Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Registration and Networking Breakfast: 7:45am | Conference: 8:30am to 3:30pm
New Location! The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset, NJ
#HealthyNJ18

Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey is about improving health, equity and well-being for all residents. Each community defines a culture of health differently and many prospects for good health are limited by where we live, how much money we make, or discrimination we face. To achieve health equity, we need to meet communities where they are and address unique barriers so that physical and mental health is a part of everything we do.

Conference Objectives


This year's conference, "Thriving Communities Transform Lives," will focus on:

  • Working together to develop scalable solutions and take targeted action to transform our communities
  • Addressing health equity, community-specific barriers, and shifting values toward health
  • Creating strong social connections in schools, early care, and homes
  • Identifying Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma experiences
  • Sharing diverse examples of health transformation
  • Examining communities that are seeing successful outcomes using innovative evaluation methods
  • Advancing policies that support collaborations and partnerships
  • Strengthening community-based healthcare through youth-led programs
  • Ensuring that neighborhood infrastructures create healthy, equitable communities that support an active lifestyle


Conference Agenda

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7:45 am: Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30 am: Conference Kick-off

8:45 am: Opening Remarks
Darrin Anderson, PhD, State Program Director, NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids, Executive Director, NJ YMCA State Alliance
Marjorie Paloma, MPH, Senior Program Officer and Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
9:15 am: General Remarks
Dr. Shereef Elnahal, Commissioner, NJ Department of Health
9:30 am: Featured Speaker - Dr. Howard C. Stevenson, "Racial Literacy—The Path to Healing Racial Trauma"
Professor, Author, Community Thought Leader, and Director, Forward Promise

10:00 am: Q & A

10:15 am: Stretch Break with Romy Toussaint
Romy Yoga

10:20 am: Culture of Health Champion Award Presentations

10:35 am: Morning Workshop Session (Choose one of six workshops.)

1A. A Two Generation Approach to Trauma: NJ Pilot Projects Educating about ACEs Science in the Classroom and Implementing ACEs Screening in Pediatric Primary Care

The New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, is piloting a primary prevention program in the city of Camden focused on ACEs science - Healthy SPPACEs. In partnership with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Mi Casita Family School (Pre K - 8), CAMcare (a Federally Qualified Health Center), Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, and the Center for Youth Wellness, Healthy SPPACEs strengthens and expands on the relationship between school nurses and pediatricians, providing a higher quality of care within the Pediatric Medical Home and establishing a Pediatric Medical Home for children without one. Pediatricians will pilot implementation of ACEs screenings with families, and have a conversation about the risk of transferring trauma across generations. Talking about and healing from ACEs is important for helping to prevent another generation from being impacted by the trauma experienced by the prior generation. The Healthy SPPACEs team will describe their work in providing ACEs education to pediatricians and other pediatric healthcare clinicians, school nurses and other school personnel. Participants of the workshop will receive handouts and resources from the NJAAP and Center for Youth Wellness National Pediatric Practice Community.

Moderator:
Fran Gallagher,
MEd, CEO, NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Panelist:
Steven Kairys,
MD, MPH, FAAP, Chair, Pediatrics, Hackensack-Meridian Health Jersey Shore Hospital, Principal Investigator, SPPACES project, NJAAP

Panelist:
Aldina M. Hovde,
MSW, Director, Safety and Trauma Informed Care Initiatives, NJAAP

Panelist:
Robin Cogan,
MEd, RN, NCSN, School Nurse at Mi Casita, Camden City School District & Faculty, Rutgers – Camden School of Nursing

Panelist:
Cándida Rodríguez,
Parent Advocate & Family Worker, Mi Casita Child Development Center, Camden


1B. Workforce and Caregiver Wellness – Resilience for Dealing With Trauma

As we become more aware of and focused on addressing ACEs and trauma in building a healthier community, it is important to be mindful of the 'second-hand trauma' experienced by social workers, school counselors and others who care for the most vulnerable in our community. This session will focus on the impact that caring for those with high rates of exposure to traumatic events and stress has on the caregivers and providers themselves. The panelists will share information about self-care tips and current efforts to support the well-being and resilience of those who help others.

Moderator:
Jennifer Barrett Sryfi,
MHA, Director, Program Development and Evaluation, New Jersey Hospital Association/HRET

Panelist:
Adeola Sonaike,
PhD, MPH, CHES, Senior Vice President – Health, The Family Resource Network

Panelist:
Meryl Schulman,
MPH, Program Officer, Center for Health Care Strategies


1C. The Balancing Act of Planning, Partners, Programs and Policy

In our work today, where health is all-encompassing, social determinants have as much affect as clinical aspects and chronic conditions, and it seems everyone is focused on policy, systems and environmental changes, it is still vitally important to provide programs and services throughout our communities to ensure everyone is able to live the healthiest life possible. Join us for a conversation with two NJ-based community coalitions to hear how they have been able to balance the long-term focus on policy change while still managing the day-to-day planning and program delivery through the support of strong multi-sector partnerships. Healthy Places By Design, strategic partners for communities and those who invest in them, helping turn visions of health into equitable and lasting impact, will bring a national perspective to this conversation.

Moderator:
Diane Hagerman,
Deputy Director of Programs, New Jersey Health Initiatives

Panelist:
Steve Jobin,
President & CEO, Raritan Bay Area YMCA; Project Director, Healthier Perth Amboy

Panelist:
Joanne Lee,
Collaborative Learning Director, Healthy Places By Design

Panelist:
Alane McCahey, Senior Director of Community Initiatives, The Gateway Family YMCA; Project Director, Shaping Elizabeth


1D. Building Foundations for Equity Through Critical Organizational and Self-Reflection

Advancing equity requires us to look deeply at the ways that history, power, privilege and oppression have manifested in our organizations, communities and individual lived experiences. Beyond working in communities and partnerships to realize more equitable processes and outcomes, we must engage in our own internal personal and organizational work to build capacity to be effective change agents that embody the principles of equity, inclusion and social justice. During this session, we will walk through core components of the Center for Urban and Racial Equity's organizational change framework based on four key domains (Commitment to Equity, Shared Language and Analysis, Equitable Policies and Practices, Empowered People) and four overarching practices (Systemic Analysis, Ongoing Learning, Transformative Practices, Sustained Commitment). Building on the framework and collective wisdom of participants, we'll explore steps for engaging in a critical self-reflection, assessment and capacity building process at the personal and organizational levels to strengthen the foundation from which we lead, plan and implement equity-centered programs, practices and initiatives.

Moderator:
Valaria Galarza, MS, CHES Senior Project Manager, Cooper's Ferry Partnership

Panelist:
Judy Lubin,
PhD, MPH, President, Center for Urban and Racial Equity


1E. ACEs and the Journey to Wellness for Youth

One out of four children in a school classroom have experienced trauma. Children who experience prolonged exposure to trauma may have impaired limbic system development resulting in unstable affect regulation and impulsive behaviors. The Attachment & Trauma Network has created a four-step program that reduces internalizing and externalizing behavior in the classroom, improves school climate, and improves outcomes for children with trauma who are in special education. Working collaboratively with families and community agencies, schools can support students by facilitating the development of a culture and climate that recognizes a whole child educational philosophy with an emphasis on social and emotional leaning.

Moderator:
Kathleen T. Morgan,
Dr. M.H., NDTR, Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University, Family and Community Health Sciences

Panelist:
Dr. Melissa Sadin,
Ed.D, M.Ed, Executive Director: Ducks & Lions: Trauma Sensitive Resources, Program Director: Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools for The Attachment & Trauma Network, Special Education Director: Unity Charter School

Panelist:
Dr. Tanya McDonald,
Psy.D, Director of Special Services for Somerville Public Schools

Panelist:
Tracy Heisler,
MA, BS, Executive Director, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Somerset, Huterdon and Warren Counties


1F. It's Time to #ThinkBabies!

The first few years lay the foundation for the rest of a child's life. The lessons young children learn from their environments have a lifelong impact, affecting everything from overall health and life expectancy to earning potential. Therefore, it is essential that we provide babies the most essential resources to help them thrive. This workshop will explore several initiatives taking place in New Jersey that highlight the importance of the early years, promote enriching early experiences, and provide a strong foundation for development right from the start.

Moderator:
Peri Nearon,
Manager, Community Health & Wellness, NJ Department of Health

Panelist:
Alana Vega,
MPP, Kids Count Coordinator, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Panelist:
Hannah Korn-Heilner, MSW, Community Outreach Coordinator, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Panelist:
Jessica Lipper, MSJ, Government Affairs Manager, Mid-Atlantic, Nurse-Family Partnership, National Service Office

Panelist:
Kaitlin Mulcahy, LPC, IMHM, Associate Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University

Panelist:
Ericka Dickerson, MSW, LSW, ECCS IMPACT/Help Me Grow Manager, Office of Early Childhood Services, NJ-DCF - Family & Community Partnerships

12:00 pm: Buffet Luncheon

1:15 pm: Featured Speakers - Cory Nieves of Mr. Cory and Cookie Mom, "Turning Adversity into Opportunity"
Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Mr. Cory's Cookies

1:45 pm: Q & A

2:00 pm: Mental Reflection with Romy Toussaint
Romy Yoga

2:05 pm: Afternoon Workshop Session (Choose one of six workshops.)

2A. Strategies for Strengthening Families

From building vocabulary, to developing social skills, to adopting healthy eating habits, eating together as a family can foster many benefits for family members of all ages. Whether at the dining room table or on picnic blanket at the park, meals can serve as positive family time that becomes a building block for life-long healthy behaviors. Learn about the abundance of research that links family meals to positive behaviors across the life span. This presentation will also explore what research has found about the role of mobile media (such as mobile phones and tablets) in family life; how they are used at home and in public; what their impact is on interpersonal relationships, parenting strategies, and children's wellbeing; and what families should take into consideration in regulating their own – as well as their children's mobile media use. With a spirit of curiosity, we will explore together what mindfulness is and experience practical ways it can be implemented to improve the overall well-being of all family members.

Moderator:
Kathleen Morgan
, Dr.MH, NDTR, Professor, Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers University

Panelist:
Jennifer Shukaitis,
MPH, Assistant Professor/Educator, Department of Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University

Panelist:
Dafna Lemish,
PhD, Professor and Associate Dean, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Panelist:
Donna Woody,
MSW, Owner, Solutions for Change


2B. Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Youth and their mentors, who are leading the way in building a culture of health in New Jersey, will share their work and highlight ways that we can support their endeavors. Jay Okesola will present the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Safety Ambassadors, Central Jersey high school students who are linked with 1st and 2nd graders in their districts to provide educational presentations covering childhood injury risks and related prevention strategies – pedestrian safety, wheeled sports and helmets, safety in and around cars, and fall prevention. Melissa Reifman, a high school sophomore, will describe the H.A.P.P.Y. (Heroin Addiction Prevents People's Years) Week initiative for education and prevention of heroin addiction. H.A.P.P.Y. Week has been presented to nearly 40 middle schools and high schools in New Jersey and New York, reaching over 15,000 students. Danny Papa, social studies teacher at Jefferson Township Middle School, and founder of Project Stay Gold, a student-led effort to educate peer students about and advocate for prevention of modern day slavery/human trafficking, will talk about his students and their leadership in creative organizing over the last eight years. Anirudh Muralidharan will speak about his involvement as NJ's ambassador to the national Fuel Up To Play 60 initiative, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

Moderator:
Marcela Betzer,
MPH, Program Director, NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Panelist:
Jay Okesola,
Coordinator, Robert Wood Johnson Safety Ambassadors Program

Panelist:
Melissa Reifman,
H.A.P.P.Y. Week Initiative – A Heroin Addiction Prevention Program

Panelist:
Daniel Papa,
Jefferson Township High School Social Studies Teacher & Founder, Project Stay Gold

Panelist:
Anirudh Muralidharan, Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador for NJ, 11th grade, Kingsway Regional High School


2C. Innovative Evaluation

Evaluation got you down? Not sure what to measure, how much it will cost, or how to best collect data? This session will explore evaluation techniques that are applied at the community level. Each presenter will share project-specific measurement techniques across a variety of content areas. They will also discuss how the data collected were used to inform policy, inform stakeholders and communicate with funders. Please bring your questions to this interactive session.

Co-Moderator:
Michelle Kennedy,
MPH, MCHES, Program Coordinator, Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health

Co-Moderator:
Erin M. Bunger Johnson, MPH, Senior Research Associate, Montclair State University, Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS)

Panelist:
Rebecca Swann-Jackson,
MEd, Senior Research Associate, Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS)

Panelist:
Christopher Ackerman,
MPH, CHES, Research Associate, Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health

Panelist:
Holly Cucuzzella,
DrPH, MPH, MCHES, HO, Burlington County Health Department


2D. Understanding History for Relevant Policy-Making for Today!

Good policy-making requires a wide range of evidence including social studies, evaluation and research, modelling, economics and history. Understanding the importance of history can be used professionally to add value, provide context and a conceptual toolkit for policy issues. This session will explore existing ways that residents, advocates, policy-makers and professionals can leverage history to create policies to remove barriers and impediments to good community health and youth centered outcomes.

Moderator:
Mary Coogan, JD, Vice President, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Panelist:
Andrea McChristian, Esq., Associate Counsel, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ)

Panelist:
David Adler, DrPH, MPA, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


2E. "A Night of Conversation" – How to Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention!

The thought of speaking to youth about alcohol and drugs is often daunting for parents. How to start the conversation? How often to talk? What's the right language? What's the best message? Yet, one of the most effective preventative measures is for adults to talk with youth about the dangers of alcohol and drug use – and starting at an early age. For this reason, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, Horizon Foundation, and Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey have partnered to raise healthy, confident, and connected youth who are empowered to make healthy choices that include avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs.

Moderator:
Megan James,
Director of Social Responsibility, Somerset County YMCA

Panelist:
Mary Ann Christopher,
Vice President, Clinical Operations & Transformation – Healthcare Management Division, Horizon Foundation of NJ

Panelist:
Dr. Michael Crupain,
Medical Unit Chief of Staff, The Doctor Oz Show

Panelist:
Angelo M. Valente,
Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey


2F. Using Environmental Action to Combat Place-Based Inequity

"We literally embody, biologically, the societal and ecological conditions in which we grow up and develop and live." – Dr. Nancy Krieger, Harvard University

It is well-researched that health is influenced by where people live through socioeconomic and environmental factors like access to healthcare providers, air and water quality, neighborhood safety, school systems, and more. Typically, factors that negatively impact health, such as poor community walkability and pollution, predominantly affect communities of color and result in overall worse health outcomes. In this workshop, panelists will share accomplishments and best practices in addressing the social determinants of health in New Jersey to ensure that all residents are able to live the healthiest possible life.

Moderator:
Marissa Davis, Senior State Program Manager, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and State Program Office

Panelist:
Chris Sturm,
Managing Director, Policy and Water, New Jersey Future

Panelist:
Elyse Pivnick,
Senior Director, Environmental Health, Isles Inc.

Panelist:
Aviva Woog,
Community Advocacy Manager, WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

3:30 pm: Adjourn

Conference Details

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REGISTRATION FEES

Registration Fee
$120 per person


FCHS Staff:
$60 per person

Students:
$40 per person (must show ID)



CONSENT TO USE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES

Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey constitutes an agreement by the registrant to conference sponsor use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee's image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions and audiotapes.


CREDITS

Certified Health Education Specialist Credits (CHES): This program has been approved for 4.0 Category I Continuing Education Credits for CHES by the Rutgers School of Public Health. The Rutgers SPH has been designated as a provider of continuing education in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Health Officers and Registered Environmental Health Specialists (HO/REHS): Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). Participants who complete this program will be awarded 4.5 CEs.


MEALS

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided to you at no additional cost.

If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


WHO SHOULD ATTEND

  • Caregivers

  • Dietitians

  • Early Care/Health Educators

  • Evaluators

  • Health Care Providers

  • Local Health Departments
  • Municipal/Transportation Planners

  • Parents/Residents

  • Policy Makers

  • Public/Population Health Professionals

  • School Administrators


TIPS FOR ATTENDING

If you are interested in attending, these tools can help you communicate to your supervisor or manager how the Building A Culture of Health Conference can benefit your professional development and, ultimately, your organization. In the link above, you'll find:

  • Tips for asking via letter and in-person

  • Letter template to send to your boss

  • In-person conversation starters

Speakers


Featured Speakers

Dr. Howard C. Stevenson

Dr. Howard C. Stevenson


Professor, Author, Community Thought Leader
Director, Forward Promise

"Racial Literacy—The Path to Healing Racial Trauma"

Read More About Dr. Stevenson

If we hope to heal the racial tensions that threaten to tear the fabric of society apart, we're going to need the skills to openly express ourselves in racially stressful situations. Through racial literacy -- the ability to read, recast and resolve these situations -- psychologist Howard C. Stevenson helps children and parents reduce and manage stress and trauma. Learn more about how this approach to decoding racial threat can help youth build confidence and stand up for themselves in productive ways.

Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, in the Human Development & Quantitative Methods Division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC), a research, program development, and training center that brings together community leaders, researchers, authority figures, families, and youth to study and promote racial literacy and health in schools and neighborhoods.

He also serves as the Director of Forward Promise, a national program office funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to provide philanthropic support for organizations designed to improve the health of boys and young men of color and their families and to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination, and colonization. Since 1985, Dr. Stevenson has served as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.

Dr. Stevens is the author of numerous publications and books including the best seller, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that Make a Difference. His areas of expertise include: African-American psychology, effects of at-risk neighborhoods on youth, family and parental engagement, racial/ethnic socialization and negotiation, racial literacy, violence prevention, bullying, sports and psychotherapy and family therapy.

He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and a B.A. from Eastern College.

Cory Nieves AKA Mr. Cory and Cookie Mom

Cory Nieves aka Mr. Cory and Cookie Mom


Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Mr. Cory's Cookies

"Turning Adversity into Opportunity"

Read More About Mr. Cory

Cory Nieves, also known as Mr. Cory, is a pint-sized entrepreneur who serves as co-founder of Mr. Cory's Cookies. The company sells all-natural gourmet cookies made with premium ingredients.

Mr. Cory lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with his mother, Lisa Howard, also known as Cookie Mom. Together they created Mr. Cory's Cookies when, at age 6, Cory decided he wanted to sell hot cocoa and Chocolate Chip Cookies to raise money to buy his mother a car because he was tired of riding public transportation. The cookies were a hit. Today, these delicious cookies are available in Chocolate Chip and Sugar with more flavors to come.

Lisa grew up in foster care and was determined to not let her son encounter the same adverse experiences she experienced as a child. Through economic empowerment and perseverance, they are working hard to ensure a brighter future for Cory. Lisa is also a strong advocate for single moms.

Mr. Cory was recently among 10 teens in the United States to be awarded The Diana Award. Established in memory of the Princess of Wales, the award is considered among the most prestigious a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work.

Mr. Cory and Lisa have been featured on CNBC's The Profit, which is the brainchild of businessman Marcus Lemonis, who helped the mother-son duo grow their business. Mr. Cory has also been featured on MasterChef Junior, CBS This Morning and the Ellen DeGeneres Show where Ellen gifted him a car bearing his company's logo. He is also a model and has appeared in numerous ads, including collaborating on a major fashion promotion and his own clothing line.

As part of Mr. Cory CARES, he gives back to those in need. He often speaks at schools encouraging young people like him to become entrepreneurs. Upon high school graduation, he plans to attend Princeton University and study business and law.




Workshop Speakers


Christopher Ackerman

Christopher Ackerman


Research Associate, Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health

Panelist, Innovative Evaluation

Read More About Christopher Ackerman, MPH, CHES

Christopher Ackerman (M.P.H., Rutgers School of Public Health) is a Research Associate for the Center for Tobacco Studies at the Rutgers School of Public Health. His work at the center focuses on tobacco industry marketing, including point-of-sale advertising in the retail environment. Previously, Mr. Ackerman served as the program coordinator for the Hub City Fresh Healthy Corner Store Initiative in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He also is a chef/instructor and program planner for the Coqui the Chef healthy youth cooking program based in the Bronx, New York.

David Adler

David Adler


Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Panelist, Understanding History for Relevant Policy-Making for Today!

Read More About David Adler, DrPH, MPA

David Adler, DrPH, MPA, is a senior program officer working ensure that the nation's health and health care systems meet the needs of the people they serve. In particular, Adler's work focuses on ensuring consumers are represented in all levels of health system transformation and exploring ways to use Medicaid as a lever for building a Culture of Health.

Adler joined the Foundation in 2008 and brought extensive experience working with community-based agencies and individuals to help advance public health initiatives. He started his work at the Foundation with the Childhood Obesity Team as a communications associate and joined the Coverage team in 2010, initially as a communications officer and later as a program officer.

Before coming to the Foundation, Adler directed communications for The Food Trust in Philadelphia, where he helped to produce compelling research reports that promoted increased access to healthy food in all communities. Adler's early career included teaching adult literacy at Philadelphia's Lutheran Settlement House and working in a pre-kindergarten program in Bilbao, Spain. He also served as a program coordinator of an initiative that allowed health care workers to advance in nursing careers as part of a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Adler received a BA from Swarthmore College, an MSt in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University of Oxford, an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a DrPH in Health Leadership from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adler lives in Lawrenceville, N.J., with his husband, a senior administrator at Princeton University.

Darrin Anderson

Darrin Anderson


State Program Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and Executive Director, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance

Master of Ceremonies

Read More About Darrin Anderson

Darrin leads a statewide multidisciplinary team that advances changes to systems, environment and public policy through strategic operations and planning, community and civic engagement, collaborations, financial development, communications, and program evaluation. He has fostered and continues to foster youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through his positions as co-chair of the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Task Force, member of the executive committee of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network and Get Hype Philadelphia, advisory board of Active Living By Design and Governor's Task Force on Comprehensive Cancer Control, former co-chair of the U.S. Region II Health Equity Council, and board member of the Advocates for Children of New Jersey.




Marcela Betzer

Marcela Betzer


Program Director, NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Moderator, Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Read More About Marcela Betzer, MPH

Marcela has been working on behalf of children and families in the non-profit sector for over 15 years in the areas of community health, nutrition and obesity prevention, childhood development, and mental health. Ms. Betzer directs the Mental Health program, an education and quality improvement project for practices participating in a pediatric psychiatry collaborative, which connects them with mental health professionals, resources, and services for the children and families in their care.

Mary Ann Christopher

Mary Ann Christopher


Vice President, Clinical Operations & Transformation – Healthcare Management Division, Horizon Foundation of NJ

Panelist, "A Night of Conversation" – How to Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention!

Read More About Mary Ann Christopher

Mary Ann Christopher has visionary executive leadership and governance experience with companies with annual revenues up to $13 billion. She has served as Board Director, CEO, Strategic Adviser and Executive Leader to health care provider, payor, higher education, health care startups, and private equity backed companies. She has grown small mid size companies to multimillion enterprises through merger and acquisition strategies, facilitated turnaround of a multi billion integrated payor/provider organization and positioned small and mid sized companies for profitable exit. Mrs. Christopher has a distinguished career of visionary leadership, strategic positioning, business development, regulatory, merger and acquisition expertise, and restructuring experience. She has an extensive national network.

Mrs. Christopher has Board governance experience across a range of sectors, having served as Chair and Vice Chair of Boards, and the following committees: Finance, Audit, Quality, Executive, Strategy, Compensation, and University Affairs. She has served in key state and federal governmental advisory roles on Medicare, Medicaid, workforce development, housing and human services commissions and task forces.

A fellow of the Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Nursing, and the Public Health Leadership Institute of CDC, Mary Ann Christopher has received numerous awards and recognitions. She received the ANA Human Rights Award and was named one of the top 50 most influential health care leaders and one of the top 50 Women in Business in NJ.

Mrs. Christopher received a BSN from Fairfield University, an MSN from Seton Hall University and honorary doctorates from Fairfield University and Monmouth University.

Robin Cogan

Robin Cogan


School Nurse at Mi Casita, Faculty, Rutgers – Camden School of Nursing

Panelist, A Two Generation Approach to Trauma

Read More About Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN

Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 18th year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. She has been a nurse since 1985. Robin is the Education Chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association. Robin is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and Program Mentor. She has been recognized in her home state of New Jersey and nationally for her community-based initiative called "The Community Café: A Conversation That Matters." Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as part-time faculty in the School Nurse Specialty Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin's dedication to student safety, health and well-being is both personal and professional. She is both the daughter and aunt of two victims of mass shootings that happened almost 70 years apart. Robin is an outspoken nurse activist for gun safety and for treating violence as a public health crisis with a focus on prevention. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse, you can access it on her website: https:// relentlessschoolnurse.com.




Mary Coogan

Mary Coogan


Vice President, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Moderator, Understanding History for Relevant Policy-Making for Today!

Read More About Mary Coogan, JD

Mary Coogan is an attorney and head of ACNJ's Kidlaw Legal Resource Center. The center serves as an information clearinghouse on laws and legal processes affecting New Jersey children. It provides consultations to more than 500 parents and professionals each year on laws and policies in child protection, special education and family law. The center produces publications on a variety of topics and provides trainings around the state geared to each audience’s particular needs.

Mary's primary policy areas are foster care, kinship care and children's health. She has authored several guides and articles on child welfare related topics and has represented ACNJ as amicus curiae before the N.J. Supreme Court in several cases. Prior to joining ACNJ in 1993, Mary practiced family law in New Jersey. She received both her J.D. and B.A. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Michael Crupain

Michael Crupain


Medical Unit Chief of Staff, The Doctor Oz Show

Panelist, "A Night of Conversation" – How to Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention!

Read More About Michael Crupain, MD, MPH

Dr. Michael Crupain is a multiple Emmy Award–winning producer and the Medical Unit Chief of Staff at The Doctor Oz Show. He is board certified in preventive medicine and a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He completed his residency and master's in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he is a member of the faculty. A graduate of New York Medical College and Duke University, he formerly ran food safety testing at Consumer Reports and is passionate about creating a healthier world through policy and culture change. He cooks every day.

Holly Cucuzzella

Holly Cucuzzella


Health Officer, Burlington County Health Department

Panelist, Innovative Evaluation

Holly Cucuzzella, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, HO

Dr. Cucuzzella is the Health Officer for Burlington County Health Department serving the 40 municipalities in Burlington County. She has worked for the Burlington County Health Department for over 16 years. Previous employments include the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Cucuzzella has experience working as a health educator, risk communicator, epidemiologist and clinical research coordinator.

In addition to her work at the Burlington County Health Department, she is adjunct faculty for the School of Health Related Professions at Rutgers University (formerly the University of Medicine and Density of NJ), Richard Stockton College of NJ, Walden University and Thomas Edison State College.

Her Bachelor degree in Biology and Immunology/Microbiology concentration was obtained at Virginia Tech. Her Masters of Public Health was received at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University with the Thesis: The Effect of HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins) on Bone Mineral Density. Most recently, she attended Drexel University where she obtained her Doctorate of Public Health in Community Health and Prevention where her dissertation was: The Effect Of An Educational Outreach Visit On Immediately Reportable Communicable Disease Reporting Knowledge And Attitudes Among Healthcare Providers.

Dr. Cucuzzella is a member of the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO), the New Jersey Association of City and County Health Officials (NJACCHO), National Public Health Information Coalition and New Jersey Society for Public Health Education (NJSOPHE).




Marissa Davis

Marissa Davis


Senior State Program Manager, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and State Program Office

Moderator, Using Environmental Action to Combat Place-Based Inequity

Read More About Marissa Davis

Marissa Davis is Senior State Program Manager for the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and State Program Office. In this role, she manages several statewide initiatives and alliances related to community and population health, youth initiatives, and public and private partnerships.

Marissa previously served as the project director for New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) at the Trenton YMCA. With Marissa's direction and support, NJPHK-Trenton and its community partners were able to build three playgrounds, one fitness center, pass a comprehensive Complete Streets Policy, expand breakfast in the classroom, and implement district and faith based wellness policies. Marissa was instrumental in bringing Trenton partners and the community together to extend access to healthy foods through the creation of the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market, salad bars in schools, acquiring fruit and veggie grants, expanding the healthy corner store initiative and coordinating food pantries across the city. She helped create safer places for physical activity throughout Trenton with initiatives such as the Wellness Loop, tree plantings, murals, safe-routes-to-school and bike rodeos. In her spare time, Marissa is happy to serve as a Mercer County Park Commissioner and spend time with her family.

Ericka Dickerson

Ericka Dickerson


ECCS IMPACT/Help Me Grow Manager, Office of Early Childhood Services, NJ-DCF - Family & Community Partnerships

Panelist, It's Time to #ThinkBabies

Read More About Ericka Dickerson, LSW

Ericka Dickerson is a Licensed Professional Social Worker, serving in the child welfare sector for over fifteen years, with a concentration in prevention services. Ericka has been with the NJ Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) Office of Early Childhood Services for the last four years, as the ECCS Impact/Help Me Grow Manager, overseeing the NJ Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact/Help Me Grow initiative. In her role, she demonstrates her ability to develop, build and expand cross sector relationships with local and state partners by facilitating and strengthening collaborations within NJ's early childhood system. Ericka began her career working within an evidenced based Home visiting program, Healthy Families; where she developed a love for working with the prenatal and early childhood population. Ericka has overseen community-based programing, through coordination and management of a NJ Family Success Center. She further developed her skill set in family and community partnership building, as the Family and Community Partnership Supervisor, for an Early Head Start (EHS) homebased program. Ericka's direct practice experience is an essential asset in her leadership role in NJDCF as she impacts state and local early childhood system efforts that support developmental health promotion, universal access to developmental screening and linkages to resources for NJ's children, birth to five and their families.

Valaria Galarza

Valaria Galarza


Senior Project Manager, Cooper's Ferry Partnership

Moderator, Building Foundations for Equity Through Critical Organizational and Self-Reflection

Read More About Valaria Galarza, MS, CHES

Val graduated from Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick where she earned a bachelor's in Public Health. Following undergrad in 2002, she was selected for New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' Latino Fellowship Institute which placed her as an intern at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she gained her initial exposure to the public health field. She later earned her Master's in Health Education from St. Joseph's University.




Fran Gallagher

Fran Gallagher


CEO, NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Moderator, A Two Generation Approach to Trauma

Read More About Fran Gallagher, MEd

Fran Gallagher, MEd, serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, (NJAAP), an organization with over 1,700 pediatricians/ members dedicated to optimal health for all of New Jersey's children. NJAAP provides educational outreach on health promotion and disease prevention, and facilitating integrated systems of care. She serves as a member of the following: the national AAP Committee on State Government Affairs, the Board of Trustees (President) for the Central Jersey Family Health Consortia, the NJ Council for Children's Hospitals, and the Board of Trustees for the Horizon BCBS Value Based Care Initiative, among various other NJ State councils and committees.

Diane Hagerman

Diane Hagerman


Deputy Director of Programs, New Jersey Health Initiatives

Moderator, The Balancing Act of Planning, Partners, Programs and Policy

Read More About Diane Hagerman

Diane Hagerman joined New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 15 years ago as the Communications Officer. In her current role as Deputy Director of Programs, Diane continues to oversee the NJHI's communications functions while also shaping the focus of NJHI's grantmaking and working directly with grantees to ensure they are able to realize the full potential of their projects. Diane is dedicated to building and strengthening the network of NJHI grantees and key partners and stakeholders around the state, making certain that health is recognized as a broad issue that is included in all conversations.

Tracey Heisler

Tracey Heisler


Executive Director, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties (CASA SHaW)

Panelist, ACEs and the Journey to Wellness for Youth

Read More About Tracey Heisler, MA

Tracey Heisler, MA, is the executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties (CASA SHaW), a non-profit group which provides volunteer advocates in court for children living in the foster care system. With MA and BA degrees in Psychology (minors in Forensics and Juvenile Justice), Tracey's heart has always been with children and the disadvantaged. She has worked with both juvenile and adult offenders and served as a crisis counselor for rape and domestic violence victims and is a former foster parent. In all of these populations, she saw high levels of childhood trauma that oftentimes damaged their adult outcomes. This exposure cemented her commitment to spreading the word about Trauma-Informed Care.




Aldina Hovde

Aldina M. Hovde


Director, Safety and Trauma Informed Care Initiatives, New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Panelist, A Two Generation Approach to Trauma

Read More About Aldina M. Hovde, MSW

Aldina M. Hovde, MSW has been a child advocate for 20 years. For the last 13 years, she has focused her efforts in managing, writing, and developing grants and grant programs in the area of pediatrics. Aldina currently directs the NJAAP Safety & Trauma Informed Care Initiatives where she leads efforts related to child abuse prevention and human trafficking education for all healthcare providers. Aldina is a member of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT) Board or Directors (BOD), Co-Chair of the Healthcare Committee, and member of the Steering Committee. She also serves as a member of the Prevention Committee of the NJ Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and Co-Chairs their Evidence-based Workgroup.

Prior to working at the NJAAP, she served as Executive Director of the New York State AAP. Aldina has also worked with the national AAP, representing over 67,000 pediatricians. While there, she co-authored several publications on children's mental health and contributed to the Addressing Mental Health Concerns in Primary Care: A Clinician's Toolkit designed to support early identification of mental and behavioral red flags. Aldina has also co-authored several publications on children's mental health as staff at the national AAP. Aldina holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Work, focusing on administration, policy and planning for children and families.

Megan James

Megan James


Megan James, Director of Social Responsibility, Somerset County YMCA

Moderator, "A Night of Conversation" – How to Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention!

Read More About Megan James

Megan James is Director of Social Responsibility, Somerset County YMCA. James established her perspective on the importance of serving community while working as an aide to former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield. After working for Senator Hatfield, she represented several nationally known nonprofits on securing seed money for programs that supported their constituents and communities. Next, she combined her public affairs experience with public relations work as a public relations executive for a global public relations agency in New York City, helping to advance legislative initiatives in New Jersey, as well as promote critical health issues. James uses her professional experiences to advance the Somerset County YMCA's mission.

Steve Jobin

Steve Jobin


President & CEO, Raritan Bay Area YMCA; Project Director, Healthier Perth Amboy

Panelist, The Balancing Act of Planning, Partners, Programs and Policy

Read More About Steve Jobin

Steve Jobin is lifelong resident of Middlesex County and currently resides in Perth Amboy. Steve attended St. Joseph's High School (Metuchen) and went on to Springfield College to Major in Recreation Management and was selected as an All-American soccer player by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Steve was employed as the Director of Human Services for the Housing Authority of the City of Perth Amboy for 13 years and served 9 years as an elected member of the Perth Amboy Board of Education. Steve volunteers for various organizations, committees and task forces in order to assist children and families. He is married to his beautiful wife Lori, a lifelong resident of Perth Amboy, and is a proud Dad to two sons, Shawn and Ronald.

Currently, Steve is the President/CEO for the Raritan Bay Area YMCA. The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Steve's primary goal for the past twenty-five years has been to improve the social and socio-economic culture for the residents of Perth Amboy. Through the Y, he has committed to keeping kids safe and active afterschool and during the summer, saving lives through water education, providing early learning experiences through pre-school, helping people with special needs, cultivating healthy opportunities for families, providing resources and finding home placement for the homeless and convening partner organizations to best serve the community. He has received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and various other awards acknowledging his efforts.




Erin M. Bunger Johnson

Erin Bunger Johnson


Senior Research Associate, Montclair State University, Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS)

Co-Moderator, Innovative Evaluation

Read More About Erin M. Bunger Johnson, MPH

Erin M. Bunger Johnson has experience using collaborative and participatory approaches to evaluate, research and plan public health initiatives. She has managed several assessment, evaluation and research projects related to policy and environmental changes to prevent chronic disease and promote wellness. These have included state and local level community healthy and wellness initiatives in a variety of settings such as community-based organizations, schools, early care and education centers, health care settings and local governments. She also has expertise in planning and evaluating partnerships, clinical interventions and health-related legislation. Ms. Bunger Johnson holds a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Steven Kairys

Steven Kairys


Chair, Pediatrics, Hackensack-Meridian Health Jersey Shore Hospital

Panelist, A Two Generation Approach to Trauma

Read More About Steven Kairys, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dr. Kairys is Chairman of Pediatrics at the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. He serves as Medical Director for both the New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP) and the national American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Quality Improvement and Innovation Networks (QuIIN). Dr. Kairys also serves as Medical Director for the NJAAP Pediatric Council on Research and Education (PCORE). Dr Kairys is board certified in general pediatrics, adolescent medicine and child abuse and neglect. He was awarded Pediatrician of the Year in 1987 in New Hampshire and in 2012 in New Jersey.

Dr. Kairys is Co-Principal Investigator for the Pediatric Psychiatry Collaborative, a statewide collaboration between primary care pediatrics and child psychiatry to improve mental/behavioral health services for children. He also directs the Child Protection Program at the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital and is past chairman of the national AAP Committee on Child Abuse.

Dr. Kairys previously was Chairman of Pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH and at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ. He is the Founding Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Seton Hall School of Medicine.

Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy


Program Coordinator, Center for Tobacco Studies, Rutgers School of Public Health

Moderator, Innovative Evaluation

Read More About Michelle Kennedy, MPH, MCHES

Michelle Kennedy (M.P.H., Rutgers School of Public Health) is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Tobacco Studies at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Her previous work includes supporting a five-year childhood obesity project, the Impact of Environmental Changes on Children's BMI and Behavior: A Panel Study. The prospective study followed panels of approximately 1100 children in 4 cities with predominantly low-income populations in NJ. Her primary role involved developing and implementing a protocol for documenting changes in the food and physical activity environments of these children.




Hannah Korn-Heilner

Hannah Korn-Heilner


Outreach Coordinator, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Panelist, It's Time to #ThinkBabies

Read More About Hannah Korn-Heilner, MSW

Hannah Korn-Heilner is the Outreach Coordinator at Advocates for Children of New Jersey. She recently obtained her Master of Social Work with a concentration in Management and Policy from Rutgers University. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the New Jersey Community Development Corporation in Paterson, serving as the Assistant Director of a 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool program at John F. Kennedy High School. She also completed a year of AmeriCorps service with the same organization. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Ithaca College.

Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee


Collaborative Learning Director, Healthy Places by Design

Panelist, The Balancing Act of Planning, Partners, Programs and Policy

Read More About Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee is Collaborative Learning Director at Healthy Places by Design, and part of the organization's leadership team. As Collaborative Learning Director, Joanne oversees a culture of collaborative networking and learning that enables the organization to build internal and external capacity and incorporate new knowledge and approaches into products, services, and strategic direction. Joanne also provides strategic coaching and technical assistance to community-based partnerships across all phases of planning, implementation, and sustainability. She engages directly with funders and leaders in the field to build capacity and develop healthy community strategies that have sustainable impact. Joanne frequently participates in program development and field-building processes and serves in various advisory roles. She represents Healthy Places by Design on issues related to nutrition, public health, community-based policy and environmental strategies, children's and women's health, and diverse populations. She has a special interest in community engagement, equity, collaborative learning and networking, capacity building, and sustainability. Joanne joined the team in 2005, and has been involved in several of Healthy Places by Design's major initiatives, including Roadmaps to Health Action Awards; Healthy Neighborhoods Fund; Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities; and Fit Community and Fit Together.

Joanne has lived in North Carolina, Hawai'i, and Arizona and has worked in other diverse settings across the country. She previously served as Program Director for the Nutrition Division of the Pitt County Health Department in eastern North Carolina. She was also Lead Research Dietitian for the Nutrition Support Shared Resource Unit of the Cancer Research Center of Hawai'i. She has served in lead roles on national and international research studies, including NIH-funded investigations. A Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Joanne completed her MPH and BS degrees at the University of Hawai'i, and holds a Certificate of Advanced Clinical Education in Child and Adolescent Obesity from the University of California, San Francisco. Joanne grew up in Hawai'i and currently resides in rural eastern North Carolina. She supports local parks and walkability initiatives, and is a regular patron of her local farmers' market and community garden.

Dafna Lemish

Dafna Lemish


Professor and Associate Dean, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Panelist, Strategies for Strengthening Families

Read More About Dafna Lemish, PhD

Dafna Lemish, Ph.D. is a Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, the founding editor of the Journal of Children and Media, She is author and editor of numerous books and articles on children, media and gender representations, including recently Beyond the stereotypes: Images of boys and girls and their consequence, 2017; Children, Adolescents, and media: The future of research and action, 2017; Children and media: A global perspective, 2015; The Routledge international handbook on children, adolescents and media, 2013. The work presented in this talk is based on current research on mobile media and families.




Jessica Lipper

Jessica Lipper


Government Affairs Manager, Mid-Atlantic, Nurse-Family Partnership, National Service Office

Panelist, It's Time to #ThinkBabies!

Read More About Jessica Lipper, MSJ

Jessica Lipper is the Mid-Atlantic Government Affairs Manager for Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office. In this capacity, Ms. Lipper pursues a range of advocacy strategies directed at policymakers at the state and local levels, as well as District staff of Members of Congress, and stakeholders to generate support to sustain and grow the Nurse-Family Partnership programs in her assigned states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Nurse-Family Partnership, Ms. Lipper was a program officer with the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. where she was a member of the Child Health Quality team. Her portfolio of work was centered around children's behavioral health and children's oral health care. Jessica has served as the communications and community outreach manager for a large school district in Essex County, as the director of governmental affairs for The Arc of New Jersey, and as an Assistant Child Advocate in New Jersey's Office of the Child Advocate.

Jessica holds a Masters in Jurisprudence, Health Policy from Seton Hall University School of Law, and a Bachelors degree in History and Political Science from William Paterson University. Ms. Lipper is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and currently resides in East Brunswick with her husband and two children.

Judy Lubin

Judy Lubin


President, Center for Urban and Racial Equity

Panelist, Building Foundations for Equity Through Critical Organizational and Self-Reflection

Read More About Judy Lubin, PhD, MPH

Dr. Judy Lubin, is a sociologist, policy analyst, equity strategist and president of the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE). CURE partners with people and organizations to advance equity through policy, systems, institutional, and community change. She is also a researcher and adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Howard University where she leads community-centered urban research initiatives.

Dr. Lubin has more than 20 years of experience working at the intersection of equity, policy, communications, community outreach, and strategic planning. She is the former director of Allies for Reaching Community Health Equity and previously served as equity strategist consultant for the New Orleans Health Department. She also served as communications director for national organizations including the Black Women's Health Imperative and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. A former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Public Health Fellow, Dr. Lubin began her career working on minority and women’s health campaigns including serving as coordinator of the National Minority AIDS Council's Women of Color and online advocacy programs.

As president of Public Square Communications, the precursor to CURE, she advised government agencies and national organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health (OWH), American Medical Group Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, GreatSchools, Collaborative for Education Organizing, American Lung Association, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and National Urban League.

Dr. Lubin is the co-founder of Sociologists for Justice, an independent collective of over 2000 scholars organized in response to the disproportionate killing of black people by police. She is frequently called upon by media for her expertise on race, politics, health and social policy and has been featured on national and local media including CNN, ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, PBS.org, Huffington Post, Al Jazeera TV, CityLab, ThinkProgress, theRoot, Ebony Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, XM Satellite Radio.

She earned a Bachelors of Arts in psychology (cum laude) from Florida State University, Masters in Public Health from Emory University, and PhD in sociology from Howard University. A first-generation Haitian American, Dr. Lubin grew up in Miami's rich cultural milieu of immigrants from the Caribbean and Central and South America. This experience profoundly shaped her sense of justice, equity and appreciation of the beauty and humanity of all people.

Alane McCahey

Alane McCahey


Senior Director of Community Initiatives, Shaping Elizabeth Project Director, The Gateway Family YMCA

Panelist, The Balancing Act of Planning, Partners, Programs and Policy

Read More About Alane McCahey

Alane has worked most of her professional career for the YMCA beginning with the YMCA of Greater New York and currently with The Gateway Family YMCA. Over a thirty year YMCA career Alane has experience working with youth, adults and families for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Since 2013, Alane has served as the Project Manager for Shaping Elizabeth (SE), a community collaborative to improve the health and well-being of the individuals and families in the Elizabeth Community. Our team has grown from its original four partners to more than 40 partners and 65 individuals working together to provide Community Gardens, Nutrition Education, Worksite Wellness and Healthy Schools. Since 2013, under Alane's leadership Shaping Elizabeth has worked to impact health equity with programs and policy changes such as Community Gardens, Playstreets, Nutrition Education, Health Screenings, Complete Streets Resolution, revised Elizabeth Public School Health & Well-Being Strategy, Mobile Food Market and Diabetes Prevention.

In 2015, SE received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant to build capacity for collective impact and to develop a "Blueprint for Action." The SE blueprint encompasses strategies from RWJF Healthy Communities Action Framework: Making Health a Shared Value; Fostering Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Well-Being; Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities; Strengthening Integration of Health Services and Systems.




Andrea McChristian

Andrea McChristian


Associate Counsel, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

Panelist, Understanding History for Relevant Policy-Making for Today!

Read More About Andrea McChristian, Esq.

Andrea McChristian is Associate Counsel at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice ("NJISJ"). Andrea is the primary author of Bring Our Children Home: Ain't I A Child, which forms the basis of the 150 Years is Enough campaign. Andrea's writing on juvenile justice and racial justice has been published in the Star Ledger, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, and NJ Spotlight.

Before joining the Institute, Andrea served as a litigation associate at the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson ("Fried Frank"). During her time at Fried Frank, Andrea worked on complex commercial litigation and pro bono cases.

Andrea is a 2008 graduate of Yale University, graduating with distinction in the major of Political Science. At Yale, Andrea served as co-President of the Yale NAACP, co-reactivating the chapter after a years-long absence from campus. After graduation, Andrea joined Teach for America, teaching Head Start for two years in the Las Vegas Valley. Andrea then attended Columbia Law School where she participated in the Challenging the Consequences of Mass Incarceration Clinic, interned in Auckland, New Zealand as part of the law school's Human Rights Internship Program, and interned at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. After graduating from Columbia Law School in 2013 as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Andrea clerked for Chief Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Kathleen Morgan

Kathleen Morgan


Professor, Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers University

Moderator, ACEs and the Journey to Wellness for Youth

Moderator, Strategies for Strengthening Families

Read More About Kathleen Morgan, DrMH, DTR

Kathleen T. Morgan is a professor in the family and community health sciences department, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Rutgers University. She is currently providing leadership to several national projects related to nutrition, chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Dr. Morgan has expertise in the area of health promotion, nutrition, advancing health equities, food systems, worksite wellness, healthy aging, and building healthy communities.

Kaitlin Mulcahy

Kaitlin Mulcahy


Associate Director, Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Montclair State University

Panelist, It's Time to #ThinkBabies

Read More About Kaitlin Mulcahy, LPC, IMHM

Kaitlin works as the Associate Director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health within the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University. She is informed by work experiences as an infant and early childhood mental health mentor and family play therapist within child protection, early intervention, and community mental health, primarily providing family-centered, developmentally-informed, play-based therapeutic services, professional development, and advocacy. She received a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Faith, Peace and Justice Studies from Boston College, and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and a Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry, also from Boston College. She completed her Post-Masters training in Infant-Parent Mental Health at UMass Boston, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University, finalizing a dissertation on the experience of the sense of safety within family systems.




Anirudh Muralidharan

Anirudh Muralidharan


Student Ambassador, FuelUpToPlay60

Panelist, Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Read More About Anirudh Muralidharan

Anirudh Muralidharan (Ani) is a FuelUpToPlay60 Student Ambassador for NJ. His passion for football and health and wellness led him to the FuelUpToPlay60 program at his school, which he has used as his platform to lead change. Through FuelUpToPlay60, he has received the opportunity to attend several leadership summits and conferences. He also worked closely with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 2016 and his big ideas helped him win grants to implement healthy changes at his school. In recognition of all his efforts, Ani received the Youth Achievement Award from the NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP) in 2017 and was instrumental in creating NJAAP's Youth Advisory Council. Ani also serves as the Student Ambassador for his school's Wellness Committee and Advisory Committee.

He is an honors student of the STEM Academy and is a member of the Marching Band and the Jazz Ensemble at his school. He holds a 3rd degree Blackbelt in Karate and enjoys playing tennis for his school team. Following Franklin D. Roosevelt's quote, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future," his goal is to continue to work on his passion around health and wellness and lead the way for a healthier future for his school, community, state, and nation!

Peri Nearon

Peri Nearon


Manager, Community Health & Wellness, NJ Department of Health

Moderator, It's Time to #ThinkBabies

Read More About Peri Nearon

Peri L. Nearon works in the Community Health & Wellness unit at the NJ Department of Health, working to build collaborative relationships to improve health outcomes and implement Partnering for a Healthy New Jersey, the chronic disease state plan. Under her leadership, the Department coordinates ShapingNJ, a public-private partnership of more than 230 organizations working together to address the obesity epidemic by promoting healthy early care and education centers, schools, worksites, faith-based organizations and communities through improved nutrition and increased opportunities for physical activity throughout the State.

Babajide "Jay" Okesola

Babajide (Jay) Okesola


Coordinator, Robert Wood Johnson Safety Ambassadors Program

Panelist, Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Read More About Jay Okesola

Babajide "Jay" Okesola is the Safety Ambassador Program Coordinator for the level 1 Trauma Center at RWJUH. The Safety Ambassador Program links Middlesex County high school students with elementary school children to provide education in the areas of injury prevention and safety. The program offers approximately 200 safety presentations each year and continues to grow with its social media debut and consistent partnerships with new schools.

Jay graduated from Rutgers University in 2016 with a B.S. in Public Health is currently an MHA '19 candidate at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy. Jay works with high school advisors and volunteers from over 20 high schools to promote safety strategies to the youth in the community. Jay has recruited three new high schools to the Safety Ambassador Program and has continued to be the host of the annual Safety Summit since he joined RWJ in 2017.




Marjorie Paloma

Marjorie Paloma


Senior Program Officer and Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

General Remarks

Read More About Marjorie Paloma, MPH

Marjorie Paloma, senior director, leads the Foundation's efforts cultivating strategic relationships and partnerships to advance a Culture of Health. Paloma believes that the Foundation is uniquely positioned to leverage research, investments, leadership, relationships, and networks to create timely and enduring social change. A society where health is a shared value for all demands leadership and collaboration across multiple sectors—health, education, transportation, housing, urban planning, architecture, and more. And she feels that "businesses have a tremendous role to play in shaping our nation's health."

Most recently, she played an integral role in coordinating and supporting the Foundation's strategic thinking efforts from which the Culture of Health vision emerged. Working at the executive level, Paloma's efforts focus on engaging businesses, policymakers, community leaders, and philanthropy to support actions that make it easier for people to make healthy choices in the communities where they live, learn, work, and play. In addition, she oversees the Foundation's funding in New Jersey.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Paloma staffed the Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board, an 18-member governor-appointed board. In this capacity she provided guidance in the development and execution of a state tobacco control strategy and organized the state and local policy advocacy efforts. She believes that this experience showed her how bringing diverse partners to the table can create the power and influence to achieve enduring change. "It wasn't your typical group. It was made up of elected officials with opposing political views, high school students, a medical school dean, a prominent business owner, community leaders and advocates. From their differing perspectives and viewpoints, we chose a collective goal. And what emerged was a laser focus and unwavering commitment to improving the health of Wisconsin's residents."

Born in Baltimore, Paloma earned an MPH from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a BA in biology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She resides with her wife in Central N.J. and has two children. She enjoys live music and cooking ethnic food and has plans to hike every national park in her lifetime.

Daniel Papa

Daniel Papa


Jefferson Township High School Social Studies Teacher & Founder, Project Stay Gold

Panelist, Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Read More About Daniel Papa

Daniel Papa is a K-12 Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction for Social Studies and Art for the Jefferson Township School District. He is an advisor and facilitator to Project Stay Gold, a student movement to abolish modern-day slavery. Project Stay Gold began when one of his students approached him after learning about modern-day slavery in his social studies class and expressed a desire to start an awareness campaign within the school. From this humble beginning, Project Stay Gold has grown to expand its efforts across the state of New Jersey. Mr. Papa testified on behalf of his students before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs "Combatting Human Trafficking: Federal, State, and Local Perspectives" in September of 2013. Under Mr. Papa's leadership, the students launched their "Not On Our Turf" campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl being held in their state in 2014. Daniel is currently serving on the executive board as Vice-President for the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Elyse Pivnick

Elyse Pivnick


Senior Director, Environmental Health, Isles Inc.

Panelist, Using Environmental Action to Combat Place-Based Inequity

Read More About Elyse Pivnick

Ms. Pivnick has over 25 years of experience in developing and managing environmental health projects in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In 1999, she created Isles' Environmental Health Initiative with funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program has since grown to address a broad range of policy and practice challenges in the areas of lead poisoning, asthma, pest management, healthy schools, open space needs, exercise, and nutrition. Ms. Pivnick has written extensively on lead and health issues and about the need to work across sectors to achieve healthier homes and better services for those already affected by lead. She has testified on behalf of legislative changes to support lead safety and community health and is a certified trainer for the New Jersey Healthy Homes Training Center. Prior to joining Isles, Ms. Pivnick was a project manager for a civil engineering firm in Austin, TX, where she also served as a member of the Austin Environmental Commission. Additionally, she was the founding executive director of a community development organization in Philadelphia and later became the project coordinator for Philadelphia's Office of Housing and Community Development overseeing projects that included housing rehabilitation, infrastructure reconstruction, community planning and organizing. Ms. Pivnick is a board member of the National Center for Healthy Housing. She has a Master's Degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.




Melissa Reifman

Melissa Reifman


High School Student, H.A.P.P.Y. Week Initiative

Panelist, Youth Leading the Way in Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey

Read More About Melissa Reifman

Melissa Reifman is a sophomore at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, New Jersey. Melissa is excited to be following in the footsteps of her older sister, Stephanie, in continuing HAPPY Week, a heroin awareness program Stephanie launched in 2013. Melissa is currently bringing the program to schools all over New Jersey and is looking forward to expanding in order to educate as many people as possible on the dangers of heroin addiction. In school, Melissa is the news editor for the newspaper and she is also involved with Northern Highlands' Rotary Club. Additionally, Melissa enjoys being a part of her school's mock trial team, as well as being a student representative on the school safety team. Outside of school, she volunteers with her town's historical society and is the student representative on the USRA Coalition. Melissa also practices and teaches Taekwondo and is pursuing her blackbelt. In her spare time, Melissa loves biking and spending time with her family and friends.

Cándida Rodríguez

Cándida Rodríguez


Parent Advocate & Family Worker, Mi Casita Child Development Center

Panelist, A Two Generation Approach to Trauma

Read More About Cándida Rodríguez

"All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope" - Alexander Dumas

As a Family Development Worker at Mi Casita Daycare Center in East Camden, New Jersey, Cándida Rodríguez's goal is to help the families she serves realize their own ability to advocate for themselves and their children. By utilizing the Strengthening Families model, the team at Mi Casita help support the Early Learning Community through shared power and education.

Cándida is a graduate of Kingsborough Community College, CUNY, with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. In addition, she holds a Family Development Credential from Rutgers University. Cándida holds memberships in the Parent Advisory Council of the Camden City School District, as well as other non-profit organizations and partners and is a founding member of the Pediatric Provider/School Nurse/Community Roundtable through the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. Cándida, along with her team develop and deliver trainings and workshops to parents, peers and the community at large throughout Camden City and Camden County.

Tanya Romasz-McDonald

Tanya Romasz-McDonald


Director of Special Services, Somerville Public Schools

Panelist, ACEs and the Journey to Wellness for Youth

Read More About Tanya Romasz-McDonald, PsyD

Tanya Romasz-McDonald, Psy.D., received her doctorate in School Psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP), Rutgers University. Dr. Romasz-McDonald has worked in the New Jersey public schools for two decades providing innovative services to children and families to promote social and emotional well-being and academic success. In addition to her work as a Director of Special Services for the Somerville Public Schools, she is a contributing faculty member at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, and is co-author of Social Decision Making/ Social Problem Solving; A Curriculum for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. Her research and practice interests include social and emotional learning programming, crisis prevention and intervention, and school-based counseling. Dr. Romasz-McDonald resides in northwest New Jersey with her husband and son.




Melissa Sadin

Melissa Sadin


Executive Director, Ducks & Lions: Trauma Sensitive Resources

Program Director, Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools for The Attachment & Trauma Network

Special Education Director, Unity Charter School

Panelist, ACEs and the Journey to Wellness for Youth

Read More About Melissa Sadin, EdD

Dr. Sadin has served as a special education teacher and a building administrator. She is currently working as a director of special education. Publicly, Dr. Sadin has been vice-president of her local School Board, is on the Board of Directors of the Attachment & Trauma Network and serves as the director of the Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools Program. She has conducted research on the perceptions of teachers working to create trauma-informed classrooms. Dr. Sadin is a published author and has produced numerous webinars on children with attachment trauma in schools. Currently, Dr. Sadin works as an education consultant and developmental trauma expert providing professional development to school districts, municipal service providers and parents. As an adoptive mother, Dr. Sadin provides first hand expertise in her work with adoptive parents at conferences and in other formal and informal settings. Her first book, "Teachers' Guide to Trauma" has recently been released.

Meryl Schulman

Meryl Schulman


Program Officer, Center for Health Care Strategies

Panelist, Workforce and Caregiver Wellness – Resilience for Dealing With Trauma

Read More About Meryl Schulman, MPH

Meryl Schulman, MPH, is a program officer at the Center for Health Care Strategies. In this role, she supports efforts aimed at improving how care is delivered to individuals with complex health and social needs. She primarily supports two multi-year initiatives funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Advancing Trauma-Informed Care and Transforming Complex Care.

Ms. Schulman has a master's degree in public health and a certificate in health policy analysis from The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a bachelor's degree in public health from Franklin and Marshall College.

Jennifer Shukaitis

Jennifer Shukaitis


Assistant Professor/Educator, Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers University

Panelist, Strategies for Strengthening Families

Read More About Jennifer Shukaitis, MPH

Jennifer Shukaitis just celebrated her 6-year anniversary at Rutgers, where she has thoroughly enjoyed being a member in the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences. During her time here, she has implemented programs in nutrition and wellness to audiences ranging in age from pre-school to older adults. She has also partnered with FoodCorps, the NJ Department of Agriculture, and several schools and non-profits to implement farm-to-school programming throughout New Jersey. Jennifer currently oversees the Community Health Outreach minor, under which she teaches one class and coordinates with other faculty in creating curriculum and teaching. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from New York University. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling and yoga, and spending time with her husband and 3 kids.




Adeola Sonaike

Adeola Sonaike


Senior Vice President of Health, The Family Resource Network

Panelist, Workforce and Caregiver Wellness – Resilience for Dealing With Trauma

Read More About Adeola Sonaike, PhD, MPH, CHES

Dr. Adeola Sonaike is the Senior Vice President of Health at The Family Resource Network, where she works to advance the health of people with special needs, chronic conditions, and family caregivers. She is dedicated to developing and evaluating innovative therapies that will address the unmet health needs of disparate populations while achieving the triple aims of the healthcare system. Dr. Sonaike attended Rutgers University where she attained a Bachelor's in Biology, and Walden University where she attained a Master's in Public Health and a PhD in Public Health – Epidemiology.

As a Culture of Health Leader in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leadership Program, Dr. Sonaike works collaboratively with other leaders in a cross-disciplinary effort to address top-of-mind issues in health and equity in local communities and nationally. She also serves as a founding Board Member of the Epilepsy Alliance of America. In other roles, Dr. Sonaike teaches Healthy Policy and Public Health-related courses at Monmouth University and Rowan University. Dr. Sonaike is a seasoned presenter in the health, wellness and disability sector, promoting health as a production of society that needs to be approached with a multi-dimensional and equitable lens.

Jennifer Barrett Sryfi

Jennifer Barrett Sryfi


Director, Community Programs, New Jersey Hospital Association/HRET

Moderator, Workforce and Caregiver Wellness – Resilience for Dealing With Trauma

Read More About Jennifer Barrett Sryfi, MHA

Jennifer Barrett Sryfi is Director of Community Programs at the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, the nonprofit affiliate of the New Jersey Hospital Association, where she has been for 17 years.  In this role, she coordinates numerous initiatives addressing healthcare access, equity, quality, and patient safety.

Chris Sturm

Chris Sturm


Managing Director, Policy and Water, New Jersey Future

Panelist, Using Environmental Action to Combat Place-Based Inequity

Read More About Chris Sturm

Chris directs water programs and policy at New Jersey Future, a not-for-profit organization that promotes sensible growth, redevelopment and infrastructure investments. Her work focuses on efforts to upgrade water infrastructure to support healthy, just and prosperous communities, and includes facilitating the Jersey Water Works collaborative and managing the organization's work on green infrastructure, water financing and community organizing. She has built successful teams and collaborations to accomplish legislative, regulatory and programmatic innovations in areas including climate resilience, state and regional planning, land preservation, and compact, equitable growth. She is a member of the Clean Water Council of New Jersey and the U.S. Water Alliance. Her career experience includes serving as the assistant director of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation. She holds a master's degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where she concentrated in Urban and Regional Planning.




Rebecca Swann-Jackson

Rebecca Swann-Jackson


Senior Research Associate, Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services

Panelist, Innovative Evaluation

Read More About Rebecca Swann-Jackson, MEd

Rebecca Swann-Jackson, M.Ed. is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services (CREEHS) in the College of Education and Human Services. She has been leading the Education team at CREEHS since 2013.

Rebecca Swann-Jackson has 15 years of experience as an evaluator of educational programs and community-based initiatives serving urban children and families. She has managed evaluations for varied clients, including school districts, state departments of education, community organizations and foundations, and child welfare agencies. An experienced methodologist, she has applied evaluation principles to projects focused on education reform, school-based programs for at-risk youth, family homelessness, child welfare, community health, community revitalization, substance use, and school violence. Ms. Swann-Jackson is a PhD candidate studying black families in MSU's Family Science and Human Development department. She has a Master's in Education from Rutgers University, with a concentration in Statistics, Measurement, and Evaluation.

Romy Toussaint

Romy Toussaint


Owner, Romy Yoga

Stretch Break and Mental Reflection Leader

Read More About Romy Toussaint

Romy Toussaint, owner of Romy Yoga has been called "The Energy Queen." She is a transformational trainer, coach, motivational speaker, and yoga teacher. She empowers those around her to create a complete practice of consciously leading their lives; to manage their energy and remain physically strong through all stages of their lives; to connect to their minds; strengthen their spirit, and to bring about a world where they have the courage to show up as their best self.

She has been teaching yoga and mindfulness for over 20 years. She is a 500-hour conscious leadership life coach and a certified yoga teacher. Romy has studied alignment-based yoga, Kundalini, Hatha, Vinyasa yoga and meditation with a variety of teachers and has over 1,000 hours of yoga certification. She is a professional speaker and presenter on the benefits of mindfulness, yoga and wellness and an expert at customizing and facilitating physical activity breaks, and mindfulness sessions at conferences and workshops for all types of groups and organizations.

Angelo Valente

Angelo Valente


Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey

Panelist, "A Night of Conversation" – How to Talk About Substance Abuse Prevention!

Read More About Angelo Valente

Angelo M. Valente has been the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey since its inception in 1992 and has led the organization to become the largest continuous Public Service Campaign in New Jersey's history. The Partnership has been recognized twice by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for its innovative programs and initiatives, first in 2010, and again in 2015. The Partnership has also been recognized by the National Association of Government Communicators for the most effective public health education campaign in the country.

In addition, in 2009, Mr. Valente was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC), a national public health initiative to raise awareness of the issue of prescription drug abuse and maintain a National Directory of Permanent Prescription Drug Collection sites.

Since 2000, Mr. Valente has served as a member of the Holy See’s Delegation to the United Nations, focusing on international drug control strategy.

In 2016 Mr. Valente became a best-selling author when he joined Jack Canfield and a select group of experts and professionals to co-write the book entitled, The Road to Success: Today's Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Step-By-Step Systems To Help You Achieve The Health, Wealth and Lifestyle You Deserve.

Mr. Valente received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Montclair State University, a Masters of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and a Masters of Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University.

A life-long resident of Hoboken, Angelo is married and is the proud parent of three daughters.




Alana Vega

Alana Vega


Kids Count Coordinator, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Panelist, It's Time to #ThinkBabies

Read More About Alana Vega, MPP

Alana is Kids Count Coordinator for Advocates for Children of New Jersey; in her work, Alana collects, analyzes and organizes state, county, and city level data relating to the well-being of New Jersey's children. Alana is responsible for the production and presentation of ACNJ's various Kids Count publications. Prior to joining ACNJ, she interned for the Sandy Homeowner/Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) where she assisted Superstorm Sandy victims to obtain financial resources to aid in the repair or rebuilding of their homes. Alana received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and earned her M.P.P. from Rutgers University.

Donna Woody

Donna Woody


Owner, Solutions for Change

Panelist, Strategies for Strengthening Families

Read More About Donna Woody, LCSW

Donna Woody is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Educator. She is the owner of Solutions For Change, a private psychotherapy practice in Hunterdon County, NJ. Before becoming a Social Worker, Donna worked for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension program in the area of 4-H Youth Development. She holds degrees in Family Life Studies, Adult and Continuing Education and Social Work. She has a passion for helping individuals make positive changes to improve their personal relationships, family lives and overall health and wellness. She is a certified mindful eating facilitator and has attended advanced mindfulness training courses. She uses mindfulness skills in her therapy work and educational programs. Her clients and students truly sense her commitment, enthusiasm and expertise. She helps individuals connect the "dots" of their lives so they can truly understand where they have been and where they want to go. She sees every experience as just part of the journey and continues to find her own opportunities for growth and learning.

Aviva Woog

Aviva Woog


Community Advocacy Manager, WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Panelist, Using Environmental Action to Combat Place-Based Inequity

Read More About Aviva Woog

Aviva Woog is Manager of the CommUnity Impact program at WellCare Health Plans of NJ. In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing partnerships focused on creating opportunities to sustain the social safety net and invest in community programs that affect social determinants of health and overall health outcomes of vulnerable populations throughout NJ. Before returning to WellCare, Ms. Woog has held Community Relations positions with other managed care organizations such as Amerigroup Community Care, WellCare and Healthfirst NJ.

Ms. Woog has demonstrated her commitment to strengthening communities in NJ for over ten years within the healthcare industry. During that time she has received awards and honors from the YWCA of Essex and West Hudson, Mutual of America Foundation, Concerned Black Nurses Organization, Black Infant Mortality Reduction Resource Center and the March of Dimes. Ms. Woog has also participated in roundtable discussions on Caucus NJ with Steve Adubato and on public programing for Cablevision. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Raritan Bay Area YMCA in Perth Amboy. Ms. Woog resides in West Orange, NJ with her son Joshua Barak Irvin.





Sponsors


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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Logo


Rutgers Department of Family and Community Health Sciences Logo

Rutgers University, New Jersey Agricultural Experiement Station




New Jersey Department of Health Logo
NJ Health Initiatives
Mental Health Association of New Jersey



Partners for Health Foundation


NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids Logo
YMCA Logo




American Academy of Pediatrics, NJ Chapter

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Atlantic Health System



Salem Wellness Foundation
AARP
Novo Nordisk



Rutgers School of Public Health
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In Partnership With



New Jersey Healthy Communities Network
Believe in a Healthy Newark Initiative
Live Healthy Trenton



Get Healthy Camden
Live Well New Brunswick
Live Healthy Vineland


2017 Culture of Health Highlights



Check out video highlights and photos from the 2017 Building a Culture of Health conference to get a sense of what you can expect as an attendee!