The Partnership for Public Health Board of Directors is composed of up to 30 diverse stakeholders reflective of the Lancaster Community. Members are representatives of organizations, business and institutions in the community that have a demonstrated commitment to addressing the health and well-being of Lancaster County. Each board member and representative organization serves on one or more of the issue-specific task forces pushing forward the work and public health agenda of the Partnership.
Jeffrey Martin, MD
Position Since 2017
Dr. Jeffrey Martin is Associate Director of the Lancaster General Health Family Medicine Residency Program. He attended the University of Colorado School Of Medicine where he obtained his M.D. degree with honors. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital. During residency he received the national Mead-Johnson Award for excellence in Family Practice Graduate Medicine. At LGH he directs the Population Health Fellowship and provides clinical leadership to LGH’s complex-care clinic called Care Connections which cares for persons with complex health and social needs. Along with being director of the Lancaster Lead Coalition he is Medical Director at Vantage House, a long-term drug-rehab program for women and children, Medical Consultant at IU-13 and member of the United Way Public Advocacy Committee. His interest in public health stems from his past work as the president of the Lancaster City Board of Health and his work with directing the community medicine curriculum for the LGH residents.
James Laughman, M.S.W., is Executive Director of PerformCare’s Pennsylvania business. He brings to the role nearly 30 years of experience specializing in the field of mental health and developmental disabilities.
Prior to his role at PerformCare, Mr. Laughman had the dual responsibilities of human services administrator for Lancaster County Commissioners and executive director for Lancaster County Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. His responsibilities included planning, directing, organizing and overseeing publicly funded mental health and intellectual disability services. Additionally, he served as a major policy advisor for human service initiatives, programs and projects while building relationships with service providers, advocacy groups, governmental entities and the private sector to obtain feedback on community needs and program performance.
As one of two representatives for Lancaster County to oversee HealthChoices, the statewide managed care program that provides Medical Assistance to approximately 900,000 Pennsylvanians, Mr. Laughman regularly sought opportunities to expand mental health services across the Commonwealth. He has been actively involved in the county’s Coalition to End Homelessness and Public Health Partnership and served as acting treasurer of the Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative.
Mr. Laughman has worked intensively with state and local agencies to facilitate child abuse prevention and intervention. He spent five years as a supervisor for Child Protective Services, overseeing child abuse investigations and coordinating programs among numerous community organizations to provide quality and outcome based services to Lancaster County’s youth.
He is on the Board of Trustees for Norristown State Hospital and is the immediate past president of the Pennsylvania County Human Services Administrators. He has also served on the board of the Pennsylvania Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services.
Mr. Laughman holds a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University.
Randall S. Gockley
Randy Gockley has been with the County Emergency Management Department for 28 years having been Coordinator for 26 years. He is certified as a Professional Coordinator by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He and his staff of 6 are supported by hundreds of volunteers to assure the County is able to prevent, prepare, respond to and recover from any type of natural or man-made disaster.
Gockley lives in Ephrata Borough with his wife Lori and has two adult children. Randy has been involved with the Lincoln Fire Co. as a volunteer for 42 years and served as Chief for 19 years. He is a certified Firefighter, EMT and Vehicle Rescue Technician.
Alan Peterson, MD
Alan S. Peterson, MD, is a highly regarded family medicine physician and champion for children and families across Lancaster County and beyond, Dr. Peterson retired in December 2013 as Lancaster General Health Director of Community and Environmental Medicine, Associate Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program, and family physician at Walter L. Aument Family Health Center. He will continue his role as preceptor at Walter L. Aument.
Throughout his career, Dr. Peterson was an outspoken advocate for public health initiatives such as tackling lead poisoning and immunizing children and adults
During his tenure at LG Health, Dr. Peterson served as medical director for the health system’s free immunization program, ChildProtect, and was a medical advisor to Lancaster County’s Immunization Coalition. In 2013, Dr. Peterson received the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition’s 2013 Immunization Champion – Community Impact Award for his commitment to promoting immunization to children and adults in Lancaster County.
The numbers are telling. In the 22 years he was at the helm of ChildProtect, 72,000 children received free immunizations and 33,000 received free flu shots.
Dr. Peterson was one of only three individuals recognized nationally with The American Lung Association’s Volunteer Excellence Award. In fact, he was featured on the American Lung Association’s website, where his decades of advocacy work on behalf of public health initiatives such as immunization, radon testing and mitigation, healthy air policies, and smoking cessation are detailed.
In 2011, Dr. Peterson worked with Alice Yoder, LG Health’s Director of Community Health, to advocate for widespread testing for lead poisoning in children across Lancaster County and to educate families of the damage lead poisoning causes to children’s brains and nervous systems.
Dr. Peterson also has served on community boards and organizations, including the Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and publicize the healing arts in Lancaster County.
Jo Ann Lawer, Esq
Lawer has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Susquehanna University and a law degree from Widener University. Before joining LG Health, she served as President and Executive Director of Philadelphia Safe and Sound, a Robert Wood Johnson urban health development program that works to reduce violence and dropout rates, and improve youth outcomes. She also served as DHS Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families. And she established the Center for Schools and Communities, which provides program development, training and evaluation services for state agencies.
Phil Goropoulos joined CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health as President in May 2014 with more than 14 years of executive experience in non-profit, community-based health care and social services in south central Pennsylvania. He brings a comprehensive background in strategic planning, program development and evaluation, community relations, financial management and fundraising.
A native of Lancaster, Phil completed the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Leadership Program at UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif. He received a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University, Denver, CO and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Studies from Dickinson College. Phil and his wife Amy have two daughters, Elena and Maya.
Brian Barnhart, PhD
Dr. Barnhart has been an educator for over 20 years. His background includes service as a teacher, curriculum chairperson, building principal, and district assistant superintendent. He joined IU13 in 2006 as the Instructional Services Director, was named the Assistant Executive Director in 2008, and named Executive Director in 2013. Dr. Barnhart has a doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership from Temple University.
CEO of Thomas E. Strauss Inc.
Marilyn Howarth, MD
Dr. Marilyn Howarth’s career in Public Health began when she was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta. While an EIS officer she worked with communities and government agencies to investigate and tackle occupational and environmental problems. After leaving the CDC, Dr. Howarth worked with Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ re-shaping their Occupational Health efforts by reaching out to employers to provide medical services to their workers. In 1995 she joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as the Director of Consultation Services for the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In that role she published papers, taught courses, performed worksite evaluations and helped patients and communities with the effects of environmental exposures. Dr. Howarth has extensive experience evaluating and treating patients with exposure to heavy metals, solvents, mold, respiratory allergens and irritants, and musculoskeletal trauma. Dr. Howarth has participated with CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Institutes of Health and the Camden County Technical Advisory Board to work on topics as diverse as latex allergy, the health effects of air pollution, and lead and radiological contamination. She is a past president of the Pennsylvania Occupational and Environmental Medical Society and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She is currently a member of the PHILAPOSH Technical Advisory Board, which helps unions with concerns about exposures on the job. She is a founding professor of the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Public Health Environmental and Occupational Health course and provides educational programs on Environmental Health topics to community and employee groups.
Anna Brendle Kennedy
Anna Brendle Kennedy is the Executive Director for LOHF.
She manages operations, guides the Board of Directors, leads strategic planning, and oversees communications and external relations, including fundraising and grant writing.
Prior to joining LOHF, Anna was the Program Officer for Schools, Recreation & Active Living and Evaluation Manager for the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. Previously, she served as the Program Officer for the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, in Irvine, California, where she worked to improve the health and education of children, ages prenatal through age five. Anna holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California-Irvine, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Geography from The Pennsylvania State University.
Anna serves on the Board of the Partnership for Public Health, the Community Impact Committee for the United Way of Lancaster County, the Advisory Board for Lancaster County’s Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Executive Committee of the Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition, is a member of the Lancaster Partnership for Community Wellness, and is a founding member of the Lancaster County Mental Well-Being Collaborative. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, Steven Kennedy, their daughter, Miriam, and their rescued American Pit Bull Terrier, George.
Maggie Knox-Lee, DO
Dr. Margaret Knox-Lee is a pediatrician in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Lancaster General Hospital. She received her medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. She is one of 8 doctors at Heart of Lancaster Regional medical Center and one of 42 at Lancaster General Hospital specialize in Pediatrics.
Kirsten Johnsen-Martin, DO
The Chief Medical Officer of SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, Dr. Kirsten Johnsen-Martin, has extensive experience working with the underprivileged and underserved, dating back to the late 1990s through her work in migrant and community health centers. Her command of the Spanish language has served her well as she has volunteered and worked with Latinos in Central America as well as here in the United States. As a member of the Executive Team Leadership at SouthEast, she provides oversight for the clinical practices of approximately 22,000 patients care for by SouthEast’s providers. She continues to practice full spectrum family practice including maternity care. Dr. Johnsen also oversees the Quality Department and supervises the Site Medical Directors as well as the Director of Women’s Health.
Richard Pepino, MS, MSS
Mr. Pepino is Coordinator of the Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Pepino has Master’s degrees in Biology and Science Education, and previously served as Director of the Public Policy Program at Franklin and Marshall College. He spent 25 years with US EPA Region III, serving as Director of Strategic Planning, Chief of Environmental Impact Analysis, and Associate Director of the Office of Watersheds. His interests include public policy related to environmental health, especially childhood lead poisoning in at-risk communities. He has been funded by the NIEHS, PA Department of Health, and the Philadelphia Department of Health to investigate environmental problems within Environmental Justice communities.
Carol Phillips, PhD
Dr. Carol Phillips retired from Millersville University after serving as a member of the faculty and staff for over twenty years, as professor and chair of the Department of Nursing, and subsequently as Associate Provost and Executive Assistant to the President. As Associate Provost, Dr. Phillips provided leadership for General Education, the Freshman Year Experience, and International Affairs, as well as for the Offices of Admissions, Registration, Community & Academic Partnerships, and Professional Training & Education. Prior to joining the Millersville community, Dr. Phillips was employed at St. Joseph Hospital for fifteen years, where she served as a faculty member and, for eleven years, as Director of the School of Nursing. In spring 2014, she was tapped for service by the United Way of Lancaster County and served as Interim President and CEO of the organization while a national search was conducted for a permanent CEO.
A nurse researcher, Dr. Phillips has maintained a strong record of scholarship on an array of broad curricular issues and nursing practice. In her academic leadership role, she has co-authored over fifteen papers, presentations, and workshops on the freshman year experience and learning communities, highlighting the University’s experiences in implementing a holistic living/learning community for entering freshmen, that includes service-learning and co-curricular requirements.
Dr. Phillips is highly committed to community service, serving for seventeen years on the Manheim Central School District Board of Directors, including twelve years as chairperson. She has been actively engaged with the United Way of Lancaster County for over twenty years, serving as a board member and board chair, as a founding member of the Women’s Council, and as a member of the Leadership Team of the United Way of Lancaster County’s Success by Six Program for many years. She maintains membership on United Way’s Community Impact Committee since its inception and was instrumental in the adoption of the new funding model. She also chairs the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. In the fall of 2006, Dr. Phillips was elected as a member of the Lancaster County Government Study Commission, which she chaired throughout its duration. She is a member of The Hourglass, a community think tank, and currently serves as Vice President.
Additional professional leadership activities included membership on the Visiting Nurses Association of Lancaster County Board of Directors for twenty years, six as board chair. She serves the Lancaster General Health System currently as chair of The Heart Group of Lancaster General Health and as a member of the system’s Quality Committee and Institutional Review Board, and has been a board member of the hospital in the past. And, she has been actively engaged with the Partnership for Public Health since its inception.
Michelle Reaser brings over 20 years of nursing experience to her position. Prior to accepting the CNE role, she had served as the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer since 2011. Prior to that she served as the Director of Medical/Surgical Services after joining Lancaster Regional Medical Center in 2008. Before joining Lancaster Regional, Michelle served in various nursing leadership roles in the Reading area.
She is a graduate of Reading Hospital School of Nursing and Kutztown University where she received her B.S. in Nursing. Michelle completed a three-year fellowship in leadership through the Advisory Board in Washington DC. Michelle is currently completing her MSN/MBA at Grand Canyon University. Michelle and her husband are the proud parents of two sons.
Deborah Riley, MD
Dr. Riley joined Lancaster Infectious Diseases in 1996. She served as President of the LG Health Medical & Dental Staff from 2007 to 2010 and on the Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013. She chairs the LG Health Patient Safety Committee and sits on the Quality Committee of the LG Health Board of Trustees. A graduate of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, in 1985, Dr. Riley received her M.D. from The Ohio State University in 1988. She completed both a residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The author of numerous clinical articles and presentations, Dr. Riley holds several licensures and certifications and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Riley serves as the Chair of the Board for the Partnership for Public Health.
Rolando Santiago, PhD
Dr. Rolando L. Santiago serves as the Executive Director of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, a faith-based historical and educational organization of over 1,800 members across the United States and Canada.
From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Santiago served as the Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S., the domestic arm of the Mennonite Central Committee – an international relief, development and peace agency of Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Amish churches in the U.S. and Canada.
From 1997 to 2004 he served as Director of Evaluation for the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2001, he also served as the Branch’s Interim Deputy Chief. He led a national evaluation, and oversaw technical assistance efforts for 92 communities that received cooperative agreements from the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program.
From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Santiago directed the evaluation of a five-year $17 million children’s community-based mental health services project in the South Bronx, funded by SAMHSA.
In 1998 he consulted for the government of Chile, through the Pan American Health Organization, on an evaluation of a population-based mental health services program.
In 2003 he served as President of the Northeastern Educational Research Association.
He currently serves on the national Mennonite Health Services (MHS) board, and the Elder board at Neffsville Mennonite Church. He also served on the board of United Way of Lancaster County from 2008 to 2015.
He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Statistics from the University at Albany, State University of New York.
Hilda Shirk, PhD
Hilda Shirk’s professional career began in the southeast section of Lancaster City, working with Catholic Social Services, Spanish Division, when it was co-located with the Spanish American Civic Association. Her fluency in Spanish took her into the homes of city residents and brought her face-to-face with the realities of poverty and limited resources, complicated by language barriers. She saw firsthand that access to healthcare was a critical unmet need for those city residents.
Hilda then continued her career as the CEO of a private nonprofit outpatient behavioral health and child welfare agency where she had the opportunity to dramatically grow the organization to address new and expanding needs. More recently, Hilda has been self-employed, working under contract with numerous nonprofit organizations to administer projects and programs. One of the primary projects she has been involved with included working with a community partnership under the leadership of the United Way to address gaps in public health services in Lancaster County.
Hilda has long admired the services provided by SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, as well as the commitment from staff to deliver those services. Her eagerness to be a part of SouthEast was evident as she began her journey as the new CEO, beginning December, 2011.
In January 2015, Sue Suter joined United Way of Lancaster County as its President and Chief Executive Officer. She brings to her new role more than 24 years of United Way experience.
For the past six years, Sue served as CEO of United Way of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Mississippi. Joining them in 2009, she helped this four-county region continue its recovery from the back-to-back devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Under her leadership the United Way administered $4-6 million annually in initiatives, grants, in-kind giving and in support of its volunteer center.
United Way of South Mississippi was named a Top 10 Community and Business Leader in 2013.
From 1996 to 2009, Sue was Executive Director of United Way of the Greater Seacoast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The largest United Way in New Hampshire, this organization served two counties and represented 47 communities. During her tenure Sue increased local giving from $2.8 million to more than $4.5 million to support community needs in the region. All told, more than $40 million was raised during her 13 year tenure, including $2 million in grant revenues for special initiatives.The Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce recognized this United Way as its 2006 Business of the Year.
Sue ultimately helped guide the organization through one of the first interstate merger of United Ways. She directed the seamless integration of the Greater Seacoast United Way into United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimac Valley in 2008 and 2009.
Sue took her first position with United Way as director of the National Corporate Leadership division of United Way of America (now United Way Worldwide) based in Alexandria, Virginia from 1993 to 1996. While there, she managed a $60 million portfolio of National Corporate Leadership partners and fostered relationships between the trade association and the Council of Foundations.
In the late 80s and early 90s Sue was a part of United Way of Massachusetts Bay. She also served as Assistant Executive Director with the federal Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Philippines, Belize and Alexandria.
Sue graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. She is now a homeowner in Downtown Lancaster. Her two grown sons live in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Alice Yoder is the Director of Community Health at Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine. She received her Bachelors in Nursing from Mt. Saint Mary College and Master’s from Villanova University. In addition to four years as Director of Maternal Child Health at Lancaster General, Alice’s career focus and passion has been on primary prevention, community health improvement, and public health.
She is responsible for conducting Lancaster General Health’s Community Health Assessments as well as oversite for development and implementation of community health improvement plans. She worked with community partners to develop Lancaster County Child Advocacy Center (for children victims of sexual assault), Project Access Lancaster County (voluntary medical care for people who are low income / underinsured), Dental Access Lancaster County (voluntary dental care for people who are low income / underinsured), and Sexual Assault Forensic Examining Program, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and others. In addition, she has been a founding member of coalitions such as the Lancaster Health Improvement Partnership, Lancaster Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Lancaster Refugee Health Coalition, Lighten Up Lancaster County (Obesity) Coalition, Lancaster Immunization Coalition, Lancaster Lead Coalition, Let’s Talk Lancaster (mental health), the Anti-Heroin Task Force, and most recently, the South Central PA Opioid Awareness Coalition.
Alice currently serves on the Governor’s Advisory Board and Health, Governor’s Opioid Subcommittee, PA Health Improvement Plan, Planners4Health PA Task Force, Lancaster City Alliance Building on Strength Implementation Partner, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster Housing Board, Co-Chair Pennsylvania Cancer Coalition, Lancaster County Transportation Coordinating Committee, Lancaster Metropolitan Planning Organization, Lancaster County Planning Commission, PA Prevention Coalition Advisory Group, Hunger-Free Lancaster County Board of Directors, Franklin and Marshall College Ware Institute for Civic Engagement Advisory Board, Lancaster Partnership for Public Health, and the LiveWell Lancaster County Coalition.
- Master of Science in Policy Analysis (1991)
- The Pennsylvania State University
- Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (1989)
- Shippensburg University
- Lancaster County Commissioner (2008-Present)
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Budget Analyst (1992-2007)
- Research Analyst (1991-1992)
- Lancaster City Controller (2006-2007)
- Board of Trusts and Charities
- Long’s Park Commission
- Police Pension Board
- Firefighters Pension Board
- Non-Uniform Employees’ Pension Board
- Lancaster City Council (1998-2001)
- Chair of the Finance Committee (2000-2001)
- Chair of Community Development and Planning Committee (1998-1999)
- United States Navy (1981-1985)
- Born in Manheim, raised in Mount Joy, currently lives in Lancaster
- Married, Two Children
Richard Clark, PhD
Richard D. Clark is the Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences and Professor of Meteorology at Millersville University of Pennsylvania where he has been for 28 years. His research interests are boundary layers and turbulence and air chemistry with a special emphasis on field observations using remote-sensing and balloon-borne platforms. He also has a strong interest in space weather and climate science applications, and recently spearheaded the development of an academic minor in Heliophysics and Space Weather. Clark developed the framework and curriculum for the M.S. in Integrated Scientific Applications, which includes specializations in Climate Science Applications, Weather Intelligence and Risk Management, Environmental Earth Systems Management, and Geoinformatics, and serves as the program coordinator. He is also spearheading the development of a new program, the B.S. in Environmental Engineering.
Clark has a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Wyoming (’87). He was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and is member of the American Geophysical Union and Sigma Xi. Clark served on as a member of AMS Council (2008-11) and completed two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees (2009-2015) of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). He was the recipient of the 2006 Russell L. DeSouza Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Unidata Community and the 2008 AMS Teaching Excellence Award. Clark has been awarded over $3.0 M in extramural funding since 2005 and has involved over 100 undergraduate students in field research through this funding. A current project, “Plains Elevated Convection at Night” (summer 2015) is a multi-institutional study of the conditions associated with mesoscale convective complexes, convective initiation, bores, and the low-level jet. Recent projects include a NASA funded DISCOVER-AQ, a study of air quality in four areas (CA, TX, CO, MD) and an NSF-funded study of Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS). More recently, Clark was elected to the Board of Directors of the North Museum of Nature and Science and appointed to the UCAR Advocacy for the Science Community (UASC) committee.