Samantha Hamilton
Samantha Hamilton
Live Well Springfield Manager
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Samantha Hamilton

Samantha Hamilton

Live Well Springfield Manager

Samantha Hamilton recently joined us as the new LiveWell Springfield Manager and was formerly the Director of Operations at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS). Before holding the position of Director of Operations Samantha was the Director of Public Health Initiative at MLKFS.  Ms. Hamilton has 14 years of experience working with residents in the Mason Square Community and with youth ages 5 to 24. 

While work at MLKFS, She has supported state and federal base grant initiatives around: gang violence, substance abuse prevention, and teen dating violence. Samantha’s leadership under these grants and community initiates allows: youth to have safe haven programming, domestic and dating violence education, and annual community engagement event that showcase community resources and opportunities. Samantha has her Bachelors is Business Management and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from American International College (AIC).

Jessica J. Collins, MS
Jessica J. Collins, MS
Executive Director
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Jessica J. Collins, MS

Jessica J. Collins, MS

Executive Director

JCollins@publichealthwm.org

413-794-2520

Jessica Collins has over twenty years of experience in domestic and international community health leading communities to create and sustain programmatic, policy and infrastructure change that supports quality of life.  Ms. Collins is the Executive Director at The Public Health Institute of Western MA leading initiatives that address public health issues that stem from unjust systems and policies such as Live Well Springfield, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, YEAH! Network and the BEST Oral Health program recognized as a national best practice.  Ms. Collins also serves as the Co-Director of the BeHealthy Partnership, the ACO made up of Health New England, Baystate Health and Caring Health Center.  Before moving to Western MA, Ms. Collins led the nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention efforts  "Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart. Play Hard." And a pilot study that sent health report cards with height, weight and fitness data home to parents in the Cambridge Public Schools, which has now become a nationally recommended obesity prevention strategy.  She currently serves as the Board Chair for the Massachusetts Public Health Association and served last year on  Governor Baker's Special Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention.   Ms. Collins has a Master's Degree in Applied Nutrition and Food Policy from Tufts University. Jessica is passionate about social justice, walking, and spending time with her family.

Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MPH, MS
Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MPH, MS
Director of Community-Based Research & Evaluation
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Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MPH, MS

Kathleen Szegda, PhD, MPH, MS

Director of Community-Based Research & Evaluation

KSzegda@publichealthwm.org

413-794-1803

Kathleen Szegda, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S. is the Director of Community Research and Evaluation.  Dr. Szegda oversees research and evaluation activities at PHIWM and was the lead author on PHIWM's Western Massachusetts Casino Health Impact Assessment Report and Springfield Health Equity Report.  Dr. Szegda is an epidemiologist with over 15 years of public health/research experience working at the national, state and local level at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, Baystate Children’s Hospital, and University of Massachusetts.  Dr. Szegda holds a Ph.D. in Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts, an M.P.H. from Emory University, and an M.S. in Counseling from Georgia State University.  Her research focuses on health disparities and the intersection between mental and physical health.  Dr. Szegda's most recent publication includes a study of underweight women and early menopause.    

Jessie Gleckel, MPH
Jessie Gleckel, MPH
Senior Research Associate
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Jessie Gleckel, MPH

Jessie Gleckel, MPH

Senior Research Associate

jgleckel@publichealthwm.org

Jessie Gleckel is the Senior Research Associate at Partners for a Healthier Community. She has more than 17 years of experience in local, state, national, and international public health practice, research, and evaluation.  Her work has included sexual and intimate partner violence education, prevention, and community-organizing; sexual and reproductive health and rights education and advocacy; correctional health quality improvement; and HIV/AIDS prevention. Prior to coming to PHC, Jessie was a Health Scientist and Gender Advisor in the Division of Global HIV and TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this position she focused on reducing gender inequities in HIV prevention, care, and treatment, globally. Jessie completed her MPH in the University of Washington's Community-Oriented Public Health Practice Program.

Sarita Hudson, MTS
Sarita Hudson, MTS
Director of Programs and Development
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Sarita Hudson, MTS

Sarita Hudson, MTS

Director of Programs and Development

SHudson@publichealthwm.org

413-794-7600

As Director of Programs and Development, Sarita Hudson's responsibilities include resource development, planning, and program development as well as leading PHC's communications efforts. Sarita brings over 25 years of experience managing programs, developing coalitions, and building community capacity on issues including sexual violence prevention, women's rights and social justice.  Prior to this position, she led the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition from 2013-2017.  Currently she leads the asthma workgroup for the Healthy Holyoke Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund collaborative and PHC's work in developing a Pay for Success social impact bond financed asthma home education and repair intervention.  She is a member of the Steering and Healthy Housing Committees of the Massachusetts Asthma Action Partnership, the American Lung Association's Asthma in Adults Leadership Team and the Board of Safe Passage. Sarita holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School.

Shirley Rodriguez
Shirley Rodriguez
Project Coordinator
Public Health Institute of Western MA
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Shirley Rodriguez

Shirley Rodriguez

Project Coordinator
Public Health Institute of Western MA

srodriguez@publichealthwm.org

4137947739

Shirley Rodríguez provides administrative support for the office and a few grant projects. She majored in Leadership and Organizational Studies with a Bachelor of Arts from Bay Path University and has 20 years of providing administrative and leadership support.  She is a recent graduate of the 2016 Class of Leadership Pioneer Valley and recently was elected to the Board for Gardening the Community. Shirley lives in Springfield with her handsome sons, Richie and Ryan, and a seriously adorable beagle named Luke. 

Keleigh Waldner, MA
Keleigh Waldner, MA
Research Associate
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Keleigh Waldner, MA

Keleigh Waldner, MA

Research Associate

kwaldner@publichealthwm.org

413-794-2897

Keleigh Waldner, M.A. is a Research Associate for the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.  Keleigh coordinates and conducts evaluation and assessment activities for a variety of PHIWM’s research and evaluation projects, and she is the research coordinator for the R.O.A.D.S. study (Research on Active Design in Springfield).  She has coordinated the administration of population-based youth health surveys in Springfield, MA (Youth Health Survey, Youth Risk Behavior Survey) in 2015 and 2017, aspects of the community health needs assessments for the Coalition of Western MA Hospitals in 2016, and evaluation activities for the Live Well Springfield Transforming Communities Initiative (TCI) and Healthy Hill Initiative (HHI).  Keleigh has worked in both the private and public sector—most recently working as Senior Program Manager for the City of Springfield’s Office of Housing.  Keleigh holds a Master’s degree in Community Development and Planning as well as a Bachelor’s degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University.  

Rose Westbrook, BS, MA
Rose Westbrook, BS, MA
Finance and Operations Director
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Rose Westbrook, BS, MA

Rose Westbrook, BS, MA

Finance and Operations Director

RWestbrook@publichealthwm.org

413-794-7741

Rose Westbrook, Finance & Operations Director, brings over 25 years of nonprofit management and Board experience to the organization.  She is an alumni from American International College holding a Masters in Human Resource Development and Bachelors in Human Services Administration.  Rose has completed leadership programs - Church Finance & Administration from Emory University Candler School of Theology and the Strategic Leadership for Women from Simons College.  She is a Fellow alumni from The Partnership Inc.  Rose is a member of the Baystate Toastmasters and has served as Club President, Treasurer and Vice President of Education in addition to F62 Area Director for Toastmasters District 53.  Rose serves on the Board of Leadership Pioneer Valley as Treasurer.

Victoria Ramos, MPH
Victoria Ramos, MPH
Research Associate
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Victoria Ramos, MPH

Victoria Ramos, MPH

Research Associate

Victoria Ramos is a Research Associate for the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts. She is working on various research and evaluation projects such as the ROADS (Research on Active Design in Springfield) study, the Age-Friendly City Project, as well as the evaluation of the Go Fresh Mobile Market. Victoria has broad interests in public health, but at the core of her work, she strives for social justice and achieving health equity. She has two years of public health experience working as a community health worker (CHW) at UMass Memorial Medical Center for the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund’s Pediatric Asthma and Senior Falls Prevention programs, where she was driven to understand the role of research and evaluation on the sustainability of public health programs. As a CHW, she supported each program by providing assistance with data management and grant reporting, in addition to providing direct services to her clients such as health education, case management, and home environmental assessments. Victoria holds a Master of Public Health degree from Thomas Jefferson University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Wesleyan University.

Kim Gilhuly, MPH
Kim Gilhuly, MPH
Research and Population Health Manager
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Kim Gilhuly, MPH

Kim Gilhuly, MPH

Research and Population Health Manager

As the Research and Population Health Manager, Kim is part of the Research and Evaluation Team at PHIWM. Kim has 30 years of nonprofit experience, with over 11 years at Human Impact Partners as a national leader in the field of Health Impact Assessment (HIA), bringing health data, frame, and voice to public policy and practice change discussions. In her former position as the Health Instead of Punishment Program Director, Kim led the first HIA on a criminal legal system policy in the country, and went on to create a National Criminal Justice and Public Health Alliance – a movement to elevate human justice, repair harm, promote healing, engender true accountability – not punishment. Before creating the Health Instead of Punishment program, Kim helped to build the field of Health Impact Assessment by conducting more than 40 HIA and Health in All Policies research projects, training more than 1,000 people at nonprofits and agency partners across the country, and providing technical assistance. Kim taught graduate level Program Planning and Evaluation at the University of California – Berkeley, co-taught an HIA course at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and was an evaluation specialist with the Alameda County Public Health Department.  Kim’s efforts are informed by a desire to raise up the participation and voices of people who are most directly impacted by oppressive systems in our country. Also, she is a devoted dog owner living in Montague, MA.