School & Community News

Introducing our 2019 health leaders
March 30, 2019

March 2019 … Finding the connections among people, birds, trees, gardens, and parks are among the ways 10 Philadelphia-area health leaders say they’re working to make our communities healthier and safer.

Their stories will appear in Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2019, the eighth book in a series written and illustrated by elementary and middle school students who participate in the Healthy NewsWorks student media program.

This year’s volume will include interviews with 10 new honorees, who were selected from community nominations:

  • Tommy Joshua Caison, Founder and Executive Director, North Philly Peace Park
  • Ryan Coffman, Manager, Tobacco Policy and Control Program, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Elizabeth Datner, M.D., Chair of Emergency Medicine, Einstein Healthcare Network
  • Lori M. Hayes, Director of Urban Forestry, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
  • Megha Kulshreshtha, Executive Director, Food Connect
  • Meg MacCurtin, Executive Director, Greener Partners
  • Waffiyyah Murray, Manager, Better Bike Share Partnership
  • Nancy Dung Nguyen, Cofounder and Executive Director, VietLead
  • Keith Russell, Program Manager for Urban Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania
  • Al Zone, Executive Director, Elmwood Park Zoo

The student journalists also interviewed three leaders from past books. The year in parentheses is when they were originally recognized in the Leading Healthy Change series:

  • Marc Altshuler, M.D. (2016), Director, Jefferson Center for Refugee Health, Thomas Jefferson Hospital
  • Trude Haecker, M.D. (2015), Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia, and Medical Director, Global Patient Services, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Cy Maramangalam (2015), Cofounder and Operator, Cedar and Sage Gourmet Coffee Service, and Associate Director of Operations, Cradles to Crayons

Our thanks to all of these individuals for their contributions to our communities and for sharing their stories with our student journalists.

Come to the book signing

Healthy NewsWorks will celebrate publication of the book with a book-signing event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, at the Merion Tribute House, 625 Hazelhurst Avenue, Merion Station, PA 19066. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Ana Diez Roux, Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University and a 2015 Healthy NewsWorks Health Leader.


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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.