Katie Bruno, MPH, Manager, Health Management Program Department, Health New England
Ms. Katie Bruno has been involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of health promotion and wellness programs since 2011. Recently, over the past two years, she has been an integral part of Health New England’s community benefits strategy; including community health needs assessment and community improvement plan. Bruno earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Michigan State University. This past May 2017, she completed her M.P.H. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has been accepted into the Isenberg School of Management to pursue her MBA next year.
Katie Callendrillo, Lead Speech Language Pathologist, Mercy Medical Center
Ms. Katie Calendrillo is the lead speech language pathologist for Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA. She has been with Mercy Medical for 11 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies from Springfield College and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from Clarion University.
Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health
As director since 2006, Mr. Thomas Carbone has been leading a talented team of health professionals. He is a Certified Health Officer as well as a Registered Sanitarian in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1989, Mr. Carbone was appointed Director of Public Health for the Town of Tewksbury, where he served for 16 years. Under his direction public health services were slowly expanded to include more nursing and environmental programs. For over 20 years he has been an active member of the Massachusetts Health Officers Association, has been a past president, and currently serves on its Executive Board as an Ex-Officio Member. Carbone graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1987.
Laura Christoph, PhD, Professor and Director, Nutrition Transfer Program, Holyoke Community College
Dr. Laura Christoph, a full-time professor for 10 years, teaches a variety of introductory nutrition, culinary, and public health courses. She creates pathways from the community college to four-year institutions and advises students in the health sciences. Christoph earned her B.S. in Nutrition in 2004 and her Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2008.
Jessica Collins, MS, Executive Director, Partners for a Healthier Community, the public health institute of Western MA
Ms. Jessica Collins leads initiatives that address public health issues that stem from unjust systems and policies such as Live Well Springfield, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, YEAH! Network and the BEST Oral Health program which is recognized as a national best practice. She has over twenty years of experience in domestic and international community health leading communities to create and sustain programmatic, policy, and infrastructure change that supports quality of life. Partners for a Healthier Community leads work addressing the racial hierarchy in our society and released the first Springfield Health Equity Report highlighting alarming health disparities in our region. She has been a leader in childhood obesity prevention through community based participatory research. Collins holds a Master’s degree in Applied Nutrition and Food Policy from Tufts University.
Denise M. Gloekler, PT, DPT, PCS, cNDT, Director, Rehabilitation Department, Motion Analysis Center, Sports Health and Medicine program, Shriners Hospitals for Children/Springfield
Ms. Denise Gloekler is board certified in pediatric physical therapy through the American Physical Therapy Association, is designated as a Pediatric Certification Specialist, and is certified in the Neurodevelopmental Treatment approach. She has devoted her career to pediatrics, working in hospital inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as public and private school settings. She worked as an adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce University and an associate professor at Hesser College. Gloekler received her B.S. with a distinction in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut in 1979 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Franklin Pierce University in 2010.
Paul Halfmann, MPH, RS, Assistant Director, Community Sanitation Program (CSP), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)
Mr. Paul Halfmann is an adjunct faculty member at Worcester State University, member of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Preventive Medicine Residency Advisory Committee, and instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Prior to his work with the CSP, which provides a range of education, consultation, and enforcement activities to local Boards of Health and the public, Mr. Halfmann was a Master Code Enforcement Lead Inspector with the Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program for ten years. He began his career in public health at the Worcester Department of Health and Code Enforcement conducting nuisance complaint investigations. Halfmann received his B.A. from Guilford College in 1977 and his M.P.H. from University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011.
Jeff Harness, MPH, Director of Community Health and Government Relations, Cooley Dickinson Health Care
Mr. Jeff Harness directs all community health initiatives which includes community benefit, community health needs assessment, and community health improvement plan development. He staffs the board committee responsible for community health and represents the health care system to local and state programs and projects. Mr. Harness also co-chairs the Cooley Dickinson opioid task force and serves as project director. Current community health projects include health access, healthy eating/active living, tobacco control, racism and health equity, and improved health services for veterans and military families, LGBT residents, and mental health. He serves on several coalition and project steering committees including the School’s Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network and the UMass Chancellors Diversity Advisory Committee. He serves as board president for Partners for a Healthier Community and is a board member of the United Way of Hampshire County and an advisory board member of One Hampshire (regional Chamber of Commerce). Harness received his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University and his M.P.H. in Policy and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences.
Haner Hernández, PhD, Senior Consultant, Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services
Dr. Haner Hernández, originally from Puerto Rico, is bilingual and has worked in the health and human service field for over 29 years developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally and linguistically competent youth and adult health prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support programs. Dr. Hernandez is a person in long-term recovery from addiction and is committed to eliminating health disparities by working at the local, state, and national levels. His consultant work with the Department of Public Health focuses on Access To Recovery (ATR), Recovery Supports, and the ten (10) Recovery Support Centers located throughout the Commonwealth. He also consults and teaches courses at the New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) at Brown University and the National Latino and Hispanic ATTC. He holds an advance Certification in Drug and Alcohol Counseling at the reciprocal level, is licensed in Massachusetts, and is a Certified Prevention Specialist. Hernández earned a B.S. in Human Services from Springfield College, a Master of Education with concentrations in Counseling Psychology and Addiction Studies from Cambridge College, and his doctoral degree at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Frederick Hooven, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Public Health, American International College (AIC)
Dr. Frederick Hooven developed and administers an undergraduate public health program. Prior to joining AIC in 2013, Dr. Hooven worked for over ten years as an epidemiologist on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he directed an international cohort study on osteoporosis. Also at UMass, he served as Director of Research for the Massachusetts Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, which addressed barriers to working for people with disabilities. In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Hooven worked for several years in managed care administration and prior to that, in health policy for the Massachusetts Medicaid program.
Cristina Huebner Torres, PhD, Director of Research and Wellness, Caring Health Center (CHC)
Concurrent with her role as Director of Research, Ms. Cristina Huebner Torres served as Vice President at the health center where she was responsible for directing the administrative functions and overseeing all health center operations and quality in accordance with regulatory agencies. With 18 years’ experience in mixed-method community-based public health research, Ms. Huebner Torres has worked in community, clinical and academic settings. Her work is guided by theoretical frameworks from social epidemiology and medical anthropology focused primarily on social determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity as they shape chronic disease prevention and management among ethnically diverse, urban, low income populations. She collaborates with UMass investigators on projects spanning international efforts to develop integrity-based antipoverty policy to primary care-based initiatives for workforce development and piloting shared medical appointments patients with diabetes. She is a member of the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) Policy Council, a Board Member at Partners for a Healthier Community, and Advisory Board Member of Project ACCCES—A Collaboration to Build Capacity for Community-Engaged Research (CEnR). Huebner Torres is completing her doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences.
Matthew Kelley, AuD Audiology Manager, Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England
Dr. Matthew Kelley, a practicing audiologist for 8 years, has dedicated himself to improving the lives of the hard of hearing. His personal experience with hearing loss includes a 30+ year history of hearing aid and assistive technology use. He uses his unique perspective to promote the benefit of technology and a medical hearing healthcare delivery model. Dr. Kelley’s team of six audiologists is the largest audiology department in Western Massachusetts, dedicated to improving the lives of those with hearing and balance disorders. His department is responsible for the care of patients seeking the latest innovations in hearing healthcare, including implantable hearing technologies such as the cochlear implant and bone-anchored hearing solutions. In 2013, Dr. Kelley joined a nationwide study on sudden sensorineural hearing loss. This study would serve as a foundation for the development of a standard method of treatment for this condition by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Audiology and American Speech Language Association. Although Kelley graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2009, his emphasis on continuing education has led him to continue taking courses in Business Administration as well as earning him several awards for exceeding continuing education requirements.
Patrice LaMour, CEO & President, LaMour Clinic
Lori Anne Lyne, MS, ACNP-BC, Clinical Placement Coordinator/ Lecturer, College of Nursing at University of Massachusetts
Ms. Lori Anne Lyne developed and was a nurse practitioner at Baystate Health Heart and Vascular Lipid Management Program (2000- 2013) and Wilbraham Adult Medicine (2013-2015), caring for patients with dyslipidemia, obesity and cardiometabolic syndrome. She has extensive experience in behavior modification counseling for lipid, weight and stress management. She has more than 20 years of experience in preventive cardiology and wellness and has a background as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She has participated in the 8-week Mindfulness course with Dr. Robert Smith (Baystate Health Mindfulness Program Director) and practices meditation. She has also received training from the Harvard Mind/Body Institute of Medicine. She is a member of AANP, National Lipid Association, Sigma Theta Tau (Beta Zeta Chapter) and is enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at University of Massachusetts, Amherst College of Nursing. Lyne has a B.S. in Exercise Science and Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an M.S. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School Graduate School of Nursing.
Mark Pettus MD, Director of Medical Education, Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems
Dr. Mark Pettus is a triple-board certified Internist, Nephrologist, and Integrative Medicine physician practicing for over 25 years. He is an alumnus of The Advanced Program for Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation at The Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, he serves as the Associate Dean of Medical Education at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the author of two books, The Savvy Patient: The Ultimate Advocate For Quality Health Care and It’s All in Your Head: Change Your Mind, Change Your Health. Pettus received his B.A. from Boston University and his M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Neena Qasba, MD, Baystate Health’s Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology
Frank Robinson, PhD, Vice President of Public Health & Community Relations, Baystate Health
Dr. Frank Robinson is responsible for integrating clinical and community care to better serve vulnerable people and populations across the spectrum of diversity and create healthier communities. In leading Baystate’s efforts to expand the definition of health to include economic opportunity; access to education, nutritious food and culture; safe neighborhoods, and other underlying essentials of a person’s and a community’s ability to thrive, Dr. Robinson focuses on building community partnerships to achieve large-scale health improvements, including resource development, health education and health equity initiatives and community benefits. Dr. Robinson joined Baystate Health in 1995, and for the past 20 years he simultaneously served as the Executive Director of Partners for a Healthier Community and the Director of Community Health Planning at Baystate Health. In his role at Partners for a Healthier Community, he excelled in breaking down traditional non-profit sector silos and fostering innovative community responses to community problems. He has led many of Baystate’s community-benefit contributions to Springfield, particularly in support of public education through the establishment of the Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership (BSEP) and the founding of the Baystate Academy Charter Public School. With over 40 years of public and not-for-profit experience, he has spent his career working to build healthy communities. Robinson earned his B.A in Psychology from State University of New York, his M.A. in Community Psychology from Mansfield University, and his Ph.D. in Public Health – Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Stacy Robison, MPH, MCHES, Co-founder, CommunicateHealth
Ms. Stacy Robison, a self-proclaimed health literacy geek and an expert in clear communication, is responsible for leading CommunicateHealth’s content and creative excellence. Since co-founding the company at the age of 30, Stacy has been recognized as an innovative business leader by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Healthcare News, among other media outlets, discussing a variety of issues from entrepreneurship to health behavior change. Stacy has been a key player in the field of health literacy for the past decade, helping to develop several tools and resources for health professionals including Health Literacy Online. Stacy specializes in designing digital health information for diverse patient populations, especially adults with limited health literacy skills. Robison earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000 and her M.P.H. in Health Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2005.
Biani Salas-Morales, Community Health Worker, Hilltown Community Health Centers, Inc.
Geoff Sullivan, Managing Member, Continuum Performance Center (CPC)/East Longmeadow, MA
Mr. Geoff Sullivan is a well accomplished director and influencer with fifteen years of industry experience. He started CPC in 2010 with the intention of developing a staff of degreed professionals who are career focused in the world of human performance. He, and his ever evolving staff, deliver elite level coaching to all individuals that are willing to dedicate the time and energy to making themselves well. He is personally a fitness enthusiast. As an experienced tri-athlete, obstacle racer, Olympic lifter, soccer player, wrestler, and marathon runner, he respects human performance on all levels. Sullivan holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and certifications through NSCA, ACSM, FMS, and TRX.
Sandy Sulsky, PhD, Principal, Ramboll Environ
After earning her Ph.D., Ms. Sandy Sulsky remained in Amherst, working for Applied Epidemiology, Inc., which was acquired by the health sciences and environmental engineering firm, ENVIRON International Corporation, in 2003. ENVIRON was then acquired by Ramboll, an international environmental engineering company, in 2015. While the vast majority of her career has been spent working in private companies, she has worked in a semi-governmental/semi-academic position (at the Jean Meyer U.S.D.A Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University) and as a field consultant to a U.S. state Health Department. Her experience as an epidemiologist has focused on applying a sound understanding of epidemiological methods and concepts to a broad array of problems. Her research areas include occupational injury and disability, program evaluation, and outcomes of health care. Since 2009, she has increasingly focused her attention on identifying and developing the scientific base needed to support tobacco product regulation. Sulsky holds B.S. degrees in Psychology and Sociology from UMass Amherst, an M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from UMass Amherst.
Steven J. Ward, MA, MPH, REHS/RS, Adjunct Professor, Health Sciences, Worcester State University (WSU) and Founder of Public Health Solutions, LLC
Mr. Steven Ward serves as a Foundation Board member at WSU. In addition, he is a member of the Boston University School of Public Health Alumni Leadership Council. Currently, he provides consultation services to municipal health departments and to schools and programs of public health seeking accreditation. Steve served in the capacity of Director of Public Health for the Town of Watertown, Town of Braintree, Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Worcester/Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance and as Interim Director for the City of Marlborough. With over 30 years of experience in public health at the local level, he was responsible for the administration of a municipal health department, overseeing fiscal functions, management of numerous grants, implementing board decisions and policies, assuring that state and local public health mandated programs were implemented and that department goals and objectives were met. He is also an experienced Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) site visitor with experience in reviewing accreditation criteria for University MPH schools and programs. He also served as a Coach in the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) Survive and Thrive (Cohort 3) program. He is a Registered Sanitarian and a Certified Health Officer. Ward received his B.S. in Biology from Worcester State College, his M.A. in Biological Science from Anna Maria College, and his M.P.H. from Boston University School of Public Health.
Ben Wood, MPH, Director of the Office of Community Health Planning and Engagement, MA Department of Public Health, Division of Prevention and Wellness
Mr. Ben Wood works with communities, state agencies and other stakeholders to increase knowledge of how policies, projects and plans of all types impact health and to develop capacity for collaborative community health improvement planning. This work includes building capacity for the practice of Health Impact Assessment with a focus on built environment related issues, oversight of the Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program and the development and implementation of tools for the Community Health Initiative component of the Determination of Need program. Previous to working for MDPH, he was most recently the Director of Public Health for the City of Northampton. Among other accomplishments, he led Northampton’s participation as a beta-test site for the newly formed Public Health Accreditation Board. He has significant experience in community health assessment, health improvement planning and policy development. He has presented at numerous state and national public health conferences on topics ranging from emergency preparedness and aging and disability issues and Health Impact Assessment. He was a member of the executive leadership team of the first permanent steering committee of the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment and received the Public Service Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association in in 2015. He received his B.A. from Hampshire College and his M.P.H. from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health.