Executive Leadership Team

Katie Hirono, President

PhD Candidate, Global Public Health Unit, School of Social and Political Policy, University of Edinburgh

Katie Hirono is a PhD candidate in the Global Public Health Unit at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the role of participatory engagement in citizens’ juries and health impact assessment for improving policymaking and health equity.  She is a former research associate at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation at the University of New South Wales, Australia where she specialized in conducting, training and teaching HIA. She has contributed to 30 HIAs throughout her career. Before joining CHETRE, Katie worked at the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to increase the use of health impact assessment in the U.S. Katie also has a long-standing record of helping to support underserved communities. She served on the board of directors for a health clinic in Maryland that serviced undocumented Latino populations, and volunteered as a Spanish medical translator at a free health clinic in Virginia. She has worked as a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in the department of Gender, Diversity and Human Rights. She is also a certified hatha yoga teacher.

Tatiana Lin, Past President

Senior Analyst and Strategy Team Leader; Kansas Health Institute

Tatiana leads Kansas Health Institute’s community health improvement strategy team, setting direction for projects aimed at promoting the health of Kansas communities. Since 2010, she has worked on exploring opportunities for incorporating the Health in All Policies approach into policymaking at the state and local levels. Lin has been leading a cross-agency team to conduct Health Impact Assessments in Kansas. She has served as the project director for four HIAs. One of the HIAs received numerous awards, including the Best HIA of 2012. She previously worked for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, where she staffed the House Health and Human Services Committee and the state’s Autism Task Force. She has also been a facilitator and interpreter for programs at the U.S. Library of Congress Center for Russian Leadership Development.

Ruth Lindberg, Vice President of Communications

Senior Associate, Health Impact Project

Ruth Lindberg is a senior associate with the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. In this role, she helps manage and conduct HIAs of proposed federal policies and programs. Before joining the Health Impact Project, Ms. Lindberg was a program manager with the National Center for Healthy Housing, where she led an HIA of a proposed freight intermodal facility in Maryland and provided technical assistance to healthy housing practitioners across the country. She also was the outreach and education coordinator with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the Rhode Island Department of Health, where she initiated and managed the Rhode Island Healthy Housing Collaborative and led development of a hands-on training program for local nursing students in healthy homes assessment.

Susan Sutherland, Vice President of Development

Public Health Planner, Delaware General Health District

Susan has been with the Delaware General Health District for over 33 years as a Registered Sanitarian. Her passion is to work towards protecting the natural environment and creating opportunities for folks to get outdoors and enjoy nature and good health. Her work with HIA includes increasing physical activity and reducing traffic congestion, injuries and fatalities through active transportation and community connectivity.  She currently works with the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission to incorporate Health in All Policies through the subdivision plan review process. Susan earned her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Health from BGSU and her Master's in Public Health from Ohio State University.

Steve White, Treasurer

Policy Analyst and HIA Program Coordinator, Oregon Health Authority

With a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, much of Steve's HIA work since entering the field in 2009 has focused on projects in the land use, transportation, and housing sectors. In addition to leading and supporting specific HIAs, Steve has conducted many HIA trainings and workshops in Oregon and across the country, including train-the-trainer events for individuals and organizations working to develop their ability to support HIA practice. In addition to HIAs, Steve is also regularly involved in similar health-in-all-policies projects focused on working with land use, transportation, and housing agencies and their stakeholders to develop policies, plans, and projects that address and improving health and health equity. 

Audrey Boerner, Secretary (interim)

Project Manager, Eau Claire City-County Health Department

Audrey is a project manager at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department (Wisconsin) and is part of a diverse team that is working to increase the use of health impact assessment and promote health in all policies in the Eau Claire Community. She previously worked for the Institute for Wisconsin’s Health as an HIA Specialist and led a team on the state’s first regional HIA, which was awarded the Wisconsin Public Health Association Excellence in Public Health Research award. Audrey’s HIA experience has centered on natural resources and built environment issues. Her work also includes developing and supporting community health coalitions, supporting the use of data in decision making, environmental public health initiatives, and grant writing. She has conducted trainings locally on community health data, health impact assessment, and built environment issues.

Ellen Schwaller, Director 

Ellen Schwaller joins SOPHIA as Director after overseeing stakeholder engagement for the Built Environment and Health Impact Assessment Unit at Harris County Public Health Department (Houston, Texas). In that role she was part of the team conducting the first two comprehensive HIAs in the county. She has experience in both urban planning and public health fields, and much of her efforts have been focused on connecting those disciplines within research and policy initiatives. Her past experiences include non-profit development and work with member-based advocacy groups where her work included engaging local health care providers on patient advocacy and health care resources, a year-long study of school-based health and wellness policies in Harris County, and the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment for Texas Children’s Hospital. She is currently based in Liverpool, England.

Steering Committee Members

Jimmy Dills

Research Associate, Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University

At the GHPC, Jimmy works to improve public health by advancing a health in all policies perspective of decision making. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism and as an instructor for the Public Health and Built Environment course offered jointly through Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning. His areas of expertise are health impact assessment (HIA) and healthy community design. Before joining the GHPC, Jimmy facilitated collaboration between a local public health department and community stakeholders as HIA Coordinator in Nashville. He also worked as a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity focusing specifically on HIA and physical activity promotion through environmental interventions.

Fiona Haigh

Deputy Director and Program Manager, Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation (CHETRE)

Fiona is Deputy Director and Program Manager at the Centre for Health Equity, Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is an applied public health researcher specialising in Health Impact Assessment (HIA) who has worked across Australia and internationally with the health sector and other sectors to improve considerations of health and health equity in decision-making. Fiona has led or contributed to over 30 HIAs on policies, programmes and projects at local, regional, national and international levels. Fiona has worked as HIA advisor to the World Health Organisation and is a member of the International Union of Health Promotion Global Working Group on HIA.

Barry Keppard

Director of the Public Health Department, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Barry Keppard is the Director of the Public Health Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency serving the Metro Boston. Barry supervises and provides technical assistance on MAPC's Health in All Policies, healthy community design, and HIA projects. MAPC's work focuses on increasing the accessibility and affordability of healthful foods, assisting cities and towns with adoption of comprehensive community design approaches to enhance walking, bicycling, and active transportation, and increasing tobacco- and smoke-free settings.

Erin Marziale 

Director of Network Engagement, National Network of Public Health Institutes

Ms. Marziale supports social innovation and population health improvement through the development of the nation’s public health institutes. She contributes to the advancement of the field of Health Impact Assessment and health in all policies through design of capacity building projects with public health institutes across the country as well as co-leadership of national health impact assessment meetings.  Ms. Marziale contributed to an HIA on the redevelopment of the former Myrtle Banks School in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. She provides structured technical assistance, strategic planning and facilitation for non-profit development. She also provides leadership and development for all membership benefits at NNPHI. Before joining NNPHI, Mrs. Marziale was team lead at the Louisiana Public Health Institute for the 2006 Louisiana Health and Population Survey, a rapid population estimate in selected hurricane-effected parishes of Louisiana. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, Guyana 1999-2001. She holds an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Amy Meehan

Research Associate, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Amy is a research associate and project manager at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI), a non-profit medical foundation in Northern California.  Her work has always focused on helping people live active and healthy lives. At PAMFRI, she works on multiple health services research projects, randomized controlled trials and evaluations from the proposal stage to dissemination.  The projects rangefrom improving communication between patients and physicians, encouraging the organizational prioritization of physician wellbeing, testing an online tool designed to help Medicare beneficiaries choose a Medicare Part D plan, to integrating teen behavioral health into primary care and preventing suicide.  In an effort to glean how health impact assessments could be utilized in her current work and stay connected to the inspirational work of other SOPHIA members, Amy became a member of SOPHIA in 2015. She has contributed to the development of the Peer Exchange manual used for the Peer Exchange program that was launched in 2016.  Amy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Business from the University of Rhode Island and her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management with a concentration in Food Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Lindsey Realmuto 

Project Director, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine

Lindsey is a Project Director in the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research at The New York Academy of Medicine. Lindsey has worked on multiple projects while at the Academy, including research and evaluation focused on diabetes prevention, environmental approaches to asthma control in children, health impacts of affordable housing, community engagement for hospital decision-making, and community resilience and recovery. Prior to joining the Academy, Lindsey worked as a Planner with Cameron Engineering & Associates. Before moving to the New York area, she worked as a Health Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability and as an Environmental Health Analyst with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Lindsey has been an active SOPHIA member for the past four years, helping the organization update and manage their website. Lindsey holds an MPH from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a BA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Sandra Whitehead 

Director of Program and Partnership Development, National Environmental Health Association

Sandra has worked on over ten HIAs on a range of topics including climate change, food access, transportation, and brownfield redevelopment. She has has trained over 250 public health department personnel and their partners on how to conduct HIAs. Sandra has also developed a standardized methodology for conducting HIAs which is used in Florida. Sandra has also taught HIA in the graduate planning program at the University of Florida and currently teaches at the George Washington University. Sandra is excited to work with the members and the Steering Committee to improve and increase the practice of HIA.

Kerry Wyss

Director, Environmental Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)

Kerry leads ASTHO’s program implementation and policy development and analysis on environmental health issues such as health in all policies (HiAP), HIA, safe water, and food safety. Since 2008, Kerry has managed ASTHO’s grants to state and local health departments to conduct HIA capacity building activities, collaborated with a broad spectrum of HIA partners across the country, and participated in many HIA and HiAP projects and presentations as a result. Together with her team, Kerry has developed numerous resources related to HIA and HiAP, including policy guides, program reports, and research briefs. Kerry currently leads ASTHO’s monthly HIA practitioner calls and ASTHO’s HiAP advisory groups. Kerry received her Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University where she focused on children’s environmental health and health policy.

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