Charmaine Ruddock, MS – Project Director
As the project director for Bronx Health REACH, Charmaine Ruddock is responsible for the day to day operations of the project, which includes overseeing community based prevention initiatives and public policy efforts. Since joining the Institute in 2000, Ms. Ruddock has worked with consultants, community groups, local government, and national organizations to implement Bronx Health REACH programs. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National REACH Coalition and is a member of the steering committee of the National Health Equality Coalition. Ms. Ruddock also sits on the Advisory Board of CUNY’s Lehman College MPH program and is a senior fellow at Hunter College’s Center for Health, Media, and Policy. In 2009, Ms. Ruddock was invited by CDC to present on the work of Bronx Health REACH at the World Health Organization Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Ruddock administered health care services to underserved communities for more than 10 years, and was involved in the design, development, and operation of managed care organizations serving communities in New York City, Long Island and Connecticut.
Emma Rodgers, MS – Senior Program Manager
As the Senior Program Manager at Bronx Health REACH, Emma Rodgers manages community-level efforts that increase access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for physical activity in the Bronx and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Her work includes developing, implementing and evaluating federal grants and serving as the liaison between coalition members, subcontractors, government agencies, community leaders, and residents. Prior to joining Bronx Health REACH, Ms. Rodgers was the Bronx Borough Organizer for NYC Smoke Free, implementing education and advocacy strategies to gain support for citywide tobacco control policy priorities, and the Associate Director of Planning and Buying at HN Media and Marketing, managing online, outdoor and print media buys for the NYC and NY State Departments of Health. Ms. Rodgers has a Master of Science in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.
Kelly Moltzen, MPH, RD – Program Manager
As Program Manager for the Creating Healthy Schools & Communities program, Kelly Moltzen provides leadership and guidance in the development and implementation of evidence-based policies, place-based strategies, and promising practices to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity. She works with a broad array of stakeholders and serves as principal liaison to the New York State Department of Health. In addition to Kelly’s role as Program Manager for the Creating Healthy Schools & Communities program, she supervises a FoodCorps member, co-chairs Bronx Health REACH’s Nutrition and Fitness Workgroup, and assists in the development and evaluation of nutrition-related programs.
Emily Oppenheimer, MS – Program Manager
As Program Manager, Emily Oppenheimer leads a family-centered childhood obesity intervention with Bronx faith-based organizations: Healthy Children, Healthy Families. She oversees this train-the-trainer program led by 24 faith-based organizations and taught to children (ages 8-12) and their parents/caregivers: a series of 8-weekly workshops that aim to increase healthy eating and active living, to reduce high rates of obesity in the Bronx. In collaboration with community partners, Emily develops training agendas and the evidence-based nutrition curriculum to ensure the success of the 24-site program. She leads partnerships with the program’s community consultants, NYU evaluators, and fitness consultants, as well as the program’s community advisory board to inform research activities are in alignment with the community-based participatory research model. Previously, as part of the Partnership for a Healthier NYC, Emily spearheaded pilot active design work to make healthy choices more accessible to children in schools, a highlight of this was the renovation of Bronx Delta Playground. Prior to joining Bronx Health REACH she led international health communication campaigns, including Meatless Monday.
Immaculada Moronta, MIM – Administrative Assistant
As the Administrative Assistant for Bronx Health REACH Immaculada Moronta is responsible for organizing partner meetings and provides technical assistance to partners, community leaders and the faith-based organizations. Immaculada works with community and faith-based organizations, residents, and community leaders and serves as the liaison to the Latino community.
Michael Johnson – Communications Associate
As the Communications Associate for Bronx Health REACH, Michael Johnson is responsible for all communications and marketing of the organization which includes all Bronx Health REACH’s social media channels and website, and securing media and press coverage of all initiatives. Michael also coordinates all communications and marketing efforts with Bronx Health REACH partners.
Joseph Ellis – Outreach Coordinator/Community Health Worker
As the Outreach Coordinator/Community Health Worker Joseph Ellis coordinates the Vegetable & Fruit Prescription Program at the Institute for Family Health’s Stevenson Family Health Center, Mt. Hope Family Practice, and Walton Family Health Center. He assists patients in making healthier decision regarding vegetables, fruits, and other healthy alternatives with walking tours to and from local supermarkets, bodegas and vegetable carts. Joseph also provides assistance in disseminating information on various health issues to the churches in the Bronx Health REACH Coalition.
Rachel Ingram – Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Manager
As the Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Manager, Rachel oversees and initiates activities related to the 2018-2023 Towards a Healthier Bronx REACH Grant to increase opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy food in diverse community settings in the Bronx. She currently manages nutrition and physical activity programs within the IFH health centers, Bronx-based meal serving organizations, faith-based organizations, and other related programs. Rachel co-coordinates the outreach strategy to public policy makers at the federal, state and local levels. Previously, she implemented a Vegetable and Fruit Rx Prescription Program to increase access and consumption of fruits and vegetables for over 600+ patients at three health centers within the South Bronx. Rachel has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Silberman School Work at Hunter College, a Master of Education from Hunter College and a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia.
Moria Byrne-Zaaloff, MPH – Program Coordinator
As Program Coordinator for the Creating Healthy Schools & Communities program, Moria works with schools to develop and implement evidence-based policies, place-based strategies, and promising practices to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity. She works with 91 schools in the South Bronx, offering training, technical assistance, resources and connections to school-based programs. She coordinated the development and implementation of two programs in Bronx schools, the Don’t Stress Eat Fresh and a countermarketing curricula and campaigns. These programs connect healthy eating to the school environment on campus and near school grounds. In addition to Moria’s role as Program Coordinator for the Creating Healthy Schools & Communities program, she supervises a FoodCorps member, co-chairs Bronx Health REACH’s School-based Nutrition and Fitness Workgroup, and assists in the development and evaluation of nutrition-related programs. She also spent two years working with CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute on a study seeking to determine the effectiveness of a countermarketing curriculum and messaging to reduce youth demand for sugar-sweetened beverages. Moria was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Laguna, Philippines.
Yolanda Benitez – Program Assistant for Healthy Children, Healthy Families
As Program Assistant for the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program, Yolanda Benitez organizes and leads community level research programs on childhood obesity in the Bronx. In collaboration with faith-based leaders, she works in implementing a 8-week family focus faith-based nutrition and fitness program that teaches families about eating healthy and engaging in physical activities together. In addition to her role in implementing the program she helps with recruiting faith-based organizations, training Peer Health Coordinators, conducts community-based participatory research and convenes the Community Advisory Board.
Mickelder Kercy – Evaluation Assistant
As the Evaluation Assistant for Bronx Health REACH, Mickelder Kercy provides evaluation related guidance and support on public health programs and research activities aimed at reducing ethnic health disparities and inequities in the Bronx. He is currently involved in the CDC-funded REACH community-clinical linkages, nutrition, food systems, breastfeeding and physical activity programs. He reports on all REACH activities and performance measures internally on a quarterly basis and annually to the CDC. Mickelder conducts reviews and critical appraisal of published literature. His contributions include program planning, monitoring and evaluation tools design; data management, monitoring, analysis, reporting and presentation; and manuscript revision, writing and submission. Additionally, he is involved in research protocol preparation and submission. Mickelder brings to the Bronx Health REACH his experience, academic knowledge and passion in community-based chronic diseases prevention and management, behavioral health promotion and education, and research. Mickelder Kercy holds a MS degree from Columbia University and a MD degree from the Université Notre Dame d’Haïti.