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Steering Committee

Candida Flores (Co-Chair)

Chief Executive Officer
Family Life Education, Inc.

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

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


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.

Michelle Riordan-Nold, MPP

Executive Director, CTData Collaborative

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.

Martha C. Page, MPH, CPH

Executive Director
Hartford Food System, Inc

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.

Robyn K. Gulley

Chief Operating Officer
North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA)

Deborah Cornman, PhD

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

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.

Former Steering Committee Members

Judy Tallman

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

Grace Damio, MS, CD/N, (Founding Member)

Hispanic Health Council

Pareesa Charmchi Goodwin, MPH (Founding Member)

Executive Director
The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative, Inc.

Kim Radda, RN, MA (Founding Member)

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