Click on the names below to read our board member bios.
Leanne Wagner is an Executive Leader/ Business Strategist with more than 25 years of experience in the Pharma/Biotech arena. Leanne has been recognized for her leadership in organizational change, building high performance teams, and strategy formulation. Since retiring from the pharmaceutical industry at the end of 2009, Leanne has been working as an independent consultant. Leanne is a long-time volunteer for Oberlin College and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Forum of Executive Women in Philadelphia.
“My mother was trained as a pediatric nurse and then she had four children of her own. What better support and guide could I have had when I was pregnant and then caring for my own daughter? Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out how to provide that sort of education for all of our mothers and we are well behind where we should be on many measures of health care quality. Maternity Care Coalition provides a very pragmatic and effective way to improve the quality of health care for mothers and babies in our community. It is a privilege for me to serve on the Board, building on more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry and on what I learned from my own mother.”
Victoria Zellers is the Vice President of Governance for MCC and also chairs MCC’s Human Resources Committee. Victoria is a partner at Cozen O’Connor and practices in its labor and employment law department. Victoria is also the Co-Chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Women’s Initiative. Victoria earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Victoria lives in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood.
“I first learned of Maternity Care Coalition as an invited guest to its wonderful annual Celebrating Mothers Tea and was impressed by the number and variety of services that MCC provides to the community. I wanted to get more involved with the organization. The following year I served as a Co-Chair for the Tea and joined the Human Resources Committee, allowing me to use my knowledge of employment law on behalf of the organization.”
Judith Faust is the Service Line Administrator and Clinical Director of Women and Children’s Services at Albert Einstein Health Care Network. Judy brings experience in information systems, marketing, staff development and new business development. Prior to her tenure at Einstein in 1997, Judy began her career as a registered nurse. Judy has served in the administration of Founders Health Care Inc. and Pennsylvania Hospital. She is currently a member of the Health Care Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley, the American College of Health Care Executives, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
“Having worked in the field of women and children’s health care for over 25 years, I have been involved with Maternity Care Coalition and value the advocacy work and services it provides for women, children, and families. I know that MCC provides needed services to many families in the Philadelphia area. I am honored to serve on the Board of such a wonderful organization.”
Saul Epstein is the CEO of Global Harness Systems which has locations in Texas, Pennyslvania, Michigan, Mexico and India. Saul has a career spanning over three decades in the corporate world. Saul is also the President of Cyberplace, Inc., a developer of upscale apartments on the East Coast, Florida and in North Carolina. Previously he was a Principal with Opinion Research Corporation, Robinson Alarm Company and Crossway Ventures, Inc and Partner at Ernst and Young, LLP. Saul has also served in the military for the Army Security Agency, Reserve Unit. Saul is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) , Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Pennsylvania & New Jersey Bar. In addition to his professional experience, he has served on the boards of the Committee of Seventy and the Beth David Reform Congregation. Since 1999, Saul has been a loyal and long-standing member of MCC’s Finance Committee. Saul volunteers with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Program. He is married to Roberta Epstein and has two adult children.
Ismael Alvarez Jr., is the Division Director of Center Based Services at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC). A graduate of Temple University’s Counseling Psychology Program, he is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 10 years of experience working in non-profit mental health settings, serving children and adolescents with emotional/behavioral problems along with their families. In his current position, he manages the daily functioning of four programs (Outpatient, Trauma, Therapeutic Nursery, Acute Partial, and Parent/Caregiver Services,) at CCTC. Mr. Alvarez’s commitment to his own development as a clinician and supervisor makes him a well- informed, compassionate Director, who manages to keep hope springing eternally in a very challenging environment.
“As a Latino male, born and raised in North Philadelphia,I have experienced and understand the obstacles facing the lives of the people and communities served by MCC and I am proud to give time and effort to an organization that supports communities like the one I grew up in that has shaped who I am today. Serving as a member of MCC’s Board of Directors will give me an opportunity to share my experience, knowledge, and expertise of the human condition and particularly the issues and adverse childhood experiences that impact the lives of young people and their families in hopes of leading them towards healthier and positive lifestyles and futures.”
Darlyne Bailey is currently the Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, where she also serves as Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships. She has been a professor and academic administrator for close to 20 years. Darlyne currently serves on other local and national boards including the Stoneleigh Foundation, the National Human Services Assembly, and the Pieper Family Foundation, in addition to numerous editorial boards. She has published three books on topics about which she is passionate, including Sustaining Our Spirits: Women Leaders Thriving for Today and Tomorrow. Further, Darlyne has published numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of leadership, organizational and community transformation, and the formation and sustainability of strategic alliances.
“It is truly an honor to be able to contribute to all that Maternity Care Coalition provides for so many. As reflected in the lives of my own family and in the words of my dear friend, Frances Hesselbein, ‘To live is to serve.’ The MCC staff, through their service in this incredible organization, show us all daily how to live most fully.”
Stacey Helmers is the mother of three girls and democratic committeeperson for Lower Merion Township. Stacey currently serves on the Board of Lafayette College’s Friends of Skillman Library, and is the Chair of MCC’s vibrant Children’s Brunch event. Stacey holds a Masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Liberty Bell Award for Outstanding Service to Philadelphia. She has previously served as Director of Public Policy at the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Senior Legislative Aide to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Joan Specter, whose 1992 campaign fundraising efforts Stacey coordinated.
“MCC has become one of our family’s top philanthropic priorities because we feel there is no cause more important than helping children at the earliest stage in life. And we know that every dollar we donate, every hour we give is helping to create a better future for families in our area thanks to MCC.”
Katayun Jaffari is partner in the Business and Finance Department of Ballard Spahr, LLP in Philadelphia. She advises directors regarding fiduciary duties and corporate governance. Kathy is active in community organizations, most recently serving as President of the Support Center for Child Advocates and currently as Vice President of the Scleroderma Foundation of the Delaware Valley. She is the Communications Officer for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Law Section and Co-Chair of the Section’s Securities Regulation Committee. Kathy chairs the Sustainability Initiatives and Related Governance Matters Subcommittee for the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association. As a member of the Forum of Executive Women she chairs the board education series. She is also Special Corporate Counsel to DirectWomen. Kathy is an adjunct professor at Temple University and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honors society. Kathy has been named one of Pennsylvania’s “Super Lawyers” for securities and corporate finance. Her other honors include being named as Committee Chair of the Year by the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Law Section, SmartCEO‘s Legal Elite list, one of Philadelphia’s “40 Under 40″ by Philadelphia Business Journal, and one of Pennsylvania’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” by American Lawyer Media.
Will Mundy is a Vice President, Financial Advisor, and Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley. He holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation from the College for Financial Planning, and he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business from Lafayette College. Will is Series 7, 66, and PA Life Accident and Health licensed. He was featured in Registered Rep Magazine in 2010 and The Wall Street Journal Online in 2011 for his marketing techniques and has been the recipient of the Top Wealth Manager Award in Philadelphia Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012. In addition to his professional experience Will has worked on the capital campaign for St. David’s Church in Wayne, PA and is currently a member of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC)’s Finance Committee. Will is also a supporter of MCC’s Celebrating Father’s Golf Classic. Will currently resides in Wayne, PA with his wife Missy and daughters Madeleine and Molly.
“It is a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors of Maternity Care Coalition. As a husband and father of two I wanted to be part of an organization that helps educate mothers on the importance of prenatal care and helps children get a head start on life.”
Anthony Neibert is currently Vice President and Regional Director at Goldman Sachs. Prior to this, he worked as a retirement plan consultant at Alliance Capital. Anthony is a father of two who was drawn to Maternity Care Coalition because of the mission to improve the lives of children and families. His other volunteer experience includes working with Habitat for Humanity, serving as a mentor for students at Bentley University, coaching little league baseball and lacrosse for 4-6 year olds
Laura A. Offutt is a mother and internal medicine physician who currently works as a medical consultant for pharmaceutical companies and biotechs working on developing new medications. Laura has served as Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Medical Safety, for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc and held several positions within the Medical Research and Global Safety Surveillance and Epidemiology groups at Wyeth Research. Laura received a B.A. from Columbia University, a M.D. at Northwestern University Medical School and completed her Residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Laura is currently a member of the American College of Physicians, previously serving on the Domain Definition Task Force on Primary Care Women’s Health.
“As a mother and as a physician, I appreciate the importance of healthy mothers, children, and families on both a personal as well as a professional level. The breadth of work that Maternity Care Coalition does to support mothers and children through direct service, community and professional education, research, and advocacy results in a tremendous impact within the community, and far beyond at local, state, and national levels.”
Chinwe Onyekere is Director of Ambulatory Services and Business Development at Lankenau Medical Center/Main Line Health. She is responsible for implementing innovative models for primary care medicine at the Lankenau Medical Associates: An Integrated Health Practice, developing a robust community health program and building relationships with community-based organizations in the Philadelphia area. In a prior position as a Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she focused on reducing health care disparities, reversing the childhood obesity epidemic, and identifying innovative ideas for breakthroughs in health and health care. Ms. Onyekere has also served as the Executive Director for Health Leads New York, where she established a new model of health care delivery in which patients’ unmet resource needs are addressed as a standard element of patient care.
Arun Prabhakaran is the Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer for the Urban Affairs Coalition. He oversees UAC’s External Affairs work: development, new business, government relations, strategic partnerships, board development and relations, marketing and communications and community affairs. Arun’s previous professional experience includes Government Relations and Public Sector Sales for Solutions for Progress, a public policy IT firm. Arun founded the city’s first youth-oriented harm reduction drop-in center at the Youth Health Empowerment Project, serving homeless youth with substance abuse challenges. He has worked as an independent consultant to nonprofits, government, political candidates, and other institutions and has over a decade of grassroots organizing experience working to advance human rights and end poverty in the U.S. Currently, Arun serves on the Steering Committee for the following initiatives: National Network of Fiscal Sponsors, Temple University’s Maps and Apps Studio, Delaware Valley Nonprofit Partnership, and the Digital On-Ramps Initiative. In addition to Maternity Care Coalition he also serves on the Boards of the Bread and Roses Community Fund, Influencing Action Movement and the Philadelphia Montessori Charter School. Arun holds a BA in Chemistry from Kent State University.
“From my first introduction to the Maternity Care Coalition, I knew it was a special organization that was in touch with the changing and complex needs of vulnerable children and families.”
Randy Mintz- Presant is currently the Chief Communications Officer and Vice President of Communications & Marketing at Health Partners Plans (HPP). Prior to joining HPP, Randy led her own communications consultancy practice and held senior positions with top advertising and public relations agencies. She started her career in journalism, writing for national publications including Cosmopolitan, Elle, Family Circle, National Geographic Traveler and The Washington Post. Randy lives with her family in Philadelphia’s Bella Vista neighborhood. Her community involvement includes working with area parks and schools, as well as organizations such as the Public Citizens for Children and Youth and Women’s Way. Randy has also served on Maternity Care Coalition’s Celebrating Mothers event committee. She has participated in programs with numerous professional organizations, including America’s Health Insurance Plans, Philly Ad Club and Public Relations Society of America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in marketing communications from Temple University.
“I became involved with Maternity Care Coalition by participating in the Spirit of Motherhood Award committee two years ago and am still learning about the many different ways it improves the health and lives of thousands of new mothers and their children. By working directly with families in their communities, MCC truly understands what they need to overcome the sometimes tremendous obstacles they face.”
Christine Reimert is a Senior Vice President at Devine + Partners. With more than 25 years of public relations experience in both corporate and agency environments, Christine brings her clients significant experience in public relations, issues management, media training, and social media. Her assignments have ranged from new product launches, special events, employee relations, community engagement and donor/funder outreach to managing leadership change, labor issues and other messaging for organizations in crisis. Christine has provided guidance and counsel to clients across a diverse range of industry categories – higher ed, not-for-profit, financial services, manufacturing, environmental, consumer and sports – and varied organizational structures – Fortune 500s, entrepreneurial start-ups, community-based non-profits and professional service firms. A sample of her client roster includes the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Comcast-Spectacor, the University of the Arts and Peapod.com. Prior to joining Devine + Partners, Christine offered her services as an independent communications and media training consultant. Previously she was vice president with Tierney Communications, where she was responsible for some of the agency’s marquee accounts. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland College Park. She has served on the Community Advisory Boards for Cradles to Crayons and the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the American Diabetes Association.
“Every child deserves a healthy start. From pre-natal care through early childhood development, MCC does so much to help mothers and families provide that for their children. It is vital work that I am very proud to support.”
Soozung Sa Rankin in the last year, completed her Master’s degree with a thesis that focused on the Spirituality of Babies and currently juggles details of being a mother and doing freelance projects. She and her husband Brian moved to Philadelphia, Fairmount neighborhood in 2005. They have a young son and two rescue dogs. Soozung has spent most of her life working with children, youth and families in different communities of faith and other organizations. She enjoys volunteering at her son’s school, and in the community at various organizations, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Ready, Willing and Able, Philadelphia.
“One of my favorite lines about being a mother, comes from a 1983 movie, Terms of Endearment. Emma Horton, played by Debra Winger, is dying and talking with her husband who is about to be a single father of their three young children. He admits ‘it’s a lot of work,’ and thinks he will ‘probably screw it up.’ Emma then says to him, ‘As hard as you think it is, you end up wishing it were that easy.’ I appreciate how this motivates me and helps me realize I am not alone as I try to find work life balance on a daily basis. I hope my contributions to the Maternity Care Coalition will help other parents to feel connected to each other, their resources, the community, and their families.”
Mona Sarfaty is a family physician and is currently the Director of the Program on Climate and Health at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. Prior to this, she was a Professor at Jefferson Medical College, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine with a joint appointment in the Jefferson School of Population Health. She was also a Training Director at the Center for Dissemination of the Patient Centered Medical Home. She has worked to improve population health, especially in the area of access to care, at the local and national level for 40 years. She has been a member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (a national leadership group supported by the CDC and the American Cancer Society) since 2005. She has also served in a leadership capacity for the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association for nearly a decade. Locally, she sits on the Public Health Executive Committee of the Philadelphia College of Physicians. Dr. Sarfaty was formerly the Associate Director for Health Policy on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health Committee (now H.E.L.P.) during which time she handled many issues and contributed to many pieces of legislation affecting health care access (including maternal and child health), graduate medical and nursing education, biomedical research, tobacco use, and HIV services.
“I serve on the Board of Maternity Care Coalition because it provides the kind of services that are needed to support better birth outcomes and healthy child development. It is time for all institutions in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas that can have a positive impact to coordinate efforts and make these goals a reality. MCC works to promote these goals.”
Liza Seltzer, Executive Vice President for Performance Excellence, Applied Clinical Intelligence (ACI). Liza has served in management positions in the pharmaceutical and public health spaces for over 20 years, including several years in Latin America. At ACI, she provides the focus and leadership necessary for ACI to best serve its clinical research customers through results-driven performance. Liza is a member of the Board of Directors for the Keystone Alliance for performance Excellence and the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She has a BA from Georgetown University and a MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Liza has been a longtime supporter and Carnation Club member of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC). Every year, Liza has participated in the Celebrating Mothers Campaign and has volunteered along with some of her co-workers at MCC events.
Mary Pat Sherry is Director of Corporate Public Relations, responsible for the Northern Region of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies. In this role she supports the development of key stakeholder relationships; leads the implementation of grassroots and associate advocacy campaigns and supports the corporate marketing strategy through community development initiatives. She joined AmeriHealth Caritas in October, 2008. Her career began as a health educator for the American Cancer Society where she was responsible for the development and delivery of cancer awareness and prevention programs for schools, hospitals and community groups. Mary Pat currently serves on Maternity Care Coalition’s Early Head Start Board Committee (EHSBC). She holds Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from West Chester University.
“I was drawn to Maternity Care Coalition because of a shared mission to improve access to quality prenatal and post-natal care for women and children. I am impressed by MCC’s community based services that focus on strengthening families.”
Bonnie Shuman has 30 years of experience in management and handling corporate governance and Board matters. She retired from Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services in 2008, where she was responsible for all legal affairs of the company. Prior to her work as a corporate lawyer, she received her B.A. in Child Development and M.A. in Education, and taught Head Start. Bonnie has served on several Boards, serving as Chair to the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association and DuPortail House, Inc. She is currently on the Board of Main Line
“It is a privilege to serve on the Board of Maternity Care Coalition. The goals of this organization coincide with my personal belief in the importance of strong, healthy, educated mothers and young children. MCC provides support for mothers and families to reach these goals, and thereby strengthens families and communities.”
Jennifer Souder is a pediatric nurse practitioner who has been working in primary care for over 10 years. Before beginning her training in nursing, she spent a year as a volunteer through the Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) working as a medical assistant in a free health clinic in the inner city of Washington, DC. Following this, she received her master’s degree as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, she has worked in a primary care pediatric center, St Mary Children’s Health Center in Bensalem, PA, serving patients from birth through 18 years old. As an NP there, she works with families of many different ethnic and social backgrounds, as well as many recent immigrants, with a wide variety of different languages spoken. During her time at St Mary, she has traveled to Guatemala for a Spanish-immersion program to help improve her Spanish speaking skills to better communicate with her patients. Jennifer has helped to implement various American Academy of Pediatric guidelines into practice at St Mary. As a pediatric NP working with the underserved population and a mother of two small children, Jennifer has a passion for educating and meeting the needs of the patients she serves, as well as an understanding of the importance of preventative care in enriching the lives of children and their families.
“As a pediatric nurse practitioner, it is my passion and professional work to help support and enrich the lives of children and their families. After having two children of my own, I understand even more how important it is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow, thrive and live a healthy life. This begins even before a child is born. I am honored to be part of an organization that values the health and wellbeing of women, children and their families and has such high standards of care and drive for those they serve.”
Nakia Stith, at the age of 22 assumed a leadership role at Top of the Clock Inc., a West Philadelphia-based security and protection services firm started by her father in 1991. Nakia immediately led the company through a sweeping turnaround taking the company from near bankruptcy to profitability with consistent annual growth. Ever focused on pioneering new paradigms, in 2011 Nakia launched ResilienC - an innovative and socially conscious firm that addresses the security, safety, and public health of urban communities holistically. She has pioneered a new approach to safe environments that makes it easier to establish trust and cooperation in facilities, schools, and communities. Her goal is to create a higher level of consciousness around security, safety, and public health issues – one that challenges and influences policies and procedures to improve lives. Nakia is an avid supporter of traditional prenatal healthcare and education; she empowers women and families to take control of their pre-natal and childbirth experiences by serving as a doula and childbirth educator.
Kate Woods is healthcare management professional with significant leadership experience in healthcare law and compliance and public health advocacy. Kate serves as Senior Director of Compliance and Quality Improvement for excelleRx, Inc. Her responsibilities include legal and healthcare regulation compliance, contract negotiations; licensure and accreditations; and policy advocacy for the advancement of best practices and use of technology in pharmacy and hospice care. Kate has presented on the prescription drug abuse epidemic locally and at the national level, including at National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), American Public Health Association (APHA), Hospice & Palliative Nurse Association (HPNA) and CleanMed. Kate also serves on Maternity Care Coalition’s Safe Start Advisory committee. She holds a law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law and a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. Kate lives in Collingswood, NJ with her husband and four children.
Charmaine Smith Wright is enjoying her three children Lydia, Luke and Logan. She has spearheaded MCC’s maternal obesity project, conducted training for staff on protocol development, statistical methodology, nutrition and obesity, and worked with MCC to improve nutrition for incarcerated women in Philadelphia. A past Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and current Assistant Professor in General Internal Medicine at UPenn, Charmaine graduated from Harvard College and Medical School and is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. Charmaine recently was selected one of the “Best 40 under 40” out of 7,000 graduates of Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL. She is currently a member of Massachusetts Medical Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. Her research interests include maternal-child health, nutrition, obesity and pregnancy. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Hypertension, Maternal Child Health Journal, and Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.
“Maternity Care Coalition’s mission is simple and decent—to improve maternal and child wellbeing. I am honored to join MCC’s outstanding staff in doing this very important work.”