The Center for Healthier Communities (CHC) at Rady Children’s Hospital was established in 1996 as a hub for the Hospital’s community health improvement strategies. The Center has gained recognition for facilitating practical and successful community health outcomes and for mobilizing individuals, organizations and systems to combine forces to create healthier communities for children.
Over the past years, more than 100 community partners have joined with the Center to improve maternal and infant health, child and adolescent safety, oral health, nutrition and healthy lifestyles and youth development. Results-driven collaborators include health providers, schools, childcare providers, youth-serving organizations, universities, researchers, community leaders, parents, government agencies, the media and the business community to address community-based child health issues.
FACES for the Future, Bridge to Employment and the Summer Medical Academy are three of our Positive Youth Development programs.
Cheri Fidler, Director, Center for Healthier Communities
Cheri Fidler, MEd, HHP, is the Director of the Center for Healthier Communities at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego and also leads the hospital’s Employee Wellness Initiative. With more than thirty-five years of experience in community development, education and training, planning, program design and evaluation, project management and human services administration, Cheri has spent the past 28 years at Rady Children’s. During this time she has provided leadership for both large-scale community health programs and targeted health improvement initiatives; public policy recommendations and collaboration with numerous community partners. She conceived and launched the Center for Healthier Communities in 1996, to tackle key child health issues – healthy nutrition and physical activity, immunizations, childhood injuries, oral health, tobacco exposure, low birth weight, asthma and positive youth development. Most recently she has developed and is leading the Summer Medical Academy in San Diego.
Susan E. Lovelace, Program Manager
Susan E. Lovelace has been a program manager in the Center for Healthier Communities at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego since early 2008. She currently manages programs in oral health and youth development, including FACES for the Future San Diego; Bridge to Employment; the Wellness Team at Juvenile Hall; and the Summer Medical Academy. Prior to joining Rady Children’s, Susan served as Executive Director for the San Diego County Dental Society and San Diego Dental Health Foundation; and previously was Managing Editor for the California Dental Association.
Phyllis Hartigan, Senior Program Manager
Phyllis Hartigan, MPH is a Senior Program Manager at Rady Children’s Center for Healthier Communities. She has more than 25 years’ experience implementing and evaluating collaborative community-based health promotion initiatives addressing maternal and child health issues including early childhood obesity, tobacco control, maternal depression and childhood immunization. Phyllis has worked at the Center for Healthier Communities since 1998.
Alexandra Ayala, Program Coordinator
Alexandra Ayala graduated in 2013 from the University of California, Los Angeles, with her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. She currently is pursuing a Master’s degree in social work at SDSU, with a goal of becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Previously a volunteer, then an intern, with the Center for Healthier Communities, she currently, is a Program Coordinator for FACES for the Future.
Warren McBride, Program Coordinator
Warren McBride returned to San Diego in 2015 from several years leading youth programs in Chicago to head up the FACES program at Crawford High School. Warren previously coordinated the Juvenile Hall Wellness Program for Rady Children’s Hospital’s Center for Healthier Communities. He has extensive experience working with at-risk youth and integrating community and school programs.
Alicia Wood, Program Coordinator
Alicia Wood was born and raised in Seattle, WA but came to California in 2003 to attend Chapman University. She majored in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. After college, Alicia worked at the Braille Institute in Anaheim running an after school program for blind and visually impaired children. After moving around Orange County and Long Beach for several years, she transferred to Braille Institute in San Diego where she worked until 2016. In June 2016, Alicia graduated from CSU Long Beach with her Master’s in Emergency Management and in June 2017, she got married and started working at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Carolyn Winn, Program Coordinator
Carolyn Winn’s passion for working with youth and in the health field developed from a combination of education and work experience. I earned Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Theatre from UCSD and then worked in the field of reproductive health education for 8 years. She then spent a year traveling through 8 countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Spain, France, Italy, and England) to improve Spanish language skills (and have an exciting life experience). Upon returning to San Diego, she was hired as a Program Coordinator for the FACES for the Future Program, a position she has held since early 2016.
Aniela Glinski, Coordinator
Aniela Glinski, MSW is the Coordinator for the Medical Academy. She has more than 12 years of experience in out-of-school time programs, education, program design and community development. Prior to joining Rady Children’s, Aniela worked for an integrated primary care practice, supporting staff and patients in social service referrals and health promotion programming. Aniela has also served as both an AmeriCorps Member with Jumpstart and a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, Southern Africa. Over the years, she has also worked at other organizations to support AmeriCorps Members serving in the School District of Philadelphia, the public health department and other social service agencies. She believes in the power of young people to be strong advocates for themselves and their communities. Aniela is originally from Philadelphia, PA, loves coffee, and enjoys exercise (especially running and dancing).