Estrellita “Lo” Berry, MA
Estrellita “Lo” Berry, M.A, serves as President and CEO of REACHUP, Inc., a community non-profit whose mission is to advocate for and mobilize resources to help communities achieve equality in healthcare and positive health for families. Additionally, Lo is Affiliate Faculty, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health and the Immediate Past President of the National Healthy Start Association Board of Directors. She is Project Director and Principal Investigator for Central Hillsborough (Federal) Healthy Start and Co-Investigator of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health grant program, Toward Eliminating Disparities in Maternal and Child Health Population. Lo serves on the Boards of Hillsborough County Healthy Start Coalition, and March of Dimes, Florida Bay Division. In 2005, Lo assisted in championing Florida Legislation HB1269 creating a statewide practice collaborative to examine racial disparities and infant mortality, The Black Infant Health Practice Initiative (BIHPI). Lo has co-authored numerous publications including Healthy Start Program and feto-infant morbidity outcomes: Evaluation of program effectiveness (Maternal and Child Health Journal) and Community-Academic partnerships to reduce black-white disparities in infant mortality in Florida (Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, And Action). Lo received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology and Masters in Education and Community Counseling at the University of Evansville, Evansville Indiana. She is a wife and mother to a son.
Deborah A. Austin, Ph.D.
Director of Community Engagement
Dr. Austin serves as Director of Community Engagement for REACHUP, Inc./Central Hillsborough Start. In this capacity, she oversees the creation, implementation and management of communication strategies as well as a broad array of activities designed to identify, initiate, and deepen relationships with various community stakeholders. She also is responsible for researching, promoting and fostering innovative services and policies that promote health equity. Dr. Austin also is Affiliate Faculty, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health. She received her doctorate in Communication from the University of South Florida and her bachelors and masters degrees at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She co-authored several articles including High risk community—men’s perceptions of black infant mortality: A qualitative inquiry (American Journal of Men's Health) and Community-Academic partnerships to reduce black-white disparities in infant mortality in Florida (Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, And Action). Her specialties include community engaged research, Appreciative Inquiry (an organizational development method which focuses on increasing what individuals, families and organizations do well), performance ethnography and community engagement and mobilization within a framework of cultural humility.
Michele Brockhum, CPA
Ms. Brockhum has over 25 years of experience in financial management, including nonprofit and for profit organizations. Michele has served on numerous Boards including several years on the Board of Directors for the FICPA West Coast Chapter and PTSA Board of Directors. Michele has a B.S.B.A in Accounting from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Florida and is also an active member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and FICPA (Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants).
Cheryl Fitzpatrick, MCP
Director, Family Resource Center, Central Tampa
Ms. Fitzpatrick serves as the Children's Board Family Resource Center in Central Tampa (CBFRC-CT) Center Director, a center managed by REACHUP, Inc. The CBFRC-CT provides a range of services including health and safety classes & certification, developmental screens, classes and play groups, resources for fathers, monthly family fun events, & assistance with accessing community resources and services. Prior to her work at REACHUP, Inc., she served in various capacities in Cincinnati, OH and Northern Kentucky where she provided counseling, group facilitation, and student & parent leadership development to Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. For three years, she also served Northern Kentucky University's Higher Education system in project management, health care training, and teaching capacities. Ms. Fitzpatrick received her undergraduate degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Louisville and a Master's in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. Ms. Fitzpatrick received certifications in Victim Advocacy Practitioner Designation, Meeting and Event Planning, National Coalition Building, and Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families & Communities: A Violence Prevention Parent Program.
Vanessa Rowland-Mishkit, RN, BSN, LHRM
As Clinical Director, Mrs. Rowland-Mishkit is the professional liaison between the Federal Healthy Start Project, State Healthy Start, Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and other providers in the community. She has vast experience working with the Healthy Start system developing policies and procedures for Perinatal staff including risk assessment, quality improvement, clinical oversight and technical assistance and educating medical staff and other paraprofessionals. In addition to the over 20 years nursing experience in high risk obstetrics, she has experience with medically fragile pediatric clients. Vanessa is Affiliate Faculty, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health and co-authored Risk factors for major antenatal depression among low-income African American women (Journal of Women’s Health). She received her BSN from Columbia University School of Nursing and completed a graduate certificate in Leadership from the University of South Florida. She also is a licensed health care risk manager.
Valeria Pimienta, BS
Resource Development Specialist
Valeria Pimienta serves as the Resource Development Specialist, responsible for managing, organizing, scheduling, and maintaining information for the various programs offered by REACHUP, Inc., Her role is vital to the training and development of the organization’s most important resource – its staff. She is able to skillfully connect people to the organization by assisting in the recruiting, interviewing and onboarding processes, as well as by developing team building activities and professional development opportunities for the staff. Valeria brings a wealth of leadership and personal development expertise to REACHUP, having successfully managed her own business for over twenty years. Before joining REACHUP, while building her business, Valeria gained expertise in managing office operations and supervising administrative staff. At REACHUP, Inc., Pimienta is also responsible for preparing correspondence, memoranda, forms and reports as well as developing and distributing marketing materials and other such documents, skills she developed early in her professional career as a marketing coordinator. Valeria is a proud graduate of Troy State University with a degree in Business Administration. She is married and has one son.
Senior Community Outreach Worker
As Senior Community Outreach Worker at REACHUP, Inc., Ruth Revilla is the major liaison between REACHUP, Inc. and its Community Church Collaboration Program. In this capacity, she interfaces with Church Volunteer Coordinators and is responsible for facilities management transportation referrals and assisting with other church collaborative activities. Since 2009, Ms. Revilla has worked diligently to promote REACHUP’s health equity mission—to help everyone have a fair opportunity to attain good health and to make sure that no one is disadvantaged from achieving good health, if it can be avoided—to service providers, recipients of services, community residents and other stakeholders. Ms. Revilla has many years’ experience in education and outreach. She spent a decade with children as an elementary teacher, and has continued, over the last 15 years, working and collaborating with various community agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Hispanic Churches in Connecticut, New York, Florida. Her experience working with children and families has given her vast expertise in home visiting, early childhood programs, and health education, as well as in providing families with resources and support. Born in Venezuela, Ms. Revilla has native proficiency in Spanish, and is an active member of the American Translators Association. She is married, and is the mother of a son and daughter.
Candice J.T. Simon, MPH
Public and Community Health Director
Ms. Simon received a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science Education concentration in Community Health at the University of Florida in the Spring of 2002. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from the University of South Florida (USF) in the fall of 2005. During Candice’s pursuit of the bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida, she made the Dean’s List for 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. She graduated with a 3.6 from the University of South Florida. The major professional interests that are possessed are to provide health education throughout the communities who are both in need of resources as well as those who seek an increase in knowledge of their self-care and to serve as an intervention to prevent poor birth outcomes due to unintended pregnancies. Since October of 2006, Ms. Simon has been providing peer support groups for the consumers of the project, coordinating and implementing a worksite wellness program and the developing strategies for Interconceptional Care preventing unplanned pregnancies. She also manages the Health and Wellness Specialist for the Kinship Care Program.
Diana Strawbridge RN, BSN, CCE, IBCLC
Nurse Supervisor, Hillsborough County Nurse-Family Partnership
Mrs. Strawbridge serves as the Nurse Supervisor for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) of Hillsborough County. She joins the REACHUP, Inc. staff with over 25 years of Maternal and Child Health nursing experience with a clinical emphasis in Neonatal ICU and Human Lactation. She has worked closely with the Healthy Start Coalition over the years as a hospital based Clinical Supervisor for the Family Resource Workers and as a member of the Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) committee. As Nurse Supervisor for the NFP grant she provides direct supervision and training. Her role includes program implementation, development of policies and procedures, data collection, budgetary and clinical oversight. Mrs. Strawbridge received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Hillsborough Community College and her BSN from the University of South Florida. She is a Certified Childbirth Educator and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is a member of the Hillsborough County and National Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses organization. She is married with two daughters.
Hope Tackett, MPH
Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Program Director
Ms. Tackett serves as the QA/QI Program Director for REACHUP, Inc. and as Program Manager for the Allegany Franciscan Ministries REACHUP4Life Program and Tampa Housing Authority’s BRIDGES Collaborative Stress Management and 24/7 Programs. Ms. Tackett has worked in the maternal and child health field for the past 14 years with the Central Hillsborough Healthy Start Project and the Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. As the former program coordinator of a national community-based demonstration project at the Chiles Center, Ms. Tackett has experience collaborating with different agencies across the country. As QA/QI Ms. Tackett works with the various directors to ensure implementation strategies developed are followed and all decisions and internal policies are consistent with established standards, guidelines and procedures. Ms. Tackett works with directors and funders to ensure all data is collected and stored in compliance with the agency’s HIPAA’s policy. In addition, Ms. Tackett works closely with the compliance and other consultants in ensure timely submission of information and reports to state and federal agencies. Ms. Tackett received her Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. In addition, Ms. Tackett received a Health Management Certificate from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.