Community Advisory Board

Ediss Gandelman, MBA, MEd, CAB ChairEdiss Gandelman, MBA, MEd, CAB Chair
Ediss Gandelman is the former executive director of Trustee and Corporation Relations at Wheelock College in Boston. As chief administrative officer for the Board of Trustees, Gandelman supported the college’s exploration of strategic options resulting in a merger with Boston University. Previously, she served as the director of community benefits at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) where she spearheaded the hospital’s public and community health initiatives and served as the managing director of Community Care Alliance, a network of seven community health centers affiliated with BIDMC. Gandelman practiced as a child/family psychologist before moving into hospital administration where she was the principal of Kennedy Memorial Hospital for Children’s Inpatient Educational Program. After completing her MBA, she worked at the Dimock Center, where she developed an array of health and human service programs as the center’s senior vice president of development and public affairs. Gandelman currently serves as the chair of the Community Engagement Program Community Advisory Board.


Reverend Bria Belim, MDiv.Reverend Bria Belim, MDiv
Reverend Bria Belim is affectionately known as Rev. Breezy, a truth seeker and preacher. She is the associate pastor at Charles Street AME Church and the COVID-19 grant coordinator at the Massachusetts Council of Churches.  Raised in the church, she has made it her mission to be not only her sister and her brother’s keeper, but the keeper of her church and of the larger Boston and global community. When she’s not ministering, she spends her time working with an organization called FAMILY Movement. Reverend Belim attended Mount Ida College where she earned her BS in applied sciences. She is a graduate of Payne Theological Seminary where she received her MDiv. The passion behind her purpose, in her words are “I’m just out here in these streets trying to change lives.” Or as her grandmother used to say,”If I can help someone along the way, my living won’t be in vain!”


Leon Bethune, MPHLeon Bethune, MPH
Leon Bethune is the director of the Community Initiatives Bureau (CIB) at the Boston Public Health Commission. He manages a number of divisions with a budget of $5 million, including the Chronic Disease Division, Healthy Homes and Community Support Division, Environmental and Occupational Health Division, the Mayor’s Health Line, and the South End Fitness Center. CIB addresses health issues affecting the entire community of Boston through community and home-based services. The bureau supports the commission’s commitment to reduce exposure to environmental toxins, chronic disease prevention and management, access to healthcare, and the enforcement of citywide health regulations. Bethune has worked at the commission since 1994, previously serving as director of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health and as an environmental toxicologist. He has written and presented abstracts on environmental health issues at national conferences. He currently serves on several nonprofit boards and is the president of the Dorchester YMCA board, past president of the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association, and a member of the ESAC board. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University and a master of public health in environmental health from Boston University. He was awarded the city’s 2012 Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award.


Lissette Blondet, EdMLissette Blondet, EdM
Lissette Blondet currently serves as the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers where she works to strengthen the association and strategically position the workforce to seize the many opportunities now available through healthcare reform. Blondet has dedicated most of her professional life to legitimizing community health workers as public health professionals. She founded the Community Health Education Center (CHEC), the first training and resource center in the country. CHEC’s curricula and professional development programs now serve as national models and have been replicated across the country. Previously, she was director of community benefits for Cape Cod Healthcare, where she focused on making healthcare accessible to the large and underserved Brazilian and Wampanoag communities. Blondet was born in Venezuela and moved to the U.S. to study music. Blondet graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a BA in music and psychology, and received an EdM from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.


Alex Gonzalez, MD, MPHAlex Gonzalez, MD, MPH
Alex Gonzalez is the internal medicine chief at Atrius Health’s Copley site, where he oversees a staff of more than a dozen physicians and nurse practitioners in the delivery of comprehensive medical care to approximately 25,000 patients. Additionally, he is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, an attending physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and a certified HIV specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Previously, he served as medical director for 16 years at Fenway Health, an LGBTQIA+ focused federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Boston. Gonzalez obtained a bachelor of science in biology from Tulane University and a combined medical and public health degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training in primary care internal medicine at BIDMC, and he is board certified in internal medicine. He was named the Outstanding Massachusetts Community Health Center Physician by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in 2016, and in 2022 he received the BNGAP LGBT Health Workforce Conference Health Professional Leadership Award.


Elizabeth González Suárez, MAElizabeth González Suárez, MA
Elizabeth González Suárez serves as vice president of Community Life (CL) for The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB), where she works to provide stability and social connections for seniors and access to opportunities for families in TCB communities. Previously, she served as the director of Community Health Practice at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and deputy director of the U54 Partnership Outreach Program. Most of her 20-year tenure with DFCI was dedicated to designing and implementing evidence-based programs that promote public health among high-risk and underserved populations. Earlier in her career, González Suárez conducted research on community-based approaches to health promotion and cancer prevention. She was an active member of the DFCI’s diversity initiative, targeting programs to increase representation of people of color into the health professions. González Suárez serves on the HRiA (Health Resources in Action) board of directors and the advisory board of the Jordan Boys & Girls Club. She received her bachelor and master’s degrees in psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.


Eric Leslie, MPA.Eric Leslie, MPA
Eric Leslie is the founder and lead organizer of Union Capital Boston (UCB). Founded in 2014, UCB’s mission is to transform social capital into opportunity by rewarding community engagement. UCB’s innovative approach combines technology and relationship building to strengthen neighborhood networks, build social capital, and create new pathways of opportunity for individuals and the community. Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Leslie began his career as a community organizer in Baltimore and New York City. He later joined Teach for America and taught in North Philadelphia, serving as principal of KIPP Philadelphia Charter School from 2008 to 2012. Leslie returned home to attend the mid-career MPA program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2013 and founded UCB the following year. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and daughters.


Elicia Miller Elecia Miller
Elecia Miller works for the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force, a public health coalition whose vision is to make the city and its environs a, “healthier, safer, and more thriving community.” She oversees the daily operations and brings public health education to the city. Miller is project officer of the coalition, overseeing health initiatives such as Mass in Motion, a statewide initiative that examines access to physical activity and healthy eating; Lawrence Ciclovia, an open streets activity; and youth development. She is dedicated to reaching residents of the greater Lawrence area through her work.


Shari Nethersole, MDShari Nethersole, MD
Shari Nethersole is the medical director for community health at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). For over 25 years, she has served as a pediatrician in Boston. In her role as medical director, she oversees the hospital’s community health mission, which works to address the most pressing health issues affecting children in our city including asthma, mental health, obesity, and child development. Nethersole works with community organizations, community health centers, and city and state agencies to address health disparities and improve the health of children and families through programs, partnerships, and advocacy. She established the Community Asthma Initiative, as well as the Fitness in the City Program to address childhood obesity. She’s also an active advocate at the city and state level for child health priorities. Nethersole received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her pediatric residency at BCH.


Benjamin Perkins, MA, MDivBenjamin Perkins, MA, MDiv
Benjamin Perkins is a public health advocate and social justice practitioner. His holistic approach drives positive change for marginalized communities. With 20+ years of experience, his work has focused on HIV prevention, health disparities, and racial equity. He has served at the American Heart Association and as CEO of Wholesome Wave. He created the FED Principle and currently serves as the board’s FED director. Perkins is also CEO and founder of Upstream Impact Solutions Consulting and an ordained minister. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School, Antioch University, and UCLA.


Sabrina Selk, ScDSabrina Selk, ScD
Sabrina Selk is the director of health and racial equity at the National Network of Public Health Institutes and serves as a member of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission. Previously, she was the director of the Office of Health Equity at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Selk brings extensive experience working with communities to understand and address social determinants of health and improve the health of children. Previously, she worked at the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), where she led the Department of Applied Research and Evaluation, and at Dana Farber Cancer Institute as manager of research & clinical relations at Advance Health Solutions. In her role at NICHQ, she was a senior advisor on a number of projects across content areas including asthma, sickle cell disease, infant mortality, and early childhood comprehensive systems. She has technical expertise in research methods, content development, training and technical assistance, as well as experience addressing health equity through evidence-based strategies and quality improvement. Selk has a doctor of science in social and behavioral science society, human development and health, from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and undergraduate degrees in biology and psychology from the University of Washington.


Stephanie Marie Sloan, MPHStephanie Marie Sloan, MPH
Stephanie Marie Sloan serves as the acting director at the New Bedford Health Department. In her role, she provides department-wide leadership and guidance in the interpretation and application of federal, state, and local public health laws and regulations, including divisions for environmental and community health, public health nursing, substance use and tobacco prevention, municipal marine laboratory, and emergency preparedness. Previous to this role, she served as the assistant director coordinating COVID-19 contact tracing and vaccination clinics, managing grant and nursing staff for implementation of programs and coordinating public health accreditation preparation activities. In her nine years at the health department, she has also worked managing and supporting grant and nursing programming activities. Sloan received her master’s in public health at Boston University School of Medicine.