Leadership Team

Executive Team

 
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JoAnne Fischer
Executive Director

As Executive Director of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) since 1989 JoAnne has overseen the agency’s growth from a staff of three to a staff of close to 150, and a budget of $116,000 to $11 million. JoAnne’s other experience includes directing the parenting program at Booth Maternity Center, establishing a maternal-child home care company and coordinating the Essential Experience Workshop. JoAnne is a member of the Forum for Executive Women, the Sunday Breakfast Club and the Olave Baden Powell Society of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). She has served on the Community Advisory Board of WHYY, the United Way Campaign Cabinet, and the Mayor’s Early Childhood Education Committee. JoAnne also works nationally having most recently served as chair of the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition and Chair of the MCH section of the American Public Health Association. In 2012 JoAnne was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work informing people of the impact and opportunities of the Affordable Care Act. In March 2014 JoAnne received the MCC Spirit of Motherhood award in recognition of her 25 years of strengthening families and inspiring change. Her work to reduce maternal mortality has been featured internationally at the New York Times Women in the World event, on a BBC report and in the Economist.

 

Bette has over 35 years of experience in program development and management, professional and organizational development and addressing the comprehensive needs of women, families and communities. Bette serves as MCC’s Chief Operating Officer. Since joining MCC in 1999 Bette has developed and overseen the implementation of services to incarcerated and reentering pregnant and newly parenting women, the establishment of MCC’s safe sleep program (Cribs for Kids) and a community doula/breastfeeding program.  Bette led MCC’s pivotal role in ending the shackling of incarcerated women during childbirth – first with changes in policy in Philadelphia and then through successful legislation in the Pennsylvania legislature.  Bette has presented at national conferences (APHA, NASW, AMCHP) and serves as a resource to local and national media on maternal and child health and early care and education.  Bette is a member of the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review Team.

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Bette Begleiter
Deputy Executive Director

 
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Marianne Fray
Vice President of External Affairs

Marianne is a master connector, building relationships and coalitions that strengthen communities and drive growth. Throughout her 30+ year career, Marianne has inspired diverse teams to do more together than they could alone. As the daughter of immigrant missionaries from Jamaica, Marianne grew up at a Rescue Mission in North Philadelphia. The Mission served the homeless in North Philadelphia, and it was here that Marianne’s commitment to service was born.  Marianne attended The Shipley School, Temple University, Bryn Mawr College and St. Joseph’s University. She held increasingly responsible positions in Sales, Marketing and Operations in the Publishing, Telecommunications, Consulting, Project Management and Healthcare industries. Marianne also earned multiple Sales Awards and professional credentials in Project Management and Association Executive Management.  Marianne established two successful cross-company industry communities that continue to drive business innovation in the project management and life sciences industries. Marianne also advised Fortune 100 companies on their Diversity and Inclusion practices. She is a Founding Member of a 501 c6 nonprofit organization called Women of Color in the Pharmaceutical Industry (WOCIP). Marianne is an active member of her local church, and serves on board committees for a summer camp program and her neighborhood association. Marianne has 3 adult sons and resides in South Jersey with her husband. She and her husband enjoy traveling the world.

 

Phyllis has over 25 years of experience in executive leadership and management, supervision, training, counseling and consulting in national non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has held positions including, but not limited to Chief of Human Resources and Organizational Development; Vice President of Program Operations and Human Resources; and Director of Human Resources. She joined MCC in 2016 as the Director of Human Resources, and is now the Vice President of Human Resources. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education; a Master’s in Counseling; and a Master’s in Business with specialization in Organizational Development and Human Resource Management. She is a Certified Training Generalist/Facilitator, and holds dual certifications as a human resources professional. Phyllis has served on numerous boards/advisory boards in the community and cares deeply about human rights; healthcare; education and children and youth.

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Phyllis Lawrence
Vice President of Human Resources

 
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Karen Pollack
Vice President of Programs

Recognizing the critical significance of a child’s earliest years, Karen Pollack has committed herself to working on behalf of pregnant women and families with young children.  Karen began working at MCC in 2000 and currently serves as the Vice President of Programs.  In her tenure at MCC, Karen has had the opportunity to establish and oversee many of the organization’s direct service programs.  She has also had the honor to work with a compassionate and committed team who strive every day to support the families they work with.  Karen holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work and completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program at the Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work in 2008.  Karen is proud to have taught many Philadelphia area social workers as an adjunct faculty member at the Temple University School of Social Work from 2004 through 2017.

 

A longtime nonprofit professional with a passion for empowering fellow mothers, Joanne joined MCC in April 2013 as the Director of Finance and Administration. She has a wealth of nonprofit executive experience in Finance, Human Resources, Administration, Facilities Management and Communications. Prior to joining MCC, she served as Executive Director of Operations in various faith-based organizations as well as Finance Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County. Joanne is a Temple graduate with a certification in Non Profit Executive Management from Georgetown University.

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Joanne Solarz
Vice President of Finance and Administration

 

Leadership Team

 
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Toscha Blalock
Senior Director of Early Head Start Programs

Toscha joined Maternity Care Coalition in September 2015 as the Early Head Start (EHS) Director for Montgomery and Bucks counties. As EHS Senior Director, she has extensive experience in the leadership, administration and evaluation of early childhood education programs and systems. As one of the first employees of the Pennsylvania Key Toscha was involved in the development and implementation of the quality standards and processes for Keystone STARS, Pennsylvania’s statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Toscha is a trained Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) assessor and was the Program Quality Assessment Supervisor for the greater Philadelphia region serving on the team for nearly ten years. Prior to joining MCC, Toscha worked at the University of Pennsylvania with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) as a project manager and researcher.

 

Since joining MCC in 2012 Jessica has overseen the volunteer program, in-kind donations, fundraising events and corporate sponsorships. As the Senior Director of Development , Jessica is responsible for the cultivation and stewardship of donors, fund development and the overall marketing strategy of the organization. With over ten years of experience in nonprofit program development, operations, and management, as well as health promotion, Jessica brings a unique background in both programs and development that helps to serve MCC’s mission. Jessica has a B.S. in Health Sciences and a Master’s of Public Health from Boston University.

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Jessica Borger
Senior Director of Development

 
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Justine Bowers
Director of Communications

Since joining MCC in 2015 as Manager of Communications, Justine has been responsible for the creation of the organization’s print and digital marketing materials, as well as executing annual events. As Director of Communications, Justine understands the value of creating action with measured impact as it relates to strategic marketing efforts. With over seven years of experience in various communications roles at the Philadelphia Business Journal, Slice Communications and the Plant a Seed Inspire a Dream Foundation, Justine brings a unique background in both for-profit and non-profit that helps to serve MCC’s mission. Justine has since been promoted to the Director of Communications and continues to explore new and creative ways to promote MCC to external audiences. Justine has a B.A. in Communications with a  focus in Advertising/Copywriting from Temple University.

 

As MCC’s Senior Director of MOMobile & Community Programs, Kathrin is responsible for overall program operations, fund development and staff management for the agency’s MOMobile Programs. Kathrin has over 15 years of maternal and child health experience in a variety of public health and social service settings. Since joining MCC in 2007, she has overseen several direct service programs including the federally funded Healthy Start Program, Cribs for Kids, Community-Based Parenting Education, ELECT, and the MOMobile Managed Care Program. Kathrin earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany and holds a Leadership Certificate from the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College. Kathrin is passionate about the provision of high quality, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive services for the region’s most vulnerable families.

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Kathrin Brellochs
Senior Director of MOMobile & Community Programs

 
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Samia Bristow
Senior Director of  MOMobile Healthy Families America

As MCC’s Healthy Families America (HFA) Senior Director, Samia manages the largest HFA program in Pennsylvania. Samia has overseen the implementation of the program and supported its growth and expansion into new communities.  Samia’s passion developed from her own experiences and her community involvement at a very young age. Growing up, Samia always had a profound spirt of motivating and inspiring others. Looking back, Samia now knows she was destined to be in the Human Services field. For over 10 years, she has dedicated her career to supporting women and children.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In addition to her work at MCC, Samia works as a crisis hotline counselor for a local domestic violence agency.  Samia is passionate about the health and wellbeing of women and children and is committed to providing high quality services to the entire family.

 

Jessica joined MCC in 2016. She is currently the Director of Program Evaluation at MCC. Working closely with Direct Services and Research, Jessica is responsible for overseeing the data management, evaluation and continuous improvement of all MCC programs with a specific focus on outcomes related to positive health behaviors. She has been working in program evaluation and research in the Philadelphia area for the past 8 years with a particular interest in issues concerning women and the prison system. Jessica earned her Master’s degree in Social Service from Bryn Mawr College and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from NYU.

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Jessica Golden
Director of Program Evaluation

 
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Colette Green
Director of Behavioral Health

Colette Green is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 25 years of experience in community behavioral health in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, with a primary interest in pregnant and parenting women.  During the past 20 years, she has overseen programs serving vulnerable families experiencing complex issues including substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness and DHS involvement and/or criminal histories.  Colette has dedicated her career to helping women recover from past trauma and other adversities in order for them to achieve their optimal level of functioning and well-being and also provide healthy and nurturing environments for their own children.  In her role at MCC, Colette oversees the high-risk programs, including Safe Start, Riverside MoMobile and several collaborative initiatives which support women, children and families in coping with opioid and other substance use disorders.

 

Rosemarie has over 25 experience as a healthcare professional and in community advocacy. As the Senior Director of Policy, Rosemarie advocates for the health and well-being of pregnant women and their families. Rosemarie previously served on MCC’s Board of Directors and as Chair of the Public Policy Committee. As a registered pharmacist with a Master’s Degree in Public Health, she has focused her career on improving safe medication practices and health policies in childcare and public health systems. Rosemarie has extensive professional and community advocacy experience at the local and state level including leadership positions in several community based organizations. Rosemarie is a big Eagles fan and supporter of Philadelphia sports teams. Rosemarie enjoys travelling with her family, especially her annual trip to Ireland to reconnect with her Irish roots.

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Rosemarie Halt
Senior Director of Policy

 
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Clare Hughes
Director of Facilities

Clare Hughes joined Maternity Care Coalition in 2016 as Facilities & Operations Manager. In her current role, she oversees MCC’s eleven facilities, fleet of vehicles, equipment, and technology and operations vendors. An administrator with over ten years of experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations, vulnerable populations and municipal government, Clare has also served on local government commissions focusing on the arts and community relations as well as nonprofit boards with a focus on early childhood education and theater. She holds a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Drexel University and produced original research on the role of publicly funded local arts agencies with constituencies of fewer than 50,000 people in the United States. Clare is active in her community, and enjoys cooking, reading, art-making and science experiments with her young daughter.

 

Dr. Marjie Mogul is the Senior Director of Research. Her career has focused on effective strategies improving the health and well-being of pregnant women and parenting families. She believes providing young children with strong foundations is the key to our future. Marjie’s expertise is research and advocacy with women in the criminal justice system. She has presented at national conferences and participates in a working group of national thought leaders. Her proudest work accomplishment was when the New York Times printed her reply to their editorial, “Women Behind Bars” and she was subsequently invited to The White House Convening on Women and the Criminal Justice System. She received her PhD in Social Work and Social Research from Bryn Mawr College, a Master’s degree in Business from Pennsylvania State University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from The George Washington University. An ideal weekend day: trail running with her pure-bred shelter mutts and husband, then dark roast coffee on the deck.

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Marjie Mogul
Senior Director of Research

 
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Katja Pigur
Director of Breastfeeding Services

Katja Pigur, M.Ed, CLC, is the Breastfeeding Director at MCC. Katja runs MCC’s multi-layered Breastfeeding Friendly Philadelphia program which started in 2010. She assists hospitals and employers with the implementation of breastfeeding friendly policies. Since 2012 Ms. Pigur has been a co-leader of the Philadelphia Multi-Hospital Task Force and is the facilitator for the Southeastern PA hospital collaborative under Pennsylvania’s state-wide Keystone 10 initiative. On the national level Katja represents Philadelphia as a member of the Interstate Collaborative for the Ten Steps, an initiative to implement the Ten Steps To Successful Breastfeeding. As a German native Katja has extensive international work experience. Before moving to Philadelphia in 2004, Katja worked for a non-profit in Puerto Rico overseeing work force services for people with disabilities. She started her career with coordinating support services for single working mothers in Cuernavaca, Mexico.