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Our Community Advisory Board

About Our Community Advisory Board

CAH community partners talking with YAB member

The Center for Adolescent Health Community Advisory Board provides essential leadership, support, and direction to ensure our activities align with the real needs of the community. 

The board includes representatives from Baltimore's youth-serving organizations and government agencies who advise us on our research and community engagement.

Meet Our Community Advisory Board

Christine Johnson

MD Department of Human Services

Christine has worked in Adolescent health for 20 years. She has a passion for supporting young people in growing into healthy, loved , empowered and supported adults who know and walk in their brilliance. Serving on the CAB for many years has allowed her to connect with and support the work of the Center and many others who are also passionate about adolescent health and well being. Christine grew up in Boston and Cambridge Massachusetts but has family roots in Baltimore and LOVES cooking!

Mónica Guerrero Vázquez

Centro Sol

Monica Guerrero Vazquez is a public Health professional with more than a decade of experience working with immigrant and other marginalized communities. In Baltimore, she works with the Center for Health and Opportunities for Latinos – Centro SOL at Johns Hopkins where she serves as the executive director. In her role, Monica leads programs and research in these core areas, education, advocacy, research, and outreach to address social inequities and access to healthcare for Latinos including child health, physical health, mental health and other focus areas. With the vision to diversify the workforce in science and research, she oversees multiple programs working with Latino youth in Baltimore City and County including a mentoring program and youth leadership summer camps. Monica is a State commissioner on suicide prevention and member of the Trauma Informed Care taskforce in Baltimore City.

Eric Ford

The Choice Program at UMBC

Eric N. Ford - originally from Virginia and a graduate of Hampton University with a B.A. in Sociology and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in the Nonprofit Sector from UMBC, has more than 28 years of experience in the Human Services field in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Eric is currently working for the Shriver Center at the University of MD – Baltimore County as the Director and leads the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation campus center.

Joni Holifield


Baltimore native Joni Holifield founded HeartSmiles in 2015 as a response to the Freddie Gray riots that shook the city of Baltimore. With a strong commitment to make a positive impact, Joni recognized the need for healing in the aftermath of the unrest.
The Freddie Gray riots, sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died while in police custody, left Baltimore in a state of turmoil and youth feeling hopeless and disconnected. 
Since then, HeartSmiles has made significant strides in transforming young lives in Baltimore, focusing on a holistic approach to youth success and youth development, including education, mental health, employment, economic self-sufficiency and personal well-being. Through its ongoing initiatives and commitment to the betterment of Baltimore, HeartSmiles serves as a beacon of hope, proving that positive change is possible, even in the face of adversity.
Before retiring herself to start HeartSmiles, Joni held a leadership position for one of the world’s largest communication companies.

Sara Cooper

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Currently, Sara Cooper is a Senior Associate for Economic Opportunity for the Baltimore Civic Site team at The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The Economic Opportunity portfolio strives to promote equity by funding direct workforce development services through community-based organizations, organizational capacity building and technical assistance for grantees, and systems building work with Baltimore City agencies and stakeholders. Prior to Casey, she was the Director of Workforce Development at Maryland’s Department of Human Services (DHS), leading two employment and training programs statewide- the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training programs. She earned her BS in Human Development Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University and began her 24-year career in workforce development as a Job Developer at a community-based organization in Columbia, MD. Subsequently, she worked for Anne Arundel County’s workforce development board and Maryland’s Department of Labor, focused on disability and youth workforce development programs and initiatives. She is a current member of the Baltimore Workforce Development Board (BWDB), Co-Chair of the BWDB’s Youth Committee, and the interim Chair of the Charles Street Development Corporation Board. Sara holds a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential and is a graduate of the Weinberg Sector Skills Academy and The Leadership Class of 2019. She is a current UMBC student in the Graduate Certificate program in Community Leadership. Sara currently lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, 16 year old twin sons, and 12 year old stepson.

Carmi Washington-Flood

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Carmi Washington Flood has been in the field of public health for more than 40 years. She works across the spectrum of service delivery to address the needs of vulnerable communities in Maryland. In her role as the Chief of the Office of Faith Based and Community Partnerships within the Maryland Department of Health, she serves to connect faith and community-based organizations to expertise and resources that will build capacity for wholistic health and wellness.

Rinata Tanks

Re-engagement Center/ Alternative Option Program Baltimore Public Schools

Dr. Rinata Tanks joined Baltimore City Public Schools in July 2012 and co-lead the initial planning and development of City Schools Re-Engagement Center. With a total of 18 years of experience in leadership, education, and juvenile justice system, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Re-engagement Center, district-wide student outreach, and Alternative Options Programs’ supports. She serves as the City Schools' Grant Manager for Integrated Academic Programs & the Baltimore Equitable Vaccine Initiative. She currently holds a Doctorate degree in Education Leadership with a dissertation focus on Multi-Component Intervention Strategies for Students with Disabilities from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Science degree in Emotional Disturbances and Learning Disabilities, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology both from Florida State University.

Kate Wolfson

Baltimore's Promise

Kate is passionate about expanding opportunities for Baltimore City youth and has been doing so, for the past decade, in the non-profit arena. In her current role, as Director of Post-Secondary Pathways for Baltimore’s Promise, Kate is overseeing Grads2Careers – an initiative that provides opportunities for free occupational skills trainings to recent Baltimore City Public School graduates (City Schools), in partnership with the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and City Schools. Prior to joining Baltimore’s Promise, Kate worked at Center for Urban Families (CFUF) for more than five years – for the first three, she served as Program Manager of STRIVE Future Leaders, a workforce development training for justice-involved youth residing in Baltimore City. Kate received her B.A. from The George Washington University and her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law; she was admitted to the Maryland Bar in December 2012. She is currently a Board Member for The Samaritan Community.