The Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities book series is a project of Healthy NewsWorks that seeks to recognize and inspire outstanding contributions to community health and safety. We are grateful to the health leaders below for donating their time and sharing messages that are relatable and understandable to children in elementary and middle school. During the 2020–21 school year, we sought to include a broadly representative group of frontline workers, essential workers, communicators, counselors, artists, and others who could shed light on the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Titles and affiliations shown are as of year of recognition.)
2022 book interviewees
Tami D. Benton, M.D.
Psychiatrist-in-chief, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Sandra L. Bloom, M.D.
Psychiatrist, author, associate professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Tommy Joshua Caison
Founder and executive director, Philly Peace Park
Ruth Clements, M.Sc. Pharma
Vice president and general manager of Infectious Diseases & Immunology and leader of Quest for Health Equity at Quest Diagnostics
Jayatri Das, Ph.D.
Chief bioscientist and director of science content at The Franklin Institute
Michael Galarraga, L.P.C.
Licensed professional counselor and board-certified registered art therapist
Certified professional dog trainer with Philly Unleashed and Dog Gone Good Dog
George James, Psy.D.
Chief innovation officer, senior staff therapist and supervisor at the Council for Relationships
Retired principal dancer, The Philadelphia Ballet; licensed massage therapist
Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle
Tim Massaquoi, L.P.C.
Licensed professional counselor and clinical director of counseling services at The Ladipo Group
Laura Cohen Romano, M.S.W.
Director of spiritual care and mindfulness for Einstein Healthcare Network
Education director, Philadelphia Orchard Project
Susan R. Weiss, Ph.D.
Professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
2021 book interviewees
Answering the call
Lorraine Brown, B.S.N., R.N.
Emergency department nurse, Einstein Healthcare Network
Pierre Chanoine, M.D.
Pediatrician; volunteer with Black Doctors COVID Consortium
Bhavna Sharma, M.D.
Critical-care specialist, Einstein Healthcare Network
Serving behind the scenes
Quality control/quality assurance lead technologist for infectious disease, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory
Customer service representative, Brown Family ShopRite in East Norriton
Hematology supervisor, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory
Clinical operations manager, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory
Chef, Zahav Restaurant
Director of programs, Martha’s Choice Marketplace
Spreading the message
Editor in chief, Impacto
Paul Offit, M.D.
Director of Vaccine Education Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Helping others cope
Kevin R. Carter, M.S.W.
Clinical director, Uplift Center for Grieving Children
Howard Stevenson, Ph.D.
Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, University of Pennsylvania
Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller
Senior pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
Feeding the soul
Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate
award-winning children’s book author
Assistant principal violist, Philadelphia Orchestra
Staying in shape
Duriel Hardy, M.D.
Pediatric neurologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; marathoner
Assistant strength and conditioning coach, Philadelphia Phillies
2020 health leaders
Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Ph.D.
Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Pennsylvania
Founder, Not in Philly
Director of Community Wellness, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Manager, Watershed Interpretation and Youth River Program, Bartram’s Garden
Director, Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, City of Philadelphia
Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H.
Commissioner of Health, City of Philadelphia
Saba Khan, M.D.
Director, Healthy Weight Food Pharmacy, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Director of Learning, The Village of Arts and Humanities
Founder, Operation Save Our City
Co-Founder/Co-Director, PGM ONE Summit, and Partner in the Avarna Group
2019 health leaders
Tommy Joshua Caison
Founder and Executive Director, North Philly Peace Park
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
Executive Director, Food Connect
Executive Director, Greener Partners
Manager, Better Bike Share Partnership
Nancy Dung Nguyen
Co-Founder and Executive Director, VietLead
Program Manager for Urban Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania
Executive Director, Elmwood Park Zoo
2018 health leaders
Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor, Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab, Drexel University
Luther Clark, M.D.
Deputy Chief Patient Officer and Global Director of Scientific, Medical and Patient Perspective, Office of the Chief Patient Officer, Merck
Executive Director, Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative
Editorial Director, “The Pulse,” WHYY-FM
Healthy Communities Senior Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Alex Ortega, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University
Christopher Renjilian, M.D.
Pediatrician, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and founding physician leader of NaturePHL
Executive Director and Cofounder, Rebel Ventures; Director of Health Partnerships and Social Enterprise, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania
Pantry Manager, Martha’s Choice Marketplace, Catholic Social Services
Thomas Watanabe, M.D.
Clinical Director, Drucker Brain Injury Center and Stroke Rehabilitation Program, Moss Rehab
2017 health leaders
Alfred Atanda Jr., M.D.
Director, Center for Sports Medicine, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Cheryl Bettigole, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Program Director, Wooden Boat Factory
Executive Director, Health, Safety and Physical Education, School District of Philadelphia
Executive Director, SquashSmarts
Cathy Markey, R.N., M.S.N.
Trauma Prevention and Outreach Coordinator, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia
President and Founder, Unity in the Community
Kim Nixon-Cave, P.T., Ph.D.
Program Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Post-Professional Education, Thomas Jefferson University
Paul Offit, M.D.
Director, Vaccine Education Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Board Member, Philadelphia City Rowing
Tina Sloan Green
President and Co-Founder, Black Women in Sport Foundation
Senbagam Virudachalam, M.D., M.S.H.P.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
2016 health leaders
Marc Altshuler, M.D.
Director of Jefferson Center for Refugee Health, Thomas Jefferson University
Frederic Bertley, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Science and Education, The Franklin Institute
James W. Buehler, M.D.
Former Philadelphia Commissioner of Health; Professor, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health
Alberto Esquenazi, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer of Moss Rehab, part of Einstein Healthcare Network
Carmen Febo San Miguel, M.D.
Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño
Director of Community Oral Health Initiative, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children
Program Leader of Homeless Health Initiative, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Founder and Executive Director of Mothers in Charge
Co-Founder of Emily’s Entourage
Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Crisis Treatment Center
Executive Director of SHARE Food Program
Founder of The Peter Powerhouse Foundation
2015 health leaders
Youth advisory board member, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Recreation leader and coach, Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation
President and CEO, Brown’s Super Stores
Director, Volunteer, Chaplaincy, Language and Cultural Services, Einstein Healthcare Network
Marla Davis Bellamy
Director, Philadelphia CeaseFire, and codirector, Center for Bioethics, Urban Health, and Policy, Temple University School of Medicine
Ana Diez Roux
Dean, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Executive vice president, Merck Co. Inc., and former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Psychologist and host of “Voices in the Family,” WHYY–FM
Medical director, Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia, and medical director, International Patient Services and Quality Improvement, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Director, Philadelphia Office of Addiction Services
Program manager, Cadence Youth Cycling, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Cofounder, The Village of Arts and Humanities, and founder, Barefoot Artists
2014 health leaders
Director, Healthy Weight Program, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Senior Aquatics Director, Salvation Army Kroc Center
Arthur C. Evans Jr.
Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
Amy Goldberg and Scott Charles
Leaders, Cradle to Grave Program, Temple University Hospital
Executive Director, ACLAMO Family Centers, Norristown
Director, Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Michelle Angela Ortiz
Visual Artist, Muralist, and Community Arts Educator
Director, Industrial Hygiene Consulting Service, Drexel University School of Public Health
Lieutenant, Upper Darby Police Department
Darren and Phyllis Sudman
Founders, Simon’s Fund
Physical Therapy Team Leader, Drucker Brain Injury Center, MossRehab
Chef and Cofounder, Vetri Foundation for Children
2013 health leaders
Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA
Joan Myers Brown
Tyra Bryant-Stephens, M.D.
Director, Community Asthma Prevention Program, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Mariana Chilton, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Drexel University School of Public Health
Beatriz Garces, D.M.D.
Cofounder, Garces Family Foundation
Neil Izenberg, M.D.
Editor-in-Chief, KidsHealth.org, Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media
Mohammed Al Jumaili
Community Volunteer and Student, Abington High School
Executive Director, Students Run Philly Style
Commissioner of Police, Philadelphia
President, The Free Library of Philadelphia
Shelton Watts, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Health, Temple University
Executive Director, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
2012 health leaders
Mary Seton Corboy*
Director, Greensgrow Philadelphia Project
Judge Patrick Dugan
Presiding Judge, Phila. Veterans Court
Joseph A. Frick
Vice Chairman and Managing Partner, Diversified Search
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Executive Director, Eagles Youth Partnership
A. Scott McNeal, D.O.
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Delaware Valley Community Health
John A. Rich, M.D.
Chair of Health Management and Policy, Drexel University School of Public Health
Executive Director, Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos
Co-Executive Director, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Community Nutrition Program Manager, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
Executive Director, Play On Philly!
Flaura Winston, M.D.
Scientific Director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia