Healthy NewsWorks student journalists interviewed more than a dozen health and community leaders for How We Heal: Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2022 and/or our 2022 film.

We thank them for their contributions to our communities and for sharing their stories with our student journalists.

  • Tami D. Benton, M.D.,* is psychiatrist-in-chief, executive director, and chair of the department of child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral sciences, clinical director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • Sandra L. Bloom, M.D.,*  is a board-certified psychiatrist, graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, and associate professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University. Her pioneering work in traumatic stress studies spans 40 years, and she is author of a series of books on trauma-informed care.
  • Tommy Joshua Caison is a North Philadelphia-born community organizer and urban farmer with deep roots in the U.S. South. He is the founder and executive director of the Philly Peace Park, which has ecology campuses in North and West Philadelphia.
  • Pierre Chanoine, M.D.,* is a board-certified pediatrician in practice at the Abington Pediatric Associates in Abington, PA. He completed his residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Ruth Clements, M.Sc. in Pharmacy, is the vice president and general manager of Infectious Diseases & Immunology and Leader of Quest for Health Equity at Quest Diagnostics. 
  • Jayatri Das, Ph.D., is chief bioscientist and director of science content at The Franklin Institute and an invited Fellow of the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania. She has led development of several exhibitions at the Institute, including Your Brain and SportsZone.
  • Joanne Douglas is the youth program manager at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. She is also an environmental artist who investigates the complicated connections, water, and industry. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Michael Galarraga, L.P.C., is a bilingual Spanish-English speaker, licensed professional counselor and board-certified registered art therapist in Philadelphia.
  • Vanessa Northington Gamble, M.D., Ph.D.,* is a Professor of Medical Humanities and American Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is the author of several widely acclaimed publications on the history of race and racism in American medicine and bioethics.
  • Alicia Harantschuk is a certified professional dog trainer with Philly Unleashed and Dog Gone Good Dog and is a former president of Comfort Caring Canines in Philadelphia, which serves Southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • George James, Psy.D., is chief innovation officer, senior staff therapist and supervisor at the Council for Relationships. He is president and CEO of George Talks, LLC, a communication and consulting company, and assistant professor for the couples and family therapy program at Thomas Jefferson University.
  • Jermel Johnson* will retire from the Philadelphia Ballet on May 15 after 19 years. A Baltimore native, he studied ballet from an early age and rose to perform as a principal dancer in ballets including Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Sleeping Beauty. He is now a licensed massage therapist.
  • Jordan Mailata* is a former professional rugby player and an Australian native of Samoan heritage. He is a current member of the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles.  
  • Tim Massaquoi, L.P.C., is a licensed professional counselor and the clinical director of counseling services at The Ladipo Group. He is a retired NFL player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills. 
  • Laura Cohen Romano, M.S.W., is a certified mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher. She is the director of spiritual care and mindfulness for Einstein Healthcare Network.
  • Jose Santiago is Audubon Mid-Atlantic center coordinator for the Discovery Center in Philadelphia. He is also a seasonal conservation educator at the Philadelphia Zoo. He earned a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in mathematics with a minor in environmental studies.
  • Corrie Spellman-Lopez earned a bachelor’s degree in peace and social justice from Berea College and a certificate in ecological horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 
  • Susan R. Weiss, Ph.D.,* is a professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves as co-director of the Penn Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens.

*Denotes film participant.


We were so pleased to host so many of our participants and supporters on May 18 at Merion Tribute House.

>>Read a full event recap



Tracy Davidson, an anchor for the 4 and 5 p.m. newscasts on NBC10, served as the talkback emcee for our 2022 Film and Book Fest on Wednesday, May 18. Tracy joined NBC10 in March 1996 and has served as both an anchor and a consumer reporter. After the premier of our film, “How We Heal,” she led a discussion with the audience and student journalists who helped produce the film. Watch some of that talkback above.


Drs. Paul and Bonnie Offit, co-chairs

Steven Scott Bradley

Jim Buehler

Michael Days

Greg DeShields

Courtney Ercole

Amy Ginensky and Andrew Rogoff

Susan and Marvin Greenbaum

Laurie Hack and Jack Hershey

Katherine Hatton and Richard Bilotti

Leroy Howell

Fran Kahn and Jay Mudrick

Amy Krulik

Lorina Marshall-Blake

Diana and Sam Mason

Martha Morse

Kim Nixon-Cave and Juan Cave

Nancy Petersmeyer

Margaret Ralph

Liz Rappaport

Ilene Rothblat

Walter Tsou

Tom Uhlman

Betsey and Mike Useem

Elizabeth and Tony Vale

Ellyn Jo Waller

Ilene Wasserman




Our young Healthy NewsWorks journalists spoke with therapists, educators, scientists, artists, athletes, and others to produce a 22-minute film on healing. Check out these trailers for a preview of their work.

Their film is now available for private screenings—contact Healthy NewsWorks program manager Mia Blitstein at mblitstein@healthynewsworks.org or outreach manager Diane Davis at ddavis@healthynewsworks.org to arrange one at your school.


Seeking some kid-friendly material to help address the social and emotional challenges that young people are experiencing today? Check out our “How We Heal” page.

The Healthy NewsWorks theme for the 2021-22 school year was “How We Heal: Moving Ahead in Challenging Times.” Our student reporters interviewed health and community leaders for our 2022 film and book. The How We Heal page includes the book, video clips, and activities that you can share with your students.


Illustration by Elijah, William Rowen Healthy Roar

Thanks to the generous and ongoing commitment of many individuals and organizations, Healthy NewsWorks is offering its unique literacy and health education program this year in schools in Philadelphia, Norristown, and Camden, as well as in a community program. 

We’ve continued to deliver lessons remotely this year, and the students have shown remarkable curiosity and seriousness of purpose in identifying factual information and sharing their reporting with their schools and communities. Our own teaching staff has had incredible support from classroom teachers in the participating schools. 

We are deeply grateful to a wide array of health and community leaders from the Philadelphia region and beyond who have shared their time and knowledge with our students. You can see a broad sampling of students’ work here.








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