MEET THE LEADERS

“I want to create healthier communities by addressing brownfield sites. Working with such a diverse group of people will help me do so.”
SABINE MARTIN, President, CTOR Solutions, LLC

SABINE MARTIN, President, CTOR Solutions, LLC
LAUREL BERMAN, National Brownfields Coordinator, Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry
LYDIA VANNESSA FRAZIER, Executive Director, Howardville Community Betterment Committee
DAVE LANEY, Principal/Senior Project Manager, ATC Group Services LLC

Culture of Health Leaders challenge themselves to apply their expertise and outside-the-box thinking to making their communities healthier and more equitable.

No matter what their background, training or profession, they play a crucial role in building a Culture of Health. They stretch beyond their daily work and collaborate with leaders from many other fields and professions—rejuvenating their career, building their leadership skills, and creating change in their community and beyond.

Leaders

Adeola Sonaike, Senior Vice President, Health

THE FAMILY RESOURCE NETWORK

Location: Trenton, New Jersey

INCREASING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE IN A CHANGING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT

FOCUS: Based in New Jersey, my focus area is on increasing access to health care using an equitable lens. Today, people with special health care needs, chronic illness, and caregivers experience additional limitations in attaining optimal health outcomes. Through collaborating with insurance providers, policy makers, health care providers and community-based providers, I envision a culture of health that is accessible to all.
Adeola Sonaike, Senior Vice President, Health

Dedicated to developing and evaluating innovative strategies and therapies that will increase access to quality health care in efforts to create a healthier nation through an equitable lens.

Amy Boyer, Program Manager

INSIGHT GARDEN PROGRAM

Location: Woodland, California

GARDENING FOR HEALTH IN PRISONS

FOCUS: Prisons are places of disconnect. Insight Garden Program connects prisoners in California to themselves, nature and community through an innovative curriculum that is rooted in the gardens our participants grow. By growing themselves and plants, our participants change prison culture and successfully re-integrate into their communities.
Amy Boyer, Program Manager

I combine caring for nature and for people’s spirits as program manager in our three Central Valley prisons, including California’s two medical prisons.

Andy Allen, Outreach Officer

inHealth Strategies

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

IMPROVING OUTCOMES THROUGH INNOVATIONS IN POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT

FOCUS: I’m the lead consultant for community and population health for inHealth Strategies out of Baton Rouge, LA. We collaborate on innovative solutions to help communities and providers nationwide radically change the health outcomes for the populations they serve. Through leveraging community resources, key stakeholders, best practices, and cutting-edge ideas, we create healthier communities and achieve cost savings.
Andy Allen, Outreach Officer

I’m a firm believer that not only can young people change our communities, but we must. We have to be involved, outspoken and organized. This program is providing me with more tools, training and networking to make a difference.

Bettina Byrd-Giles, CEO

THE BETHESDA LIFE CENTER, INC.

Location: Birmingham, AL

HELPING MEDICALLY UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES ACHIEVE BETTER HEALTH

FOCUS: Ensley is a community in Birmingham, AL that is a symbol of Birmingham’s rich industrial history. Like similar communities, Ensley has suffered economic decline. The Bethesda Life Center, Inc. is concerned with the health of the mind, body, and spirit of community members. The Bethesda is a catalyst for economic renewal. As co-founder of Ensley Alive, a movement dedicated to Ensley’s renaissance, I support local creatives who are improving the health of the community through creative activity, murals, gardens, and filling vacant spaces.
Bettina Byrd-Giles, CEO

I am an interculturalist who is passionate about cultural competence, health disparities and building a culture of health in Ensley.

Bobby Cochran, Executive Director

WILLAMETTE PARTNERSHIP

Location: Portland, Oregon

OPENING DOORS TO MORE TIME OUTDOORS IN NATURE

FOCUS: Working with partners in Oregon and nationally to understand and deliver the health benefits of more time in nature—especially in ways that bridge new relationships between communities.
Bobby Cochran, Executive Director

Bobby walks in the spaces between the worlds of business, science and collaboration.

Brownfields to Healthfields: Safely Reusing Land to Improve Health

FOCUS: Brownfields are potentially contaminated properties that weigh heavily on communities across the U.S., leading to conditions of inequity and disparities. We are creating a national movement of Brownfields to Healthfields. If we can improve the environment, we can reduce inequity and disparities to create healthier communities.

[Pictured Left to Right]

Sabine Martin, Manhattan, Kansas, President, CTOR Solutions, LLC

I uniquely combine my private sector environmental experience with my years of providing brownfields-related assistance to communities and tribes to help improve community health by addressing brownfield sites.

Laurel Berman, Chicago, Illinois, National Brownfields Coordinator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

I am the National Brownfields Coordinator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. My entire program is Brownfields to Healthfields: engaging communities; addressing environmental and health risks; communicating risks; redesigning communities with health in mind; and measuring success—environment and health change.

Lydia Vannessa Frazier, Howardville, Missouri, Executive Director, Howardville Community Betterment Committee

I am an environmentalist, at all times, my surroundings dictate my health, my thoughts are inclusive for all. I am the right person for this program, to demonstrate that cleaning up your community, home and vacant buildings, along with sufficient green space will allow a dying community to become renewed and healthy.

Dave Laney, Tempe, Arizona, Principal/Senior Project Manager, ATC Group Services LLC

I work for a for-profit environmental and engineering consulting firm. I am looking for innovative, out of the box solutions developed through cross-sector collaboration.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

ENGAGING COMMUNITIES TO DEVELOP LOCAL LEGISLATION THAT PROMOTES HEALTHY COMMUNITIES

FOCUS: Our team is focused on the overlapping areas of structural racism in policing and under-investment in communities of color. We aim to push back against the agenda of austerity budgeting in both Chicago and Illinois, and focusing on advancing health care access for immigrants and fighting discrimination against them. We also aim to work with low-wage workers to advance economic justice.
Felipe Tendick-Matesanz, Development and Knowledge-Management Specialist ROC-United [Pictured Front Left]

I am a human being. I bring the perspective of having had something, losing it and then making a conscious decision to redirect my anger and pain. I dedicate my life to human rights, to a focused dismantling of the systems of oppression and taking away power from the established elite that maintain them.

Lilian Jimenez, Policy Director, Cook County Board of Commissioners [Pictured Front Right]

I am trained as an attorney with a background as a community organizer. I strive to promote the perspectives of low-income black, brown and immigrant communities in the policy world.

Wesley Epplin, Director of Health Equity, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group [Pictured Back Left]

I am the Director of Health Equity at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, which works to advance the health of all people in Illinois by promoting health equity. I’m also a co-facilitator and co-founder of Radical Public Health, which focuses solutions on the root causes of public health problems. I bring my public health and political science background and activist approach to fighting for justice in health and health care.

Maximillian Boykin, Community Organizer, AIDS Foundation of Chicago [Pictured Back Right]

I am the Community Advocacy and Social Justice Manager with AIDS Foundation of Chicago, new manager of the HIV Preventive Justice Alliance, member of Black Youth Project 100 and on the steering committee for the Collaboration on Health Equity for Cook County. My organizing ranges from direct action, civic engagement, conscious raising, to coalition building. I have always worked in primarily Black and marginalized communities and I love working with my people in order to make sure they are uplifted and liberated.

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE TO PROMOTE EQUITY AND FAIRNESS

FOCUS: The Birmingham area is known for its industrial past, harsh Jim Crow Laws and strict enforcement of segregation. Many of the structures and institutions built during this era impede progress today. We are working in Jefferson County, Alabama to promote health equity by engaging diverse stakeholders in equity, diversity, and inclusion training and solution development. This work centers on using population data to target evidence-based solutions to promote the best possible health and highest quality of life for all. As a team, we will offer new solutions and ideas for creating a more collaborative community based on fairness and equity.

[Pictured from Left to Right]

Monica Baskin, PhD, Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Medicine: Preventive Medicine

I am a professor, psychologist, community-based researcher, and a champion for health equity.

Gregory C. Townsend, Health Service Administrator, Jefferson County Department of Health, Quality Improvement and Decision Support

I’m not a finished product!

Kadie Peters, Vice President of Community Impact for Health, United Way of Central Alabama [Not Pictured]

I am currently the Vice President of Community Impact for Health at United Way of Central Alabama where I lead the collaborative health improvement partnerships and regional collective impact movement focused on improving health. My role in the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership allows me the most direct contact with 5 operating priority groups and the hundreds of volunteers collaborating on projects. I also have the opportunity to build relationships with local, regional and state leaders regularly convened by United Way that includes CEO’s, Executives, elected officials, and Presidents of major industries.

Haley Coles, Executive Director

SONORAN PREVENTION WORKS

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

DEMANDING RIGHTS FOR DRUG USERS IN ARIZONA

FOCUS: I am passionate about working with people who use drugs in Arizona. My state is slowly moving forward in finding innovative solutions to address the suffering that Arizonans who use drugs experience due to criminalization, stigma and dehumanization. But in the meantime, we still have preventable tragedies coursing through the state, such as overdose fatalities, hepatitis C infection, child removal and compounding mental illness. As the director of Sonoran Prevention Works, I am embracing the concept of harm reduction to meet state policymakers and change leaders where they are to challenge stigma in a way that makes sense to their cultural and political orientations. I am building a culture where people who use drugs are safe to be who they are and have their best chance to achieve their goals, whatever that looks like.
Haley Coles, Executive Director

I am a proud Arizonan, a former drug user, and a bulldog—I will do whatever it takes in order to continue building a community that advocates for the dignity and rights of people who use drugs. I am in it for the long haul and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

REFRAMING RESILIENCE AND ADDRESSING TRAUMA TO IMPROVE HEALTH

FOCUS: The health and well-being of New Orleans’ most vulnerable has not led recovery efforts post Hurricane Katrina, and we have only recently seen a focus on resiliency that has begun to address the impact of trauma on our communities. People who are exposed to the chronic stressors of poverty, disenfranchisement and systemic inequality, are disproportionately affected by violence and poor health. Through creative media outlets (including film, social/traditional media and journalism), we strive to put health first and address the lingering impact of unresolved trauma in New Orleans.

[Pictured Left to Right]

Iman Shervington, Director of Media and Communications, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

I translate health concepts visually and viscerally. For eight years I have combined my film, photography and design skills with my public health background to help communities internalize the value of their health.

Lisa J. Richardson, Director of Research and Evaluation, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies

I have worked in academy and nonprofit organizations on participatory action research and community-based interventions for more than 20 years. My area of expertise is urban studies and public health.

Jarvis DeBerry, Deputy Opinions Editor and Columnist, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune

As an editorial writer and columnist, advocating for my city and region and state comes naturally.

Jeanne Herb, Associate Director; Environmental Analysis and Communications Group

RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY, BLOUSTEIN SCHOOL OF PLANNING AND PUBLIC POILCY

Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey

ENSURING EQUAL ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS THAT SUPPORT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

FOCUS: To me, a culture of health is one in which all people have equal access to the services and conditions that support health and well-being. My focus area is on maximizing opportunities to apply information about environmental conditions and environmental health to inform community planning and decision-making. My intent is to create tools and resources that community leaders and decision-makers can use throughout New Jersey to apply extensive sets of data about environmental conditions and environmental health to help create communities that are healthy, safe, prosperous and equitable.
Jeanne Herb, Associate Director; Environmental Analysis and Communications Group

For more than 30 years, I have worked in government, non-profit and academic settings to advance environmental programs and policies that promote healthy communities and sustainable development. I am the right person for this program and area of focus because my experience has been both as a leader and a worker bee and because the scope of environmental issues in which I have been engaged is very diverse.

Jen Lewis, Special Projects Director

SONOMA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES

Location: Santa Rosa, California

ADVANCING INNOVATIVE FINANCING TO ACHIEVE HEALTH EQUITY

FOCUS: Residents in Sonoma County, like many communities around the country, have inequitable access to opportunity, which results in disparities in health, education and well-being across place and population. By harnessing the energy of the breadth of diversity in our community, we are challenging the systems that perpetuate these inequities and proposing to build new systems of investment and capital to unlock the unmet potential of our community.
Jen Lewis, Special Projects Director

I’m the Special Projects Director at the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. I’m learning to trust in and strengthen my leadership capacity to apply to the changing world around us.

Jennifer Godzeno, Deputy Director

PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING PROJECT

Location: Brooklyn, New York

REAL POWER OVER REAL MONEY = EQUITABLE PUBLIC SPENDING

FOCUS: Our most pressing social and political issues are rooted in an unfortunate misalignment of citizen will, political power and where our tax dollars go. Elected officials and power brokers under-invest in preventative health measures, subsidize food that’s terrible for us, build neighborhoods in ways that worsen congestion and climate change, and starve basic community needs like education and public space. I bet if everyday people had direct power over how to spend public money—plus easy access to good data to drive their decisions—“we the people” could help our leaders to make better and more inclusive public investments and policies that support a culture of health. Participatory budgeting has given communities across North America the power to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars more equitably.
Jennifer Godzeno, Deputy Director

I’ve worked to advance equity through grassroots transportation advocacy and active design research. The next frontier is getting elected and appointed leaders to act on good data and the voices of diverse constituents—I’m excited to bring a civic participation lens to advancing a culture of health.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Urban Farming, Cooperative Economics, Community Ownership, Afroecology, Healing, Growing, and Building

FOCUS: We are working in Washington, D.C., on using Agriculture as a tool to build alternative economics models and healthier and more sustainable communities on a mental, physical and spiritual level.

[Pictured from Left to Right]

Joelle Robinson, Social Scientist, Food and Drug Administration

I hope to advance community generated solutions on food and social justice issues and connect them to local policy.

Xavier Brown, Small Parks Specialist, Soilful City

I am Xavier Brown, student of the world. I use farming as my tool to transform my community. I live and love the work I do.

Jennifer Bryant, Community Organizer

I believe cooperatives are a tool we can use to combat structural unemployment. More expansively, we are exploring how cooperatives, urban agriculture and local policy can be used to plant the seeds of a new, more equitable society.

Jose Ivan Arreola, Project Director

PEACE DEVELOPMENT FUND INC.

Location: Oakland, California

TRANSFORMATIONAL HOLISTIC HEALING FOR WELLNESS AND MOVEMENT-BUILDING

FOCUS: I am focused on creating opportunities for holistic and traditional healing for immigrant and undocumented communities in order to rejuvenate and fortify their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Jose Ivan Arreola, Project Director

Trained as a community organizer for racial and economic justice, I leveraged my skills and personal story for six years while doing immigrant rights work. I am now committed to responding to the need for holistic healing and emotional/mental health support for both our community members and movement leaders. In the next political phase of this country, we may need sustained and rooted healing more than ever.

Dr. Kent Key, Research Area Specialist

COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATION PARTNERS

Location: Flint, Michigan

MOVING FLINT FROM CRISIS TO ACTION

FOCUS: The Flint Water Crisis was a man-made disaster that affected the citizens physically, mentally, financially and psychologically. Most of the focus has been on young children from a pediatric/clincial perspective. I envision the adoption and operationalizing of Health Equity in All Policies where all decisions passed through legislation will have to conduct a health impact assessment. I also envision a Flint Youth Public Health Academy to use the water crisis story as a platform to introduce youth to public health, research, health disparities and advocacy.
Dr. Kent Key, Research Area Specialist

I was introduced to public health through my service in the AmeriCorps program. It was through Community Based Public Health programming that I began my career of Health Disparity and Community Engaged Research and Community Activism. Getting my start from a nontraditional public health track has given me a different lens and perspective on how to effectively use non-traditional approaches in public health. This has prepared me on several fronts to initiate, support and co-create efforts in Flint in response to the Flint Water Crisis.

Leigh Caswell, Director of Community Health

PRESBYTERIAN HEALTHCARE SERVICES

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES TO LEAD HEALTHY CHANGE

FOCUS: I work for Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico where we have an enchanting landscape with a rich, cultural history. We also struggle with high rates of poverty, chronic disease and substance abuse. There are communities that face huge disparities in outcomes and my work is focused on partnering with others to determine solutions through building on community assets and sharing resources to build a culture of health.
Leigh Caswell, Director, Center for Community Health

I am a public health professional working in a health care system, who is committed to equity and social justice and leveraging resources to improve health outcomes through systems change.

Matthew Tinsley, Director, Strong Start Project

SANTA CLARA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION, OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT

Location: San Jose, California

INCREASING ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY EARLY LEARNING IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY

FOCUS: Most children in Santa Clara County don’t have access to quality early learning opportunities. I support a coalition working on local solutions to ensure that every child in our community has what they need to make a strong start.
Matthew Tinsley, Director, Strong Start Project

I’m a convener and facilitator, helping our local early learning community use their expertise and experience to overcome these challenges.

Melissa Bosworth, Principal

Vertical Strategies, Rural Healthcare and Nonprofit Capacity Building

Location: Aurora, Colorado

EASTERN PLAINS HEALTHCARE CONSORTIUM DEVELOPS SUSTAINABLE RURAL COMMUNITIES

FOCUS: The Eastern Plains Healthcare Consortium was created to address the significant barriers to access of health services in a region where four hospitals serve multiple counties across the Eastern Plains of Colorado. As demonstrated in the proposal, the health care needs of these rural residents foretell a future where social determinants and medical care become even more sparse without direct intervention. Along with social determinants of health factors that fall behind state and national averages, the sustainability of the current health care structure is also being challenged by shifts in national health care policy and changes in reimbursement. The Consortium has been evaluating and planning for the past year, and through the incorporation of a separate 501(c)(3), they will start implementing the developed solutions. The Consortium’s mission is to collaborate among rural hospitals to provide excellent health care services for rural communities on the Eastern Plains of Colorado and surrounding areas while increasing the sustainability of its members. Initially, the members will specifically do this through shared inventory management and staff sharing agreements. The number of populations to be served is expected to grow as the network expands. The preliminary target population will be all health care consumers of Keefe Memorial Hospital, Weisbrod Memorial County Hospital, Lincoln Community Hospital, Melissa Memorial Hospital and their associated facilities.
Melissa Bosworth, Principal, Vertical Strategies

Melissa focuses on elevating nonprofits, specifically in rural areas to help their nonprofit and healthcare entities thrive in a continually tumultuous environment.

Michael Howard, Vice President for Education and Research

BAPTIST HEALTH MADISONVILLE

Location: Madisonville, Kentucky

COALITION BUILDING TO RAISE THE TIDE IN RURAL WELLNESS

FOCUS: I live in rural western Kentucky, which is a particularly unhealthy part of a particularly unhealthy state. Our focus is on harnessing our existing community resources across all areas from economic development to education to health care. We will build a coalition of partners who will be able to work together to address the socioeconomic barriers that are preventing some of those in our communities from accessing and fully utilizing health care and other social programs that can positively impact their well-being and quality of life.
Michael Howard, Vice President for Education and Research, Baptist Health Madisonville

I’m the VP for Education and Research at the unusually large medical center in my hometown. I just moved back here after a career in biomedical research and acedemia. My position here and the support of my hospital allows us to be the engine that helps to spark a change that will bring the Culture of Health to rural Kentucky and allow us to be an example of what rural communities can become.

Riana Elyse Anderson, Postdoctoral Fellow

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

REDUCING RACIAL STRESS AND TRAUMA WITH BLACK FAMILIES

FOCUS: Repeated exposure to instances of racism and discrimination can result in psychological problems, lower educational attainment, and increased cardiovascular disease, even if it is through just witnessing these events. Research has shown that race-based traumatic stress is common among Black people following negative in-person and witnessed discriminatory racial encounters. Given recent heightened national awareness of police brutality, understanding how adults can support and protect youth from the effects of past, current and future instances of racism and discrimination is important. The Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race (EMBRace) program is based within the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. EMBRace is a seven session family program that brings parents and their children together for conversations on race, cultural pride, discrimination and stress management in an effort to reduce parent and adolescent racial stress, promote bonding for families, and improve adolescent psychological well-being and academic engagement. EMBRace is among the first programs to use culturally-specific theories and evidence-based practices to address discriminatory racial encounters and reduce racial stress and trauma. Families meet with program staff once a week for 90 minutes. We use relaxation, journaling, debating, role-playing and media in the program to facilitate conversations on race between parents and their children.
Riana Elyse Anderson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Riana Elyse Anderson is a clinical and community psychologist who investigates how protective familial mechanisms like racial socialization operate in the face of risks linked to discrimination. Riana is the developer and director of the Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race (EMBRace) program and loves to translate her work for a variety of audiences, particularly those whom she serves in the community via blogs, video, and literary articles

Robin Guenther, Principal

HEALTH CARE WITHOUT HARM

Location: New York, New York

TRANSFORMING HEALTH CARE THROUGH BUILDING HEALTH

FOCUS: A culture of health can create a health care system that eliminates its own negative environmental impacts, anchors community health and resilience, and leads broader societal transformation
Robin Guenther, Principal, Perkins+Will, Senior Advisor, Health Care Without Harm

I believe the health care sector can create a world where the delivery of health care creates nothing but health. I work on helping health care organizations to connect the dots between their built environment decisions and health.

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Food Program Director

CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY INTERNATIONAL

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Securing food justice from seed to plate

FOCUS:
From seed to plate, our food system is broken, and low-income communities and communities of color are the ones bearing the brunt of this breakdown. The biggest driver of this breakdown—the rotten core of our broken system—is McDonald’s, a corporation that makes a huge profit off of the health of our children and our communities. I’m honored to be part of the nation-wide campaign to challenging and end the harmful practices of McDonald’s in the service of fixing our broken food system and bringing food justice to our communities. I work in coalition with labor allies, community leaders, educators, and parents to curb McDonald’s political and economic might. For example, we are exposing the ways the corporation influences food policy via the powerful trade group, the National Restaurant Association. We’ve brought parents and educators together to end the exploitative marketing practice called McTeacher’s Nights. And we’re helping communities move local hospitals to end contracts with McDonald’s—so children aren’t being treated for diabetes on one floor and being served junk food on the next.

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Food Program Director, Corporate Accountability International

My deep-rooted understanding on sustainable food and agriculture begins with my grandparent’s farm in South India where I was raised in a microcosm of a food system where the food we eat nourishes us, rather than makes us sick. These roots, infuse my abiding passion for working with people to have their voices heard and effect transformational change at every level—from the local to the international.

Terrance Anderson, Health Promotion Educator

Location: Norfolk, Virginia

PSA-2-PSA: ELIMINATING THE PROSTATE CANCER DISPARITY

FOCUS: African-American men are experiencing an alarming prostate cancer disparity; having a 60 percent  greater likelihood of being diagnosed with the disease than most ethnic groups and dying at a rate 2.5 times greater than white men. I am developing an innovative media project entitled “PSA-2-PSA” that will increase awareness of this disturbing health inequity, by making effective use of compelling television public service announcements that feature real prostate cancer survivors and men at increased risk. African American participants will also be targeted with the newly-conceived “EXUMBRA” component of the “PSA-2-PSA” project, which uses a dynamic engagement tool to prompt men to come “out of the shadows’ and become more proactive in their health maintenance, e.g., regular prostate cancer screenings.
Terrance Anderson, Health Promotion Educator

A valiant prostate cancer survivor/warrior, I have been undaunted in my activism. I have moderated panel discussions at the U.S. Capitol and the Russell U.S. Senate Building, during annual African-American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit events, staged by the Prostate Health Education Network (Boston, Mass.). Among other activities I wrote, produced and hosted the “Full Court Press” television special on the African American prostate cancer disparity.

Thomas Cudjoe, Postdoctoral Fellow

THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE: DIVISION OF GERIATRIC MEDICINE AND GERONTOLOGY

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

FACILITATING SOCIAL RESOURCES; MOBILIZING THE IMMOBILE

FOCUS: Both of my grandfathers are now deceased, but the memory that permeates my mind for each of them is our walks together. Our simple walks shape my vision of what health is and how I envision weaving health into the fabric of our society. The experiences with these two men compelled me to pursue medicine, public health and the care of older adults. They taught me how optimizing mobility and social engagement are essential for physical and mental health, and how our elders are community treasures who are often undervalued. As a geriatrician in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, I am very interested in facilitating relationships that will enable older adults to be more engaged in their communities and have better health.
Thomas Cudjoe, Post Doctoral Fellow

I am a doctor for older adults who believes that the transformation of our nation’s health will occur in the community. I believe that my medical knowledge, public health training, and experiences as a caregiver for my grandparents positions me to develop and disseminate strategies to sustain and improve the well-being of older adults.

Troi Bechet, Founder and CEO

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

REDEFINING JUSTICE THROUGH RESTORATIVE APPROACHES

FOCUS: The likelihood of suspended students dropping out of school and one day facing incarceration is so strong that many refer to this trajectory as the school-to-prison pipeline. Owing in part to that trajectory, Louisiana has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. Restorative Approaches will provide asset-based, participatory methods for changing this reality and strengthen community members’ capacity to develop their own solutions for justice and well-being.
Troi Bechet, Founder and CEO

Troi Bechet is the founder and CEO of the preeminent restorative justice organization in Louisiana, the Center for Restorative Approaches. She has over 30 years of experience in social justice and social service administration.

Valeria Hawkins, Healthy Schools Program Manager

ALLIANCE FOR A HEALTHIER GENERATION INC.

Location: Clarksdale, Mississippi

Building Healthier Communities for a Healthier Generation

FOCUS:

I am working to make it easier for kids to develop healthy habits in Mississippi. In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 kids is already overweight or obese, and today’s generation could be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. The significant racial and ethnic disparities that exist in obesity prevalence among American children are pronounced in Mississippi’s diverse communities and pose additional challenges to accessing the resources kids need to grow up healthy. I work with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals, and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier kids.

Valeria Hawkins, Healthy Schools Program Manager, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Inc.

I live by the mission of trying to “be the change I hope to see in the world” and I am a change agent for better children’s health.

Wilson Wang, MD, Pediatric Attending

NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS

Location: New York, New York

A Cross-Sectoral Solution to Youth Violence in East Harlem

 

FOCUS: Children in conflict often get hurt at the intersection of systems that are supposed to nourish and protect them. A school altercation is allowed to escalate. The police come bearing handcuffs. A child is brought for dearth of options to the hospital. The triage nurse registers a complaint of danger to self, resulting in transfer of the individual into a locked-down psychiatric facility, meant for adults. The end of the line facility in this scenario is Metropolitan Emergency Department in East Harlem but this might as well be anywhere. Caring adult professionals with community partners must commit to a cross-sectoral approach to problems that put children’s health and development first. For this particular problem we establish conflict resolution programs in Harlem schools, youth-centered protocols for how police deal with children and a separate pediatric psychiatric assessment area in Metropolitan’s Emergency Department.

Wilson Wang, MD, Pediatric Attending, New York City Health and Hospitals

Dr. Wang’s first job out of University was as a middle school science teacher in urban Oakland. The lessons he learned in the classroom on social health determinants became the backdrop for a 12-year career in clinical pediatrics, health system design, and public health. Dr. Wang will do anything for the health of children starting with the obvious: Putting children first.