Innovation & improvement in public health via community engagement & research. Population Health Research Program

Harvard Catalyst Population Health Research Program Advisory Board

Ediss Gandelman, MBA, ME

Ediss Gandelman, MBA, ME, is the manager of Board of Trustees and Corporation Relations at Wheelock College in Boston. Formerly the director of community benefits at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Gandelman spearheaded the hospital's public and community health initiatives, also serving as the managing director of Community Care Alliance, the network of seven community health centers (CHC) affiliated with BIDMC. She 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, Gandelman worked at the Dimock Center, where she developed an array of health and human service programs, and then served as Dimock's senior vice president of development and public affairs. Gandelman currently serves as the chair of the Population Health Research Program Community Advisory Board.

Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH

Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, is the chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge. In this post, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the Cambridge Public Health Department, including public health planning, service delivery, and regulatory activities. Previously, Jacob served as the deputy director of the Office of Health Promotion at the Illinois Department of Public Health. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Public Health Foundation, and the Boston advisory board of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. He is the past national chair of the Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association. Jacob has completed the National Public Health Leadership Institute's training, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leadership in Public Health. He is a certified site visitor for the Council on Education for Public Health. Jacob has a master of public health degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Thomas Land, PhD

Thomas Land, PhD, is the director of the Office of Data Management and Outcomes Assessment at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The DPH established this office in 2014 with the goal of leveraging changes in health policy and advances in computer science to further public health goals, with a particular focus on developing an integrated approach to evaluating chronic disease, nutrition, physical activity, and wellness. Academic researchers are viewed as key contributors to the effective use of linked clinical and public health data, and Land has been DPH's point person in its institutional partnership with Harvard Catalyst. Land completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wyoming and his graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University.

Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA

Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, is president and CEO of The Dimock Center, a community institution serving Boston's Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. As the second largest health center in Boston, Dimock is considered a national model of comprehensive health and human services with an emphasis on the integration of clinical and behavioral health practices. Minter-Jordan earned both her undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University. After graduation, she joined Johns Hopkins, first as an attending physician and instructor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, and subsequently as director of medical consultation services at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Coming from a family that stressed the value of giving back, in 2007 Minter-Jordan was inspired to leave a successful career in academic medicine to lead the Dimock Community Health Center.

As chief medical officer, Minter-Jordan was a fierce advocate for increasing access to care for some of the city's most vulnerable residents. Her collaborative approach led to significant partnerships linking Dimock to world-class institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Partners HealthCare. An innovative physician administrator, Minter-Jordan was responsible for the successful transition to the electronic medical record, established Dimock's first Institutional Review Board to pave the way for research using human subjects, and in 2012 led the effort to secure a $4.9 million federal grant to expand the capacity of Dimock's health center facility. Minter-Jordan has published articles in medical publications including The New England Journal of Medicine, was recently appointed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Planning Council Advisory Committee, and served as one of seven governor-appointed physician members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration. Minter-Jordan serves on the advisory board for the Kraft Center for Community Health at Partners HealthCare and in 2013 was named to the board of directors of The Boston Foundation.

Shari Nethersole, MD

Shari Nethersole, MD, is the medical director for community health at Boston Children's Hospital. For over 25 years, Nethersole has been a pediatrician caring for children in Boston, and still sees patients in the Children's Hospital Primary Care Center. In her role as medical director, she oversees the hospital's community health mission, which addresses the most pressing health issues affecting children in our city - currently asthma, mental health, obesity, and child development. She works with community organizations, community health centers, and city and state agencies to address health disparities and improve the health of children and families in the community through programming, partnerships, and advocacy. She established the Community Asthma Initiative in 2005 as well as the Fitness in the City Program addressing childhood obesity. She's also an active advocate at the city and state level for child health priorities. In addition to external collaborations, Nethersole facilitates the internal hospital connections and collaborations needed to support the community health mission, trying to align the clinical mission and services of the hospital with community health needs. Nethersole received her undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1979 and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1983. She completed her pediatric residency at Children's Hospital Boston in 1986. She currently participates in many committees and workgroups that address child health needs in Boston.

Benjamin D Perkins, MA, M.Div.

Benjamin Perkins is currently the vice president of Multicultural Initiatives/Health Equity for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. He has worked in the public health field for 15 years, first specializing in disease prevention research education to communities vulnerable to HIV infection, and then shifting focus to cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention in communities of color. Benjamin received his master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2000, and served as a student intern minister at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Cambridge. He was ordained in June 2015 at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain.

In addition to his education at Harvard Divinity School, Benjamin received his MA in clinical psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles and his BA in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. His interests include running, reading theology, creative writing, and engaging in health equity/social justice work. In 2012, Benjamin married his husband David. They live in West Roxbury and are part of a thoroughly post-modern family that includes three children, two mothers, two dogs, and one cat.

Joan Pernice RNC, MS

Joan Pernice is the director of Clinical Health Affairs at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, a position she has held for the past ten years. In this position, Pernice is responsible for the MLCHC's clinical quality agenda, the planning and implementation of technical assistance and support to the health center medical directors, quality improvement managers, nurse managers, and other clinical management staff. In addition, she oversees the MLCHC's physician loan repayment and workforce initiative. She supervises the department's quality improvement manager and the provider workforce initiative manager, ensuring successful accomplishment of their work plans and contract deliverables. Prior to her joining the League, Joan held senior management positions in community health centers for fourteen years, as the vice president for Health and HIV Services and vice president of Child and Family Services at The Dimock Center then chief operating officer for two years at Whittier Street Health Center. Her career includes: director of an Early Intervention Program, clinical practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner, and nursing education as an assistant professor in the Graduate Maternal-Child Health Nursing Department at Boston College, School of Nursing.

Clara Savage, PhD

Clara Savage, MME, PhD, is the executive director of Common Pathways/CHNA 8. She is also the coordinator of Worcester's MassCONECT, Massachusetts Community Network to Eliminate Cancer Disparities through Education Research and Training. Since 2005, Savage has been building and maintaining Common Pathways as a coalition, in collaboration with 147-plus partners from diverse sectors and more than 2500 residents engaged at different stages of the coalition process. In coordinating MassCONECT, she provides positive and proactive environments for experts in healthcare, social services, affordable housing, education, transportation, mental health, business, and research to work together in improving the health and quality of life for all in Worcester and Central Massachusetts. Her leadership is recognized in making mental health a health priority within the current Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan. She is the convener for the Implementation of the Behavioral Health goals in Greater Worcester. She has extensive experience in community outreach and medical education programs, both nationally and internationally. Savage is committed to bring the voices of neighborhood residents to the discussion and planning for healthcare reform in the central Massachusetts region, and in particular, discussions on the economics of healthcare delivery and access. She speaks Spanish and is an immigrant from Colombia, S.A.

David S. Weed, Psy.D.

David S. Weed, Psy.D., is currently executive director of Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. the Community Health Network Area (CHNA) designated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He also serves as coordinator of the Healthy City Fall River initiative, a comprehensive health and wellness promotion effort impacting those who live or work in the historic mill city in southeastern Massachusetts. In that capacity, he conducts environmental health assessment, program planning, training, web design, and management and consultation to a wide variety of community groups. Weed is also a member of the Fall River Board of Health. He served as chief psychologist for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in Fall River for 33 years before retiring in 2007.