Meet the people featured in our 2022 book

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

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.

Ruth Clements, MSc 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.

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, The Sleeping Beauty, and the works of George Balanchine. 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.

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. 

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.

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.


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