Have you kept up with Healthy Cleveland lately? Since 2017, we’ve had some changes. First off, as we stated in our 2018 Annual Report, we joined forces with the Cleveland Office of Minority Health at the Department in order to keep a focus on equity with all of our work. We also added a new coordinator to the staff. Some of our committee co-chairs have also changed! See below for our current Healthy Cleveland staff and committee co-chair introductions.

Healthy Cleveland Initiative Staff

Frances Mills
Director, Community Health Initiatives
Cleveland Office of Minority Health

Frances Mills, MA, OCPS II is the Director of Community Health Initiatives with the Cleveland Department of Public Health. She joined the Department in this capacity in 2017. Frances provides leadership for the Cleveland Office of Minority Health (COMH) and the Healthy Cleveland Initiatives, whose programs inform, educate and empower individuals, organizations and communities on chronic health issues impacting persons of color. Prior to her appointment with COMH, Frances served in diverse non-profit and government roles in substance abuse prevention, alcohol and other drug treatment , mental health, homelessness, crisis and trauma services. She served as the Deputy Director of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Cuyahoga County where she was responsible for directing the Board’s $38M business, program and planning operations and leading management personnel to fulfill the Board’s goals. Frances is a Doctoral Candidate at Ashland Theological Seminary in the area of Transformational Leadership. She has a MDIV with a focus in Practical Theology from Ashland Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Communications from John Carroll University.

Jessica M. Jurcak
Health Promotion Coordinator
Cleveland Department of Public Health

Jessica Jurcak, MS, MPH, RD, LD joined the Healthy Cleveland team in March 2018 as the Initiative’s new coordinator. Her background in public health nutrition and community health education led her to be a natural fit for the role as well as co-chair for the Healthy Eating Committee. Jessica is a Cleveland-area native and received her bachelor’s degree from Ashland University before spending three years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she earned her master’s degrees and completed her Dietetic Internship program to become a Registered Dietitian. As part of her graduate work, she completed service-learning projects including leading youth health advocacy efforts in East Knoxville, developing a nutrition education toolkit for a psychiatric rehabilitation home, and evaluating a public health program offering long-acting reversible contraceptive devices for women in area prisons. Prior to coming to the Cleveland Department of Public Health, Jessica worked at Children’s Hunger Alliance delivering nutrition and physical education programs for pre-school children, school-aged youth, and family childcare providers.

Healthy Cleveland’s Active Committee Chairs

Breathe Free Committee

Erika S. Trapl, PhD
Associate Professor, Dept. of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
Associate Director, Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Erika Trapl is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She is also Associate Director of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. Dr. Trapl is trained as an epidemiologist and has been conducting health behavior intervention research for over 15 years. Her research focuses on understanding the influence of the physical and social environment on health behaviors to inform interventions and policy that can ultimately reduce chronic disease, particularly around tobacco use. She has been part of Healthy Cleveland since 2013 and became Chair of the Breathe Free Committee in 2016.

Healthy Eating Committee

Jessica Jurcak
Health Promotion Coordinator
Cleveland Department of Public Health

Because of her dietetics background, Jessica is co-chair for the Healthy Eating Committee as well.

Lisa Wheeler-Cooper
Community Impact Director
American Heart Association

Lisa Wheeler-Cooper has a 20-year career with the American Heart Association. The majority of her AHA career was spent developing communications and marketing strategies to support the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. For nearly 4 years, she has served as a health impact director where she maximizes her communications and marketing skill to develop community-based strategies that address health equity and social determinants of health. She has developed a strong network of volunteer stakeholders and community supporters with aligned priorities that help drive policy, system and environmental changes. Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University with a major focus in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor emphasis in Pan-African Studies.

Health Literacy Committee

Karen Komondor
Director, Organizational Development
Health Literacy Institute
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center

Karen Komondor, RN, BSN, CCRN is the Director of Organizational Development and the Health Literacy Institute at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has led health literacy initiatives there since 2007. Karen has conducted training and presented topics on health literacy at numerous health care facilities and conferences. She has authored several articles and been a guest speaker for radio programs and local TV Stations as well as the Institute of Medicine’s Round Table on Health Literacy in Washington D.C. She has been co-chair/chair of Healthy Cleveland’s Health Literacy Committee since 2017 and president of Ohio Health Literacy Partners, a state-wide, non-profit collaborative whose mission is to empower all Ohioans to make informed health choices, since 2013.

Healthy Neighborhoods Committee

Takasha Nutall
Policy Research Associate
Cleveland City Council

Takasha Nutall is a Policy Research Analyst for Cleveland City Council. She joined the Healthy Cleveland Initiative as Co-Chair of the Healthy Neighborhoods Committee in November 2017. She is passionate public servant and social justice advocate committed to improving the quality of health and safety for the underserved. Takasha is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelors in Political Science with a concentration in International Studies.

Freddy L. Collier, Jr.
Director, City Planning Commission
City of Cleveland

Freddy L. Collier, Jr. was appointed by Mayor Frank G. Jackson to serve as the Director of Cleveland City Planning Commission in 2014. Freddy has over 20 years of experience in community lending and urban planning. As Director, Collier works with a team of professional planners who enlist other City departments, community stakeholders, and agencies to promote and implement planning initiatives throughout the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining the Cleveland Planning Commission, Collier worked for Fifth Third Bank of Northeast Ohio. A graduate of Cleveland Benedictine High School, Collier holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies with an emphasis in urban planning and a master’s degree in Public Administration. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Management Academy and in 2011, was selected to be an Urban Fellow through the John McCloy Fellowship in Urban Affairs established by the American Council on Germany.

Violence Prevention Committee

John James
Manager of Policy and Research
Cleveland City Council

John James is the co-chair for the Sub-committee for Violence Prevention and has been serving in that position since May, 2014. Mr. James is the Policy and Research Manager of Cleveland City Council and has prepared numerous policy position papers for the Council in regard to specific issues and policies. Before coming to Cleveland City Council, Mr. James spent several years serving as the Assistant Manager of Respiratory Care services at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Mr. James also has an educational background in public administration and political science from Cleveland State University and Kent State University.

Sheena B. Fryerson
Violence and Injury Epidemiologist
Cleveland Department of Public Health

Sheena Fryerson, MPH joined the Healthy Cleveland Initiative as Co-Chair of the Violence Prevention Committee in October 2018. Sheena is a graduate of George Washington University with a MPH in Epidemiology and Howard University with a BS in Biology. Before working as a public health professional, Sheena worked in Molecular Biology, adding to the body of research pertaining to complement cell response to E. Coli as well as environmental surveillance of Class A Bio-hazardous agents. She was introduced into the field of Public Health as an intern with the District of Columbia Department of Health STD Program, as a Field Interviewer for the CDC National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study, and as a Project Coordinator for a longitudinal study examining violence exposure and HIV acquisition at Howard University.

We are excited to continue our efforts this year as we remember:

Your health matters.
A healthier you makes a healthier Cleveland.