Executive Leadership Team

Katie Hirono, President

Research Associate, Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation

Katie Hirono is a research associate at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She leads HIA learning-by-doing courses through the local health department, teaches a master’s of public health course in HIA, conducts HIA evaluations, and has lead various HIAs. She has contributed to over 20 HIAs throughout her career. Before joining CHETRE, Katie worked at the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to increase the use of health impact assessment in the U.S.  Katie also has a long-standing record of helping to support underserved communities. She served on the board of directors for a health clinic in Maryland that serviced undocumented Latino populations, and volunteered as a Spanish medical translator at a free health clinic in Virginia. She has worked as a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in the department of Gender, Diversity and Human Rights. She is also a certified hatha yoga teacher.

Tatiana Lin, Past President

Senior Analyst and Strategy Team Leader; Kansas Health Institute

Tatiana leads Kansas Health Institute’s community health improvement strategy team, setting direction for projects aimed at promoting the health of Kansas communities. Since 2010, she has worked on exploring opportunities for incorporating the Health in All Policies approach into policymaking at the state and local levels. Lin has been leading a cross-agency team to conduct Health Impact Assessments in Kansas. She has served as the project director for four HIAs. One of the HIAs received numerous awards, including the Best HIA of 2012. She previously worked for the Kansas Legislative Research Department, where she staffed the House Health and Human Services Committee and the state’s Autism Task Force. She has also been a facilitator and interpreter for programs at the U.S. Library of Congress Center for Russian Leadership Development.

Ruth Lindberg, Vice President of Communications

Senior Associate, Health Impact Project

Ruth Lindberg is a senior associate with the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. In this role, she helps manage and conduct HIAs of proposed federal policies and programs. Before joining the Health Impact Project, Ms. Lindberg was a program manager with the National Center for Healthy Housing, where she led an HIA of a proposed freight intermodal facility in Maryland and provided technical assistance to healthy housing practitioners across the country. She also was the outreach and education coordinator with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at the Rhode Island Department of Health, where she initiated and managed the Rhode Island Healthy Housing Collaborative and led development of a hands-on training program for local nursing students in healthy homes assessment.

Susan Sutherland, Vice President of Development

Public Health Planner, Delaware General Health District

Susan has been with the Delaware General Health District for over 33 years as a Registered Sanitarian. Her passion is to work towards protecting the natural environment and creating opportunities for folks to get outdoors and enjoy nature and good health. Her work with HIA includes increasing physical activity and reducing traffic congestion, injuries and fatalities through active transportation and community connectivity.  She currently works with the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission to incorporate Health in All Policies through the subdivision plan review process. Susan earned her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Health from BGSU and her Master's in Public Health from Ohio State University.

Celia Harris, Secretary

Project Director, Human Impact Partners

As a Project Director at Human Impact Partners, Celia has over eight years of work experience centered on the practice of HIA. She has led and contributed to over 20 HIA and HiAP projects analyzing policy topics ranging from land use and transportation to education and criminal justice, and has facilitated over ten HIA trainings and provided technical assistance to 11 groups conducting HIAs. Within these roles she’s worked with a variety of stakeholders and policy contexts, keeping health equity as a focus. Before joining HIP, she earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley, and prior to that she worked for six years as an environmental consultant.

Steve White, Treasurer

Policy Analyst and HIA Program Coordinator, Oregon Health Authority

With a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, much of Steve's HIA work since entering the field in 2009 has focused on projects in the land use, transportation, and housing sectors. In addition to leading and supporting specific HIAs, Steve has conducted many HIA trainings and workshops in Oregon and across the country, including train-the-trainer events for individuals and organizations working to develop their ability to support HIA practice. In addition to HIAs, Steve is also regularly involved in similar health-in-all-policies projects focused on working with land use, transportation, and housing agencies and their stakeholders to develop policies, plans, and projects that address and improving health and health equity. 

Ellen Schwaller, Director 

Ellen Schwaller joins SOPHIA as Director after overseeing stakeholder engagement for the Built Environment and Health Impact Assessment Unit at Harris County Public Health Department (Houston, Texas). In that role she was part of the team conducting the first two comprehensive HIAs in the county. She has experience in both urban planning and public health fields, and much of her efforts have been focused on connecting those disciplines within research and policy initiatives. Her past experiences include non-profit development and work with member-based advocacy groups where her work included engaging local health care providers on patient advocacy and health care resources, a year-long study of school-based health and wellness policies in Harris County, and the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment for Texas Children’s Hospital. She is currently based in Liverpool, England.

Steering Committee Members

Sandra Whitehead 

Director of Program and Partnership Development, National Environmental Health Association

Sandra has worked on over ten HIAs on a range of topics including climate change, food access, transportation, and brownfield redevelopment. She has has trained over 250 public health department personnel and their partners on how to conduct HIAs. Sandra has also developed a standardized methodology for conducting HIAs which is used in Florida. Sandra has also taught HIA in the graduate planning program at the University of Florida and currently teaches at the George Washington University. Sandra is excited to work with the members and the Steering Committee to improve and increase the practice of HIA.

Audrey Boerner

Project Manager, Eau Claire City-County Health Department

Audrey is a project manager at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department (Wisconsin) and is part of a diverse team that is working to increase the use of health impact assessment and promote health in all policies in the Eau Claire Community. She previously worked for the Institute for Wisconsin’s Health as an HIA Specialist and led a team on the state’s first regional HIA, which was awarded the Wisconsin Public Health Association Excellence in Public Health Research award. Audrey’s HIA experience has centered on natural resources and built environment issues. Her work also includes developing and supporting community health coalitions, supporting the use of data in decision making, environmental public health initiatives, and grant writing. She has conducted trainings locally on community health data, health impact assessment, and built environment issues.

Barry Keppard

Director of the Public Health Department, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Barry Keppard is the Director of the Public Health Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency serving the Metro Boston. Barry supervises and provides technical assistance on MAPC's Health in All Policies, healthy community design, and HIA projects. MAPC's work focuses on increasing the accessibility and affordability of healthful foods, assisting cities and towns with adoption of comprehensive community design approaches to enhance walking, bicycling, and active transportation, and increasing tobacco- and smoke-free settings.

Noemie Sportiche 

Public Health Planner and Research Analyst, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

As a public health planner and research analyst at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council Noémie has produced or collaborated on over 7 Health Impact Assessments with MAPC’s public health team, external advisors, and partners. She has also served as a technical assistance advisor on 3 other HIAs and has been working closely with partners in Massachusetts to build up HIA capacity across the state by organizing and teaching HIA workshops, working with professors teaching HIA courses in graduate school, presenting on HIA at partner conferences, and mentoring partners new to HIA projects. Prior to MAPC, Noémie conducted domestic and international research on health issues afflicting vulnerable populations in addition to working with the Federal government as part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Noémie has a MS in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a focus on health communications from the Harvard School of Public Health and a Bachelor’s of Science in Cognitive Science from UCLA.

Lindsey Realmuto 

Project Director, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine

Lindsey is a Project Director in the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research at The New York Academy of Medicine. Lindsey has worked on multiple projects while at the Academy, including research and evaluation focused on diabetes prevention, environmental approaches to asthma control in children, health impacts of affordable housing, community engagement for hospital decision-making, and community resilience and recovery. Prior to joining the Academy, Lindsey worked as a Planner with Cameron Engineering & Associates. Before moving to the New York area, she worked as a Health Program Planner with the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability and as an Environmental Health Analyst with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Lindsey has been an active SOPHIA member for the past four years, helping the organization update and manage their website. Lindsey holds an MPH from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a BA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Dr. Andrew L. Dannenberg

Affiliate Professor, University of Washington

Dr. Dannenberg is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle with faculty appointments in environmental health in the UW School of Public Health and in urban planning in the UW College of Built Environments. He formerly served as Team Lead of the Healthy Community Design Initiative in the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. For the past decade, his research and teaching has examined the health aspects of community design including land use, transportation, urban planning, and other issues related to the built environment. He has a particular focus on the use of a health impact assessment as a tool to inform community and transportation planners about the health consequences of their decisions. He has participated in a number of HIAs and currently teaches a graduate level course on HIA at the University of Washington. He is co-author with Howard Frumkin and Richard Jackson of Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability published by Island Press in 2011 (

Jimmy Dills

Research Associate, Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University

At the GHPC, Jimmy works to improve public health by advancing a health in all policies perspective of decision making. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism and as an instructor for the Public Health and Built Environment course offered jointly through Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning. His areas of expertise are health impact assessment (HIA) and healthy community design. Before joining the GHPC, Jimmy facilitated collaboration between a local public health department and community stakeholders as HIA Coordinator in Nashville. He also worked as a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity focusing specifically on HIA and physical activity promotion through environmental interventions.

Katherine Hebert

Owner, Creating Community Change Consulting, Charlotte, North Carolina

Katherine is an experienced HIA practitioner with over five years of HIA research, training, mentoring, and leadership. She has completed nine HIAs, has served as a mentor for three additional HIAs, and is currently working on a transit related HIA and Health in All Policies initiatives for Mecklenburg County. Katherine is the founder of Creating Community Change Consulting (, a consulting firm dedicated to working with communities to make small changes that have large impacts on public health and quality of life. Katherine created and has served as the lead coordinator for the Southeast Regional HIA Summit, a three-day conference offering HIA training and sessions to increase HIA capacity. As the Davidson Design for Life Coordinator for the Town of Davidson, North Carolina, she led nine HIAs on a wide variety of topics including housing policy, neighborhood design, transit projects, street design, pedestrian and bicycle planning, food systems planning, comprehensive planning, parks and recreation planning, and worksite wellness. Prior to her work with Davidson, she was an Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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