The Bloomberg American Health Initiative is pleased to announce the 2020 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.
This year’s fellows hail from a wide array of organizations, including schools, advocacy organizations, food banks, police departments, and community health clinics. Fifty have been awarded full scholarships to earn a master of public health degree, and eight individuals have been selected to pursue a doctor of public health degree. Read the announcement of the 2020 Fellows.
The 2020 MPH Bloomberg Fellows are:
Addiction and Overdose
Robert Pitts - NYC Health + Hospitals - New York, NY
Robert joined the faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation (DGIMCI) at New York University in 2018, to enhance the LGBTQ and HIV prevention services at NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H). During his fellowship training in infectious diseases, from 2016 to 2018, Robert partnered with DGIMCI to open the first HIV Prevention Clinic at H+H/Bellevue. Since opening in 2017, the clinic has provided care to over four hundred patients, many of whom have been started and maintained on PrEP (a medication that, if taken correctly, can prevent HIV); to date, no patient in the program has become HIV-infected. Recently, the clinic was rebranded as an LGBTQ Pride Center. Robert is now associate director and is responsible for the daily operations of the clinic, which include implementing protocols to enhance LGBTQ care.
NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) is the largest public health care system in the nation and delivers high quality care annually to over one million New Yorkers, regardless of their country of origin or ability to pay. NYC H+H/Bellevue is one of the eleven acute care hospitals in New York's public hospital system. Because of both its central location in Manhattan as well as its role in receiving transfers from other hospitals and practices throughout the city, its role in combatting the opioid epidemic has dramatically increased. Addiction medicine is practiced at the hospital in a wide variety of settings: from the inpatient psychiatric units; to the CATCH team, a robust addiction consultation service that bridges the inpatient and outpatient worlds; to three different outpatient opioid treatment programs; to emergency services.
Matthew Salzman - Cooper University Hospital - Camden, NJ
Matthew joined the faculty at Cooper University Hospital in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine and Director of Medical Toxicology. He was the first faculty member recruited to provide expert addiction medicine care in the hospital system. Trained in medical toxicology and with expertise in overdose and withdrawal syndromes, Matthew has implemented best practices for alcohol withdrawal and, in partnership with the hospital's Urban Health Institute, started an outpatient clinic dedicated to providing evidence-based care for patients suffering with substance use disorders. He sees patients clinically and supervises medical students and resident physicians. In his role as Research Director of Addiction Medicine, he evaluates programs in the division of addiction medicine and implements and studies new projects that focus on patient-centered outcomes.
Cooper University Hospital is located in Camden, New Jersey; the city and county surrounding it have been hit hard by the overdose epidemic, reflected in the high number of patients coming to the hospital with substance use-related conditions. Further, as the tertiary care facility for the South Jersey region, the hospital receives patients who are critically ill as a direct result of their substance use disorder as transfers from other facilities throughout the region. The hospital has assembled a multi-disciplinary team to provide best-practice care to patients struggling with substance use disorders, both in the hospital and in the outpatient setting. Through a Center of Excellence grant from the state, Cooper’s Addiction Medicine team is providing x-waiver training throughout the region to expand access to providers who can prescribe buprenorphine.
Charles Hawthorne - Harm Reduction Coalition - Oakland, CA
Charles is the Capacity Building Coordinator at Harm Reduction Coalition, where he provides technical assistance to organizations that want to incorporate harm reduction into their service provision model. His main focus is supporting programs in San Francisco that offer services and resources to people experiencing homelessness. Charles works with a variety of organizations, ranging from syringe access and substance use treatment programs to temporary and supportive housing providers; he assesses opportunities for growth and provides tailored capacity-building services. Overall, his work focuses on how service providers can offer the highest level of care to people who use drugs, especially unhoused people, sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.
For the past 25 years, Harm Reduction Coalition, a national organization, has been consistently working to challenge and dismantle the stigma around people who use drugs, through training and capacity-building, policy and advocacy, and overdose prevention. The organization is strengthened by a network of partners and allies in diverse fields, including social justice, public health, and housing organizations. Harm Reduction Coalition is a national advocacy and capacity-building organization that promotes the health and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by drug use; its efforts center on advancing harm reduction policies and practices by supporting local programs across the United States and its territories that address the adverse effects of drug use, including overdose, HIV, hepatitis C, addiction, and incarceration.
Stephanie Busch - Vermont Department of Health - Burlington, VT
Stephanie Busch is the Injury Prevention Program Manager with the Vermont Department of Health. She works across the department and with other state agencies to address the impact of the opioid crisis, as well as suicide prevention efforts, in Vermont. This later work has taken on an ever-more-urgent role as the state deals with the mental and emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her work overseeing the statewide opioid and overdose prevention program, focusing on naloxone distribution, Stephanie collaborates with community partners—including emergency medical services, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies—to develop community-based overdose prevention training, ensuring that protocols for treatment incorporate evidence-based harm reduction strategies. This year, Stephanie secured nearly four years’ worth of funding dedicated to these efforts.
Vermont’s efforts to address substance use disorder and addition are multi-faceted and actively involve a statewide network of community partners. The Health Department plays a lead role in the state’s comprehensive strategy of prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery and harm reduction. Vermont’s hub and spoke system of care—where methadone and buprenorphine clinics serve as hubs to office-based treatment provider spokes—has been adopted as a model across the country. The state has been successful in bending the curve of opioid prescribing, use, and misuse by providing information on social marketing and messaging; pain management and prescribing practices; prevention and community mobilization; drug disposal; early intervention; overdose prevention; expanded access to treatment and recovery services; and through a broad range of legislative initiatives and gubernatorial actions.
Mudit Gilotra - Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital Systems - San Jose, CA
Dr. Mudit Gilotra is a family physician and the Medical Director of the Valley Homeless Healthcare Program (VHHP). He provides direct patient care to children and adults across VHHP's sites; he also provides strategic planning, operational, and day-to-day management of VHHP. Over the last two years, Mudit has led the creation of multiple new clinics and services, including the Hope Clinic, which provides critical medical and mental health services to longtime homeless patients who are entering permanent supportive housing. In response to the exponential increase in street homelessness, Mudit has led the expansion of VHHP's street medicine program from a one-day-a-week to a five-days-a-week multi-disciplinary primary care clinic, where care is delivered in encampments and on the street at numerous fixed and mobile locations across the County of Santa Clara.
The compassionate VHHP team strives to promote human dignity, relieve suffering, and provide hope so that youth and adults experiencing homelessness in the County of Santa Clara can achieve their full potential and improve their quality of life. VHHP offers comprehensive care, including but not limited to medical treatments, mental health, gender health, and social services, to help end homelessness. VHHP operates clinics in shelters, on the street, in mobile units, and on farms to ensure that all sub-populations of homeless individuals have access to care. VHHP is part of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), one of three public hospitals owned and operated by the County of Santa Clara.
Aisha Matthew - NYC Health + Hospitals - New York, NY
Aisha is an Associate Director in the Clinical Management Division at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. She facilitates hospital-wide quality improvement via development of policy and procedures, rapid-cycle performance improvement projects (PDSA), formulation of quality metrics, review and reporting of adverse events, and survey management. Aisha collaborated on a pilot project called Opioid Prescribing, which focused on reducing the number of opioid prescription dispense days while educating patients on non-opioid analgesia and other pain management modalities. Aisha liaises with internal/external stakeholders and advises staff on policy and procedural changes, utilization, and implementation of productivity goals.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue (“Bellevue”) is a 912-bed acute-care public hospital, with 339 inpatient psychiatric beds. As the flagship facility in the NYC Health + Hospitals system, Bellevue serves as the hub for many specialized and unique services, including a wide range of mental health services, from forensic psychiatry and comprehensive psychiatric emergency programs to chemical dependency and opioid treatment services. In addition to this specialty care, Bellevue continues to play a major role in serving the community, ensuring that New York City’s indigent and immigrant population are provided with the highest quality of care.
Jennifer Harlos - Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium - Anchorage, AK
Jennifer is the Family Birthing Services Nurse Quality Liaison at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She works at the bedside in labor and delivery and works closely with physicians, midwives, nurses and administrators to improve care. She is also an officer in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Jennifer’s patients are Alaska Natives; some live and work in Anchorage, and others live on remote islands where there is no access to indoor plumbing or fresh foods. Part of her work involves coordinating care for this population of women and their newborns with regional hospitals and community health clinics. In her non-bedside role, she works with regional partners to improve collaboration, provide staff education, and teach Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider classes to providers from across Alaska.
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is a nonprofit organization that provides health services to 158,000 Alaska Natives and American Indians (AN/AI). It co-manages the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC), a Level-2 trauma center and 173-bed hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, that provides comprehensive medical care to AN/AI peoples in Alaska. The hospital works in close partnership with rural health facilities statewide to support a broad range of health and wellness services. ANTHC is part of the Alaska Tribal Health System (ATHS) and has a self-governance agreement with the Indian Health Service. ANMC, a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital, provides Family Birthing Services for the greater Anchorage area and is the primary referral center for high-risk pregnancies within the ATHS.
Kathryn Humphries - Harm Reduction Action Center - Denver, CO
In January 2017, Kathryn joined the Harm Reduction Action Center as the new Director of Programs and Data Evaluation. In this role, Kathryn is responsible for analyzing data for grants and conducting HIV and HCV testing for participants; she also assists in facilitating the syringe access program, which includes tracking and analyzing all syringe access data, evaluating program outcomes, and writing monthly, quarterly, and year-end reports to funders including the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Environmental Health, and numerous foundations and private donors. In her capacity as the agency's HIV/HCV/STI tester, she spent the last three years conducting over 800 HIV and HCV tests (identifying three new cases of HIV) and helped guide the participants through the linkage-to-care process.
The mission of the Harm Reduction Action Center (HRAC) is to educate, empower, and advocate for the health and dignity of Denver's injection drug users, in accordance with harm reduction principles. The Harm Reduction Action Center is the state's largest public health agency that works specifically with people who inject drugs. The HRAC has been an agency for the past 18 years, with syringe access services for the last eight years. Since 2009, the HRAC's People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) Advisory Committee has been meeting monthly to inform agency programs and identify ways for the organization to make progress together. The HRAC's PWID Advisory Committee has directed all seven pieces of statewide legislation and three Denver City Council policy changes made by the HRAC.
Lorne Carroll - Alaska Section of Public Health Nursing - Homer, AK
Lorne has been a Public Health Nurse/Team Leader for Alaska's Section of Public Health Nursing for over 7 years. Lorne also serves on the Section’s Substance Misuse and Addition Prevention Workgroup, a statewide team working to develop the first-ever comprehensive plan that outlines best practices and intended outcomes surrounding addiction and overdose services. Lorne is responsible for onboarding and guiding the staff of the Public Health Center in applying key characteristics of public health nursing practice: 1. a focus on the wellness needs of the entire population; 2. assessment of the population health using a comprehensive, systematic approach; 3. attention to all determinants of health; 4. an emphasis on primary prevention; 5. and intervention at all levels—individual/family, community, and the systems that impact their health.
The mission of Alaska’s Section of Public Health Nursing is to protect and improve the health of all Alaskans through partnering with individuals, communities, and systems while advancing self-reliance, dignity, and cultural integrity. The Section has a 127-year history of living locally and acting globally; its goal is to see every Alaskan having the best chance possible to realize their full potential. The Public Health Nursing program aims to get new public health professionals into the community as soon as possible while helping them to simultaneously master individual client-based services surrounding substance misuse, sexually transmitted infections, vaccine-preventable diseases, food and waterborne illnesses, interpersonal violence, and tuberculosis, while linking/referring clients to all other needed services.
Susan Buchholz - The Communities Project - Ashburnham, MA
Susan Buchholz serves as the lead facilitator and her community’s primary liaison to The Communities Project. In this role, Susan has worked to develop and constructively engage a multi-sector coalition that has been working collaboratively to improve outcomes for individuals and families and to reduce stigma through genuine engagement, connection, and understanding. Susan has used the ongoing training and guidance received from The Communities Project to help channel local despair into targeted action. To help put a face on local addiction statistics, Susan founded The LUV Project (Listening to Unheard Voices). The project, which utilizes storytelling, prioritizes conversations with traditionally marginalized individuals, such as those struggling with both addiction and homelessness, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers to recovery and to illustrate that people are much more than their addiction.
The Communities Project began as a grassroots pilot project of the national movement known as Facing Addiction with NCADD (National Council Alcoholism and Drug Dependence), an outgrowth of the 2015 UNITE to Face Addiction Rally. The vision for The Communities Project was to identify and train 15 communities from across the nation who would operate at a grassroots level, to shift public perception, tackle stigma, and offer real solutions to our nation’s most urgent health crisis. The Communities Project is now a standalone national initiative focused on investing in community leadership to amplify programmatic accomplishments, expand collective efforts, and dramatically escalate opportunities to save lives.
Zachary Kosinski - Harford County Health Department - Bel Air, MD
Zach serves as Harm Reduction Program Coordinator at the Harford County Health Department. His unit houses numerous programs, including HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Hepatitis C treatment, HIV and Hepatitis C outreach testing, a sexually transmitted infection clinic, naloxone and fentanyl test strip distribution, and syringe services capacity development. He has direct oversight over PrEP navigation, naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and syringe services, administering the Overdose Response Program and supervising health educators, navigators, and peer outreach workers. Zach develops partnerships with the community, partner agencies, law enforcement, and other entities across sectors to address the sexual and drug user health needs of local residents.
The Harford County Health Department has a vested interest in the health of all residents of Harford County. This includes those impacted by substance use and overdose. The agency engages in prevention and education, providing treatment, informing the work of other agencies and service providers, providing policy recommendations to local decision-makers, and serving as a resource hub for stakeholders and community members. The Harford County Health Department is a local arm of Maryland's response to the opioid epidemic.
Michael Kennedy - CVS Health - Woonsocket, RI
Michael began working with CVS Health in 2007, as a Pharmacy Manager at a high-volume community pharmacy in the Metro Detroit Area, providing care to approximately 15,000 patients with a wide variety of health conditions. Of those many health conditions, he has had a particular interest in expanding the role of the pharmacist in identifying and preventing addiction and overdose, specifically related to opioid use disorder. He recently began a new role at CVS Health Headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, working with a product development team in pharmacy operations to achieve better health outcomes for patients and communities. Michael is a three-time recipient of the Paragon Award at CVS, which honors those who embody the core values of CVS Health and demonstrate exemplary service in the community. He intends to continue to exemplify this level of service as a Bloomberg Fellow.
CVS Health has an extensive reach, with a presence in nearly 10,000 communities across the country. CVS Health manages medications for more than 90 million plan members across its company, which has provided the foundation for the organization to take an enterprise approach to combating the opioid crisis. The organization plans to reach patients, providers, payers, advocates, elected leaders, and community members to continue to evolve their role to address addiction and substance use, which impacts millions of individuals and families every day.
Jerald Westberg - Hennepin County Medical Center - Minneapolis, MN
Jerald (J.R.) Westberg is the Principal Project Coordinator for the Department of Orthopedics at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Level-1 trauma center in Minneapolis, MN. His principal duties involve managing the orthopedic research department, with a primary focus on functional recovery after orthopedic trauma. J.R. has demonstrated a sustained interest in the role that acute trauma plays as a gateway for opioid addiction and has spearheaded an effort to overhaul and develop new departmental opioid prescription protocols, which resulted in a significant decrease in post-operative opioid prescriptions. He is also involved in the hospital-based opioid-stewardship committee as well as the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement on best practices for opioid prescriptions.
Hennepin Healthcare System (HHS) is an integrated system of care that includes a nationally recognized Level-1 Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, an acute care hospital (Hennepin County Medical Center/HCMC), and a primary care clinic system. Hennepin Healthcare has a large psychiatric program, home care, hospice, and operates a research institute, innovation center, and philanthropic foundation. The HHS mission is to partner with the community to ensure access to outstanding care while improving health and wellness through teaching, patient and community education, and research. HCMC serves the community in many ways, including as a safety-net hospital; in that role, HCMC hosts a strong addiction medicine program and treats a number of patients with medical problems related to opioid abuse and addiction.
Alexis Charpentier - Hawaii State Department of Health - Honolulu, HI
Alexis is the HIV Transmission Reduction Coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Health's Harm Reduction Services Branch (HRSB). She oversees HIV prevention, intervention, and care activities in order to diminish the number of new HIV transmissions in Hawaii. This involves managing, implementing, and evaluating essential activities that respond to Hawaii's HIV care continuum, which measures the sequential steps necessary for a person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) to achieve viral suppression. Alexis’ passion to help others, especially traditionally marginalized groups, drives her to learn from and network with other public health champions, while standing up for those who have no voice—with the ultimate goal of reducing stigma, eliminating barriers to care, and advancing health equity for all.
The mission of the Harm Reduction Services Branch (HRSB) within the Hawaii State Department of Health is to empower people in Hawaii to make responsible health decisions for themselves and others by: providing statewide leadership and coordination for the prevention, treatment, care, and surveillance of infections transmitted primarily through sexual contact or injection drug use; and by assuring the accessibility and delivery of client-centered, non-judgmental, and comprehensive services with the spirit of aloha and respect. HRSB displays its mission statement through strong network collaboration with the community, transparent surveillance data to improve services, and maintaining respectful rapport following a harm reduction philosophy.
Caitlin Buckingham - Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, Furman University - Greenville, SC
Catie is the Director of the Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) at the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health (IACH), an initiative of Furman University. Catie is responsible for crafting the vision that guides the MLP’s development, translating that vision into an actionable plan, and leading the staff and professionals who carry out that plan. The MLP is focused on patient/client experience; to that end, Catie coordinates the efforts of legal and healthcare community partners, who are essential to providing the services that the MLP may offer. Catie is also routinely engaged in the pursuit of grant opportunities, the management of funds awarded, and the administration of the MLP budget generally. It is Catie’s privilege to work with Furman undergraduate students, to expose them to the real-world adversity faced by the patients and clients that the MLP was established to serve.
The Institute for the Advancement of Community Health (IACH) at Furman University is preparing the next generation of health professionals and advancing community health through partnerships in education, research, and policy. Through harnessing the collective power of health care providers, public health experts, advocacy groups, students, and others, the Institute creates engaged communities who are committed to the advancement of the health of residents of Greenville, South Carolina.
Katie Lu Clougherty - DC SCORES - Washington, D.C.
Katie Lu began working at DC SCORES in August 2017 after graduating with a degree in public health. During her time at DC SCORES, Katie Lu’s role has rapidly expanded, and she has been promoted to Monitoring and Evaluation Manager. In this role, she oversees multiple programmatic functions, including performance management, human resources, grant reporting, and monitoring and evaluation.
DC SCORES is a youth development nonprofit that runs the largest free after-school program in Washington, D.C. DC public school teacher Julie Kennedy founded DC SCORES in 1994 to meet the needs of a group of 15 girls with little to do after school. The program’s unique model stemmed from Kennedy’s realization that bonds between teammates built on the soccer field forged a supportive community for poetry workshops—which, in turn, build literacy skills and a create forum for self-expression. This development of leadership skills through healthy competition prepared students to act as agents of change in their communities through service-learning projects. DC SCORES now provides year-round expanded learning programs for more than 3,000 K-8th graders each year at 71 schools and recreation centers in D.C. neighborhoods characterized by entrenched poverty.
Grace Ramsay - Tapestry - Florence, MA
Grace’s work experience with Tapestry began when she was a Health Services Counselor, providing direct sexual/reproductive health education. She was promoted to the Health Services Manager of the Greenfield, MA, site in March 2018, where she assumed both supervisory and outreach responsibility of the clinic. As of September 2019, she is the Assistant Director of Clinical Services, supporting Health Services clinics in program development and implementation and building community partnerships, such as joining the Trans Health Coalition and becoming a Community Faculty member at the Baystate Medical School. Most recently, Grace led the initiative in introducing gender-affirming hormone care to Tapestry clinics.
Tapestry meets urgent community health needs in sexual and reproductive health, substance use, and childhood nutrition in Western Massachusetts. By combining compassionate health care with the most recent advances in medical practice, Tapestry ensures that people can get the care that they deserve, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or income. Founded in 1973, Tapestry serves over 17,000 residents at 12 locations across Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties in Massachusetts.
Kinnari Chandriani - Get Healthy Philly, Philadelphia Department of Health - Philadelphia, PA
Kinnari is the Program Manager for Health Partnerships with Get Healthy Philly at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this role, she leads a grant from CDC, which involves partnering with health systems and other organizations to improve cardiovascular disease prevention and management among the most vulnerable Philadelphians. Kinnari also heads a task force on community resource and referral system working towards a coordinated citywide network to help address patients’ social and economic needs. She represents the City of Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ advisory committee on their resource and referral tool initiative and co-chairs its social determinants of health subcommittee. The Bloomberg Fellows Program will support Kinnari in expanding her work to include a greater focus on adolescent health outcomes.
Get Healthy Philly, also known as the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, is an innovative multidisciplinary collaboration of public health, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and the private sector that works to tackle the underlying risk factors driving the epidemic of chronic disease and injuries in the city. Through a policy, systems, and environmental approach to change, the organization has made significant progress in decreasing childhood obesity and smoking rates.
Logan Dennis - Idaho Voices for Children - Boise, ID
Logan is the Health Care Policy Research and Communications Associate with Idaho Voices for Children. He produces health care policy research on Medicaid expansion and other health policies, with an emphasis on strategic messaging to appeal to legislators and voters in Idaho. In this capacity, Logan helped build broad bipartisan coalitions to support health care policy change in Idaho. He developed media and public outreach strategies, wrote media releases, and built strategic relationships with journalists. Logan assisted in coordinating Close the Gap Idaho and Idahoans for Healthcare, which led the Medicaid expansion campaign in the 2018 election cycle, ending with 61% of the popular vote and 80% of Idaho counties voting in favor. He also coordinated legislative efforts to stop restrictions on Medicaid and developed messaging guides and strategic plans to persuade lawmakers and constituents to support funding for Medicaid expansion.
Idaho Voices for Children is one of the leading nonprofit organizations working to promote policy changes in Idaho to ensure that children and families thrive. The organization serves as a voice for children in policymaking conversations and drives change in the areas of health, child safety and well-being, education, school readiness, and family economic security. Idaho Voices for Children produces research and works with community partners to identify strategies that best support kids and mobilizes allies from across the state to advocate for smart public policy solutions.
Martin Peters - Eckerd Connects - Clearwater, FL
Martin began working with Eckerd Connects in July 2008 when the organization took over as the private operator of the foster care system in Pasco and Pinellas Counties, the metro Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida, area. He has since held progressively senior roles, including placement of children in the foster care system, utilization management, facilities and procurement, contract management, external relations, and government affairs. Martin currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the President and CEO; in this role, he coordinates alignment between internal and external stakeholders, ensuring that the vision of the Chief Executive Officer and the organization are carried out. Martin is also responsible for all government affairs, public and community relations, marketing, and web content for the organization.
Eckerd Connects was founded in 1968 by philanthropists Jack and Ruth Eckerd of Eckerd Drug Stores, with the vision of providing programming that allowed every child, young adult, and family the opportunity to succeed. Based in Florida, Eckerd Connects will serve over 40,000 clients in 2020 on revenues of nearly $329M, with 2,200 employees spread across 20 states. The organization focuses on four primary services: child welfare, juvenile justice, workforce development, and the operation of Jobs Corps centers. The team believes that in order to best serve clients, Eckerd Connects must excel in five business domains: finance, growth and transformation, quality, staff and human resources, and external relations. Every decision the organization makes for clients is guided through those five lenses with the goal of creating a multidisciplinary approach towards impacting clients.
Miriam Perez - Peer Health Exchange - Chicago, IL
Miriam’s work at Peer Health Exchange began in July 2017 when she was hired as a Program Fellow through the Northwestern Public Interest Program. As a Program Fellow, she was responsible for managing the college chapter at Northwestern University and the six high school partners on the North side of Chicago, as well as aligning the organization’s work on college campuses with a social justice framework. In part, this included diversifying college cohorts to more closely reflect the communities in which the organization works. Currently, Miriam works as Senior Program Manager, overseeing 200 volunteers across Northwestern and University of Illinois Chicago's college campuses, managing relationships with fifteen high schools across the North and West sides of Chicago, and launching an affiliate program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Peer Health Exchange is a national health education nonprofit whose mission is to empower young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy decisions. In collaboration with partners, the organization aims to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for young people. To do this work, Peer Health Exchange delivers a comprehensive, skills-based health education curriculum to freshmen in high schools across five cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The program focuses on three crucial areas of adolescent health—mental health, substance use, and sexual health—and operates using a peer model of health education.
Rebecca Spare - HealthCare Access Maryland - Baltimore, MD
Rebecca is a Social Work Medical Case Manager for the MATCH Program at HealthCare Access Maryland. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring the youth in the Baltimore City foster care system receive appropriate medical and mental health services. She is assigned to the moderate- to high-risk behavioral youth, which include youth that are living in residential treatment centers, have been hospitalized multiple times for mental health or medical reasons, and/or have a history of risky behavior (i.e. being victims of human sex trafficking, runaway behaviors, substance use issues, and/or incarceration). With these youth, coordination of services as well as implementation of services is imperative to ensuring all youth remain healthy. Rebecca follows up on all medical recommendations and collaborates with the foster care workers, caregivers, and service providers.
The mission of HealthCare Access-Maryland (HCAM) is to make Maryland healthier by connecting residents to insurance and care, educating the community about healthier living, and advocating for a more equitable health care system. HCAM was established in 1997 as a nonprofit by the Baltimore City Health Department to aid with the Medicaid transition to managed care. HCAM is overseen by a board of directors consisting of government leaders, health care professionals, and committed members of the public. As a nonprofit, HCAM is uniquely situated to provide services that are supported by both government and the private sector.
Rocio Carranza Jacinto - Cocoon House - Everett, WA
Rocio serves as the Prevention Family Advocate for Cocoon House. In this role, she is a case manager for undeserved and Spanish speaking families in Snohomish County, WA. Her responsibilities include supporting families through strengths-based engagement and motivational interviewing and setting and maintaining goals in areas such as basic needs, life skills, parenting, education, employment, health, mental health, and chemical dependency. She drafts referrals for medical, dental, mental health, and chemical dependency needs. Rocio supports and facilitates WayOUT, an educational class for strengthening parenting skills. She also manages data, reports, and client files.
The mission of Cocoon House is to empower young people, families, and the community to break the cycle of homelessness through outreach, housing, and prevention. This mission support the belief that every young people deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Cocoon House’s services include a drop-in center, family engagement, short- and long-term housing programs, and a recently opened supportive housing program for young adults. Cocoon House’s staff work with youth to access medical coverage, obtain supportive mental health services and chemical dependency referrals to culturally responsive and sensitive providers, and achieve educational and employment goals. Cocoon House is strongly committed to removing barriers and supporting inclusion and diversity in all its forms throughout the organization for staff, board, and clients served.
Victoria Adewumi - City of Manchester Public Health Department - Manchester, NH
Victoria is the Community Liaison for the Manchester Community School Project (MCSP) at the City of Manchester Health Department. Victoria is responsible for establishing partnerships between local service agencies, nonprofits, faith-based groups, business, and communities to strengthen overall community coordination around service delivery. She plans and delivers health literacy and behavior change workshops for chronic disease management and resident leadership programs. Victoria serves as the Manchester Health Department’s link to health equity and diversity-related initiatives statewide. She provides ongoing support to school-based Community Health Workers, including site visits, and ongoing peer support. Victoria serves on the municipal Steering Committee for the Johns Hopkins University GovEx data initiative; she also helps lead equity and immigrant/refugee focused initiatives across the state.
The City of Manchester, New Hampshire, is the most racially and ethnically diverse area in New Hampshire, with an estimated 70 different languages spoken as first languages in the city’s public schools. Established in 1839, the City of Manchester Health Department (MHD) is an innovative and proactive local health department grounded in the principles and application of the core public health functions. Its mission is “to improve the health of individuals, families, and the community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats” with an aim to work both across its branches and with other community partners to improve public health. The four branches include Neighborhood and Family Health, Infectious Disease, Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness, and School Health. The City of Manchester received a Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2016.
Wesley Jamison - MissionFit - Baltimore, MD
Wesley is the Director of Development at MissionFit. In this capacity, Wesley is developing revenue streams, generating partnerships with other youth-serving organizations, and working to build a community centered around health. Recently, Wesley designed a summer workforce development program called Strength Ambassadors to create young leaders with the capacity to become catalysts for health in Baltimore.
Through free fitness classes to Baltimore’s youth ages 11 to 24, MissionFit uses movement, fitness, and safe space as a vehicle to drive continued personal growth. Participation in a consistent, positive fitness program helps youth to develop confidence and self-acceptance, work ethic, and important life skills such as goal setting, accountability and entrepreneurship. Youth come to MissionFit from nearby neighborhood communities, as well as through partnerships and youth development organizations.
Zachary Carey - Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School (Baltimore City Public Schools) - Baltimore, MD
Zachary has been a Baltimore City Public Schools teacher for the past ten years and currently works at the Commodore John Rodgers School. During his time with Baltimore City Public Schools, Zachary has taught middle school science, coached, and worked with a number of organizations that provide programming and support for middle grades students. Zachary’s focus on partnerships has aimed to fill resource gaps and enrich his students’ school experience by providing opportunities that cultivate engagement, resilience, and social-emotional health.
The Commodore John Rodgers School is a Baltimore City Public Schools Community School that serves a diverse student body of over 800 students. Commodore is identified as a Title I school and had previously been identified as a Turnaround School due to low student achievement, decreased enrollment and student attendance, poor school climate, and low rates of parent satisfaction. Commodore John Rodgers has since exited out of the School Turnaround process due to meeting and exceeding its goals, and has been engaged with supporting other Turnaround Schools, as part of the 100% Project initiative.
Alexis Wojtowicz - National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - Washington, D.C.
Alexis Wojtowicz is a Research Associate at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where she works with experts to convene workshops and develop consensus reports regarding population health and public health practice, particularly addressing risks to adolescent health. Alexis has conducted research for several projects on topics including examining the health effects of youth incarceration; preventing firearm injuries and death among children and adolescents; developing health literacy skills in youth; and evaluating promising models of interventions to promote health equity in prenatal-through-early childhood periods.
The National Academies serves as the nation’s voice of scientific authority on all issues of science and medicine, and has for more than 150 years. The National Academies' Health and Medicine Division, formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM), aims to improve government decision-making and public policy by providing evidence and facilitating critical, cross-disciplinary activities, ultimately advancing the nation’s health. Several of the IOM’s earliest consensus reports address adolescent health risks, highlighting the urgency for more research on adolescent maternal mortality and recommending the expansion of housing programs to support adolescents experiencing homelessness.
Katy Stewart - Aspen Institute - Washington, D.C.
Katy is a Program Manager for the Aspen Global Innovators Group at the Aspen Institute, where she provides support to community leaders working to reduce health disparities. She works on a team to create practical partnerships and programs to address overlooked health problems, providing community health experts with writing, advocacy, and meeting support to shift public opinion in their communities and change local policies on a range of issues, a number of which focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights and adolescent health priorities.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Within the Institute, the Aspen Global Innovators Group widens access to health and prosperity for underserved people around the globe. Programs include the New Voices Fellowship, which brings expert voices into the global development discussion; Aspen Ideas: Health, a premier creative forum on health at the Aspen Ideas Festival; and the Aspen Healthy Communities Fellowship, which seeks to amplify the voices of local U.S. leaders spearheading community initiatives addressing inequities through the lens of the social determinants of health.
Azita Amiri - University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) - Huntsville, AL
Azita is a public health nurse and a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), College of Nursing, where she teaches at the graduate level and manages environmental-health related courses. Azita leads several projects and initiatives, including the UAH College of Nursing partnership with the national campaign on Nurse Climate Challenge, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments Fellow program, and Alabama’s Fight for the Environmental Justice initiative. She contributed to raising awareness about environmental challenges and ways to mitigate environmental exposures in Alabama’s rural communities.
The UAH College of Nursing educates and inspires individuals to become nurse leaders who act with integrity, discover through scientific methods, and advocate for the best health care experiences of people and communities in a complex and evolving health care environment. The College of Nursing is committed to excellence through teaching, scholarship, practice, and service. The vision of the college is to have a global reputation for transforming health care through innovative nursing practice, education, and research. The college values integrity, inspiration, excellence, and wellness and aims to pursue and achieve goals of the highest caliber and maximize the well-being of communities.
Chantelle Mendonsa - Natural Resources Defense Council - Washington, D.C.
Chantelle serves as the Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) Learning Community Coordinator at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She leads the SPARCC Community of Practice, a platform for shared learning and relationship building around health, climate, and racial equity. She works directly with community-based organizations to deliver an intersectional curriculum on climate, health, and equity through specialized technical assistance, skill-building webinars and uplift innovative and salient community-focused models. She serves on the American Public Health Association (APHA) Center for Climate, Health and Equity Advisory Board. Before joining the NRDC, Chantelle worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality within the Obama Administration. She is deeply passionate about understanding the climate impacts on public health, specifically for low-income communities and communities of color.
The Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) is a multiyear initiative investing in and amplifying local efforts underway in six regions to ensure that new investments reduce racial disparities, build a culture of health, and prepare for a changing climate. The initiative’s long-term goal is to change the way metropolitan regions grow, invest, and build through integrated, cross-sector approaches that benefit low-income people and communities of color. SPARCC offers flexible grant funding, technical assistance, and a community of practice to support innovative solutions that advance racial equity, health, and climate resilience. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, NRDC lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. The organization works to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities through science, advocacy, and litigation.
Jennifer Robohm - University of Montana College of Health - Missoula, MT
Jennifer is a clinical psychologist and faculty member for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana (FMRWM), within the University of Montana College of Health. Jennifer is responsible for the behavioral science curriculum and communication skills training for residents. She trains family medicine residents to address patients' behavioral health needs, tackle medical problems from a biopsychosocial perspective, and practice patient-centered care. She has researched optimal ways to train family physicians to reduce mental health disparities in rural communities, and she trains doctoral students in clinical psychology to provide integrated behavioral health services. She also contributes to curricula in wellness, leadership development, diversity/inclusion, interprofessional education, and the physical and mental health impacts of climate change. Jennifer has been an essential part of the FMRWM mission to prepare residents for rural and underserved practice in Montana.
The University of Montana College of Health is dedicated to the education of health professionals in physical therapy, pharmacy, social work, family medicine, athletic training, public health, and speech, language, hearing, and occupational sciences. The College works towards the advancement of scientific knowledge through scholarly activities and the provision of professional service by faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The FMRWM was created in 2013 to address a critical shortage of primary care providers in rural Montana.
Julianah Marie - City of Frisco Environmental Services - Frisco, TX
Julianah is the Waste Reduction Programs Coordinator with the City of Frisco, Texas. She works across all schools in the Frisco school district and provides education, outreach, and volunteer opportunities. She works collaboratively with the school district on waste minimization and has been leading an environmental volunteering club for teens (Teens4Green), earning the 2017 Texas Environmental Excellence Award in the youth category. Julianah has played a crucial role in creating and expanding Environmental Services’ programs to minimize waste across Frisco.
The mission of the City of Frisco Environmental Services is to be dedicated, environmentally responsible stewards of the community. The organization aims to sustain and improve the quality of life of all who call Frisco their home and to safeguard natural resources for present and future generations. Environmental Services is responsible for managing residential recycling and trash services, commercial building waste services, environmental education and outreach, and household chemical and electronic waste safe disposal and recycling.
Rachael London - Neighborhood Design Center - Baltimore, MD
Rachael is a lead researcher at the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC). She has produced survey designs, mapping graphics, and tools for evaluation, and uses these tools to train and guide volunteers to survey the surrounding streets. She has innovated the NDC’s practice through her support in assessing and communicating the impact of public space programming and design. Rachael has furthered the NDC mission through her involvement with the community and her diverse skill set, including social research, illustration, and communication design.
Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) facilitates the development of healthy, equitable neighborhoods through community-engaged design and planning services. Communities that partner with NDC are tackling many social justice issues, such as violence and community well-being. A majority of NDC’s environmental challenge projects focus on green space, open space, and the public realm.
Obesity and the Food System
Paige Volpenhein - Star of the Sea Foundation - Key West, FL
Paige joined Star of the Sea Foundation (SOS) in 2018 as a Nutrition Education/Healthy Food Access AmeriCorps VISTA member, focused on developing a hands-on series of children's nutrition lessons through partnerships with schools and after-school and summer programs. She is now SOS’ Community Impact Manager. In her time at SOS, Paige has helped develop the organization's Summer Meals, After school Meals, and Senior Meals programs by overseeing program volunteers, monitoring sites, and helping with administration necessary to secure over $400,000 in annual revenue through reimbursements for providing children and seniors with healthy meals. As a Bloomberg Fellow, Paige will take on additional responsibility at SOS' food pantries, designing data collection systems that will improve current nutrition education programs and position SOS for procurement of additional programmatic funding.
The SOS Foundation, established in 2006, is the largest hunger-relief organization in Monroe County, FL, serving the Florida Keys. The SOS Foundation has built an efficient and sustainable food distribution system, with two large distribution hubs at each end of the county serving 25 food pantries. With U.S. food waste estimated at 30 to 40 percent, SOS works to put all usable food in Monroe County to good use. The SOS fleet of refrigerated trucks picks up donated “salvage” food, and on the same trip, distributes this food to needy residents. To further their impact, SOS established a teaching and production kitchen, which supports nutrition education in schools and communities while also producing hundreds of meals each day in childcare and senior centers across the county under the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Emily Foxman - Urban Harvest - Houston, TX
Emily joined Urban Harvest as the first Program Evaluations and Research staff member. Her role was to develop program evaluation frameworks and outcomes and to contextualize the need for the organization’s work and the impacts Urban Harvest was making. Currently, Emily is the Urban Harvest’s Program and Development Manager, leveraging her ongoing research, GIS map work, and survey design skills to lead all aspects of foundation-based fundraising for Urban Harvest's programs: Community Gardens, Farmers Markets, and Education.
Urban Harvest is a Houston-based nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate thriving communities through gardening and access to healthy, local food. In 1994, the organization was founded on the belief that people can feed and revitalize their communities by growing healthy food. This core belief led to the creation of community gardens that address important issues like hunger, nutrition, economic development, and ecological land management. Today, Urban Harvest nurtures over 140 community gardens, reaches more than 9,500 youth with organic gardening and nutrition education, and supports 110 farms and small businesses through three farmers markets. With over 25 years of leadership in their local food system, Urban Harvest is enriching the lives, soils, and plates of Houstonians.
Jillian Tse - San Francisco-Marin Food Bank - San Francisco, CA
Jillian is the Program Manager for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and is responsible for coordinating a weekly grocery delivery service program to over 3,000 seniors and adults with disabilities. She also conducts outreach and training to community-based organizations across San Francisco that partner with the Food Bank. Jillian developed the Home-Delivered Groceries volunteer program and manages volunteers. She is a founding member of the Food Bank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and works with senior leadership to make the organization’s hiring practices and work environment more inclusive.
The mission of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin counties. The Food Bank envisions a community where everyone is able to obtain enough nutritious food to support their own health and well-being and that of their families. The Food Bank addresses hunger head on: from the Pantry Network and Home-Delivered Groceries, to nutrition education classes and CalFresh (food stamps) enrollment. Every week, 32,000 households count on the Food Bank for food assistance.
Maureen Best - Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) - Roanoke, VA
Maureen is the Director of Strategic Planning for the Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP). She transitioned LEAP from a volunteer-run organization with two farmers markets to a regional organization that now also operates a mobile market, an aggregated community supported agriculture program, robust nutrition incentive programs, a shared commercial kitchen, and community gardens. Maureen is also a co-Lead for Virginia Fresh Match and the lead researcher on a federal grant that supports the development of Virginia Fresh Match, a statewide network of farmers markets and neighborhood grocery stores that provide nutrition incentives and increase affordable access to fresh produce.
As a nonprofit based in Roanoke City, Virginia, LEAP works with the broader community to fulfill its mission of nurturing healthy communities and resilient local food systems. LEAP programs create economic opportunities for farmers and food-based businesses (urban and rural), increase affordable and equitable access to local and healthful food, and strengthen the people-to-people ties in communities via food. LEAP was founded to increase local food access in Roanoke and to help small-scale farmers within a 100-mile radius of Roanoke have reliable market access to sell their local produce, meat, dairy, and value-added products.
Andrea Jacobson - Balanced - Kansas City, MO
Andrea is the Advocacy Manager at Balanced. In this role, she developed three advocacy guides for parents and communities, employees, and students that make the environmental and public health case for more plant-forward meals. She also created an accompanying toolkit, which included how-to guides, educational website templates, and other resources for advocates to use to maximize their impact while learning how to be a change agent in their community.
Balanced is a public health and nutrition advocacy organization focused on improving the healthfulness of institutional food environments. The organization works to balance menus in schools, hospitals, offices, and other critical community institutions so they are more representative of nutrition and dietary recommendations. Balanced advocates for food environments that promote increased consumption of foods high in fiber and phytonutrients, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant source proteins, and discourage overconsumption of animal-source proteins and ultra-processed food products.
Marissa Silverberg - Jefferson County Public Health - Lakewood, CO
Marissa is the Food Systems & Policy Administrator for Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH). JCPH partners with health agencies in Adams and Denver counties on Food in Communities (FIC), a collaborative project focused on ensuring that all residents have access to healthy, affordable, and culturally relevant food; Marissa supports community leaders and residents through designing, testing, and launching community-based solutions, both policy and programmatic, that increase access to food. JCPH also partners with Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, and Denver counties on the regional Healthy Beverage Partnership (HBP) to reduce sugary beverage consumption by youth and support equitable, healthy food environments, particularly for youth experiencing obesity. Marissa further coordinates and facilitates the Jefferson County Food Policy Council and has led advocacy on several local and federal bills, including the Farm Bill and Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
Through leadership of the JCPH Board of Health, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is the legal entity that delivers governmental public health services to Jefferson County, a large unincorporated area of 774 square miles and over 580,000 residents. Jefferson County is under the authority of three county commissioners and is subdivided into five small mountain towns in the foothills and seven suburban municipal governments; this diversity results in challenges to the development of health policies and delivery of services across Jefferson County. JCPH is committed to promoting and protecting health for all people across the lifespan, through prevention, education, treatment, response, and regulation.
Tessa Mork - YMCA of Metropolitan Washington - Washington, D.C.
Tessa started out as an intern for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington during her final semester of college. Following graduation, she was hired as a part-time nutrition educator, teaching children about nutrition and how to cook healthy food. Soon after she was promoted to Nutrition Education Program Manager, where she increased nutrition education to all YMCA sites and established the Community Table program, spearheading efforts to expand it to multiple sites. Currently, Tessa serves as the Director of the Food and Nutrition Program, overseeing food and nutrition education programs across the entire association and managing a team of educators. She also manages the SNAP-Ed grant program, which provides culinary and nutrition education to 3,500 SNAP-eligible community members.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington's mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, and physical development of individuals, families and communities, according to the ideals of inclusiveness, equality, and mutual respect for all. The Y fosters positive youth development, family unity, and community development through nutrition programming, counseling, curriculum-based before- and after-school childcare, academic enrichment, STEM programming, physical activity, and social-emotional-learning during out-of-school time and the summer. The Y’s Community Health Department envisions communities with equitable access to resources regardless of socioeconomic status, a just and sustainable food system, and positive health outcomes across all demographics.
Katherine Thomsen - Avera Queen of Peace Hospital - Mitchell, SD
Katherine serves as a dietitian on the inpatient team at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Her role includes inpatient care and outpatient services. She contributes to diabetes education sessions, the Gestational Diabetes telehealth program for women in rural settings, and cardiac rehab group nutrition sessions. Katherine partners with the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation to increase access to nutrition education through events; together, they piloted three community cooking classes to address child nutrition, cancer prevention, and diabetes management.
Avera Queen of Peace Hospital provides care for Mitchell and the surrounding communities; it operates as part of the Avera Health system, one of the largest in the region with over 300 locations in 100 communities across five states. The hospital’s mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values; it promotes care for the individual and aims to treat patients like family. The National Rural Health Association recognized Queen of Peace as one of the top 100 community and rural hospitals in 2019.
Rene Begay - Centers for American Indian and Alaskan Native Health, University of Colorado - Aurora, CO
Rene is Diné (Navajo) from Salina Springs, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation. She is a Professional Research Assistant with the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health. In this role, she conducts qualitative and quantitative research; she has analyzed community health survey data for Alaska Native communities, used statistical analysis to create new measures of healthcare utilization, and described health status and medication use with existing Indian Health Service data for Native Veterans. She is also helping to develop a suicide prevention program for rural Native Veterans in collaboration with Native communities and the Veterans Health Administration. She is interested in socioeconomic, biologic, and/or policy issues related to diabetes and a possible link to genetics in Native communities.
The Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health (CAIANH) is nationally recognized for its work with American Indian and Alaska Native communities for over 30 years. CAIANH promotes the health and well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples of all ages, by pursuing research and education within a biopsychosocial framework that recognizes the unique cultural contexts of AI/AN populations. CAIANH provides mentoring and educational opportunities for individuals who wish to work as health care professionals in their tribal communities; develops and disseminates programs promoting prevention and healthy lifestyles; and empowers Native Communities through data acquisition and analysis to inform decisions and policies. CAIANH collaborates with a large tribal community network, including 69 tribes, 38 tribal community-based health organizations, and 12 Alaska Native regional corporations, distributed across 26 states.
Robert Fanelli - Gainesville, Flordia, Police Department - Gainesville, FL
Robert Fanelli has been in law enforcement for over 17 years. He is currently the Criminal Investigations Commander-Lieutenant at the Gainesville, Florida, Police Department, and is responsible for supervising 6 sergeants, 30 detectives, and 5 civilians. Recently, Robert oversaw the implementation of investigative programs and software such as ALPR, Vigilant LEARN, and CLEAR; he was responsible for the renewal of a Domestic Violence Grant, which focuses on minority communities, repeat offenders, and improving communication and involvement with the Rebuilding and Community Outreach Coordinator (RCOC) through the Black on Black Crime Task Force. Robert directed the RCOC to focus on bridging the gap of services for offenders who are now victims, ending the cycle of violence. Robert spearheaded the Believe First Campaign through partnerships with the Rape Crisis Center and the Victim Advocates and Counsel Against Sexual Violence.
The Gainesville Police Department is a full-service, community-oriented-policing, law enforcement agency dedicated to partnering with citizens for problem resolution in Gainesville, FL—the largest city in Alachua County, FL, and the cultural, educational, and commercial center for the North Central Florida region. In 2007, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) continued its mission to serve and protect the city through enhanced programs and citizen interaction. This collaborative effort has made Gainesville one of the most livable cities in the United States. The goals of the agency are to reduce the number of calls for service, decrease crime through prevention and enforcement, and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Gainesville. The Department has approximately 300 sworn officers and 70 support personnel.
Quaila Hugh - Center for Court Innovation - New York, NY
Quaila serves as Senior Restorative Justice Associate at the Center for Court Innovation. On the Restorative Justice in Schools Project, which aims to support the implementation of restorative practices across five NYC public high schools in Brooklyn, Quaila provides project-wide support and serves as the chief liaison between the program team and the research department. She facilitates community building circles with students and staff as well as co-facilitates response and reentry circles for students in crisis. In response to teen dating violence, Quaila created a Healthy Relationship Curriculum and led sessions with students around healthy communication within relationships.
The Center for Court Innovation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more effective and humane justice system. To accomplish this goal, the Center conceives, plans, and operates programs that seek to test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and achieve systemic change. Projects include community-based violence prevention projects, reentry initiatives, and court-based programs that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration. The organization’s efforts have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Maria Beyer - Children’s Wisconsin - Milwaukee, WI
Maria Beyer serves as the Community Health Evaluation Project Manager for Children's Wisconsin, advancing the design and implementation of evaluation plans for over 20 Children's community-based programs, including those focused on violence prevention and intervention. She collaboratively leads the development of the health system's community health needs assessments and implementation strategies and its community health dashboard and reporting efforts. She has been able to bring important elements of cultural competence and inclusion into the hospitals’ evaluation designs, building relationships with both the internal quality improvement specialists and data analysts as well as external academic and community-based partners. Attuned to the particular impact of social determinants on child health, Maria has a deep desire to serve the underserved and advance health equity in Milwaukee.
Children’s Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children and is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care systems in the United States. In addition to hospitals in Milwaukee and Neenah, WI, Children’s offers care at community-based locations throughout Wisconsin. This includes primary, specialty, urgent and emergency care; community health services; injury and violence prevention services; foster care and adoption services; child and family counseling; child advocacy services and family resource centers. Children’s also advocates for children in areas such as health coverage and access.
Lydia Watts - Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore - Baltimore, MD
Lydia is the Executive Director of the Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center. She created the staffing and programmatic structure, developed processes of intake and partnership, and created a vision of the impact it hopes to have on the communities it is serving. ROAR’s staff includes Lydia, three other lawyers, a paralegal, two social workers, and a part-time community health nurse. The organization has been accepting clients since mid-February 2019 and has been fully staffed since June 2019. As of November 2019, ROAR has assisted 146 people who live in Baltimore City, a number that has more than doubled in the past months.
The Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) Center is “one-stop-shop” in Baltimore City where survivors of crime can access a full range of wraparound legal services, therapy, case management, and community nursing care. ROAR aims to co-create with survivors a community in which people who experience crime or systemic injustice are empowered to achieve their own sense of justice, healing, and well-being. ROAR intentionally connects with communities that are at highest risk of being victimized and are the least likely to engage with law enforcement, which includes people who are living in poverty; people experiencing homelessness; those with substance use and/or mental health disorders; survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; the elderly; LGBTQIA; and youth between the ages of 12 and 24.
Kathryn Ford - The Center for Court Innovation - New York, NY
Kathryn serves as the Director of Clinical Supervision and Child Witness Initiatives at the Center for Court Innovation, where she provides training and technical assistance to justice system practitioners across the country as part of both the Tribal Justice Exchange and the Gender & Family Justice team. In addition, she provided trauma-focused individual, group and family therapy, crisis intervention, and court support services through the Center's Bronx Child Trauma Support Program for nine years. Kathryn has conducted research on intimate partner sexual violence and the needs of children affected by family violence, and has developed best practices and protocols for systems response. In her current role, Kathryn creates numerous written and online resources, drafts grant proposals, and manages various grant-funded programs; she also provides clinical supervision to dozens of Center staff doing justice reform work.
The Center for Court Innovation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more effective and humane justice system. To accomplish this goal, the Center conceives, plans, and operates programs that seek to test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and achieve system change. Programs include community-based violence prevention projects, reentry initiatives, and court-based programs that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration. The organization’s efforts have produced tangible results such as safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Heidi Penix - The Texas Center for the Judiciary - Austin, TX
Heidi started working at the Texas Center in June 2009 on the Children's Justice Act (CJA) grant. She started as the Grant Manager of CJA and was promoted to the Program Director in 2013. As Program Director, she works with the multidisciplinary CJA Task Force to engage in needs assessment and develop priorities to achieve the grant's objective of reforming state processes for responding to child abuse and neglect. Heidi manages the grant-making process, including researching and identifying promising projects and developing requests for proposals. She screens and recommends grants, monitors the activities of funded organizations and projects, and evaluates project outcomes. She also builds and maintains collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and multi-sector groups to inform strategy and ensure strong partnerships.
The Texas Center for the Judiciary (TCJ) is a nonprofit organization designated by the State of Texas as the primary source of judicial education for all appellate, district court, statutory county court, probate, associate, and retired and former judges covered by the Texas Rules of Judicial Education. The purpose of the Texas Center is to provide outstanding judicial education to Texas judges so that a qualified and knowledgeable judiciary and staff administers justice with fairness, efficiency, and integrity.
Eric Cumberbatch - The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice - New York, NY
Eric serves as Deputy Director at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. In this capacity, Eric implements innovative strategies to build stronger neighborhoods through new crime reduction initiatives such as the Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood safety, which jointly focus on changes in the built environment, enhanced community engagement, and expanded social networks in areas that are most plagued by high rates of violence. Eric manages multiple fast-expanding project components at different levels simultaneously, including coordinating cooperation among a body of City agencies and advocacy groups. Part of Eric’s job is to work closely with MOCJ’s research staff to develop a pragmatic data suite that tracks, analyzes, and presents key data and indicators to fast track progress in achieving program goals.
The Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice serves as the policy and procedural arm of the mayor on criminal justice matters. The goals of the office’s many initiatives are to improve public safety and promote fairness across communities while also driving down crime, unnecessary arrests, and incarceration. Together, the Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety bring together government, city agencies, and community-based organizations to deploy critical resources. The goal is to reduce and prevent shooting incidents through providing a swift, coordinated response to the immediate crisis, while minimizing the impacts of future events through prevention/intervention services, empowering community residents, and overall preparedness.
Cailin Crockett - Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program, Office of the Secretary of Defense - Washington, D.C.
Cailin leads prevention policy for intimate partner violence and child abuse/neglect for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Family Advocacy Program, serving active duty military and their partners and children, in support of mission readiness and the National Defense Strategy. In this role, she works closely with the Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as part of the DoD Prevention Collaboration Forum, a Secretary of Defense initiative to promote primary prevention based on shared risk and protective factors for a range of violent, abusive, and harmful behaviors impacting the Total Force. Cailin also represents the DoD in interagency working groups with the Departments of Veteran Affairs and Justice on military sexual trauma and child sexual exploitation and interdiction.
The DoD Family Advocacy Program provides policy guidance to victim advocates and clinicians working to prevent, identify, and intervene in cases of intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth impacting service members and their partners and children. In the U.S. and overseas, there are more than 230 Family Advocacy Programs across military installations where families are assigned, in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.
The 2020 DrPH Bloomberg Fellows are:
Addiction and Overdose
Erin Russell - Maryland Department of Health - Baltimore, MD
Erin serves as Chief of the Center for Harm Reduction Services at the Maryland Department of Health. The Center envisions a Maryland in which health and social service systems meet the needs of people who use drugs in a comprehensive, community-based manner. Erin’s portfolio includes coordination of statewide naloxone distribution, syringe service programs, a harm reduction grant program, and local capacity-building initiatives. She has been at the forefront of integrating harm reduction into larger behavioral health, opioid response, and infectious disease prevention programming at the Department, improving its ability to meet the needs of people who use drugs.
The Maryland Department of Health is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of all Maryland residents through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. It is the leading health agency in Maryland, coordinating statewide with the jurisdictional health departments. Harm reduction is a major component of the Department’s comprehensive approach to the opioid crisis and efforts to address intertwined epidemics of infectious disease and behavioral health.
Jasmine Little - Mathematica Policy Research - Princeton, NJ
Jasmine serves as a Health Research Analyst, leading efforts on mixed-methods evaluations and technical assistance projects that focus on improving the delivery of prevention and treatment services for substance use and mental health conditions. She has played key roles in the collection and analysis of qualitative data to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of innovative service delivery models for individuals with mental health and substance use disorder. Jasmine has greatly contributed to Mathematica’s mission of conducting rigorous policy research and providing technical assistance to improve public well-being.
Mathematica provides objective recommendations to federal and state policymakers and health system leaders to guide the development and implementation of policies and programs. Mathematica has conducted groundbreaking work to improve the accessibility, quality, and outcomes of behavioral health services, particularly for low-income and disadvantaged populations.
Kathryn (Callie) Kaplan - Heartland Alliance - Chicago, IL
Kathryn (Callie) serves as a Senior Research Associate, leading research and evaluation projects related to poverty, human rights, and social justice. Many of the projects she leads have a direct health focus, including motivational interviewing and HIV-related outcomes, the social return on investment of maternal and child health services among young moms experiencing homelessness, and an evaluation of an innovative place-based behavioral health and care coordination program. Callie's public health expertise significantly shapes her approach and implementation of research and evaluation projects.
Heartland Alliance is a leading anti-poverty organization, working in communities locally and internationally to serve those who are experiencing homelessness, living in poverty, or seeking safety. They provide a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs, and justice and lead state and national policy efforts, which target lasting systems change. Heartland Alliance’s mission is to advance human rights and respond to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society.
Nicole Barnes - ICF International - Fairfax, VA
Nicole serves as a Constituency Services Manager for the Capacity Building Center for States, overseeing a team and leading the budgeting, strategic planning and annual reporting for constituency services within the center. In this role, she applies an implementation framework to the challenge of child welfare, working to ultimately reduce adolescent health risk behaviors for child welfare populations. Nicole plays an active role in elevating the center’s approaches through participation in multiple workgroups and special projects.
The Capacity Building Center for States works to advance the Children's Bureau's vision for preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening families who encounter the child welfare system. The work of the Center to build capacity relies on three critical service areas that are integrated and informed by a deep knowledge about what is working in child welfare and a commitment to supporting state child welfare agencies. The Center's goal is to build the capacity of child welfare agencies to prevent and mitigate the risks to adolescent health, and to improve outcomes for children youth and families in the child welfare system as a whole.
Alfred May - Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Augusta, ME
Alfred is the Public Health District Liaison for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the Downeast District and serving the population of Hancock and Washington Counties. His district work involves convening the Downeast Public Health Council, a statutory, district-wide representative body formed to engage in collaborative planning and decision-making for the delivery of the 10 Essential Public Health Services. At the state level, he serves as co-leader for the local health officer statewide database project and the new Healthy Brain Initiative Planning Lab, while leading teams in re-accreditation, infrastructure improvement, and quality improvement projects. His work in environmental health has including managing a pilot radon indoor air testing project, promoting well water testing to prevent arsenic exposures, serving on a county brownfield advisory committee, and creating risk communication for cancer prevention.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the public health agency in Maine within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The Maine CDC is accredited and works under the guidance of the 10 Essential Public Health Services. The Maine CDC’s functional areas include disease surveillance, infectious disease, environmental health services, public health nursing, maternal and child health, population health promotion, chronic disease programs, emergency preparedness, medical epidemiology, and public health systems, including district public health.
Janie Cambron - Kentucky Department for Public Health - Frankfort, KY
Janie serves as the Quality Improvement (QI) Coordinator for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. She is responsible for training and technical assistance to state and local health staff on QI, performance management, community health assessment and improvement planning, and strategic planning. Janie has been instrumental in helping the Department works towards their vision of “Healthier People, Healthier Communities.” Before joining the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Janie served the Barren River District Health Department as an Environmentalist, then the Green River District Health Department as their Regional Epidemiologist.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) serves under the umbrella of the Office of the Secretary, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The DPH works to build healthy communities through a shared governance structure with independent and district health departments serving all counties in Kentucky. The DPH oversees more than 150 programs that focus on prevention of negative health outcomes, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and protection from diseases, injury, and environmental health impacts.
Obesity and the Food System
Jana Goins - Baltimore City Health Department - Baltimore, MD
Jana serves as the Epidemiologist for the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health within the Baltimore City Health Department. Jana uses analytical techniques to create data-informed and evidence-based recommendations for the Health Department’s citywide strategy to improve maternal and child health outcomes. She oversees the analytical work that informs all MCH services and programs. Jana has driven the work of the Health Department forward through promoting innovative approaches to public health challenges.
The Baltimore City Health Department’s mission is to protect health, eliminate disparities, and ensure the well-being of every Baltimore resident through education, advocacy, and direct service delivery. The Health Department uses a multi-pronged approach to reduce health disparities driven by issues of food access through an array of community-based food justice programs. The Health Department believes that having access to healthy food is a vital determinant of community health.
Don Hedrick - Rapid City Police Department - Rapid City, SD
Don serves as the Assistant Chief of the Rapid City Police Department. Don led and managed the Police Department’s agency wellness and officer resiliency efforts, which form the bedrock of its trauma-informed policing strategy. He has been instrumental in planning and implementing the department’s Peer Support and Crisis Intervention Teams.
The Rapid City Police Department works to address crime and violence and break down trust barriers. The Police Department engages with the Native American community through their Collective Healing Initiative; knowledge gained through this initiative supports ongoing efforts to reduce high rates of violence, victimization, and incarceration among Native Americans in Rapid City. The department’s policing strategy is focused on equipping officers with the tools to assess and triage trauma and violence on the streets, in order to coordinate with higher levels of care and services to intervene in and end cycles of victimization, crisis, and violence.