Carolyn C. Cannuscio  is a social epidemiologist who believes in working with communities to remedy health disparities. She is dedicated to using her skills as a researcher, her partnerships with strong organizations, her position at Penn, and her experience as an urbanite to improve population health. With her incredibly inspiring team, she is committed to answering the Institute of Medicine’s call to “eliminate health inequities and improve health for all.” She leads the team with a firm belief that every individual brings boundless creativity and potential to generate positive social change. As an Italian mother of four and as a mentor, she is dedicated to good health and full bellies for all. Visit us and you will not leave hungry.   

Carolyn C. Cannuscio  is a social epidemiologist who believes in working with communities to remedy health disparities. She is dedicated to using her skills as a researcher, her partnerships with strong organizations, her position at Penn, and her experience as an urbanite to improve population health. With her incredibly inspiring team, she is committed to answering the Institute of Medicine’s call to “eliminate health inequities and improve health for all.” She leads the team with a firm belief that every individual brings boundless creativity and potential to generate positive social change. As an Italian mother of four and as a mentor, she is dedicated to good health and full bellies for all. Visit us and you will not leave hungry.   

Anna U. Morgan is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Penn and an internist who loves to provide medical care to underserved populations. She trained at a public hospital in LA, currently sees primarily Spanish-speaking patients at Puentes de Salud in Philadelphia, and is dedicating her career to serving as a doctor who makes a difference in the community. Anna designed the Community Health Specialist trainings for library staff, and she lights up when she talks about the power of libraries as a force for health. Anna also loves pottery, African dance, and a good laugh. 

Anna U. Morgan is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Penn and an internist who loves to provide medical care to underserved populations. She trained at a public hospital in LA, currently sees primarily Spanish-speaking patients at Puentes de Salud in Philadelphia, and is dedicating her career to serving as a doctor who makes a difference in the community. Anna designed the Community Health Specialist trainings for library staff, and she lights up when she talks about the power of libraries as a force for health. Anna also loves pottery, African dance, and a good laugh. 

Kahina Brooks and Amy Graves conducting a street intercept interview for the Community Health and Literacy Center needs assessment.

Kahina Brooks and Amy Graves conducting a street intercept interview for the Community Health and Literacy Center needs assessment.

Eliza Davenport Whiteman is a doctoral student in Penn’s School of Design. But that’s not all! She is also a Penn MPH student and has prior graduate degrees in nutrition and urban planning. She is passionate about healthy food access for all. That commitment was galvanized by her work with migrant farmers and farmers’ markets in the Pacific Northwest.  Eliza now lives in South Philadelphia, serves at a food pantry in Northern Liberties, and recently completed the Friday New York Times crossword puzzle herself. She loves reading novels (favorite: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; most gripping: Underground Railroad by Colson Whiteman). She runs and spends her downtime in rural Vermont.  She is a master mapper, and also makes delicious homemade ice cream. She’ll share if you ask nicely.

Eliza Davenport Whiteman is a doctoral student in Penn’s School of Design. But that’s not all! She is also a Penn MPH student and has prior graduate degrees in nutrition and urban planning. She is passionate about healthy food access for all. That commitment was galvanized by her work with migrant farmers and farmers’ markets in the Pacific Northwest.  Eliza now lives in South Philadelphia, serves at a food pantry in Northern Liberties, and recently completed the Friday New York Times crossword puzzle herself. She loves reading novels (favorite: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; most gripping: Underground Railroad by Colson Whiteman). She runs and spends her downtime in rural Vermont.  She is a master mapper, and also makes delicious homemade ice cream. She’ll share if you ask nicely.

Andria Johnson is a gifted historian and teacher who has many fans in Penn’s undergraduate Health and Societies program. Andi is closely connected to the West Philadelphia community she calls home. Her scholarly focus is on the history and anthropology of exercise physiology, and her interest in sport carries over to her personal life, which includes hiking and camping and running with her three young children.

Andria Johnson is a gifted historian and teacher who has many fans in Penn’s undergraduate Health and Societies program. Andi is closely connected to the West Philadelphia community she calls home. Her scholarly focus is on the history and anthropology of exercise physiology, and her interest in sport carries over to her personal life, which includes hiking and camping and running with her three young children.

Hillary Bogner is a family doctor and an epidemiologist on the faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine. She is particularly interested in the health and wellbeing of older adults. She lives with her husband and three children in Philadelphia and they frequent the Free Library often. Her mother is a retired librarian.

Hillary Bogner is a family doctor and an epidemiologist on the faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine. She is particularly interested in the health and wellbeing of older adults. She lives with her husband and three children in Philadelphia and they frequent the Free Library often. Her mother is a retired librarian.

Heather Klusaritz holds a PhD in social welfare policy and a MSW and is the Director of Community Engagement for Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. Heather knows Philadelphia’s social service infrastructure inside and out and is dedicated to serving vulnerable Philadelphians. Heather is a mother of two little boys, and she is fierce on the soccer field. 

Heather Klusaritz holds a PhD in social welfare policy and a MSW and is the Director of Community Engagement for Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. Heather knows Philadelphia’s social service infrastructure inside and out and is dedicated to serving vulnerable Philadelphians. Heather is a mother of two little boys, and she is fierce on the soccer field. 

Kiahana Brooks brings an open-minded, hardworking brilliance to our team. She is a registered nurse who also completed her Master of Public Health degree at Penn. When she is not working as a Presidential Management Fellow for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Kiahana may be found dancing, volunteering with recent immigrants, or reviewing on TripAdvisor. Ask her for travel advice and you won’t go wrong!   

Kiahana Brooks brings an open-minded, hardworking brilliance to our team. She is a registered nurse who also completed her Master of Public Health degree at Penn. When she is not working as a Presidential Management Fellow for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Kiahana may be found dancing, volunteering with recent immigrants, or reviewing on TripAdvisor. Ask her for travel advice and you won’t go wrong!   

Sara Solomon is the Deputy Director of Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. She has a strong track record in public health leadership, including a founding role in the CDC-funded “Get Healthy Philly” nutrition and tobacco control initiatives at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. When she is not gardening and getting healthy food to Philadelphians, Sara is training service dogs and planning to be a mom. 

Sara Solomon is the Deputy Director of Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. She has a strong track record in public health leadership, including a founding role in the CDC-funded “Get Healthy Philly” nutrition and tobacco control initiatives at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. When she is not gardening and getting healthy food to Philadelphians, Sara is training service dogs and planning to be a mom. 

David Grande is a physician and health policy researcher who brings to our team a deeply nuanced view of the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, especially here in Philadelphia. Dave has a long track record of engagement in Philadelphia policy and politics, which has sharpened his eye for assessing how to make change happen in our wonderful city.

David Grande is a physician and health policy researcher who brings to our team a deeply nuanced view of the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, especially here in Philadelphia. Dave has a long track record of engagement in Philadelphia policy and politics, which has sharpened his eye for assessing how to make change happen in our wonderful city.

Nema Etebar is our spirited team photographer who loves urban life and all of humanity. Nema welcomes diversity in all its forms, which comes through in his art as well as in the meaningful conversations he has in every city he visits. The best way to keep track of Nema is to follow him on Instagram @nemaetebar, where his signature style and sensitive eye offer new, light-filled ways of looking at the world.  Nema is our role model for how to conduct research that begins with an open mind and leaves prejudice behind. 

Nema Etebar is our spirited team photographer who loves urban life and all of humanity. Nema welcomes diversity in all its forms, which comes through in his art as well as in the meaningful conversations he has in every city he visits. The best way to keep track of Nema is to follow him on Instagram @nemaetebar, where his signature style and sensitive eye offer new, light-filled ways of looking at the world.  Nema is our role model for how to conduct research that begins with an open mind and leaves prejudice behind. 

Stacey Kallem is a pediatrician and a National Clinician Scholar at Penn. She brings to the team a passion for early literacy as a cornerstone of healthy child development. Stacey completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and now sees patients at the innovative Community Health and Literacy Center in South Philadelphia, which co-locates a Free Library of Philadelphia branch, a Philadelphia Department of Public Health clinic, a CHOP pediatric clinic, and a recreation center. Stacey is devoting her career to working with vulnerable populations in order to mitigate the “toxic stress” created by poverty, parental mental health disorders, and violent environments. She sees hope in positive adult relationships, including those found in supportive learning and health care environments. When she is not working with children, Stacey enjoys theater and travel -- and she recently enjoyed an active multi-generational family trip to Iceland.

Stacey Kallem is a pediatrician and a National Clinician Scholar at Penn. She brings to the team a passion for early literacy as a cornerstone of healthy child development. Stacey completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and now sees patients at the innovative Community Health and Literacy Center in South Philadelphia, which co-locates a Free Library of Philadelphia branch, a Philadelphia Department of Public Health clinic, a CHOP pediatric clinic, and a recreation center. Stacey is devoting her career to working with vulnerable populations in order to mitigate the “toxic stress” created by poverty, parental mental health disorders, and violent environments. She sees hope in positive adult relationships, including those found in supportive learning and health care environments. When she is not working with children, Stacey enjoys theater and travel -- and she recently enjoyed an active multi-generational family trip to Iceland.

Carolyn Cannuscio, Roxanne Dupuis, and Amy Graves in the Italian Market, conducting a street intercept interview for the Community Health and Literacy Center needs assessment.

Carolyn Cannuscio, Roxanne Dupuis, and Amy Graves in the Italian Market, conducting a street intercept interview for the Community Health and Literacy Center needs assessment.

Roxanne Dupuis is a force of nature. She has the remarkable ability to see both “big picture” public health goals and the small but meaningful tasks necessary to meet those goals. With this “superpower,” Roxanne keeps our team on task, on target, and dedicated to making a difference in Philadelphia and beyond. Roxanne studied as an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal (yes, she is one of the lucky Canadians), and she completed her Master of Science in Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Roxanne plans to pursue a doctoral degree and an academic career in public health and leads our team’s efforts to engage with the community in a meaningful, productive, and efficient way. Roxanne is a Canadian national figure skating champion! 

Roxanne Dupuis is a force of nature. She has the remarkable ability to see both “big picture” public health goals and the small but meaningful tasks necessary to meet those goals. With this “superpower,” Roxanne keeps our team on task, on target, and dedicated to making a difference in Philadelphia and beyond. Roxanne studied as an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal (yes, she is one of the lucky Canadians), and she completed her Master of Science in Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Roxanne plans to pursue a doctoral degree and an academic career in public health and leads our team’s efforts to engage with the community in a meaningful, productive, and efficient way. Roxanne is a Canadian national figure skating champion! 

Amy Graves is a multi-talented team member who uses her photography, videography, and human relations skills to engage both community residents and our team. Amy can take any bleak day and make it look more beautiful with her presence. Amy has been known to camp with grizzly bears ominously close by, and to land in Guatemala with her husband and a tent but no firm plan. Adventure travel is her passion.

Amy Graves is a multi-talented team member who uses her photography, videography, and human relations skills to engage both community residents and our team. Amy can take any bleak day and make it look more beautiful with her presence. Amy has been known to camp with grizzly bears ominously close by, and to land in Guatemala with her husband and a tent but no firm plan. Adventure travel is her passion.

Bernadette D’Alonzo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Health and Societies program, where she excelled--allowing her to submatriculate in Penn’s Master of Public Health program. Bern is a fantastic writer and budding researcher who hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in public health. She brings to the team her incredible work ethic and a deep commitment to the community. She has roots in Philadelphia’s historically Italian South Philadelphia community. Recently, she has developed a love for qualitative interviewing, which was sparked in both her work with the Healthy Library Initiative and in profoundly moving interviews she conducted with diverse urban gardeners. Bernadette is super fast in the pool and was the captain of the Penn women’s swim team.

Bernadette D’Alonzo graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Health and Societies program, where she excelled--allowing her to submatriculate in Penn’s Master of Public Health program. Bern is a fantastic writer and budding researcher who hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in public health. She brings to the team her incredible work ethic and a deep commitment to the community. She has roots in Philadelphia’s historically Italian South Philadelphia community. Recently, she has developed a love for qualitative interviewing, which was sparked in both her work with the Healthy Library Initiative and in profoundly moving interviews she conducted with diverse urban gardeners. Bernadette is super fast in the pool and was the captain of the Penn women’s swim team.

Kiahana Brooks and Amy Graves conducting an interview with a local South Philadelphia resident during the needs assessment for the Community Health and Literacy Center.

Kiahana Brooks and Amy Graves conducting an interview with a local South Philadelphia resident during the needs assessment for the Community Health and Literacy Center.

Caroline Larochelle comes to the team with a wealth of experience in community engagement. She recently worked with the Mayor’s Office of Education on programs to boost educational outcomes for low income populations. Caroline speaks French and makes marzipan, thanks to her mother’s Belgian heritage. She also speaks Spanish, which she uses to promote health while teaching the Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum.

Caroline Larochelle comes to the team with a wealth of experience in community engagement. She recently worked with the Mayor’s Office of Education on programs to boost educational outcomes for low income populations. Caroline speaks French and makes marzipan, thanks to her mother’s Belgian heritage. She also speaks Spanish, which she uses to promote health while teaching the Diabetes Prevention Program curriculum.

Eliza Davenport Whiteman, Anna Morgan, Carolyn Cannuscio, Bernadette D'Alonzo, Amy Graves, and Roxanne Dupuis.

Eliza Davenport Whiteman, Anna Morgan, Carolyn Cannuscio, Bernadette D'Alonzo, Amy Graves, and Roxanne Dupuis.

Moriah Hall is the Associate Director of Penn's large and rapidly growing MPH program, in which she mentors many students and also teaches courses on program planning, evaluation, and public health nutrition. She brings these skills and a love of food, cooking, and community to our work. Moriah starts most days with a ridiculously challenging workout, and then her energy remains high throughout the day--no matter what challenges show up on her desk.  

Moriah Hall is the Associate Director of Penn's large and rapidly growing MPH program, in which she mentors many students and also teaches courses on program planning, evaluation, and public health nutrition. She brings these skills and a love of food, cooking, and community to our work. Moriah starts most days with a ridiculously challenging workout, and then her energy remains high throughout the day--no matter what challenges show up on her desk.  

Alex Reisley recently graduated from Bowdoin College and came to our team with a clear interest in taking on important social issues in his life and work. He will be with us during an interim year, as he prepares to join Teach for America in New York City. Alex is motivated by social justice, loves to connect with people and share life stories, enjoys writing, and is a Philadelphia native. He spent the summer of 2016 traveling alone through Eastern Europe, where his favorite countries were Slovenia and Bosnia, which he enjoyed for their spectacular scenery and local hospitality.  Back home, Alex is watching the Flyers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, though he cautions younger audiences against watching both. He is also looking for local squash games.

Alex Reisley recently graduated from Bowdoin College and came to our team with a clear interest in taking on important social issues in his life and work. He will be with us during an interim year, as he prepares to join Teach for America in New York City. Alex is motivated by social justice, loves to connect with people and share life stories, enjoys writing, and is a Philadelphia native. He spent the summer of 2016 traveling alone through Eastern Europe, where his favorite countries were Slovenia and Bosnia, which he enjoyed for their spectacular scenery and local hospitality.  Back home, Alex is watching the Flyers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, though he cautions younger audiences against watching both. He is also looking for local squash games.

Amy Graves conducting an interview with a Philadelphia resident during the needs assessment for the Community Health and Literacy Center.

Amy Graves conducting an interview with a Philadelphia resident during the needs assessment for the Community Health and Literacy Center.

Senbagam Virudachalam is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a pediatrician and scientist, she is committed to promoting positive health starting in early childhood both in community and home-based settings. Her innovative Home Plate initiative teaches healthy cooking strategies to low-income parents of toddlers. Sen sees patients at the Community Health and Literacy Center’s CHOP clinic and is dedicated to reaching underserved communities. Her compassion and sympathetic ear are unmatched. Sen enjoys spending time at Philadelphia’s many farmers markets, as well as on her family’s farm.

Senbagam Virudachalam is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. As a pediatrician and scientist, she is committed to promoting positive health starting in early childhood both in community and home-based settings. Her innovative Home Plate initiative teaches healthy cooking strategies to low-income parents of toddlers. Sen sees patients at the Community Health and Literacy Center’s CHOP clinic and is dedicated to reaching underserved communities. Her compassion and sympathetic ear are unmatched. Sen enjoys spending time at Philadelphia’s many farmers markets, as well as on her family’s farm.

Carolyn Cannuscio works with students in the Edible Alphabet program, an ESL and cooking class for refugees. The class is run through the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center.

Carolyn Cannuscio works with students in the Edible Alphabet program, an ESL and cooking class for refugees. The class is run through the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center.

Graceann Palmarella is the Program and Communication Specialist at Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives. She completed her Master of Public Health degree at Penn, where her capstone research focused on the health and social needs of youth experiencing homelessness. She developed a resource-rich website entitled Y.E.A.H (Youth Experiencing Active Homelessness) Info Philly. Graceann's interest in working with this population began during her fieldwork with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Homeless Health Initiative where she worked with mothers and children at nearby shelters. Graceann has also worked with children experiencing chronic illness, creating a home-like environment at The Children's Inn at NIH for children engaging in clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, she has worked on youth physical activity programs with the YMCA, and she is a certified yoga instructor. 

Graceann Palmarella is the Program and Communication Specialist at Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives. She completed her Master of Public Health degree at Penn, where her capstone research focused on the health and social needs of youth experiencing homelessness. She developed a resource-rich website entitled Y.E.A.H (Youth Experiencing Active Homelessness) Info Philly. Graceann's interest in working with this population began during her fieldwork with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Homeless Health Initiative where she worked with mothers and children at nearby shelters. Graceann has also worked with children experiencing chronic illness, creating a home-like environment at The Children's Inn at NIH for children engaging in clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, she has worked on youth physical activity programs with the YMCA, and she is a certified yoga instructor. 

Photos by Amy Graves