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. Our departmental priorities are Injury Prevention, Oral Health, Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles, and Youth Development.
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.
To learn more about CHC, click on our 20th Anniversary Impact Report here.
FACES for the Future and the Summer Medical Academy are three of our Positive Youth Development programs.
Mary Beth Moran, Director – Center for Healthier Communities
Mary Beth joined Rady Children’s Hospital in 2007 to manage the injury prevention programs in the Center for Healthier Communities. In August 2018, she became the center’s director. A physical therapist for 25 years, Mary Beth holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Regis University, a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from New York University, a Master’s degree in Education from George Washington University and a Master of Science in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College. She enjoys working with families from many cultures and has provided medical services and consultation internationally in South Africa, Vietnam, New Zealand and England.
Shelli Brown, Youth Development Program Manager
Shelli Brown, MA LPC has been working with and for youth and families in a variety of settings for over twenty years. She recently moved back to the San Diego area after having lived out of state where she was able to grow her career, volunteer work and family. Currently, Ms. Brown serves as the Youth Development Program Manager at the Center for Healthier Communities, Rady Children’s Hospital- San Diego. Before moving back to her hometown, she lived in Denver, Colorado where she worked in youth violence prevention as the Project Director and the Community Site Manager for the Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver (federally funded initiative through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). She also provided direct service to justice-involved youth as Licensed Professional Counselor at an adolescent drug treatment center and taught conflict and anger management skills at a non-profit organization. Ms. Brown’s interest in impacting young people and families took root in San Diego where she worked for the San Diego Unified School District as a teacher’s aide and counseling aide shortly after graduating from college.
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 the Lead Coordinator for both FACES for the Future and the Medical Academy.
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.