I have worked to improve the health and wellbeing of children, adolescents, and families for more than 20 years. I have been the director of Evaluation, Research, and Monitoring Department at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and lead evaluator for the the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama's Let's Move Program. Before my tenure at the Alliance, I was the Director of the New York State Center for the Prevention of Early Childhood Obesity. I am trained in pediatric ethics as well as a health writer. I have managed all aspects of complex programs in the fields of public health, health science research, community development, English as a second language, and youth initiatives.
I hold an MS in Bioethics from Albany Medical College, and an MPH from the State University of New York, and a BA from Columbia University in Liberal Arts. I have been quoted in the Guardian, Albany Times Union, Scholastic Magazine, and my work has been referenced on the Daily Show, CNN, and in several academic books about childhood obesity and bullying. My articles related to obesity, bullying, diabetes, and juvenile arthritis have been published in Preventing Chronic Disease, Your Health Matters, Diabetes Self Management, Pain Free Living, Whole Life Times, and the Mid. My Children at the Table blog is published by Psychology Today.
My mission is to help families and clinicians care for children with obesity or who have been sexually abused. I review the latest childhood obesity research and then translate my findings into informative, compassionate articles to help families and clinicians better understand the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity and child sexual abuse. I am currently writing books for families and clinicians about how best to care for children with obesity with compassion and empathy.
I also enjoy working on creative writing projects. A play based on my short story, “Second, You Are Really Nigerian,” which also received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train and the Hudson Valley Writer’s Guild, was produced by the Wit and Will Theater. The story was also published in the Arts and Understanding Literary Magazine. Recently, my essay, “A Voice of My Own” was published in The Writer.
My anthology, Dream Alibis, is about finding hope in the aftermath of estrangement, lost love, loneliness, and emotional abuse. The poems segue into Little Red Wagon, a play about a family that has created a temporal divide from a political activist’s death by suicide to the present and explores the layers of grief that tethers the family to one another in conspiratorial silence. The play is currently being produced as a teleplay for radio.
My novel, Howard Be Thy Name is about Evie Edwards, a divorced, mother of four children, falls in love with Howard Russo, a newly ordained Catholic priest. Unyielding to the consequences their relationship will have on her children, Evie throws herself and her children into a life of secrecy, lies, and betrayals. The story begins with Evie confronting a heartbreaking revelation that forces her to choose between her children and Howard. The story asks how could this secret life go undetected and seeks to demonstrate that there are many victims of the sex abuse scandal that continues to plague the Catholic Church.
The breadth of my experience working with community organizations, policymakers, schools, parents, businesses, and government officials on a wide variety of social welfare issues makes me well suited to help communities, schools, families, and clinicians create a healthier, safer, and happier environment for children to grow and learn.
For interviews, invitations to speak, writing projects, or to inquire about consulting services, please contact me via the contact page.