SOURCE Service-Learning Faculty & Community Fellows
Urmi Desai, MD - Assistant Professor of Medicine, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Columbia/New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Dr. Urmi Desai is an attending physician at the Center for Family and Community Medicine at Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She received her medical degree at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), completed her family medicine residency at Columbia/New-York Presbyterian, and completed a primary care research fellowship at Columbia which included a Masters of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Desai sees patients at the Farrell Health Center in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. She is co-director of the Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership, a student-run free clinic. She mentors residents in quality improvement and research projects. At Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, she is Assistant Course Director and Director of Clerkships for the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course, arranging clinical experiences for first-year medical students. Since 2019, she has served as the Director of Service-Learning at VP&S, working to support service-learning in both co-curricular activities like the student-run free clinics and developing opportunities within the curriculum. Additionally, she is an active member of the Columbia Commons task force, dedicated to ensuring robust Interprofessional education activities at CUIMC. Dr. Desai is faculty co-chair for the Covid-19 Student Service Corps, an interprofessional service-learning student-faculty organization at CUIMC aimed at meeting the needs of health systems and the community in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Dr. Desai has interests in medical education research around the student engagement with narrative medicine and reflection and interprofessional education.
Paula V. Nersesian, PhD, MPH, RN - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Southern Maine
Dr. Paula Nersesian has practiced public and community health nursing in the US and in countries of Asia and Africa for decades. Her extensive health promotion and disease prevention experience spans efforts to improve health for populations, families, and individuals. As a nurse educator, she guides students in learning core content on public and community health in live and online courses, and through fieldwork. Dr. Nersesian draws on her expertise in overseas and domestic health programs to bring program development, implementation, and evaluation into focus. Her scholarly endeavors include research on psychosocial factors and health including the relationship between loneliness, systemic inflammation, and neighborhood quality. She also explores health and health care among vulnerable populations including refugees and asylees. Dr. Nersesian is an active member of the International Family Nursing Association (IFNA), where she serves as the liaison between the Research and Communications Committees.
She also coauthored the IFNA Position Statement on Planetary Health and Family Health. Dr. Nersesian has disseminated her scholarly work at national and international conferences, in scholarly journals, and through social media channels.
She earned a PhD, MPH, and Nursing Education Certificate from Johns Hopkins University and a BSN from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the School of Nursing faculty at the University of Southern Maine, Dr. Nersesian was a member of the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
Aisha Rivera Margarin, MD, MS - Program Director, Johns Hopkins Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency
Dr. Rivera is board certified in Occupational and General Preventive Medicine and serves as the Program Director for the Johns Hopkins Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency. In that role, she is responsible for organizing training and educational experiences, evaluating and mentoring residents and maintaining the residency's ACGME accreditation through a number of reporting and administrative tasks. She also serves as a Medical Advisor to the International Association of Fire Fighters through a longstanding relationship between the union and the residency program and is the course director for the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering's Clinical Occupational and Environmental Toxicology Course. She enjoys overseeing the growing pre-med focus area for the Master of Health Sciences offered by the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering where she gets to connect with students aspiring to pursue careers in medicine. She joined the Former Workers Program team in June 2020. Outside of JHSPH, she maintains various professional relationships including working as a per diem physician with Concentra where she was most recently medical director and providing oversight for an onsite clinic, is a credentialed Clinical Peer Reviewer for several private companies, and has been assisting the NYC MTA with reviewing their practices in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Her professional interests include: mentoring students and residents, medical education, firefighter health and safety, medical surveillance, healthcare worker health, exploring the link between workplace culture and worker well-being, systems thinking, women in the workplace, vulnerable populations, work as a social determinant of health, workplace policies that promote healthy families, and international occupational health. She is a member of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and served on the Presidential Taskforce to Increase OEM Visibility and a separate committee on fundraising for OEM education this past year. Her hobbies and interests include dedicating time to faith, family, and friends; eating good food; hearing comedy; listening to podcasts, Audible books and music; traveling; home décor; and keeping up with current events/news.
Gayle Robinson PhD, MN, BSN, RN - Assistant Professor, Seattle University College of Nursing
Gayle Robinson, PhD RN, earned a PhD from University of Washington, Seattle, a BSN, and MN from University of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Robinson is an Assistant Professor at Seattle University College of Nursing and a past president of Mary Mahoney Professional Nursing Organization, (MMPNO) Seattle. Her clinical background is medical surgical, acute care, intensive care, and emergency room nursing experience. She is concerned about women’s health generally and has focused her research on the health of African American women and HIV prevention. Related interests and activities include listening to oral stories, gaining wisdom from elders, and hearing the laughter of the young. Community service work includes most recent projects: Black Nurses Gathering sponsored by Mary Mahoney Professional Nursing Organization, and an Oral History Documentary, with Overdue Reckoning on Racism Project. Partnerships with The Center for Multicultural Health and MMPNO for community COVID-19 Pop up Clinic, and Health and Wellness checks with Sisters in Common.
Identified Program of Scholarship: Areas of research work, African Americans, Story Telling, Intergenerational Dialogues, Dementia among Older Adults and Veterans. Recent published work; Robison G. Qualitative Study of African American Women’s Intergenerational Dialogue for HIV Prevention. Western Journal of Nursing Research. Vol.43(5) 405-415. Doi:10.117/0193945920965878.
Michael Rosenblum, PhD - Professor, Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Michael Rosenblum is a Professor of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Math from MIT, followed by a postdoc in Biostatistics at the University of California, Berkeley and the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University of California, San Francisco. His research is in causal inference and experimental design with a focus on developing new statistical methods and open-source software for optimizing the design and analysis of randomized trials, with clinical applications in HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and cardiac resynchronization devices. https://mrosenblumbiostat.wordpress.com/
Bushra Sabri, PhD, MSW - Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Dr. Bushra Sabri is Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Her research focuses on lifetime cumulative exposures to violence, including intimate partner violence and stress caused by experiencing health inequities, particularly among minority and immigrant women. She has led or co-led multiple funded research projects focusing on risk factors and health outcomes of interpersonal violence across the lifespan. Dr. Sabri’s recent work focuses on the intersecting epidemics of violence, HIV, mental health, and reproductive and sexual health problems among women; the role of physiological stress responses in coping; and developing and evaluating trauma-informed, culturally tailored interventions. Dr. Sabri’s goal is to develop interventions that contribute to reducing health disparities among vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations.
Janiece L. Taylor, PhD, MSN, RN - Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Janiece Taylor is an Assistant Professor on the research/education tract at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Her research interests include pain, disability, and psychosocial outcomes among aging women and minorities. She earned her PhD in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed an Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral fellowship in Biobehavioral Pain Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Taylor was selected as the first nurse in the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Harold Amos Fellowship Program. She is testing an intervention: Depression and Pain Perseverance through Empowered Recovery (DAPPER) among community-dwelling older African American women using human-centered design.
Carrie Wright, PhD - Assistant Scientist, Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Carrie Wright is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Wright’s work is focused on innovating ways to make data science and computational biology more accessible to audiences of varied computational experience.
She is a member of the Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab (DaSL), the Open Case Studies team, and the Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) Training Network (ITN). You can find out more about Dr. Wright at carriewright11.github.io.
2021-2022 Community Fellows
Tiaira Harris - Senior Program Manager, Lori’s Hands
Tiaira Harris is the Senior Program Manager for Lori's Hands' Baltimore chapter. Born and raised in West Baltimore, she has a strong devotion to the city and its social innovation. Tiaira has ten years of experience in healthcare program management.
As a Diversity and Inclusion consultant, Tiaira has a passion for equity, fairness, and compassionate care. Prior to working for Lori's Hands, Tiaira spent ten years at Planned Parenthood of Maryland in the organization's Education and Training department.
Jeremy LaMaster - Executive Director, FreeState Justice
Jeremy LaMaster is the Executive Director of FreeState Justice, a social justice organization that works statewide to improve the lives of LGBTQ Marylanders and their families through legal services, policy advocacy, outreach, education, and coalition building. As an upwardly mobile LGBTQ person, Jeremy experiences and witnesses the ways power and privilege circulate to inform systems of oppression within our communities. His career has focused on translating feminist and anti-racist theory into practice by incorporating social justice into programs and adapting business tools to address systemic inequities. Before joining FreeState Justice,
Jeremy was an educator and student affairs professional at Rutgers University, teaching undergraduate courses on race, gender, class, sexuality, and social justice. More recently, Jeremy managed the merger of two landmark national HIV research programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He employed vision and strategy to streamline study operations and to ensure that the experiences of Black women, trans folk, and gay/bisexual men remained centered. Jeremy holds Bachelor’s degrees in Women’s Studies and Biology from Penn State, a Master’s degree in Women’s & Gender Studies from Rutgers University, and recently completed his MBA at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He and his spouse, Santiago, live in Baltimore City with their French Bulldog, Bohunka. When he has time, Jeremy enjoys video games, cooking, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Seth Rosenblatt, MD, MPH - Medical Director, Integrated Behavioral Health Department, Total Health Care
Dr. Seth Rosenblatt is currently the Medical Director of the Integrated Behavioral Health Department at Total Health Care Inc, a Federally Qualified Health Center network comprised of 7 locations throughout Baltimore. Prior to this, he worked at Whitman-Walker Health providing psychiatric services to clients as a staff psychiatrist. Dr. Rosenblatt attended medically school at George Washington University where he participated as a student in ISCOPES, GWU’s interdisciplinary service-learning program. He completed his adult psychiatry residency at George Washington University. Dr. Rosenblatt also obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from GWU and worked as a program manager on various maternal and child health and reproductive health global programs with Johns Hopkins Centers for Communication Programs and Jhpiego.
Lucine Francis, PhD, RN - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Lucine Francis is an Assistant Professor and researcher focused on identifying ways children from vulnerable communities are provided with the best environment to ensure their well-being.
Currently, Dr. Francis seeks to understand the role of schools and early care and education settings in child health and early learning. She is looking forward to participating in the SOURCE’s Fellows program and hopes to develop a plan to incorporate school-based service learning in nursing curricula.
Nina Martin, PhD - Assistant Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health
After 15 years in the biomedical research field, I left the lab to pursue science communication and community engagement research and practice full-time. I do this both through research at JHSPH and through my non-profit organization, Public Health United (PHU). PHU started as a science communication podcast in 2013 and transition to a 501(c)3 organization in 2015 to do grassroots science engagement with an explicit focus on bringing science to low income communities (think: Science for the People!). Through research and outreach, I have built long-term, trusting relationships with hard-to-reach, at-risk youth population in the poorest neighborhood in all of Maryland. This work also includes building direct pipelines for the youth to policymakers. Our new B’More Engaged curriculum teaches youth how to use public health data to advocate to policymakers on food security.
Phil McNab, PhD - Education Program Specialist, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Phil McNab is the Education Program Specialist at the Center for a Livable Future (CLF). In this role, he collaborates closely with colleagues to strengthen CLF’s education portfolio, including coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and the CLF-Lerner Fellowship. He serves as the key contact for the Center’s former, current, and future students.
Prior to joining the CLF, he was a research associate in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society (HBS), where he co-directed the Johns Hopkins portion of the Statewide Ethnographic Assessment of Drug Use and Services (SEADS). Phil earned his PhD in public health from the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society, and he also holds dual master’s degrees in public health and anthropology from the University of South Florida. His doctoral dissertation involved a case study of volunteering at three of Maryland’s farms, and he was a CLF-Lerner Fellow for five years.
Phil previously served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Roni Neff’s course— Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study of Urban Food Environments. The course included an official service-learning component, for which Phil assisted with coordinating, overseeing, and grading students’ projects.
Sarah M. Murray, PhD - Psychiatric Epidemiologist & Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Sarah M. Murray, PhD is a psychiatric epidemiologist and Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating mental health interventions for violence-affected populations living in low-resource settings globally. An additional current area of focus is understanding the intersection of gender-based violence, stigma and common mental disorders to develop and adapt integrated public health interventions at the individual and community level.
Vinciya Pandian, PhD, MBA, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN - Associate Professor, School of Nursing
A member of the Global Tracheotomy Collaborative, Vinciya Pandian is internationally known for her clinical expertise in improving the care, safety, and quality of life of tracheostomy patients. Her primary scientific work, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR017433), focuses on identifying signs and symptoms of laryngeal injury post-extubation in the intensive care unit. In addition to ICUs, her research expands to community (cities of Baltimore and Aberdeen) and global settings (Nigeria). Dr. Pandian is passionate about educating care providers on the best multidisciplinary approaches to improving outcomes of critically ill patients. She also excels in mentoring high school and college students by helping them participate in research, quality improvement efforts, and evidence-based projects, and eventually publishing their work successfully. She has served as a director of practice, education, and research for the Johns Hopkins Airway Program that includes the Tracheostomy and Difficult Airway Response Programs. She is associate director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Executive Program, director of the Research Honors Program, president of the Sigma Nu Beta at-large chapter, and vice president of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Nurses. Her entrepreneurial work surrounds developing, implementing, and evaluating various products and programs. Dr. Pandian earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Christian Medical College at Vellore, India; master’s and PhD degrees at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing; and an MBA at the University of Baltimore.
Maggie Wear, PhD - Assistant Scientist, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health
Maggie Wear, PhD is an Assistant Scientist in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. In this position Maggie splits her time between the bench where she researches the essential virulence factor of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, the polysaccharide capsule, and teaching for the R3 program as part of the R3ISE center which focuses on innovative methods to teach critical thinking and clear communication skills. Within this program Dr. Wear teaches four courses, Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences, Critical Dissection of the Scientific Literature, Fundamentals of Quantitative Reasoning in the Biomedical and Health Sciences, and in collaboration with SOURCE, Implementing Community-Based Practice Through Civic Engagement Projects.
In addition to her work at Hopkins, Dr. Wear is involved in her community and can be found cooking for others, teaching people about yeast and their role in humans' favorite foods and drinks, or hosting "public health corner" answering ranging questions about science and disease.
2020-2021 Community Fellows
Ezra Halstead, MA - Director of Education, FreeState Justice
Ezra Halstead (they/he) is the Director of Education and Outreach at FreeState Justice. In their position, they work to build connections and resources through client advocacy, community organizing, education, and outreach to achieve equity for vulnerable LGBTQ+ Marylanders. Ezra moved to the Baltimore area in 2017 after graduating from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies with a master’s degree in International Policy and Development and a dual concentration in Human Rights and Advocacy and Gender, Power, and Identity. A passionate activist for several years, they have had various professional experiences pertaining to LGBTQ advocacy, including working as a Campus Leader with Equality Pennsylvania at their undergraduate institution (Juniata College) in 2014, where they successfully advocated for nondiscrimination and gender inclusive housing policy reforms. Outside of their work with FreeState, Ezra loves to spend time with their partner, Erika, and their puppy, Mango. They currently live in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Baltimore City.
Adongo Matthews, MBA - Executive Director, Shepherd’s Clinic
Adongo Matthews is a non-profit professional who joined Shepherd's Clinic in December 2019 as the Executive Director. Adongo brings almost a decade of experience working with underserved families in Baltimore. She previously worked as the Manager of a Community Action Center (CAP) in Baltimore City where she focused on financial empowerment, housing stability and utility affordability for Baltimore’s most vulnerable populations. As a Center Manager she had the unique opportunity to work one on one with clients at the center level while working as part of the leadership team. She was able to witness the daily struggles that clients faced, while also having a hand in the policies and procedures necessary to maximize assistance to families.
Adongo holds an MBA from Alvernia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Morgan State University. Outside of work, she is a wife and mother to two little girls. She enjoys reading to her daughters and one of their favorite books is I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont which promotes self-esteem in young girls.
Nora Olson - Volunteer Coordinator, Esperanza Center
My interest in community engagement and social justice began just after college when I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Northern New Mexico. From there, my work continued as the Director of the Alameda Literacy Program, a community-based family literacy program, serving more than 200 children and families from Albuquerque’s North Valley region. In addition to managing a corps of more than 100 volunteers, it also required the development of strong relationships with both major corporations and local public agencies.
In January 2020, I began working as the volunteer coordinator for the Esperanza Center after volunteering with their Client Services program for more than 2 years. Esperanza Center is a comprehensive immigrant resource center that offers hope and essential services to people who are new to the United States. Working in partnership with the community and volunteers, Esperanza Center strives each day to carry out its mission: to welcome immigrants by offering hope, compassionate services, and the power to improve their lives by providing language services, referrals, ESL education, healthcare, and low-cost immigration legal services to thousands of immigrants each year. As volunteer coordinator, my role is to recruit and support volunteers, develop community partnerships with local business and universities, and foster an environment where volunteers can find effective, meaningful ways to provide services to Baltimore’s regional immigrant community.
Renee Johnson, PhD, MPH - Associate Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Mental Health
Renee M. Johnson's research addresses the health of adolescents and emerging adults, with a focus on substance use and violence. Much of this work involves marginalized populations including people of color, LGBT youth, trauma-exposed youth, immigrants, and youth in low-income, urban areas.
Dr. Johnson teaches a survey course of substance use epidemiology and also directs the Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training Program.
Catherine Ling, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP - Faculty Associate and FNP Track Coordinator, School of Nursing
Dr. Catherine Ling is a nurse scientist, family nurse practitioner, and educator focusing on improving access to quality, primary care with an emphasis on military families. She is actively involved in investigation of the structure of primary care, non-opioid pain relief strategies for use in primary care and innovative strategies to engage students. She maintains her 26-year career as a practicing FNP. Dr. Ling received her BSN from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, her Masters in Family Practice from Emory University and her PhD from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a Fellow within the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Laura Lucas, DNP, APRN-CNS, RNC-OB, C-EFM - Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator of the MSN Program, School of Nursing
Laura Lucas is an advanced practice nurse (CNS) and coordinator of the Birth Companions program that offers nursing students the opportunity to provide labor support and advocacy services to mothers from various backgrounds. She most recently worked as a clinical nurse specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital while serving as adjunct clinical faculty in the childbearing course. Lucas is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, the University of Delaware, and Chatham University. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (Nu Beta Chapter), Association of Women’s Health Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN), and the National Association for Clinical Nurse Specialists (Chesapeake Bay Chapter). Lucas is certified in inpatient obstetrics, electronic fetal monitoring, and as an advanced practice CNS in the state of Maryland.
Alyssa Moran, ScD, MPH, RD - Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management
Alyssa Moran's research centers on the identification and adoption of policies that promote healthy, sustainable, and equitable food systems. Prior to joining the faculty at JHU, Alyssa worked as a technical advisor in the Nutrition Strategy Program at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and for the New York Academy of Medicine’s Advancing Prevention Agenda. She frequently advises on local food policy initiatives, partnering on programs such as the New York City Food Standards, Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, and National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative. Alyssa is a registered dietitian, and completed her clinical training at the Bronx VA Medical Center. She holds degrees from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (ScD), New York University (MPH), and Washington University in St. Louis (BA).
Lauren Parker, PhD, MPH - Assistant Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior and Society
Trained in health promotion and gerontology, Dr. Parker’s research interest is in understanding how social factors influences the health of marginalized populations across the life-course continuum. Broadly, her research examines the influence of interpersonal forms of acute and chronic stressors on health via behavioral and psychological processes. She has worked extensively on understanding how such factors influence the health of Black men. Currently, Dr. Parker’s research considers how sociocultural and behavioral factors along with biological process impact health and health disparities among informal caregivers for dementia patients. She recently received a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research from the National Institute on Aging. The research will examine the impact of Adult Day Services on subjective and physiological measures of stress among Black dementia family caregivers.
Erin Wright, FACNM, DNP, MS, APHN-BC - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Dr. Wright is Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, and continues to practice clinically as a Certified Nurse-Midwife. She has spent the past 20 years working and serving her community in the area of women’s health. In addition to her expertise as a midwife, Dr. Wright also holds a board-certification as an Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse. She is widely published on the topics of occupational health concerns for midwives, nurses and students and integrative medicine for stress reduction. She is a past president and vice president of the Maryland Affiliate of the American College of Nurse- Midwives (ACNM). Currently, Dr. Wright serves this organization as a legislative chair and often testifies before the state legislature regarding scope of practice issues and women’s reproductive health issues. She serves nationally on the American College of Nurse-Midwives Ethics, and Clinical and Academic Educators Committees.
2019-2020 Community Fellows
Mariana Izraelson, PhD - Executive Director, Shepherd's Clinic
Dr. Izraelson joined Shepherd's Clinic in July 2018 as the Executive Director. Dr. Izraelson brings years of clinical and managerial experience in the medical outpatient and addiction setting. She previously worked as the Director of Outpatient Services for Ashley Addiction Treatment in Harford and Cecil County. Other professional roles include managing State Care Coordination, Maryland Recovery Net, and Women and Children programs for Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, as the Director of Recovery Care Services for HealthCare Access Maryland.
Through her professional roles over the past ten years, Dr. Izraelson has strengthened her knowledge of professional procedures, research, and an understanding of a myriad of evidence-based treatment program deliveries. From her experience in rural Maryland to working in Baltimore City, Dr. Izraelson have been dedicated to providing high quality public health prevention and intervention services to at-risk populations. As a clinician, and program director, she developed skills in working with clients who had multiple health and social needs including substance use and mental health disorders. Serving this population provided her with direct experience addressing substance use disorders during pregnancy as well as the unique concerns that affect pregnant women while in recovery.
Dr. Izraelson has a Doctorate Degree in Psychology from Argosy University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of Maryland Baltimore County, is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and is a certified Project Management Professional. She currently serves as a Board Member for the Maryland Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence and the Maryland Addictions Directors Council. She is also a member of the Project Management Institute, and the Psychologists for Social Responsibility Association.
Maritza Alcoreza-Dominguez, MSW - Director, Living Classrooms Park House
Maritza Alcoreza-Dominguez is the Director of the Living Classrooms Park House, a health and wellness community center located in Patterson Park. As the Director, Maritza develops the after-school program, exclusively for middle school students centered around sports, nutrition and nature exploration. Maritza has also created a number of opportunities for community members to participate in health and wellness initiative in Southeast Baltimore such as the community garden, English as a Second language classes during the day time, and evening community fitness classes like yoga, karate and zumba. In this role, Maritza uses her Bachelor's in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary to oversee the operations of the Park House, which overlaps with her Master's in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in developing health and wellness initiatives for the community. Prior to this role, Maritza co-founded the Alliance for Community Teachers and Schools in Baltimore, MD, which provided professional development to parents, teachers and principals in Baltimore City Schools. Maritza was responsible for engaging parents and teachers and developing leadership that could address priority areas in the school identified by the families and leadership. Maritza also uses her social work credentials to translate for Spanish-speaking clients in a variety of settings, including foster home placements and incarcerated individuals.
Matt Skarzynski - Program Director, Baltimore SquashWise
Matt joined SquashWise in 2009 after teaching English at an Islamic boarding school in Malaysia, under a Fulbright Scholarship. He was previously an AmeriCorps Volunteer and later a full-time staff member of the Baltimore Urban Debate League. Matt has a B.A. from the University of San Diego in International Relations. As Program Director at SquashWise, Matt leads a dynamic and committed staff team, ensures program quality, and maintains strong partnerships with students, parents, and schools. Outside of work, Matt enjoys taking hikes with his wife and wonderful dogs, coaching and participating in CrossFit, and experimenting in the kitchen in an attempt to cook delicious food.
Deborah Busch, DNP, CPNP-PC, IBCLC - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Debbie Busch has extensive professional experience in the field of pediatrics and lactation, beginning with her training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Followed by becoming the clinic nurse of the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Health Department’s Pediatric clinic and high-risk pregnancy public health program. She then joined her husband and served in the U.S. Peace Corps Nepal within the Nepali Maternal Child Health rural clinic program. Returning stateside, she practiced in pediatric primary care and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree focusing on implementing her formulated Tri-Core Primary Care Breastfeeding conceptual model among eight practices utilizing two community grants. Busch has been teaching in academia and a clinical preceptor for over the past ten years. She teaches both pre-licensure (RN) and post-licensure nursing and Nurse Practitioner students and has received numerous academic awards for her efforts. She continues to practice in general pediatrics and has recently assisted in the opening of a new breastfeeding center outside Baltimore, MD as the co-clinical director. She is active in lactation clinical research and has written in several peer-reviewed journals and is a peer-reviewer for several journals. Busch has also presented regionally and Nationally at several noted professional conferences and Grand Rounds within her specialty field. She volunteers on several JHUSON committees, and is the elected Secretary of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) Breastfeeding Special Interest Group. She is a member of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC), and has recently become an MBC representative for the U.S Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Breastfeeding in the Workplace national group.
Cassandra Crifasi, PhD, MPH - Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management
Cassandra Crifasi is a core faculty member of the Center for Gun Policy and Research. She also serves as the Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins-Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Reduction. Her research focuses on injury epidemiology and prevention, gun violence and the evaluation of policies that impact public safety. Crifasi received her PhD in Health Policy and Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014 and an MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health from Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health in 2010.
Meghan Latshaw, PhD, MHS - Assistant Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering
Meghan Latshaw works to improve health through changes in our environment. Her efforts focus on making science useful for lawmakers, those working in public health or environmental agencies, and the public. Examples of her efforts include creating the State Environmental Health Directors group, and providing a vision and groundwork for the National Biomonitoring Network. Current efforts focus on designing healthy communities, studying energy changes aimed at improving health, and improving environmental health surveillance.
With a doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins, Latshaw recently rejoined their faculty after working for more than a decade in the non-profit world. Following Michael Bloomberg’s recent $300 million gift to transform American health, she was asked to serve as the co-lead for the Environmental Challenges focus area. She also serves as director of two master’s degree programs, co-director of a third, and teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her massive open online course on Chemicals & Health has enrolled over 35,000 students from all over the world.
Haneefa Saleem, PhD, MPH - Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health, Social and Behavioral Interventions Program
Haneefa Saleem conducts research on the social, behavioral and structural aspects of health—both domestically and internationally. Her research objectives are focused on understanding how environmental factors—physical, social, policy and economic—influence health behaviors and outcomes; and understanding people’s experiences of health and illness to develop interventions that improve health outcomes. Saleem's research studies have looked at improving the sexual and reproductive health of women and men living with HIV; increasing access to HIV care and treatment; and mitigating the risks associated with substance use. She co-instructs the Qualitative Research Practicum Course Series in which students collaborate with local community-based organizations or JHU faculty members to develop and conduct a qualitative research project.
JoAnne Silbert-Flagg, DNP, CRNP, IBCLC, FAAN - Assistant Professor and Director of MSN Programs, School of Nursing
JoAnne Silbert-Flagg's scholarship focuses on promoting breastfeeding from pregnancy through weaning via direct patient care and the education of healthcare professionals. She is co-director of patient care of the newly opened Metropolitan Breastfeeding Center located in Columbia, Maryland. The center provides breastfeeding support to patients and is a site for breastfeeding research and student learning related to human lactation. She is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Human Lactation, and is editor of the textbook, Maternal and Child Health Nursing (8th ed.) 2017, Wolters Kluwer, authoring five chapters, including "Nutritional Needs of a Newborn." She is co-editor of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certification Review Guide: Primary Care, 2015, Jones and Bartlett, authoring the "Health Promotion" chapter with expanded content on breastfeeding. Silbert-Flagg is co-chair of the special interest group on breastfeeding for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). She provides pediatric primary care as a pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP) and certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) at Columbia Medical Practice.
Nicole Warren, PhD, MPH, CNM - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Nicole Warren is a Certified Nurse Midwife providing well woman gynecologic care at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has over fifteen years of combined research, clinical practice and teaching experience in women’s gynecological and obstetric health. Much of this work has focused on improving care for women affected by female genital cutting (FGC). She is an award-winning teacher and is increasingly focused on increasing students’ awareness of and desire to address the relationship between socioeconomic disparities and health outcomes, especially as they related to maternal health. Warren conducts research in low, middle and high incomes settings with frontline maternal health care workers aimed at improving the quality of care and promoting the Universal Rights of Childbearing Women.
Allison L. West, PhD, MSW - Assistant Professor, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health
Allison L. West’s research interests focus on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable expectant families and families with young children. She has a particular interest in home visiting as a dual generation service delivery strategy for families with multiple, complex biopsychosocial challenges, and the role of home visiting within larger systems of care. Her work incorporates intervention and evaluation research methods to assess program fidelity, test effects of programs and program enhancements on outcomes, and deepen understanding of causal pathways. West's work is highly interdisciplinary and crosses multiple sectors – health, education, and social services.
2018-2019 Community Fellows
Alexandria Warrick Adams - Director, Elev8 Baltimore
Alexandria Warrick Adams has over 15 years of non-profit experience in education and youth development. She began her career during college as a volunteer mentor for high school students during college. Following graduation, she worked in the Office of Student Affairs providing support and resources to first generation college students. After moving to Baltimore Alex gained experience working with parents as part of the Fresh Start Initiative providing workforce development training and support to TANF recipients. After joining the Educational Initiatives team at East Baltimore Development Inc., she worked closely with the senior director to finalize and submit the application that would become Elev8 Baltimore. Following the contract approval of East Baltimore Community School (currently Henderson Hopkins), she worked closely on the opening of the school including principal selection, student recruitment, operational procedures, and student/parent engagement. As a new site manager for the newly opened East Baltimore Community School, she learned first-hand about the social, academic, and economic challenges facing low income and working class families, and leveraged partnerships to enhance students' educational experience. This experience fueled her commitment to transforming the policies and services impacting children and youth.
In 2012, Alex brought her experiences to the position of community resource schools program manager at the Family League of Baltimore. During her tenure, she was instrumental in deepening the organization’s approach to community school engagement, professional development and middle and high school programmatic interventions. In 2015, she returned to Elev8 Baltimore as the director and has grown the OST program to serve more students, and partner with new communities.
Current and past leadership experiences include Charter and Operator Lead Schools Advisory Board—Baltimore City Public Schools, Board Member—Urban Children’s Foundation, Coalition for Community Schools—Leadership Network, Maryland Coalition 4 Community Schools, ECAC Baltimore, and President of the Black Cultural Affairs Board. Alex received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies and Certificate in Black Studies from Portland State University. She completed post-graduate studies in Public History.
Erin Myers - Director of Volunteerism and Partner Engagement, Living Classrooms Foundation
Erin Myers is responsible for managing all aspects of Living Classrooms Foundation’s volunteer program, including significant involvement with corporate partners, area universities, and other community groups with the goal of developing and maintaining relationships that facilitate volunteer recruitment and other methods of supporting Living Classrooms programs. She also plays a leading role in planning special events (in both Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC), developing programs at Living Classrooms sites and community centers, supervising an organization-wide internship and service-learning program, and more.
Erin started at Living Classrooms as the student support & volunteer coordinator during a year of service with AmeriCorps through Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. After her year of service was completed, she was hired on full-time as Living Classrooms’ volunteer and service-learning coordinator. Earlier this year, she was promoted to director of volunteerism and partner engagement.
Erin is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where she obtained a BFA (dual major in General Fine Arts and Humanistic Studies).
Zayid Douglas - Assistant Director, Episcopal Refugee and Immigrant Center Alliance (ERICA)
Zayid Douglas is the Assistant Director of ERICA, a program based at the Cathedral of the Incarnation dedicated to supporting refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, and immigrants fleeing oppression and other forms of injustice from various corners of the world. As an outreach ministry of the Cathedral, ERICA provides unique programs of family reunification, education/trainings, housing, and individualized problem solving in a welcoming environment that promotes listening, sharing and respect.
Prior to ERICA, Zayid spent time in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, engaged in social science research, project management and business development activities in both the US and abroad. In her current role, Zayid leads fundraising efforts, oversees management of ERICA’s volunteer base which forms the core of ERICA’s service delivery, and builds partnerships with likeminded organizations and programs including SOURCE as part of efforts to further enhance and expand ERICA’s community connections.
Zayid received her MPP in International and Health policy from the University of Chicago and her BA in Psychology from Wellesley College.