The work of Healthy Teen Network is made possible by a dedicated core of 12 Board of Directors members and a mighty force of 17 professional staff members, who possess a wide range of professional and academic experiences.
Brigid Riley, MPH
Consultant, Willow Consulting
Brigid Riley is a principal consultant with Minneapolis-based Willow Consulting, supporting clients in identifying and reaching their strategic goals. She has more than 20 years of experience from the public health arena, including work in the government, nonprofit and small business sectors. Her Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota has helped frame a body of work in organizational development; board development; issue framing; public communications; fund development; policy and systems-change.
Brigid has focused her recent work in group facilitation, using the participatory methods of the Technology of Participation (ToP), internationally-recognized facilitation tools developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. She completed a year-long Mastery Program with ToP, and is certified in the methods. She resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” (with thanks to Garrison Keillor).
Nadine Finigan-Carr, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, School of Social Work
Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, is a prevention research scientist focused on the application of behavioral and social science perspectives to research on contemporary health problems, especially those which disproportionately affect people of color. Currently, Nadine is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland: School of Social Work. In this position she is the Principal Investigator of research projects at both the state and federal levels designed to intervene with system involved youth—those in foster care or the juvenile justice system, for example. She was recently awarded a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime to improve statewide coordination and multi-disciplinary collaboration in responding to human trafficking involving children and youth.
Wanda Thruston (Spann Roddy), DNP, PNP, RN
Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University
As a nurse and nurse practitioner, Wanda has worked in the area of maternal/child health for nearly 35 years as a clinician, administrator, educator and advocate. Currently she is employed with Indiana University School of Nursing located in Indianapolis, Indiana. She teaches courses related to population health and leadership.Throughout her career, she has been committed to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable youth and their families. Wanda was the founder and executive director of an award winning school-based program for pregnant and parenting adolescents and opened and directed school and community based clinic services for women, children, and adolescents. Wanda is active in the Indianapolis community through her service on several boards of directors including being an elected board of trustee for a local school district. As an advocate, she has made many local and national presentations about her work with women and children and has advocated to elected officials both in Indiana and in Washington, DC, on many issues that affect women and children. Wanda earned her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University located in Greencastle, Indiana, and her masters and doctorate from Indiana University School of Nursing in Indianapolis.
Bhupendra Sheoran, MD, MBA
Executive Director, Youth+Tech+Health (YTH)
Bhupendra Sheoran has over 13 years experience working with youth and young adults, starting in 2000 when he worked with young mothers to provide them with nutrition education. As executive director of YTH, Sheoran leads the organization, involving himself in grant writing, strategic planning, and representing YTH to the community and stakeholders. He works with the program team to design new media and technology programs. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated text messaging campaigns and conducted social media outreach to reach at-risk and hard to reach populations. He also provides capacity building assistance to agencies that want to apply these technologies to their work especially in sexual and reproductive health focusing on youth.
Now based in Oakland, California, Sheoran began his career as a medical doctor in India. He subsequently moved into public health and got an MBA in health management. He has since worked in South and Southeast Asia and the U.S. in varying roles with nonprofit agencies, the United Nations, and in academic institutions addressing the health needs of diverse populations including LGBTQ+, Native Americans, and Asian and Pacific Islanders. His responsibilities have included strategic planning, designing and implementing social marketing campaigns, research, and program design. Sheoran has published articles in the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. His work has been featured in both online and print media including POZ magazine, Aegis, and BAR.
Sheoran likes to bring a combination of clinical and public health knowledge and experience to address health issues at both individual and population level. He believes in compassion, respect, and humility and these are the values he continues to incorporate in his work at YTH.
Legislative Liaison, Minnesota Department of Public Health
Amira Adawe is a Legislative Liaison at Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). She has previously worked at the Saint Paul–Ramsey County Public Health as a Planner and Health Educator of Family Health and Community Engagement Division. She is a public health researcher and her research interests include women and children’s health in the areas of access to health care, skin-lightening practices and mercury exposures. She also leads statewide campaign to combat skin-lightening practices and chemical exposures. Amira is a founding member and co-chair of the Somali Health Coalition and a member of the Governor’s Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Programs Officer, Buell Foundation
Lori Casillas is a program officer with the Buell Foundation in Colorado. With 22 years of experience in nonprofit program development, organizational leadership, communications and advocacy, she is a champion for youth sexual health and self-determination. Early in her career, she worked on immigrant rights, youth leadership, and parent engagement programs. Lori was the statewide director for a health advocacy and policy initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation called Covering Kids and Families. Lori also served as a consultant for an international surgery charity where she worked closely with health secretaries and hospital teams in the host countries of Vietnam, Brazil, and India.
For seven years she was the executive director of Colorado Youth Matter, a statewide youth-focused advocacy and training organization where she led, in concert with the board of directors, the development and execution of two strategic plans and oversaw all aspects of the organization’s communication, policy, and fundraising goals. Recently, Lori was the Health and Mental Health Director for Denver Great Kids Head Start at the Office of Children’s Affairs in the City and County of Denver. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Lobby of Colorado and the Colorado Progressive Coalition and was a member and co-chair of the Denver suburban funding panel at the Gay and Lesbian fund for Colorado. Lori is a founding and current member of LatinasGive! a philanthropic donor-advised giving circle and is currently a board member of the Baltimore-based Healthy Teen Network.
Lori earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in English and Psychology from Amherst College and attended graduate school in the social sciences at the University of Colorado. Lori was born and raised in the US/Mexico border city of El Paso, Texas, where most of her family still lives. Lori is married to Gilberto Muñoz, elementary school principal and has a six-year-old daughter, Yma, who is a DPS second grader. They live in Denver, Colorado, with their dog, Sparky.
Director of U.S. Programs, Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health Senior Technical Advisor, EngenderHealth
Jenifer DeAtley is a passionate non-profit leader, community engager, advocate, and innovator with 20 years of experience in the public health arena where her emphasis is on youth centered practices that drive social change. She creates innovative programs and curricula with young people that emphasize the intersection of youth development and sexual and reproductive health, and has developed and implemented several innovative and strategic programs that address health disparities among underserved youth populations, including two award winning sexual health education programs in the U.S.—Gender Matters and No Kidding.
Jenifer is the Director of EngenderHealth’s U.S. Country Office and Technical Advisor for their global youth programs, where she supports initiatives in meeting the needs of youth across Asia and Africa. She applies her direct service experience and field knowledge as a social worker to creating sustainable research to practice pathways. She spends the rest of her time serving her community: she serves on the Board of the national non-profit Health Teen Network as the Youth Engagement Committee Chair, is the Founder and Executive Advisor for a local youth–serving professional development coalition, she advises and consults with local small and start up organizations, and (when there’s still enough time) teaches in the graduate School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, where she shares her expertise with the next wave of leaders, innovators, and doers.
Jenifer’s specialties include technical leadership, visioning and strategy, program and curriculum development, and engaging communities. She holds a sociology degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP
Justin Floyd is a practicing attorney and an associate in the Ropes & Gray LLP corporate department. Justin’s practice focuses on the representation of hedge funds, private equity funds, investment advisers and fund sponsors in connection with fund formations as well as a wide range of operational, regulatory and compliance matters. Additionally, Justin has worked with a number of non-profit organizations focusing on adolescent and teen development, global health and reproductive justice. Justin holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a LL.M. with a specialization in commercial law from the University of Cambridge.
Professor, University of Delaware
Judy is a Registered Nurse, retired nurse educator, and researcher with a passion for adolescents! Her advocacy efforts have included developing the Adolescent Sexual Health Plan for the state of Delaware, promoting access to reproductive health services and long-acting reversible contraceptives in school-based health centers, and ensuring that teen perceptions infuse policies and programs designed to foster health. Judy’s research involves adolescent sexual decision-making, prevention of intimate partner violence, teen pregnancy prevention efforts, adolescent development, evaluation of school-based health center outcomes, and creative teaching strategies across the lifespan. Judy has been a Board Member of Healthy Teen Network for 5 years and Chairs the Public Policy Committee.
Project Manager, U.S .Department of Labor
Anthony Vela joined Healthy Teen Network in his first board term in 2010. His experience as a Program Manager in the Department of Labor funded Job Corps program for the western United States in the San Francisco region has proven helpful in dealing with the similar age group served by the programs associated with the Healthy Teen Network. Tony earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and a minor in Women’s Studies from Arizona State University. His career with the Department of Labor has spanned thirty years, twenty-two with the Job Corps. He resides in Oakland, California.
Director of Adolescent and Reproductive Health, Baltimore City Health Department
Catherine Watson, MSW, has worked in public health for over twenty-five years, with sixteen years in adolescent health. As the Director for the Baltimore City Health Department’s Adolescent and Reproductive Health Services, she directs and oversees the city’s network of Title X reproductive health clinics, develops and implements special health education programming, and participates in research-based projects investigating best practices in the field of adolescent health. Cathy is committed to evidence-based programming for adolescents. This commitment is demonstrated through a Personal Responsibility and Education Program (PREP) project for foster youth implementing Power Through Choices and through the development of an adult reproductive health education curriculum for caseworkers and caregivers. Her involvement in a pilot project with the local public school systems to integrate Making Proud Choices! within the health education curriculum served as the forerunner for the Baltimore City Health Department’s currently funded Office of Adolescent Health 1B project, which Ms. Watson is serving as Project Director. As a public health advocate, Cathy’s vision is for adolescents to be healthy and have a better sense of wellbeing. Cathy implements her vision through partnerships and collaborations with a variety of community-based programs that utilizes science-based approaches. Her experiences as Director, managing over 40 staff with a $4 million annual budget, and as a project officer on federal grants have placed Ms. Watson as a recognized leader in integrating youth development best practices with quality clinical approaches.