The work of our Center is possible due to funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA funds schools of public health to expand and enhance training opportunities for current and future public health workers, especially on technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competencies.
Subject Matter Experts
To identify existing and develop new trainings, the Center partners with professionals of diverse backgrounds to provide content for online training programs.
Systems Thinking Subject Matter Expert, Helen de Pinho, MBBCh, FCCH, MBA
Helen de Pinho is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, and Associate Director of the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD) at Columbia University. Helen has a deep interest in systems thinking and the application of soft systems thinking to addressing complex public health problems. She has spearheaded the introduction of an innovative approach to teaching systems thinking into the Columbia University Masters in Public Health (MPH) curriculum, and developed training modules on systems thinking for WHO.
In the field, she has collaborated with ICAP, to develop a health systems strengthening training program for senior US government officials, nationally and globally. Her research work focuses on health systems with particular emphasis on strengthening human resources for maternal survival in sub-Saharan Africa. Helen has also applied systems thinking group model building techniques to research health systems resilience in post-conflict and conflict settings, and to explore implementation practices in both domestic and global health programs. Prior to joining Columbia University, Helen was a policy advisor to the United Nations Development Programme on the UN Millennium Project, and a consultant on issues related to gender and health sector reform. In South Africa, she was on the faculty at the University of Cape Town, directed the Oliver Tambo Fellowship Programme focused on capacity building for senior public health managers. She has worked as a health service manager and clinician in both rural and urban areas of South Africa.
MBA, University of Cape Town, South Africa
FCCH, Faculty of Public Health, Colleges of Medicine, South Africa
MBBCH, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
BS, University of KwaZulu -Natal, Durban, South Africa
Policy Engagement and Public Health Practice Subject Matter Expert, Sylvia Pirani, MPH, MS
Sylvia Pirani is a public health consultant focusing on public health practice at the state and local level. She provides public health practice support to the Region 2 Public Health Training Center and has been an adjunct lecturer at the CUNY School of Public Health. She is a co-author of the 4th edition of Essentials of Public Health, and the 7th edition of Public Health: What It Is and How It Works. Prior to establishing her consulting business, Ms. Pirani worked for 24 years at the NYS Department of Health where she led the Office of Public Health Practice. In this role she provided technical, administrative, fiscal and data support to New York’s 58 local health departments, oversaw efforts to make public health information useful and accessible to public health providers and consumers and led public health workforce initiatives. Ms. Pirani directed the development of the Prevention Agenda, New York’s state health improvement plan and the Department of Health’s successful application for public health accreditation in 2014. She has a Master in Public Health and a Master of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University. Prior to joining the NYS Department of Health in 1994, she spent eight years at the NYC Department of Health working on child health policy issues.
MPH, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
MS, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation
BS, Barnard College
Change Management Subject Matter Expert, Emil J Sadloch
Emil Sadloch has worked for over 25 years in learning, leadership development, and human resource development. Sadloch earlier served as account executive and training performance consultant for AchieveGlobal (ZengerMiller and Learning International). He was also director of personnel/training and vice president, human resources for Thomas Cook Financial Services (New York and Princeton). Sadloch has taught both credit and continuing education courses for Rutgers, Pennsylvania State, Rowan University, and Bucks County Community College. He is a past chairperson of the business advisory council for the Association for Advancement of Mental Health (AAMH) of Princeton, NJ. In his role with the Region 2 PHTC, Emil develops course content related to “managing change” and works with their instructional designer to create learning modules for front line and managerial and/or supervisory level public health workers.
MA, Montclair State University
BA, Washington and Lee University
Health Equity and Food Policy Subject Matter Expert, Nicholas Freudenberg
Nick Freudenbger is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the City University of New York School of Public Health and Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute. His research examines the impact of food and social policies on urban food environments and health inequalities. Freudenberg is also founder and director of Healthy CUNY, a university-wide initiative to improve the health of CUNY’s 274,000 students in order to support their academic success. His most recent book Lethal but Legal Corporations, Consumption and Protecting Public Health (Oxford, 2014 and 2016) examines how the business and political practices of the food, alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, automobile and firearms industries contribute to the global rise of non-communicable diseases and injuries. For the past 35 years, he has worked to plan, implement and evaluate health policies and programs to improve living conditions and reduce health inequalities in low income communities in New York City and elsewhere. He has worked with the Region 2 PHTC for 4 years providing subject matter expertise for self-guided modules on strategies that public health professionals can use to advance health equity in the communities they serve.
DrPH, Columbia University
MPH, Columbia University
Effective Communication, Health Equity, and Community Engagement Subject Matter Expert, Renata Schiavo
A passionate advocate for health equity and a committed voice on the importance of addressing and removing barriers that prevent people from leading healthy and productive lives, Renata Schiavo is a senior lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, the founder and board president of Health Equity Initiative, a nonprofit membership organization, and a principal at Strategies for Equity and Communication Impact (SECI), a global consultancy. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Communication in Healthcare; Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health (Taylor & Francis) and serves on the editorial board of Health Equity. For the past 25+ years, Renata has worked at the interface of health equity, global health, social and behavior change communication, health communication, community health and development, population health, health policy/advocacy, multisectoral partnerships, and community and patient engagement. Across projects, Renata has dedicated her efforts to improve health and social outcomes among populations that experience marginalization or other kinds of vulnerability and disadvantage, including communities of color, Indigenous and immigrant communities in the United States, and low-income groups, refugees, and patients from underserved areas in global settings. She has worked in the United States and several countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia. As an advocate, researcher, and practitioner, Renata is interested in community- and system-driven multisectoral models, partnerships, and interventions to address health, equity, and social issues, and to build social support for improved health and social outcomes. She has experience in 20+ health, medical, and human rights areas and has designed and led numerous consensus-driven processes and cross-sectoral interventions. Her capacity building and training experience include participants from 450+ organizations. She is the author of Health Communication: From Theory to Practice (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley), now in its second edition. She is currently working on a contributed volume on Health Equity: Strategies for Action (Wiley, 2023). Renata’s diverse background include past positions at other academic institutions, and in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She has been serving as a subject matter expert at the Region 2 Public Health Training Center (PHTC) since late 2018.
PhD, University of Naples
MA, New York University
CCL, University of California Santa Barbara
Community Based Training Partners and Technical Assistance Providers
To fulfill the objectives of the Center, we partner with four organizations that act as community based training partners, technical assistance providers, or both. These institutions help us further the mission and fulfill the objectives of our Center.
Community Based Training Partner/Technical Assistance Provider, Rutgers University School of Public Health Center for Public Health Workforce Development (CPHWD)
Rutgers’ CPHWD has been providing continuing education opportunities for public health professionals for more than 25 years, particularly in the government sector. Serving as a Community Based Partner and Technical Assistance Provider for the Region 2 Public Health Training Center, CPHWD remains the primary training organization for New Jersey’s public health workforce. In addition, CPHWD provides occupational safety and health training for those working with hazardous waste, asbestos, lead, and in construction. The faculty and staff of CPHWD have expertise in training, adult learning, survey research, occupational safety, environmental health, public health accreditation, health education, and LGBT health disparities.
Co-Investigator, Mitchel Rosen
Mitchel Rosen is the Director of the Center of Public Health Workforce Development and Associate Professor in the Urban-Global Public Health Department at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Since 1988, he has managed the training of over 600,000 workers in occupational safety and health, environmental health, and public health education. Mitchel also has leadership experience in the PHTC program, acting as Co-Investigator of the New York New Jersey PHTC from 2001 to 2011, Principal Investigator of the NJ PHTC from 2011 to 2014, and Co-Investigator of the Region 2 PHTC since 2014. Through his existing work projects, Mitchel has extensive interactions with the public health workers in NJ. Mitchel is the PI of several programs, including the Atlantic Center for Occupational Health and Safety Training (funded by NIEHS) and the Continuing Education and Outreach Programs for the NY/NJ Education and Research Center (funded by NIOSH). Additionally, Mitchel serves as PI of several projects including Five Minutes to Help Instructor Training (funded by the New Jersey Department of Health) and STOP Sexual Violence (funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families).
PhD, Rutgers University
MS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
BA, University of Rhode Island
Memberships and Certifications
Project Manager, Colleen McKay Wharton
Colleen is a Project Manager at Rutgers University School of Public Health and manages projects for the Rutgers CPHWD. In her previous role managing the NJ PHTC, she oversaw multiple training needs assessments with the membership of several public health organizations, and the development and implementation of more than 100 classroom and live-stream learning opportunities, which have engaged all tiers of the New Jersey public health workforce. In addition, Colleen has helped develop and enhance numerous strong partnerships through collective program planning, and shared public health initiatives in which the NJPHTC played a lead role. As a Masters-level Certified Health Education Specialist, she is well versed in adult learning theory and practice, curriculum development and program implementation. In addition, with 20+ years of experience in local and state level public health organizations, Colleen has a keen understanding of the community services and programs provided by governmental public health agencies and the many challenges now facing those organizations.
MA, Montclair State University
BA, Rutgers University
Memberships and Certifications
Program Coordinator, Kendra Julien
Kendra Julien, MPH, serves as the CPHWD Program Coordinator and is responsible for facilitating the Center’s monthly webinars, and other statewide training initiatives. She has over nine years’ experience as a public health professional, with significant expertise in maternal and child health, vaccine-preventable diseases, environmental health, and planning health and wellness events. Kendra’s experience includes workforce development and training for public and private healthcare providers, with a particular emphasis on providing technical assistance to healthcare providers in the state’s Federally Qualified Health Centers on vaccine preventable diseases. In addition, as a health educator, she has provided extensive community outreach and education in a variety of medically underserved communities in eight counties in northern New Jersey. Kendra received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology, as well as her MPH (with a concentration in Community Health Education and Health Promotion) from Montclair State University.
MPH, Montclair State University 2014
BA, Sociology, Montclair State University 2010
Memberships and Certifications
Community Based Training Partner/Technical Assistance Provider, Impactivo LLC
Impactivo, LLC. is an impact-driven, minority and women-owned consulting firm located in San Juan, Puerto Rico that specializes in connecting population health, quality and financial value. Their team has worked with publicly traded health management organizations, multinational pharmaceuticals, hospitals, physician groups and community organizations in New York; Washington, DC; and Puerto Rico. They transform health organizations by translating research and policy to action while building systemic, operational and strategic funding capacity. Their firm is the only recipient of an Affordable Care Act Patient Centered Oriented Research Institute Award in Puerto Rico and they were selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Emerging Leaders Program. Impactivo is also the first Certified B Corporation in Puerto Rico.
Co-Investigator, Maria Fernanda Levis-Peralta
Ms. Levis consults to health centers, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and governments in New York; Washington, DC; and Puerto Rico on issues related to health systems, quality, policy and financing. She has worked with Atrius Health, documenting their practice transformation process; a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate to design their clinical, financial and operational quality and performance improvement data systems; and multiple health centers to improve quality, compliance and net income. She has been instrumental in the attainment of millions in federal grants and has designed health needs assessment and strategic planning methodologies used to integrate quality and payment compliance. She is also a National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient Centered Medical Home Certified Content Expert and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow.
MPH, Harvard University School of Public Health
MPA, Harvard Kennedy School
Community Based Training Partner/Technical Assistance Provider, New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO)
Organized in 1979, NYSACHO is a non-profit membership association representing the 58 local health departments in New York State. NYSACHO members include health commissioners, public health directors, deputy commissioners, environmental health directors, and directors of patient services. Through its members and staff, NYSACHO seeks to build upon its strong collaborative partnerships with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and other academic and health-related organizations in designing and implementing effective public health policies.
Co-Investigator, Sarah Ravenhall
Sarah Ravenhall joined NYSACHO as their new Executive Director in December 2017. Sarah is an expert in healthcare program management with interest in chronic disease management and utilizing data to drive strategic planning efforts. From 2015 to 2017, Sarah acted as the Program Manager for New York State Department of Health’s Population Health Improvement Program as part of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council. With over ten years of experience, she has led a diverse array of initiatives in hospital and public health settings. In her role at Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, Sarah was recruited to manage and implement the population health improvement program where her primary responsibilities included optimizing program processes, setting strategic program vision, oversight of fiscal management, leading workgroup projects, measuring program impact and increasing program visibility at the national and state level.
MHA,, Seton Hall University
BS, Hofstra University
Memberships and Certifications
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Leaders of New York
American Public Health Association
Society for Public Health Education, Greater New York Chapter
Senior Program Manager, Molly Fleming, MPH
Molly is a Senior Program Manager at the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) where she serves as the key liaison for NYSACHO’s Vaccine Equity and Early Intervention grant activities. Molly also provides support on NYSACHO and Region 2 Public Health Training Center collaborative projects, including an In-Progress Review of local health department response to COVID-19 and an Enumeration Study of New York’s local public health workforce. Molly joined the NYSACHO Team in 2019. Prior to joining NYSACHO, Molly worked as a research assistant on the Upstate KIDS Study and the Albany Infant and Mothers Study at the University at Albany, School of Public Health. She also worked in the New York State Department of Health, Office of Quality and Patient Safety on a project to improve colorectal cancer screening rates among Medicaid Managed Care enrollees.
MPH, UAlbany School of Public Health
BS, SUNY Albany
Memberships and Certifications
Co-Project Manager, Margaret (Peggy) DiManno
Peggy DiManno is a Special Projects Executive at NYSACHO and manages NYSACHO projects for the Region 2 PHTC. Peggy has 35 years’ experience working in a local health department starting out as a front line field staff worker and retiring as the Assistant Commissioner of Health. As the Director of Nurses for the Albany County Department of Health, Peggy directly supervised a nursing staff of approximately 80 professionals and clerical support staff. As the Assistant Commissioner, she oversaw the finance division of the department. She has written and administered many grants including a Robert Wood Johnson/Kellogg grant. In addition, Peggy has worked on assisting local health departments with preparing for for national accreditation, developing strategic plans, and strengthening their quality improvement programs. She has also provided local health departments assistance with aligning their work to the New York State Prevention Agenda, especially in the focus areas of mental health and substance abuse.
MS, Russell Sage College
BSN, Russell Sage College
Memberships and Certifications
Graduate of CDC’s Public Health Leadership Program
Board Member and Past Chairperson of the Healthy Capital District Initiative
Co-Project Manager, Cristina Dyer-Drobnack
Cristina Dyer-Drobnack is Program Director for NYSACHO. Cristina joined NYSACHO in 1994 and is the longest tenured professional staff person at the association. Cristina provides oversight and coordination of all association grant/contract activities and supervises contract staff for the Association’s Professional Education and Public Health Leadership Program. She plays a lead role in the development, planning, direction, and supervision of education and public health leadership programs for all local health officials and health department staff, including NYSACHO’s Annual Public Health Leaders Summit. Cristina also serves as the lead staff person for NYSACHO’s “Campaign to ImmuNYze all New Yorkers”, providing oversight and content development for the campaign’s website and social media presence. Cristina provides technical assistance to local health departments on state public health statute and regulations. She is the lead staff person for legislative tracking and analysis and works with all association subject matter committees and the NYSACHO Board and Executive Director in developing and drafting association positions.
MS, Antioch University New England
BA, Lenoir-Rhyne College
Memberships and Certifications
Technical Assistance Provider, National Network of Public Health Institutes
As the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training (NCCPHT), the National Network of Public Health Institutes is a collaborative leader and facilitator of the Public Health Learning Network (PHLN), the nation’s most comprehensive system of public health educators, experts, and thought leaders. Together with our partners in the PHLN, the Regional Public Health Training Centers, we aim to advance public health practice and improve population health in the United States.
Who is the Public Health Training Center Network?
We are a consortium of regional Public Health Training Centers that collectively represent the nation’s most comprehensive resource for public health workforce development. We help sustain a skilled public health workforce by providing access to world-class professional development, experiential learning, and consulting and technical assistance.