Introducing our 2020 health leaders

March 2020…Protecting waterways, ending gun violence, reducing waste, and finding non-addictive treatments for pain. These are among the ways 10 Philadelphia-area health leaders interviewed recently by Healthy NewsWorks student journalists say they’re working to prepare our communities for a healthier future.

Their stories will appear in Leading Healthy Change In Our Communities 2020—People Who Are Shaping a Better Future, to be published in May. It’s the ninth book in a series written and illustrated by elementary and middle school students in the Healthy NewsWorks student media program.

The 2020 health leaders, who were selected from community nominations, are:

  • 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
  • Rosalind Pichardo, Founder, Operation Save Our City
  • Sophie Sarkar, Co-Founder/Co-Director, PGM ONE Summit, and Partner in the Avarna Group

The student journalists also interviewed three health leaders from past books. The year in parentheses is when they were originally recognized in the Leading Healthy Change series:

  • Frederic Bertley, Ph.D. (2016), CEO, Center of Science and Industry (Columbus, Ohio)
  • A. Scott McNeal, D.O. (2012), President and CEO, Delaware Valley Community Health
  • Raina Merchant, M.D. (2014), Associate Vice President, Penn Medicine, and Director, Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health

Our thanks to all of these individuals for their contributions to our communities and for sharing their stories with our student journalists.


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