The Bloomberg American Health Initiative is pleased to announce the 2019 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 2019 Bloomberg Fellows are:

MPH Fellows

Addiction and Overdose:

Thaddeus Pham – Hawaii Department of Health – Honolulu, HI

Thaddeus Pham is the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (VHPC) for the Hawaii Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch (HRSB). He coordinates services statewide for people at-risk for and living with viral hepatitis through systems integration and collaboration with public and private partners.  Since hepatitis infections bear a disproportionate burden on communities marginalized by the health care system—especially people who are foreign-born and people who use drugs—Thaddeus uses an intersectional framework to develop novel public health approaches and cultivate a nimble, strengths-based mindset. Ultimately, Thaddeus aims to enhance the network of care for viral hepatitis and related harms (e.g. liver cancer, opioid overdose) by centering efforts on empowering community stakeholders.

The Harm Reduction Services Branch of the Department of Health (HRSB) focuses on promoting individual and population health through a low-threshold, health equity, and community-oriented framework. This intentional focus on the philosophy of harm reduction was informed by HRSB’s involvement in destigmatizing health issues that affect people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), sexually transmitted infections (STI), and viral hepatitis. 

Sasanka Jinadasa – Reframe Health and Justice – Washington, D.C.

Sasanka is a co-founder and partner at Reframe Health and Justice, where they contribute to the framework and values of healing-centered harm reduction. They lead conversations on how to best develop racial justice centered harm reduction efforts, with a particular focus on women, queer communities, and trans communities. Their harm reduction career began at HIPS, where Sasanka managed volunteer-based direct services - including a 24/7 hotline and mobile outreach - to people who trade sex and/or use drugs in Washington, DC. As a consultant, Sasanka has developed programming, created curricula, and/or facilitated training for several organizations including the Maryland Department of Health, Baltimore County Department of Health, the Boston Public Health Commission, Streetwork, the SPARC Center, Amara Legal Center and many others.

Formed in 2017, Reframe Health and Justice (RHJ) is a public health and social change strategy consulting collective that operates through two primary frameworks: harm reduction and healing justice.  RHJ provides four types of services: personalized ongoing training, facilitated organizational culture change, policy design and analysis, and responsive technical assistance.  

Rachel McFadden – University of Pennsylvania Health System – Philadelphia, PA

Rachel is a certified Emergency Nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she has designed and delivered nursing education on the opioid crisis and new treatment pathways to hundreds of nurses in various departments. In addition to caring for patients with opioid use disorder in the Emergency Department, she participates in several multidisciplinary work groups to improve linkage to opioid medication-assisted treatment, combat the stigma against people who use drugs, and is leading the design of standardized opioid stewardship education modules for nurses across the health system. Rachel is also a long-time volunteer at Prevention Point Philadelphia’s syringe exchange, providing harm reduction-based education and services in the community.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System comprises five individual entities, including three in downtown Philadelphia. The Opioid Stewardship Committee supports system-wide advancements in ensuring compliance with opioid prescribing regulations while focusing on judicious opioid use; expanding awareness and implementation of medication-assisted treatments; designing and integrating clinician education about balanced analgesia; and developing robust IT monitoring and support to track initiatives.  

Nathan Kittle – HealthPoint CHC – Auburn, WA

Since 2016 Nathan served as a faculty physician at The Wright Center National Family Medicine Residency program at HealthPoint Community Health Center where he has both clinical and educational responsibilities. Clinically, Dr. Kittle is a family medicine physician practicing full-spectrum inpatient and outpatient care while educationally, he teaches future family medicine physicians the principles of community engagement and responsible community integration. Nathan has brought low-barrier substance use care to HealthPoint and has created a curriculum to train residents how to approach and treat substance use disorders.

Health Point is a nationally recognized nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center deeply integrated in communities in King County, Washington.  Its mission is to strengthen communities and improve people's health by delivering quality health care services, breaking down barriers and providing access to all.  

Joseph Buffaloe – Southwest CARE – Santa Fe, NM

Joseph serves as a Case Manager at Southwest CARE, where he helps navigate medical and social services for people living with hepatitis C. Joseph provides harm reduction and rapid HIV/hepatitis C testing in the community, in addition to facilitating weekly SMART Recovery meetings and assisting community members with health insurance enrollment. He is working with Southwest CARE to increase access to services among marginalized populations, including people who use drugs.

Founded in 1996 as an AIDS Service Organization, Southwest CARE was established to address a burgeoning public health crisis in the community of Santa Fe, NM. The organization was designed with the patient’s dignity and biopsychosocial needs in mind.  Southwest CARE serves 10,000 individuals annually and operates four clinics across Santa Fe and Albuquerque. 

Joanna Mlicka-Anderko – NJ/NY High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) – Newark, NJ

Joanna serves as a Demand Reduction Specialist for the NY/NJ HIDTA assigned to the NJ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Newark, New Jersey.  She collaborates with community coalitions, government agencies and non-profits who work in prevention and treatment. Joanna has been instrumental in implementing and coordinating the Newark Cares program in the City of Newark by bringing together the Newark Police Department and the Newark Public Schools. The program is a tool for law enforcement and school personnel to assist with mitigating the negative effects experienced by a child’s exposure to a traumatic or critical event, commonly referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences.

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.

Diana Smith – Project Nurture - Legacy Medical Group – Portland, OR

Diana is the Project Nurture Clinical Lead for Legacy Medical Group where she provides midwifery care to all women served at the clinic, with a special focus on pregnant women with substance use disorders. She facilitates institutional health care transformation work through participating in work groups to revise policies for maternal and newborn care, community outreach and education by presenting at conferences and meetings with legislator and advocating for health insurance reform.

Legacy Medical Group (LMG) consists of over 300 healthcare providers that see patients in 6 hospitals, 26 primary care clinics, and numerous medical specialty clinics across Northern Oregon and Southern Washington. Thirteen Certified Nurse Midwives provide comprehensive reproductive health care to a diverse population of women, including pregnant women from county safety-net clinics, non-English speaking recent immigrants, adolescents, third generation African American Portlanders, and women seeking specialized midwifery care. 

Zeina Saliba – George Washington University Department of Psychiatry – Washington, D.C.

Zeina is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and serves as Medical Director of George Washington University Hospital psychiatric services.  As a medical director, Zeina provides clinical and administrative leadership for the 20-bed inpatient psychiatric service, consultation-liaison service for medically- and surgically-ill patients, and emergency psychiatry service, as well as educational leadership for psychiatry residents and medical students assigned to these clinical services.  Zeina works with multiple community organizations as part of her work for the GW Medical Faculty Systems such as HIPS, a Washington DC harm reduction agency - where she works in an an opioid medication assisted treatment clinic.

The Medical Faculty Associates, Inc. (MFA) is both the teaching and research faculty for the George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the largest joint medical practice in Washington, DC. The outpatient programs of the MFA and the GWU Hospital, staffed by the MFA, both provide care for the multi-ethnic urban poor, working class, and middle-class populations of Washington, DC. 


Environmental Challenges:

Alivia Coleman – Stratford Health Department – Stratford, CT

Alivia is the Health Program Associate for the Stratford Health Department.  In her role, she responds to estate inquiries, provides feedback on commercial development applications outlining if the project may encounter soil, groundwater or vapor intrusion issues.  Alivia contributes significantly in Stratford-specific health risk assessments as well as air monitoring data review.  Certified as a lead inspector/risk assessor, Alivia leads efforts to proactively work with the local housing authority to focus on housing voucher, pre-1978 housing stock with tenants that include children under the age of six. 

The Stratford Health Department (SHD) is a Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) nationally-accredited municipal health department operating in Stratford, Connecticut.  SHD’s mission is to improve the quality of life of its nearly 53,000 residents through the promotion of health, prevention of disease and by assuring a clean and safe environment. 

Sadie Derouin – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Fitchburg, WI

Sadie is an Environmental Enforcement Specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  She works with scientists and engineers in all environmental quality and natural resource programs that detect and resolve environmental violations.  Sadie also volunteers as a Duty Officer, which provides 24-hour capacity for department response to hazardous substance spills, fires, severe storms, flooding and other emergencies. In addition, she is the liaison between the Public Drinking Water program  and serves on a work-group focused on the growing challenge of nitrates in groundwater and development of approaches to ensure safe drinking water for both public and private systems. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is one of the few agencies in the United States with environmental quality and natural resource management responsibilities housed in the same agency. The mission is to protect public health, enhance the quality of air, land and water, protect and restore ecosystems all while providing diverse recreational opportunities for present and future generations. 

Eli Pousson – Baltimore Heritage Inc. – Baltimore, MD

Eli Pousson, Director of Preservation & Outreach at Baltimore Heritage, is a historian, cyclist, and an advocate for old buildings and neighborhoods.  Eli has worked for Baltimore Heritage since October 2009 on projects that combine historic preservation, neighborhood revitalization, and inclusive community outreach.  Past projects include promoting historic parks through the Friends of West Baltimore Squares, preparing landmark nominations to support the rehabilitation of unique at-risk buildings like the 1876 Hebrew Orphan Asylum, organizing archaeological digs in local parks, and creating the Explore Baltimore Heritage website and app.   
Baltimore Heritage is a small non-profit organization that works to preserve historic places and revitalize historic neighborhoods across the city.  Established in 1960 by a group of civic leaders concerned by destructive urban renewal and highway projects, Baltimore Heritage is membership-supported and continues to work closely with residents and community organizations.  Baltimore Heritage promotes the reuse of historic buildings with both advocacy and direct assistance to property owners and community organizations. 

Braden Hickey – Indian Health Service – Lake Havasu, AZ

Braden is an Environmental Health Officer currently serving in the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service. A year after joining the organization, Braden successfully obtained her Commissioning with the US Public Health Service and pinned on the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG).  Braden is one of two Environmental Health Officers (EHO) stationed in Parker, AZ where she provides direct environmental health services to five tribal communities.  Her duties include providing technical assistance on matters related to water or wastewater, solid waste, air quality, occupational safety and health, vector control, and emergency management.

The Environmental Health Services (EHS) Program works with tribal communities to prevent disease and injury by monitoring and investigating disease and injury and identifying health hazards in the environment all while providing training, technical assistance, and project funding.  The Institutional Environmental Health specialty to protects building occupants from chemical, biological, radiological, and ergonomic hazards, as well as partnering with tribes on implementing emergency management programs. 

Leah Ford – Food and Water Watch – Washington, D.C.

As a researcher at Food & Water Watch, Leah is focused on issues of energy consumption, factory farming, and climate mitigation. Through her work,  Leah has developed materials on the environmental justice impacts of pollution trading.  She has contributed to a series of fact sheets on the benefits of states shifting to 100% renewable energy to curb climate change, with an emphasis on the public health and climate effects on disadvantaged communities and populations.

Food & Water Watch is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that champions a clean environment, safe water and healthy food for all through research, education, advocacy and grassroots organizing.  Food and Water Watch is a leader in the environmental movement that takes principled, informed positions to create a better world by curbing climate change, adopting clean renewable energy, eliminating industrial-scale livestock production, promoting food safety and protecting public water infrastructure. 

Sadiqa Kendi – Children’s National Emergency Medicine and Trauma Center – Washington, D.C.

Sadiqa Kendi is a pediatric emergency physician at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, and works as an assistant professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine.  Sadiqa is the Medical Director of Safe Kids District of Columbia, a local injury prevention coalition of the nonprofit organization Safe Kids Worldwide and is laying the foundation for the first DC based Safety Center, a center which will provide injury prevention equipment and education to families.  Dr. Kendi is an injury prevention researcher, with a focus on health equity whose goal is to make Washington, DC the safest city in the country for children of all races.

The Children’s National Emergency Medicine and Trauma Center (EMTC) is one of the largest Emergency Departments in the United States, serving a combined 120,000 patients per year between its two campuses.  The mission of Children’s National Health System is to bring health and well-being to all children.

Obesity and the Food System:

Phebe Gibson – ChangeLab Solutions – Oakland, CA

Phebe is a Senior Policy Analyst at ChangeLab Solutions. Her work has focused primarily on food access, but she has also worked on projects that span the organization’s portfolio, from safe drinking water regulations, to violence prevention, to leveraging community investment and financing systems for community benefit. In addition, Phebe manages the organization’s efforts to provide tailored and effective capacity building services to communities across the country.

ChangeLab Solutions is a national public health nonprofit that creates innovative laws and policies to ensure everyday health for all. They partner with organizations and agencies across the country and their staff is made up of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, urban planners, architects, policy analysts, and public health specialists who successfully apply this approach in the context of food systems, land use and transportation planning, childhood obesity prevention, tobacco control, food systems, school environments, and more.

Caroline Rains - RTI International - Durham, NC

As a Public Health Analyst at RTI International, Caroline uses qualitative and quantitative research to evaluate food, nutrition, and obesity policies and programs alongside senior scientists. Through her work, Caroline has contributed to projects on topics including nutrition education, farm to school programs, front-of-package nutrition labeling, food safety, and food insecurity.  Her work aims to improve public health and well-being through better nutrition in communities across the country.

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. They are a multidisciplinary institute with expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. Their team of researchers conducts research on a broad range of policy topics using quantitative and qualitative research approaches. 

Amelia Hulbert - Boulder County Public Health – Boulder, CO

Amelia started with Boulder County Public Health as a Public Health Associate through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and currently serves as a Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Specialist. She works collaboratively to identify community needs and implement upstream solutions to improve food and beverage environments and address complex barriers to health. Amelia supported the evaluation that studied price changes of taxed and untaxed beverages before and after the implementation of Boulder’s sugar-sweetened beverage tax. She currently leads and supports various fruit and vegetable incentive programs co-designed with under-resourced individuals to increase their fresh fruit and vegetable access and consumption.
Boulder County Public Health’s (BCPH) vision is to create a socially just, inclusive community where physical and mental health, social well-being, and the environment are valued, supported, and accessible to all. We strive to accomplish our vision by addressing social, economic, and environmental conditions to ensure that all people in Boulder County have the opportunity for a healthy life. 

Natalie J. Tunzi – HealthCorps – Salinas, CA

atalie started as a Program Coordinator with HealthCorps and now serves as Program Supervisor.  At HealthCorps, Natalie supports and oversees a team of Program Coordinators who serve middle and high schools in rural, suburban, and urban school environments.   Natalie also collaborates with other departments to create grant and funder reports, support compliance and progress of primary data collection, obtain and utilize media content to share impact, and integrate new nationwide initiatives into the program.

HealthCorps, a national non-profit organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is devoted to strengthening communities with the most innovative approaches to health and wellness to help the next generation be more resilient, both mentally and physically.  HealthCorps gives teens tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives. Since 2003, the organization has implemented a unique in-school wellness program, the Living Lab, developed to meet the needs of underserved students in communities across America. 

Julie M. Pike - Indiana University School of Medicine - Indianapolis, IN

Julie is a dietitian and certified diabetes educator with the Indiana University School of Medicine and its affiliated health system, IU Health.  Julie is responsible for providing medical nutrition therapy to youth and their families in the Youth Diabetes Prevention Clinic, and carrying out the clinic’s community-based obesity treatment and diabetes prevention efforts.  Julie has been instrumental in the development and implementation of a family-based, youth appropriate obesity treatment and diabetes prevention programming, both inside and outside of the healthcare system.  

The Indiana University School of Medicine Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases (CDMD), Translational Research Program’s mission is to prevent and manage obesity and related diseases, especially diabetes, by developing, evaluating, implementing and disseminating evidence-based strategies to improve population health in Indiana and nationally..

Susan E. Kornacki - Montgomery County Food Council – Bethesda, MD

Susan is co-chair of the Environmental Impact Working group for the Montgomery County Food Council where she leads a group of over 20 community members and professionals who work on mitigating the environmental impact of the local food system. The working group focuses on promoting and supporting county-wide composting programs, sustainable agricultural practices, and reduction of food waste.  Susan contributes to strategic planning for the organization, builds partnerships that strengthen the scope and impact of the Council's work, and coordinates events that educate community members about food waste composting and zero waste solutions. 

The Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) is an independent nonprofit formed and led by professionals, businesses, government officials, community organizations, and educational institutions that broadly represent the food system both substantively and geographically.  

Lacy Stephens - National Farm to School Network – Bozeman, MT

Lacy is the Program Manager for the National Farm to School Network (NFSN).  Lacy is responsible for programming, partnerships, and policy initiatives for the NFSN.  Lacy expanded NFSN’s organizational capacity for research and evaluation projects, which include managing contract evaluation of USDA Farm to School grantees; executing exploratory research projects; spearheading compilation of farm to early care and education research; and leading the formation of a farm to school research committee. By advancing farm to early care and education, building partner capacity, and strengthening national networks, Lacy has made important contributions to NFSN’s mission of increasing access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities.
Established in 2007, the National Farm to School Network is an information, advocacy, and networking hub for communities bringing local food sourcing, school gardens, and food, nutrition, and agriculture education into schools and early care and education (ECE) settings.  

Risks to Adolescent Health:

Pamela Villa – Urban Youth Alliance BronxConnect – Bronx, NY

Pamela is the Director of Development for BronxConnect, an organization dedicated to keeping youth out of jail for life. Through her cross-functional leadership, she has contributed to the organization's financial growth and upcoming expansion to a new state. In less than two years, Pamela has helped raise over $3.5 million to scale operations. She has designed culturally affirming learning experiences for youth and led over 200 workshops. Pamela’s diverse background, which includes community organizing and investment banking, enables her to contribute her own unique value to the team.

BronxConnect addresses risks impacting Black and Latinx adolescents including violence, mass criminalization, and incarceration.  Founded in 1999, the mission of BronxConnect is to keep youth out of jail, by providing alternatives to prison and detention.  The organization focuses on rehabilitation, employment, and educational attainment -- and has served over 2,000 court-involved and high-risk youth.  

Nicholas Pisca - Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Los Angeles, CA

Nicholas is a Research Analyst for the division of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health within the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  His work focuses on contributing to a multidisciplinary team of health professionals dedicated to improving health care access to vulnerable populations in Los Angeles County.  He works with a team to implement a system-wide early identification and intervention system to improve identifying developmental and behavioral delays in youth. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's mission is to protect health, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being for everyone in Los Angeles County (LAC). The Department of Public Health (DPH) comprises a workforce of over 4,000 health professionals serving to protect and improve health and well-being to over 10 million LAC residents, the most populous county in the United States. 

Mara Aussendorf - Public Health Management Corporation – Philadelphia, PA

Mara has served in the Research & Evaluation Group at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) since 2014, engaged in a wide variety of projects related to sexual health, substance use, youth advocacy, LGBTQ health, tobacco prevention and cessation, and maternal health. In her position as a Research Coordinator, she employs a range of methods across research studies and evaluations, managing data collection, conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses, building data collection tools (such as surveys and interview guides), and developing utilization-focused reports to inform programming for adolescents. Her interests also include the use of data visualization as a tool for increasing information accessibility for young people. In 2017, Mara helped found PHMC’s LGBTQ+ Employee Group.

PHMC is a non-profit public health organization with a mission of creating and sustaining healthier communities. Comprised of hundreds of programs, a network of subsidiary organizations, and six federally qualified health centers, PHMC’s work spans physical, behavioral, and mental health; substance use; health promotion and prevention; criminal justice; workforce development and economic inclusion; education; and child welfare and family social services. PHMC’s Research & Evaluation Group works locally, regionally and nationally with diverse partners to conduct new research and strengthen existing services through robust evaluation approaches.  

Mary Odell - Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School – Baltimore, MD

Mary  is the Course Director for Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School. She is responsible for overseeing the logistics of course directing and the overall physical and emotional safety of students. Mary trains and mentors expedition instructors to further strengthen their ability to meet the needs of students. 

Outward Bound’s mission is to change lives through challenge and discovery.  Outward Bound pioneers educational programs that inspire young people to embrace their common humanity, engage in service and become active citizens.  The school uses experiential education techniques in a supportive yet challenging environment to strengthen its students.  Outward Bound serves  Baltimore City middle and high school students annually through expeditions designed with specific curriculums to improve outcomes in emotional self-efficacy, conflict resolution, problem-solving and perseverance. 

Maria Hamm - Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services – Helena, MT

Maria is the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Lead Program Specialist and oversees the Optimal Health for Montana Youth (OHMY) Program for the state of Montana.  She monitors local program implementation of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention efforts, including providing technical assistance, contract management, and program monitoring to local communities.  Maria’s work specifically contributes to achieving OHMY's goal of helping Montana youth achieve optimal health through healthy behavior development and the strengthening of protective factors.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is the statewide agency for public health that administers numerous programs with the aim to improve and protect the health of Montanans by creating conditions for healthy living. The Adolescent Health Section of the Department works to improve the health of Montana youth by focusing on teen pregnancy prevention a Healthy Young Parent Program and Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Services Program.  

Joanne M. Tremblay Jackson – Hartford Public Schools - Hartford, CT

Joanne started at Hartford Public Schools as a school social worker and now serves as the Director of Student Support Services.  In collaboration with the school district, she leads an effort to develop trauma informed and sensitive practice frameworks for supporting students.  Joanne analyzes and reviews data to assist schools in improving their practices and approaches to address behavior, safety, culture and climate.  She serves as the school district’s representative for the community oversight committee and as a representative on the mayor’s task force on youth violence.   

Hartford Public Schools (HPS) is a system of 46 schools, with over 20,000 students in a high poverty urban district. HPS has a vision that students will graduate ready to transform the world. The mission of the district is to work with families and community to inspire and prepare all students to be successful in and beyond school. HPS is committed to realigning professional development to consider trauma and its effects on students’ ability to learn and feel safe. 

Jasmine S. Calhoun – Saginaw County Youth Protection Council – Saginaw, MI

Jasmine currently serves as the Director of the Youth Protection Council's Innerlink Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter. Her work focuses on helping youth, ages 12-21, overcome mental instability, challenges to education, financial illiteracy and other risk factors that prevent housing permanence. This work aligns with her interest in the intersection of health disparities and childhood trauma, specifically prevalent in urban communities. 

The Youth Protection Council provides emergency and long term shelter for runaway and homeless youth in Saginaw, Tuscola, Gratiot and Midland counties, substance abuse prevention programs, teenage parenting education programs, long term housing for homeless teenage parents and rental assistance. The Youth Protection Council is a one-of-a-kind organization and has been providing services to at risk youth for almost 60 years. 

Emily Witkowski – Maplewood Memorial Library – Maplewood, NJ

Emily is the Teen Librarian at the Maplewood Memorial Library. Working closely with the middle and high schools as well as other local youth-oriented organizations, she serves young people in the Maplewood community primarily in grades 6-12, providing books and resources, programs, and a safe after school space for teens to gather. Emily ensures there is a safe, creative and innovative space for teens at the Library and gives teens the tools and encouragement to become informed and engaged citizens in their community and beyond.

The Maplewood Memorial Library builds community and enriches the quality of life throughout Maplewood by bringing together diverse people, information and ideas. In a town of 23,867, over 19,000 have library cards and serve over 900 people every day.  The Library hosts hundreds of program, events and meetings of community groups annually. The library is one of the few welcoming spaces for teens in the community.  

Elaina Tully – Philadelphia FIGHT – Philadelphia, PA

Elaina is the inaugural Medical Director of Philadelphia FIGHT’s Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) Adolescent and Young Adult Health Center.  In this role, she oversees clinical operations for the health center, providing ongoing supervision of medical staff and ensuring that medical care adheres to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and aligns with requirements set forth by funders.  Trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Elaina works to ensure that patient protocols and procedures are youth-centered and address the specific and developmentally-appropriate needs of an adolescent and young adult population. She provides guidance to Philadelphia FIGHT leadership regarding the strategic development and growth of the health center - advocating for youth voice, strengthening community partnerships and collaboration, and prioritizing the overall health and wellness of Philadelphia’s youth within the broader Community Health Center infrastructure.  
Philadelphia FIGHT was founded in 1990 as a comprehensive AIDS service organization dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic.  In 2013, they became a Federally Qualified Health Center, broadening their scope of clinical services to care for all individuals, regardless of HIV status.  Philadelphia FIGHT’s Y-HEP Health Center grew out of a drop-in space for unstably housed youth, and now provides integrated primary care, mental health care, and sexual and reproductive health care to all youth ages 13 -24. 

Casey Thomas – Soccer Without Borders – Boulder, CO

Casey is the Colorado Director at Soccer Without Borders, an organization that works with refugee, asylee and immigrant youth through year-round programs. In her current role Casey leads the veteran Greeley program, as well as leading the design and launch of a new program in the Denver metropolitan area. Prior to Colorado, Casey led SWB’s Maryland programs, where she led program expansions to maximize the impact among newcomer youth in Baltimore City and beyond. Throughout her tenure at SWB, Casey has emphasized a culture of learning and continuous improvement, investing in systems to support organizational growth. 

Founded in 2006, Soccer Without Borders uses soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing newcomer refugee, asylee and immigrant youth a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion, and personal success. 

Amanda Brosnan – Tarrant County Public Health – Fort Worth, TX

Amanda is a Physician Assistant with Tarrant County Public Health working with patients in communicable disease management. She has taken the lead in re-structuring the STI/STD clinics to better serve community needs, striving to improve quality of care and patient access. Amanda is also passionate about addressing health disparities in the community, especially among children and adolescents. She believes that focusing on these issues will help reduce unintended teen pregnancies, teen mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression and suicide, as well as reduce STI diagnoses in the community. 
Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) provides services to two million Tarrant County residents aimed at promoting, achieving and maintaining a healthy standard of living. Services include environmental, laboratory and disease control; health screenings, and education and community engagement. With a staff of approximately 400 professionals in 18 locations and outreach sites, TCPH serves a diverse client base and is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board.

Kaitlyn Jones – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services– Washington, D.C.

Kaitlyn is the Special Assistant for Human Services Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).  She provides support and assistance to departmental leadership, analyzes current evidence-based and evidence-informed best practices in youth policies and programs, and has gained first-hand experience in national policy research and development. In addition, she co-manages the National Poverty Center grant, the office’s flagship grant that supports continued research and evaluation on important and emerging social policy ideas focused on the effects of poverty, income dynamics, individual and family functioning, and child well-being.

Within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Office of Human Services Policy (HSP) conducts policy research, analysis, evaluation, and coordination on various issues across the Department, including but not limited to, poverty and measurement, vulnerable populations, early childhood education and child welfare, family strengthening, economic support for families, and youth development. HSP serves as a liaison with other agencies on broad economic matters and is the Department’s lead on poverty research and analysis.

TyWanda L. McLaurin-Jones – Howard University – Washington, D.C.

TyWanda is an Assistant Professor with Howard University Master of Public Health Program. She served as the faculty coordinator for the community-based practicum from 2005-2008. In addition to academic responsibilities, she maintains an active research portfolio. Trained in Clinical Psychology, TyWanda’s research focuses on socio-cultural and behavioral health factors among minority adolescents and emerging adults. TyWanda employs mixed-methodologies to conduct college health research in the areas of alcohol/substance use, sexual health, and sleep.

The Howard University Master of Public Health Program is a two-year interdisciplinary program. It is aimed at preparing its graduates to successfully navigate the intersections of research, practice, teaching, administration, and policy development, in order to address the current and evolving issues within public health. With an emphasis on eliminating health disparities, sexual health, violence, and cancer education/outreach programs are offered through community partnerships.

Stephanie Buggs - Walter Carter Elementary and Middle School – Baltimore, MD

Stephanie is a science teacher at the Walter Carter Elementary and Middle School in Baltimore, MD.  She teaches 7th and 8th grade science and is part of the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) which aims improve the school culture, climate, and address student challenges.  Stephanie is involvement includes the development and implementation of strategies to address challenges facing students such as academic, emotional and social. Stephanie also serves as the mentor for the Maryland Science Olympiad Team and the Act 4 Youth program, both of which serve at-risk youth in Baltimore.

Walter P. Carter (WPC) Elementary and Middle Schools is a community-based school that serves approximately 350 students in from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.  WPC primarily serves under-performing, low-income students and has been identified as a Title I school in Baltimore city. Approximately a third of the student population receive special education services. 



Martin Bartness – Baltimore Police Department – Baltimore, MD

Martin is in his 22nd year with the Baltimore Police Department and has served in virtually every type of operational and administrative role through the rank of major. He previously commanded the Special Investigations Section, where he worked to rebuild fractured relationships into productive partnerships between BPD and the community. He also assumed the lead role for the BPD in developing a comprehensive behavioral crisis response program by fostering collaborations with Behavioral Health System Baltimore, Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Baltimore Child & Adolescent Response System. Martin currently serves as the commander of Continuing Education.
With 3,000 employees and an operating budget of $500 million, the Baltimore Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Janel Cubbage – Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration – Baltimore, MD

Janel began her work with the Behavioral Health Administration as the Director of Suicide Prevention in August 2017 where she worked to transform the state crisis hotline by standardizing reporting to better identify consumer needs.  Janel led the partnership project with 211 Maryland to introduce a three-digit crisis hotline phone number along with chat and text services.  Janel manages departments that focus on to suicide prevention, and leads the Maryland's Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network (MD-SPIN).  Janel was recently appointed as the Chair for the Governor's Commission on Suicide Prevention.

The Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration is comprised of several offices collaborating to bolster the behavioral health system of care to improve health, wellness, and quality of life for Marylanders across the lifespan. Suicide prevention initiatives are based in the Office of Health Promotion and Prevention (HPP).  HPP manages the state crisis hotline system, oversees federal grants related to suicide prevention, coordinates training opportunities, and provides staff to the Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention. 

Christopher Carita – Fort Lauderdale Police Department – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Christopher Carita - Fort Lauderdale Police Department – Fort Lauderdale, FL Christopher joined the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in June of 2009 where has earned 14 Department Commendations and 6 Public Commendations for exemplary police work. He has served in various roles, from patrol, to street narcotics, to burglary/robbery investigations, and currently serves as a Detective with the Special Investigations Threat Response Unit. Christopher investigates mass casualty threats (schools, churches, workplace, etc.), political violence, and extremist groups. He has initiated numerous investigations, identifying pattern offenders and threats to public safety, compiling strong criminal cases in cooperation with the State Attorney’s Office.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department serves the largest city in Broward County, Florida with over 180,000 full-time residents. The City of Fort Lauderdale is the county seat for Broward County. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department serves the over 16.8 million visitors that the area receives annually. As a mid-sized police department, with 500 sworn officers, the department undertakes the complicated job of serving an enormous and incredibly diverse population that is constantly in flux.

Janice Miller – House of Ruth Maryland (HRM) – Baltimore, MD

Janice currently is the Director of Programs and Clinical Services for House of Ruth Maryland (HRM).  Miller is primarily responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of victim services which includes identifying available services and interventions, maintaining the ethical standards and integrity of the work. In addition, she mentors agency leadership at sister organizations, guiding best practice trauma informed thinking among peers and consults HRM innovative programming.  

House of Ruth Maryland (HRM) leads the fight to end violence against women and their children by confronting the attitudes, behaviors and systems that perpetuate it and by providing victims with the necessary services to rebuild their lives safely and free from fear.  For 40 years, HRM has been a respected leader in the field of ending intimate partner violence and a cornerstone agency in the City of Baltimore.  

Caitlin Burke – Women Helping Women – Cincinnati, OH

Caitlin serves as the Prevention Coordinator at Women Helping Women where she supervises its Prevention Team. Along with her team, she provides progressive primary prevention programming to the Greater Cincinnati area, which includes school-based prevention education, training to adults who work with youth, and sexual violence prevention training to bar staff. She also assists with grant writing and reporting for prevention funding along with building relationships with local and statewide partners.  
Women Helping Women (WHW) is a nonprofit organization that exists to prevent gender-based violence and empowers all survivors that have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Established in 1973, WHW operates from a public health framework promoting diversity and inclusion. 

Audrey Eisemann – International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) – Alexandria, VA

Audrey serves as a Project Coordinator at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) with a focus on community-police engagement, alternatives to arrest, front-end diversion, and victim advocacy. Through the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, which focuses on the reduction of local jail populations, she develops resources, including the forthcoming Working Towards Safety and Justice Through Police & Prosecutor Partnerships publication. She also facilitates training and technical assistance on promising practices that law enforcement and communities can employ to meet their jail reduction goals, while prioritizing public safety. Additionally, Audrey coordinates the Enhancing Community Trust: Proactive Approaches to Domestic & Sexual Violence initiative, a project that is currently deploying a self-assessment tool within six law enforcement agencies to evaluate and enhance their response to sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and strangulation. 

The International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) mission is dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through service to and development of current and future leaders in the field. IACP has a wide variety of federally and privately funded initiatives focused on reducing violence in communities, supporting victims of violence, and helping officers who are exposed to violence. 

Annaka Scheeres – Get Healthy Philly – Philadelphia, PA

Annaka serves as a Research and Evaluation Associate at Get Healthy Philly with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Her current work focuses on monitoring tobacco use trends to help inform citywide tobacco policies and programs, as well as evaluating the sweetened beverage tax. She also leads data committee meetings for the division, helping to guide constructive conversations on tobacco, gun violence and other issues. Going forward, her role will expand to focus on developing a data-driven surveillance system for gun violence in Philly.

Get Healthy Philly, also known as the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, began in 2010 as an innovative multidisciplinary collaboration of public health, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and the private sector with the goal of tackling the underlying risk factors driving the epidemic of chronic disease in the city. It has since expanded to include injury prevention, with a focus on taking a public health approach to the high rates of gun violence in the city. 

Paul Griffin – Child Justice – Baltimore, MD

Paul Griffin is the Legal Director of Child Justice, Inc. He has been a litigator for over 20 years and has successfully litigated and consulted on hundreds of cases involving allegations of domestic violence and child-physical and sexual abuse. He also conducts training seminars for other attorneys in this specialized area. Paul recently received a gubernatorial appointment and is a member of a state-wide task force whose mission is to study child-custody court proceedings involving child abuse or domestic violence allegations and to make recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly regarding changes to Maryland’s current child-custody process.

Child Justice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Silver Spring and Baltimore, Maryland. It provides pro bono legal services in child-custody cases to protective, non-offending parents who are often victims of violence, too. These parents generally have limited or no financial resources and face steep challenges when they seek protection for themselves and their children.

Melissa Box – ABC Counseling and Family Services – Normal, IL

Melissa serves as Clinical Director for ABC Counseling and Family Services and is responsible for the clinical program across five offices in Illinois. Through her various roles in the organization, she has been involved in fundraising and development, curriculum development, marketing and public relations, and staff professional development and training. Melissa advocates for the development of a prevention program that ABC counseling can implement in the community.

ABC Counseling provides services to children in need of specialized sexual abuse counseling, both for children who have experienced inappropriate sexual behaviors as well as children who engage in inappropriate sexual behaviors. 

Kristen McGeeney – International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) – Alexandria, VA

Kristen serves as a Project Manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) where she manages the Enhancing Law Enforcement Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Operations initiative and previously, the Enhancing Community Trust: Proactive Approaches to Domestic & Sexual Violence initiative. Her work at the IACP focuses on developing and deploying tools, resources, training, and other forms of direct technical assistance for law enforcement and their community partners to enhance initial response, investigation, prosecution, and victim support in cases of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and strangulation. Kristen led the development and launch of IACP’s Addressing and Preventing Gender Bias: Responses to Reports of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Stalking infographic. Kristen also led the development of the forthcoming publication of the Enhancing Community Trust initiative’s comprehensive self-assessment tool and process for law enforcement agencies to evaluate and strengthen their response to gender-based violence. Kristen previously served as a sworn law enforcement officer in Maryland.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) mission is dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through service to and development of current and future leaders in the field. IACP has a wide variety of federally and privately funded initiatives focused on reducing violence in communities, supporting victims of violence, and helping officers who are exposed to violence. 

Kelly Burke – International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) – Alexandria, VA

As a Senior Program Manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Kelly leads a portfolio of federally-funded training and technical assistance programs for law enforcement and their community partners. Her program of work includes enhancing collaborative responses to human trafficking; incorporating community-based crime reduction models, improving law enforcement engagement with, and responses to, youth; enhancing police response to children exposed to violence; increasing officer and public safety by improving interactions between law enforcement and individuals experiencing mental health crisis; and improving trust and healing between law enforcement and the communities they serve in the wake of high-profile incidents of violence, such as officer-involved shootings or violence against the police, that result in community-police tensions or harm. Kelly has led the development of a number of training curricula, tools, and resources, including the award-winning Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement in partnership with the Yale Childhood Violent Trauma Center.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) mission is dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through service to and development of current and future leaders in the field. IACP has a wide variety of federally and privately funded initiatives focused on reducing violence in communities, supporting victims of violence, and helping officers who are exposed to violence. 

Erin Miller – Newton-Wellesley Hospital – Newton, MA

Erin has the privilege of serving as the manager for the Domestic/Sexual Violence program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital where she consults and collaborates on structural changes for healthcare and human service programs across Massachusetts. She advises, writes, and helps to drive both hospital and state policy on public health and social equity issues. Erin has also published on issues of violence and abuse, including the needs of LGBQ/T and older adult survivor of violence, abuse, and trauma. 

Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) is a non-profit medical center in suburbs of Boston and a member of Partners Healthcare, a network founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. 

Jen Pauliukonis – Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence – Parkville, MD

Jen began volunteering in the gun violence prevention movement following the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012. She led a small, grassroots advocacy organization, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence since 2015. Recently joining the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence as the Director of State Affairs, she is responsible for developing legislative policy support for partner states across the country. She provides and translates research for advocates, stakeholders, and partners to support local efforts throughout the country to reduce gun deaths and injuries.
Founded in 1978, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence 501(c)(3) is a public health think tank that identifies and implements evidence-based policy solutions and programs to reduce gun violence in all its forms. They work to create and support evidence-based policy solutions and programs all across the country. We pursue this goal through policy development, advocacy, and community and stakeholder engagement.

Katherine Chon – United States Department of Health and Human Services – Washington, D.C.

Katherine is the Director of the Office on Trafficking in Persons for the Administration for Children and Families at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  She oversees a budget of $27 million which funds grant programs, reviews requests for assistance from potential minor victims of trafficking; and serves as the federal executive officer of the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth. Chon established a Human Trafficking Data Collection project to identify standards for data collection, build evidence for victim assistance programs, and improve interoperability.
The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is one of 11 operating divisions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Administration focuses on developing resilient, safe, healthy, and economically secure communities.  ACF advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues pertaining to children, youth, and families.   

Molly Deane – Harbor-UCLA Medical Center – Los Angeles, CA

Molly is faculty within the Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is responsible for the medical and surgical care of patients who have been victims of violence. In addition to her work as an active clinical surgeon, she is also an educator of medical students and surgical trainees, including helping direct the surgical critical care fellowship. Molly’s interest is in community outreach work and injury prevention, particularly for victims of violence.  She has partnered with social workers, emergency medicine personnel, and public health practitioners in leading a hospital-based violence intervention program known as Safe Harbor and starting a trauma recovery center, both of which have recently received multi-million dollar state and local grant funding.  
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is the second largest of four acute care public hospitals within Los Angeles County. It is the cornerstone of healthcare services for more than 700,000 residents in the greater South Bay catchment area serving as a safety net hospital. Since 1946, Harbor-UCLA has provided high quality healthcare to every patient regardless of ability to pay and sees a patient population who are generally poor and uninsured/underinsured. As one of the five level 1 trauma centers in Los Angeles County, Harbor-UCLA evaluates nearly 4,000 trauma patients yearly.

DrPH Fellows

Addiction and Overdose:

Jacqueline Hackett – White House Office of National Drug Control Policy – Washington, D.C.

Jacqueline leads the Intergovernmental and Public Liaison portfolios to implement strategies designed to further the President's National Drug Control Strategy.  Jacqueline joined the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from the Department of Health and Human Services in March 2010 as a Policy Analyst and currently serves as the Advisor for Policy Engagement.  Jacqueline provides guidance to ONDCP and other Federal agencies regarding trends and related public health and safety consequences, and reviews drug programs at the state and local levels to ensure compatibility with the National Drug Control Strategy and assists in prioritizing state's needs to advance initiatives for ONDCP. She provides analysis and briefings of state policy and programming and reviews domestic drug control policy involving public health and safety groups. 

A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The Director of ONDC is the principal advisor to the President on drug control issues. ONDCP coordinates the drug control activities and related funding of 16 Federal Departments and Agencies. 

LaTasha Barnwell – Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center – Baltimore, MD

LaTasha is the Senior Administrative Manager for the Division of Addiction Medicine in at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  In her role, she is responsible for inpatient and outpatient operations, financial reporting and budgeting, as well as marketing and strategic planning.  LaTasha spearheads an initiative aimed to decrease readmissions rates on an 18-bed, detox unit by improving staff collaboration, patient transition planning workflows, and increasing linkage to care for discharged patients.  LaTasha co-chairs the hospital-wide Health Equity Strategic Action Team and initiated a community asset mapping exercise to identify resources and partners that serve high-need patient populations.  La Tasha is also a member of JHBMC’s Population Health Strategic Planning Committee, where she provides a public health perspective on clinically focused initiatives.

The Division of Comprehensive Care and Chemical Dependence at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center works to promote and improve the provision of medical care to patients with substance use disorders and co-morbid medical conditions through the creation and dissemination of knowledge; the development, maintenance and evaluation of innovative programs; and mentorship of clinicians in providing expert care to individuals with substance abuse disorder.

Environmental Challenges:

Della Wright – Deep South Center for Environmental Justice – New Orleans, LA

Della is the Assistant Director of the Child Wellbeing Division of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ). Della leads the evaluation of the Gulf Equity Consortium, a project that engages five community-based organizations across the Gulf South who are rooted in communities experiencing environmental injustice.  Those organizations are teamed with faculty mentors from historically black colleges and universities, who work in partnership to lead participatory action research projects. Della evaluates the effects of these projects on each community and organization as well as on the individuals who participate as citizen scientists. Della is working to demonstrate the collective impact of this project on the region at large.  

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change in the Gulf Coast Region through research, education, and community and student engagement. 

Emily Hall – Texas Department of State Health Services – Austin, TX

Emily is the Manager of the Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch (ESTB) of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). She directs the activities of the Environmental Epidemiology, Occupational Health Surveillance, Poison Epidemiology, Health Assessment and Toxicology, and Texas Fluoridation programs. She is currently working with each program to enhance work flows and data management practices, and to expand epidemiological surveillance to include emerging issues. Emily also leads efforts to conduct environmental epidemiology studies and public health assessments related to hazardous waste sites in Texas. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the principal agency responsible for protecting the public health of Texans. The mission of DSHS is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Texans through good stewardship of public resources, and a focus on core public health functions. 

David Harvey – Indian Health Service – Rockville, MD 

David, an engineer officer in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service (USPHS), serves as the Deputy Director of the Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction (SFC) within the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) in the Indian Health Service (IHS). David has played a major role leading the transformation of the SFC Program data quality and interagency coordination to improve implementation of an environmental health program that helps support Tribal governments to deliver safe drinking water and provide waste disposal services to over 400,000 Native American and Alaska Native homes at 573 eligible Tribes. 

The IHS, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The OEHE supports the mission of the IHS by providing optimum availability of functional, well maintained health care facilities and staff housing; providing technical and financial assistance to American Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages. 

Obesity and the Food System:

Amber Canto – Extension Institute for Health & Well-Being – Madison, WI

Amber is the Director for the Extension Institute for Health & Well-Being at University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.  She is responsible for the strategic, financial and operational oversight of the full range of health and well-being programming.  Amber works to build organizational capacity for the planning, implementation and evaluation of community-based health promotion programs. Amber has been involved in several applied research efforts related to closing gaps in disparities to healthy food access and availability and provides leadership to Extension’s policy, systems and environmental change efforts to promote healthy eating and active living.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension leverages local investments, university research and a national network of Land Grant Institutions and federal partners. Originating over 100 years ago, the Nation’s Cooperative Extension system was created in response to an inefficient agriculture system. 

Risks to Adolescent Health:

Wadezah McCullough – Montefiore School Health Program – Bronx, NY

Wadezah is a Site Administrator with the Montefiore School Health Program and has worked in various capacities over the last seven years.  As a Community Health Organizer, she was responsible for piloting, growing, integrating and maintaining the population-based programs for students and families.  Wadezah’s established programs focused on fitness and nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, and health and community advocacy.  Wadezah currently oversees health center operations for three sites, the planning and opening of new school-based health centers, and the preparation of sites for national recognition of quality through adoption of the new NCQA School Based Medical Home standards.

The Montefiore School Health Program provides comprehensive care to more than 45,000 students in school-based health centers on 29 public school campuses. The program's mission, in collaboration with the Bronx Community, is to eliminate health disparities facing children in the Bronx by providing full access to high-quality, comprehensive primary and preventive health services, regardless of one's ability to pay. 


Sami Jarrah – Philadelphia Department of Health – Philadelphia, PA

As the Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Public Health, Sami oversees the agency’s administrative functions, including budgeting, financing, contract processing, facilities, and information technology.  Jarrah also advises the City's Health Commissioner on a broad range of policy and operational issues and represents Philadelphia and the health department to internal and external partners. He is one of five members of the agency's executive team, which makes strategic decisions for the department and generates policy proposals for Philadelphia City Council, the Philadelphia Board of Health, and other legislative bodies.  Sami has been central to all major initiatives of the health department, including its recent efforts reduce gun violence. Sami has helped shape important funding and policy proposals on a wide variety of topics and co-founded the Pennsylvania Health Policy Coalition to strengthen local governmental influence of statewide health policies. 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s mission is to protect and promote the health of all Philadelphians and provide health care services to the most vulnerable. The department has some 1,200 employees and a budget of $250 million, and it operates many traditional public health programs, such as infectious disease control, environmental health, and maternal & child health.