People Our Students Have Interviewed

People Our Students Have Interviewed

People Leading Healthy Change

Healthy NewsWorks is grateful to the community leaders and subject matter experts listed on this page for donating their time to be interviewed by our reporters and for sharing messages that are relatable and understandable to children in elementary and middle school. Select a date below to find a specific magazine or book. (Job titles and affiliations shown are as of the year of publication. Leaders marked with an asterisk are deceased.)


Spring 2024 Magazine Interviewees

Brother Mark Elder, C.M.

Mural artist; DePaul University faculty member

Keith Leaphart, D.O.

Philanthropist; Enterprise Executive Vice President, Jefferson

Trapeta B. Mayson

Poet; 2020–21 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia

Akida Neely

Champion swimmer, coach

Steven Pickens

President, Philly Truce

Spring 2023 Magazine Interviewees

Brianna Amingwa

Environmental Education Supervisor, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Tyra Bryant-Stephens, M.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Joseph A. Caesar, M.S. CED

Senior community initiative specialist, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Megan Carrier, MS, RD, LDN

Farmer; registered dietitian, Einstein Healthcare Network

Anna Du

Inventor; creator of Deep Plastics Initiative campaign

Amia Hines

Mental health therapist

Maurice Jones

Founder and general manager, PAR-Recycle Works, a nonprofit electronics recycler

Levi Joynes

Lead farmer, Mill Creek Urban Farm in West Philadelphia; co-founding member, North Philly Peace Park

Timothy J. Maguire, Ph.D.

Biogeochemistry lead, Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Mike Marquette

Logistics senior manager, Quest Diagnostics

Waffiyyah Murray

Nationally recognized expert in transportation equity

Stephen Ritz

Internationally acclaimed, award-winning educator and author

Rachel Valletta, Ph.D.

Earth and environmental scientist

Michael Stern

Curator of primates and small mammals; Philadelphia Zoo

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

Alicia Harantschuk

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

Jermel Johnson

Retired principal dancer, The Philadelphia Ballet; licensed massage therapist

Jordan Mailata

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

Corrie Spellman-Lopez

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

Feeding the soul

Cydney Brown

Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Award-winning children’s book author

Kerri Ryan

Assistant principal violist, Philadelphia Orchestra

Serving behind the scenes

Diane Amati

Quality control/quality assurance lead technologist for infectious disease, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory

Erika Keith

Customer service representative, Brown Family ShopRite in East Norriton

Sherri McClintock

Hematology supervisor, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory

Jane Reedy

Clinical operations manager, Quest Diagnostics Horsham Laboratory

Michael Solomonov

Chef, Zahav Restaurant

Patrick Walsh

Director of programs, Martha’s Choice Marketplace

Spreading the message

Perla Lara

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 

Staying in shape

Duriel Hardy, M.D.

Pediatric neurologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; marathoner

Dong Lien

Assistant strength and conditioning coach, Philadelphia Phillies

2020 Book Interviewees

Ishmail Abdus-Saboor, Ph.D.

Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Pennsylvania

Dave Brindley

Founder, Not in Philly

Brandi Chawaga

Director of Community Wellness, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

Joanne Douglas

Manager, Watershed Interpretation and Youth River Program, Bartram’s Garden

Nic Esposito

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

Michael O’Bryan

Director of Learning, The Village of Arts and Humanities

Sophie Sarkar

Co-Founder/Co-Director, PGM ONE Summit, and Partner in the Avarna Group

Rosalind Pichardo

Founder, Operation Save Our City

2019 Book Interviewees

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

Co-Founder and Executive Director, VietLead

Keith Russell

Program Manager for Urban Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania

Al Zone

Executive Director, Elmwood Park Zoo

2018 Book Interviewees

Kevin Bethel

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

Beth Devine

Executive Director, Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative

Taunya English

Editorial Director, “The Pulse,” WHYY-FM

Marisa Jones

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

Jarrett Stein

Executive Director and Cofounder, Rebel Ventures; Director of Health Partnerships and Social Enterprise, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania

Patrick Walsh

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 Book Interviewees

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

Jesus Castro

Program Director, Wooden Boat Factory

Bettyann Creighton

Executive Director, Health, Safety and Physical Education, School District of Philadelphia

Stephen Gregg

Executive Director, SquashSmarts

Cathy Markey, R.N., M.S.N.

Trauma Prevention and Outreach Coordinator, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia

Anton Moore

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

Catherine Reddick

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 Book Interviewees

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

Judy Gelinas

Director of Community Oral Health Initiative, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children

Karen Hudson

Program Leader of Homeless Health Initiative, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dorothy Johnson-Speight

Founder and Executive Director of Mothers in Charge

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff

Co-Founder of Emily’s Entourage

Antonio Valdés

Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Crisis Treatment Center

Steveanna Wynn*

Executive Director of SHARE Food Program

Peter Zucca

Founder of The Peter Powerhouse Foundation

2015 Book Interviewees

Kaseir Archie

Youth advisory board member, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Steve Bandura

Recreation leader and coach, Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation

Jeffrey Brown

President and CEO, Brown’s Super Stores

Edgar Chinchilla

Medical interpreter

Laura Romano

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

Julie Gerberding

Executive vice president, Merck Co. Inc., and former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dan Gottlieb

Psychologist and host of “Voices in the Family,” WHYY–FM

Trude Haecker

Medical director, Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia, and medical director, International Patient Services and Quality Improvement, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Roland Lamb

Director, Philadelphia Office of Addiction Services

Cy Maramangalam

Program manager, Cadence Youth Cycling, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Lily Yeh

Cofounder, The Village of Arts and Humanities, and founder, Barefoot Artists

2014 Book Interviewees

Patricia DeRusso

Director, Healthy Weight Program, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

James Ellis

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

Juan Guerra

Executive Director, ACLAMO Family Centers, Norristown

Raina Merchant

Director, Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Visual Artist, Muralist, and Community Arts Educator

Hernando Perez

Director, Industrial Hygiene Consulting Service, Drexel University School of Public Health

James Rief

Lieutenant, Upper Darby Police Department

Darren and Phyllis Sudman

Founders, Simon’s Fund

Carolyn Tassini

Physical Therapy Team Leader, Drucker Brain Injury Center, MossRehab

Marc Vetri

Chef and Cofounder, Vetri Foundation for Children

2013 Book Interviewees

Marcus Allen

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

Heather McDanel

Executive Director, Students Run Philly Style

Charles Ramsey

Commissioner of Police, Philadelphia

Siobhan Reardon

President, The Free Library of Philadelphia

Shelton Watts, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Public Health, Temple University

Mike Weilbacher

Executive Director, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

2012 Book Interviewees

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

Sarah Martinez-Helfman

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

Lucas Rivera

Executive Director, Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos

Liz Scott

Co-Executive Director, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Tanya Thampi-Sen

Community Nutrition Program Manager, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

Stanford Thompson

Executive Director, Play On Philly!

Flaura Winston, M.D.

Scientific Director, Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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.