Steering Committee

Meet The Team

Steering Committee Bios

Candida Flores (Co-Chair)

Chief Executive Officer
Family Life Education, Inc.
www.familylifeedu.org

Candida Flores is Executive Director of Family Life Education Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to the equity and empowerment of disenfranchised women, children, and families in the greater Hartford area. She has dedicated most of her career to serving low-income, under served populations with a focus on service to women and children. Before arriving at Family Life Education, Candida served as CEO of the Hispanic Health Council, Assistant to Governor Lowell P. Weicker for Urban Affairs, Executive Director of the Caguas Downtown Development Corporation in Puerto Rico, and Chief of Staff for the Mayor of New Haven.

Jean J. Schensul, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)

Senior Scientist/Founding Director
Institute for Community Research
www.icrweb.org

Jean J. Schensul, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Institute for Community Research, is a medical/educational anthropologist with interdisciplinary experience in the development and implementation of justice oriented collaborative and participatory research in health, culture and education especially with youth and older adults. She is one of the founders of the Hispanic Health Council, Co-Founder for the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Founding Director of The Institute for Community Research, and Editor/Co-Author of the Ethnographer’s Toolkit, a methods series for community based action-oriented research for CBOs, students and faculty working on CBPR.

Believing that research should be done by and with people directly affected by a health or other issue, she has spent her entire career developing organizations, alliances, approaches and projects with marginalized communities and community groups in the U.S. and internationally to do collaborative research on chronic and acute health problems, their causes and solutions. Her work covers the developmental spectrum from early childhood to late adulthood and is noted for participatory interventions that involve local community leaders and residents, and build on local culture.

Doug Brugge, PhD, MS

Professor and Chair
Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

https://facultydirectory.uchc.edu/profile?profileId=Brugge-Douglas

Douglas Brugge, is the Chair of the Department Public Health Sciences at University of Connecticut (UConn). He received his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in biology and chemistry. He has an MS in Industrial Hygiene from the Harvard School of Public Health and his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University. Before arriving to the University of Connecticut, he was a Public Health Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. While a professor at Tufts he studied health risks associated with exposure to ultra fine particles emitted by car exhausts, housing conditions and childhood asthma, second smoke exposure, and uranium mining in Native American and other populations.

Grace Damio, MS, CD/N,

Hispanic Health Council
www.hispanichealthcouncil.org

Grace Damio is Director of Research, Training and Advocacy at the Hispanic Health Council (HHC). Ms. Damio holds a bachelor’s degree in community nutrition from the University of Connecticut and master’s degree in public health nutrition from Columbia University. She leads HHC’s policy work designed to develop and sustain the community health worker workforce. She has been HHC’s lead on development of initiatives designed to address health inequities in the areas of health care access, chronic disease management, obesity prevention, food security, nutrition education, maternal and child health and cross cultural training. She chairs the board of directors of End Hunger Connecticut! and serves on several other local, statewide and national boards and committees related to addressing health inequities through research and policy change.

Kim Radda, RN, MA

Program Evaluator – Resilience Grows Here
RGH website is www.resiliencegrowshere.org

Kim Radda, RN, MA is an Anthropologist and Registered Nurse. She has recently retired from her role as Research Associate at the Institute for Community Research (ICR). She has conducted extensive community-based research on substance abuse, HIV risk, and older adult health, as well as research on rural women’s social and economic roles in Mexico. She currently serves as the program evaluator for Resilience Grows Here, a veterans’ mental health initiative. Ms. Radda is the Co-Chair of ICR’s Institutional Review Board, is Board President of the CT Oral Health Initiative and holds an appointment as Clinical Instructor in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care in the UConn School of Medicine.

Michelle Riordan-Nold, MPP

Executive Director, CTData Collaborative
www.ctdata.org

Michelle is Executive Director of the CTData Collaborative, an organization that empowers an ecosystem of data users across the state by democratizing access to public data and buildling data literacy skills. In her career, she has had the opportunity to work in all sectors of the economy – private, nonprofit, and government. She has worked in a research capacity for most of her career examining a wide range of policy areas and programs including: healthcare, economic development, state tax credits, and energy efficiency programs. Throughout her career, Ms. Riordan-Nold developed a deep appreciation of studying numbers, solving problems, and advocating for thoughtful public policy solutions. She has her Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Boston College.

Pareesa Charmchi Goodwin, MPH

Executive Director
The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc.
www.ctoralhealth.org

PareesaCharmchi Goodwin, is a dynamic and strategic health advocate and leader. She is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, a non-profit that advocates for protecting and improving oral health across the state of Connecticut. Pareesa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Music from Chapman University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Boston University (BU). Her experience in the public health field includes work at Community Catalyst, Boston Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, Boston Medical Center, and the Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice at BU.

Martha C. Page, MPH, CPH

Executive Director
Hartford Food System, Inc
www.hartfordfood.org

Martha Page is the Executive Director of Hartford Food System, a nonprofit organization devoted to food security programs, including urban agriculture, policy, and advocacy since 1978. Before coming to this role in January 2010, Martha was the Environmental Health Director for the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to completing a Masters Degree in Public Health in 2009, Martha spent more than 25 years in the health insurance industry in a number of executive positions. In addition to her MPH and MBA, she is certified in Public Health.

Judy Tallman

Director Grants & Outreach
Community Health Services Inc. (CHS)
www.chshartford.org

Judy Tallman is the Director of Grants & Outreach at Community Health Services Inc. (CHS). In her role she manages the entire grants process from seeking out opportunities, developing the proposals and administering the funding. She leads a motivated Community Outreach Team that provides services to increase access to services that address factors that negatively influence health outcomes of patients. Services include Medicaid and ACA qualified health plan enrollments, participating in community events where education on health needs and services are provided, and operating a bi-weekly food bank. Judy has a genuine commitment to improving the quality of life for patients in the Greater Hartford Community. Prior to working for nonprofits, Judy worked for many years in Human Resources and Payroll services.

Robyn K. Gulley

Chief Operating Officer
North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA)
www.ncaaact.org

Deborah Cornman, PhD

Associate Director and Associate Research Professor
Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP)
chip.uconn.edu

Deborah Cornman is as an Associate Research Professor as well as the Associate Director of the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) at UConn. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brown University and her PhD in clinical psychology from UConn. She was been working in her dual role as an administrator and a researcher for over 20 years at InCHIP, which is a university-wide institute that brings together individuals with diverse scientific, clinical, and methodological expertise, and supports their evolution into collaborative investigators who conduct innovative interdisciplinary research that impacts public health and well-being. As Associate Director, she created and currently heads InCHIP’s Community-Engaged Health Research Core which facilitates the development of successful, equitable academic-community partnerships to create novel, effective, and sustainable solutions to pressing health problems in Connecticut and beyond. As a researcher, she has extensive experience in theory-based health behavior change research and in developing, implementing, and evaluating tailored interventions for healthcare and other community settings in the U.S. and abroad. She has worked with numerous community partners, including healthcare staff, the military, and community organizations from around the world, to develop effective and sustainable interventions in the areas of HIV prevention, drug use, treatment adherence, sexual health, and gender-based violence prevention, among others. The interventions that she has developed have always been designed in collaboration with community stakeholders to ensure that they are feasible for the context in which they are implemented, acceptable to and culturally tailored for both the implementers and the target population, and sustainable over time. In addition, she has provided training in evidence-based interventions, theoretical models of health behavior change, and research methods to hundreds of people in community organizations around the world.