support the academic mission of the university by providing the highest quality services to students and members of the university community in a sustainable and fiscally responsible manner.

Ashley Hickson - American Heart Association – Dallas, TX

Ashley is a Regional Community Impact Director with the American Heart Association (AHA). She is responsible for implementing evidence-based health programs in urban and rural settings that improve patient outcomes for those most at risk for chronic disease. Ashley collaborates with Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers, worksite clinics, and health systems to recognize providers who are effectively managing chronic disease within their patient population. She participates in coalitions that address the social determinants of health, facilitates community needs assessments, and oversees targeted food system and obesity programs that impact marginalized communities in the North Texas market. Through these coalitions and needs assessments, Ashley utilizes collective impact as the framework for guiding policy, system and environmental changes in her market. Additionally, she is tasked with the local execution of the AHA's signature Go Red for Latina Women, Vestido Rojo. The bi-lingual annual event offers educational breakout sessions, free health screenings, and community resources through the madrina ambassadors. 

The American Heart Association's Southwest Affiliate (SWA) works and collaborates with coalitions and workgroups focusing on numerous public health issues including cardiovascular disease, healthy food access, tobacco control, quality health care, and obesity prevention.

Risk to Adolescent Health

Veronica Helms – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Washington, DC

Veronica was a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and now works as a Social Science Analyst with the Office of Policy Development and Research. Her work focuses on health and housing initiatives and aligns with her interest in the intersections of adolescent health, housing assistance programs, and neighborhoods.  Veronica’s research focuses on quantifying the health characteristics of HUD-assisted children, youth, and families.  Veronica is a current doctoral students in the Health Equity and Social Justice concentration at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development serves over ten million low-income individuals annually through housing rental assistance programs. Its mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.