Leadership 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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Joanne Solarz
Director of Finance and Administration

Joanne joined MCC in April 2013 as the Director of Finance and Administration.  She is an experienced nonprofit executive 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 has a Non Profit Executive Management Certificate from Georgetown University.

 

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. 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
Director of Human Resources

 
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Toscha Blalock
Early Head Start Montgomery/Bucks County Director

Toscha joined Maternity Care Coalition in September 2015 as the Early Head Start Director for Montgomery and Bucks counties. 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 Director of Fund Development and Marketing 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
Director of Fund Development and Marketing

 
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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. 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 Director of Programs Kathrin is responsible for overall program operations, fund development and staff management for the agency’s MOMobile Programs.  Kathrin has over 13 years of social work 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, Healthy Families America, MOMobile at Riverside Correctional Facility, Cribs for Kids and the HMO Outreach Program in collaboration with two Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.  Kathrin earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Applied Sciences, School of Social Work in Munich, Germany and holds a Leadership Certificate from the Bryn Mawr College Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute.  Kathrin is passionate about the provision of high quality, accessible, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive services for the region’s most vulnerable pregnant and parenting families.

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Kathrin Brellochs
Director of Programs

 
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Samia Bristow
Healthy Families America Program Director

As MCC’s Healthy Families America (HFA) Program Director Samia has overseen the implementation of the agency’s HFA program and supported its growth and expansion into new communities including Montgomery and Bucks Counties. She has worked in the human services field supporting women and children for over 10 years.  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 also 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 Clinical Services

Colette is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 25 years of experience in community mental health in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, with a primary interest in pregnant and parenting women.  During the past 20 years she has overseen behavioral health programs focused on 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 provides assessments, consultation and training to staff and families on issues pertaining to trauma, mental health, substance abuse and parenting.

 

Rosemarie has over 25 experience as a healthcare professional and in community advocacy. 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.

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Rosemarie Halt
Director of Health Policy and Practice

 
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Clare Hughes
Manager of Facilities and Operations

Clare joined MCC in 2016 as the Manager of Facilities and Operations. She manages MCC’s ten facilities, fleet of vehicles, equipment, technology and operational vendors. An administrative manager with over ten years of experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations, vulnerable populations and municipal government, Clare currently serves on local government committees focusing on the arts and community relations. 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.

 

Jakasha Johnson joined MCC in 2011. At MCC Jakasha oversees the MOMobile Healthy Start program that seeks to improve perinatal health outcomes and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in high risk communities. Jakasha is passionate about empowering families by helping them overcome barriers. She has over 13 years of social work experience with home visiting services, counseling and program development in various social service settings. In addition to her work here at MCC Jakasha serves as a Parenting Group Facilitator for teen moms at a local non-profit agency. Jakasha has a BSW and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh and completed the Ascending Leadership program at Bryn Mawr College Non-profit Executive Leadership Institute.

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Jakasha Johnson
Healthy Start Director

 
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Laura Line
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Laura is a health care advocate who works to improve patient quality of care and experience. She enjoys collaborating with different stakeholders, growing organizations and developing programs that address challenging problems. As the Director of Strategic Partnerships at MCC, Laura oversees the MOMobile Safe Start program and works with its partners – the payers, providers and social service agencies – to impact system changes in the patient’s experience. Laura has worked on Affordable Care Act implementation, improving the delivery of primary care and implementing public health programs. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s degree from the New School. She previously served on MCC’s Riverside Advisory Committee.

 

Dr. Marjie Mogul, Research Director at MCC, is a community-based social science researcher who leads Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) research projects, in collaboration with university partners, to address maternal and child health and early childhood development issues. Dr. Mogul founded and leads the Maternal Health and Early Education Research Consortium, a multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional working group whose mission is to facilitate the translation and dissemination of effective strategies to address maternal and child health problems in the local community, and to facilitate community-academic engagement. Dr. Mogul serves on the local Community Advisory Boards for the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars, the Jefferson School of Population Health MPH Advisory Board and Drexel University’s Maternal and Child Health Working Group. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Research from Bryn Mawr College and holds a Master’s degree in Business from Pennsylvania State University. Her undergraduate degree is in Economics from The George Washington University.

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Marjie Mogul
Director of Research

 
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LaToya Myers
Director of Family Support Programs

LaToya has worked in the maternal and child health field for her entire professional career. As a member of the demographic most affected by adverse birth outcomes, she believes she has a special capacity to address this public health issue. LaToya is a Certified Lactation Counselor and has attended DONA International’s postpartum and birth doula workshops as well as Lamaze International’s childbirth educator workshop. Other experience includes health policy, grant-making, case management, research, non-profit administration and community organizing. In her position as Maternity Care Coalition’s Director of Family Support Programs, she leads three efforts. MCC’s MOMobile at Riverside program, located at the Riverside Correctional Facility, provides doula services, education and support to pregnant and parenting women who are incarcerated or recently released. The Philadelphia Cribs for Kids program, a sudden infant death prevention program, provides safe sleep spaces and education to individuals who otherwise would likely be putting their children to sleep in unsafe environments. MCC’s parenting initiative, a Philadelphia Department of Human Services approved education program, has been proven to remediate current child abuse and neglect as well as prevent the initiation and recurrence of abuse.

 

Melissa joined MCC in 2015. She is a Philadelphia area birth doula, child birth educator and mental health advocate with 10 years of social work experience. She earned her MSW from Temple University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pennsylvania.  At MCC Melissa is the Program Director for Safe Start MOMobile which is a program based in West Philadelphia that works to improve health outcomes for pregnant women with chronic conditions.

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Melissa Patti
Safe Start Program Director

 
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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.

 

Karen joined MCC in 2000. At MCC Karen is responsible for overall program operations, community relations and partnerships, staff management and professional development for the Early Head Start program. Karen has over 25 years of experience in providing program development, health education and counseling in a variety of public health, health care and higher education settings. She has served as adjunct faculty at Temple University’s School of Social Work since 2004 where she teaches classes on social policy and human development.

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Karen Pollack
Early Head Start Director

 
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Bridget Scott
Early Head Start Assistant Director

Bridget joined MCC’s Early Head Start program in 2007 as the Education Coordinator.  Her role included providing oversight and monitoring for the education service area for MCC/EHS and its Partnerships.  In 2015 Bridget became the Early Head Start Assistant Director. Her focus is on providing program monitoring to ensure high quality care and services for children and their families.  Bridget is also a grant reviewer for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, and contracts with Danya International as a Comprehensive Services School Readiness Reviewer for the Office of Head Start.  Bridget holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with Certificates in Children’s Literature and Reading and Family Literacy from Penn State University.

 

Jessica joined MCC in May 2009 as the Education Coordinator.  She currently serves as the Early Head Start Director for Philadelphia County.  Jessica is responsible for the overall administration of the EHS program in Philadelphia County including program development and implementation, monitoring and supervision of home-based services and coordination of the EHS center-based services.  Jessica has worked in Early Head Start for over ten years.  During that time she held various positions including Infant Teacher, Young Toddler Teacher, Education / Disabilities Coordinator and Early Childhood Development Coordinator.  Jessica is an active member of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation and serves on their Board of Directors.

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Jessica Smith
Early Head Start Philadelphia County Director

 
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Zakia Williams
Director of Professional Development

Zakia joined MCC in 2006 and is currently the Director of Professional Development. She is responsible for MCC’s workforce development, diversity and inclusion initiatives.  Zakia has a background in marriage & family therapy and has over 20 years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector.  Her vast work experience ranges from direct service with families to administrative roles overseeing programs that address mental health, trauma, poverty and health and wellness in underserved communities.  Zakia has a passion for work that addresses the intersection of social issues, overall wellbeing of individuals and communities.  She is committed to lending her talents to organizations and programs that make a real difference in lives of people.