2018 Panel Speakers

Panel I Speakers:

  • Gretchen West
    Executive Director, Healthy Homes Nationwide Children’s Hospital

    Gretchen serves as the Executive Director of Healthy Homes, a nonprofit housing organization and collaboration between Community Development for All People and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The goal of Healthy Homes is to revitalize the neighborhood adjacent to Nationwide Children’s on Columbus’ South Side. She is responsible for managing the housing redevelopment efforts of the Collaborative through home ownership, rental and home repair programs. A total of 331 affordable housing units have been added or improved since Healthy Homes began. Gretchen has worked on the HNHF initiative since its inception in 2008, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA worker and later as Project Director. Gretchen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science as well as her Master’s of City & Regional Planning from the the Ohio State University.

  • Kimberly Brown
    Chief Program Officer, DC Central Kitchen

    Kimberly Brown, Chief Program Officer at DC Central Kitchen, has worked to provide educational opportunities for youth and adults for over 15 years. She began her career as a faculty member teaching immigrants and English language learners at Montana State University and the University of Maryland, then moved to Montgomery Community College where she developed specialized employment-focused curricula and programs for immigrants, refugees and other undeserved/marginalized populations including victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic violence, survivors of torture and trauma, displaced youth and returning citizens. Her areas of expertise include workforce development and continuing education, career pathways and accelerated/contextualized programming. She hold’s a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland.

  • Ruben Cantu
    Program Manager, Prevention Institute

    Ruben Cantu is a program manager at the intersection of community trauma, mental health and violence prevention at Prevention Institute (PI). At PI, he manages the Making Connections for Mental Health and Well-being Among Men and Boys initiative, funded by the Movember Foundation, working with 16 local coalitions across the US to advance community prevention approaches to improve well-being among men and boys. He has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in public health, equity, program and organizational management, technical assistance and capacity building. A native Texan and graduate of the University of Houston, he serves on Regional Asthma Management and Prevention’s advisory committee and several state mental health advisory committees. He has worked extensively with organizations and community members fighting to advance health equity for the undeserved.

Panel II Speakers:

  • Kaytura Felix, MD
    Managing Director — Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    Kaytura Felix, MD joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2016, bringing her exceptional experience in leadership development, collaboration and coaching to the Foundation’s vision to build a Culture of Health. She heads RWJF’s efforts to develop leadership with its Clinical Scholars, Culture of Health Leaders, Healthy Policy Research Scholars and Interdisciplinary Research Leaders programs. She praised these and other RWJF programs for “enabling leaders to come together — across health care settings, disciplines and business sectors — to build health and more equitable communities that can reach out to our nation’s most vulnerable and undeserved.”
  • Charles M. Payne, PhD
    Director, Joseph Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Research, Rutgers University

    Charles M. Payne is the Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University — Newark where he also directs the Joseph Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Research. His interests include urban education and school reform, social inequality, social change and modern African American history. His books include So Much Reform, So Little Change, Teach Freedom: The African American Tradition of Education for Liberation and I’ve Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. He won several teaching awards at Northwestern University and Duke University

  • Leslie Kantor, PhD
    Chair, Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers School of Public Health

    Over three decades in sex education and sexual and reproductive health, Kantor developed one of the first evidence-based approaches to contraceptive counseling, now being used nationwide. At Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Kantor worked on global initiatives to reduce maternal mortality and increase access to reproductive health in emergency settings and taught courses on management, program planning and pedagogy of sex education. Until April 2018, Dr. Kantor served as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Vice President of Education and in that role, led efforts to develop innovative, technology-based approaches to sex education, partnered with affiliates to strengthen programs and evaluation, served as a national spokesperson and spearheaded PPFA’s policy efforts related to sex education. Most notably, she convened a national digital advisory board and conducted formative research with 350 African-American and Latino teens and parents, which guided the development of digital education tools for middle and high school students to reduce unintended pregnancy.
    Dr. Kantor now serves as the Inaugural Chair of the Department of Urban-Global Public Healthy department, which will launch in September 2018 at the Rutgers School of Public Health in Newark.




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