School & Community News

Board adds 2 members, says farewell to another
November 17, 2018

Michelle Davidson, Kenny Johnson

November 2018…Healthy NewsWorks is pleased to welcome two new members to its board and to salute outgoing board member Nancy Erickson.

Joining the board are Michelle Davidson, senior vice president for communications and marketing and chief customer experience officer at Health Partners Plans, and Kenny Johnson, community engagement coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Michelle said she was attracted to Healthy NewsWorks by its blend of “three elements that I care deeply about—children, writing and health.”

“Empowering and educating children on the sound reporting of good health practices will have a lasting impact, not only on their lives, but on all of the lives they touch with their message,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how Healthy NewsWorks is preparing these children to be the next generation of leaders and influencers poised to bring about significant change in our communities.”

Michelle has more than 30 years of experience developing and executing communications strategies for leading companies in the health care, pharmaceutical, technology, and service industries.

At Health Partners Plans, she oversees member communications, employee communications, issues management, overall corporate and product positioning, and health and wellness programs. She is also chair of the board of directors for the Health Partners Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Delaware.

Kenny learned about Healthy NewsWorks when Phillies Team Chef Keith Rudolf was interviewed by eighth graders for a Philadelphia school’s health newspaper.

“Chef Keith had a great time answering questions about his work and the importance of healthy living, but what struck me the most was the professionalism and top-notch skills of the students, and their enthusiasm for using those skills toward their shared project,” Kenny said. “These students have a bright future ahead of them, and Healthy NewsWorks is a great resource to help get them there.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kenny has worked with the Phillies since high school. In his current role, he helps plan and promote community events, keep the Phillies connected with Philadelphia’s diverse communities, and assist with Phillies front office recruitment efforts. He also serves on the United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Masked Ball Auction Committee, the PHL Diversity Advisory Board, and the Philadelphia Non-Profit Advertising Agency’s Youth Sports and Education Fund Committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Villanova University.

Nancy Erickson

Nancy is stepping off the board after nearly eight years as a board member, She also served for several years as editor of the Healthy Hawk newspaper at Highland Park Elementary School in Upper Darby, Pa. Nancy is a retired school nurse who has a master’s degree in leadership in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in education from Eastern University.

“Nancy’s deep knowledge of children’s health issues and her selfless commitment to helping Healthy NewsWorks grow have been profoundly important in making our program what it is today,” Executive Director Marian Uhlman said. “We have been very fortunate to have her as part of the board and will miss her calm, compassionate presence.”

To learn more about the Healthy NewsWorks Board visit our Who we are page.

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.