Karen Harwood, MSW
Interim Chair, Board of Directors, Co-Chair, Awareness and Community Outreach Committee
Director of Education and Resources, Palm Beach County Medical Society Services
Director of Education and Resources, Palm Beach County Medical Society Services
Karen Harwood is the Director of Care Coordination Services at Palm Beach County Medical Society Services. She has extensive experience in care coordination and program development. Ms. Harwood has worked in home health, nonprofit, hospice, and insurance settings developing and implementing strategies to improve patient and caregiver functioning. She has a master’s degree in social work and holds certifications in case management and human resources. Karen has been with Palm Beach County Medical Society for three years, during which time she facilitated the triple aim diabetes initiative and developed the community health worker care coordination training program. Ms. Harwood also serves as the lead facilitator for the PBCMSS Physician Leadership Academy of South Florida.
Kathleen Waddell is a registered and licensed dietitian in Florida with over 50 years’ experience working in the food service industry. During college she joined the Army and then served over 22 years as an Army dietitian, retiring as a decorated Lieutenant Colonel. Food Service and Nutrition is Ms. Waddell’s passion. Throughout her long career, she has established herself as both an excellent clinician, an astute leader and manager. After retiring from the military, Ms. Waddell continued to impact in her community by working in health care facilities in Florida including nursing homes, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. Her latest position was as the Chief, Nutrition and Food Services at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in West Palm Beach Florida. During her career she had been an advocate for nutrition education to positively impact the health of community members. While at the VA Medical Center her department initiated special programs for veterans such as Teaching Kitchens, the MOVE program, a successful weight loss and lifestyle change program, and programs to enhance positive dining experiences in the hospital, nursing home and mental health environments. Since retiring from the VA, Ms. Waddell has volunteered for El Sol Resource Center, People Engaged in Community Efforts (PEACE), Healthier Jupiter, the Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County, and continues to volunteer at John D. MacArthur State Park.
Ms. Waddell graduated from Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Home Economics/Dietetics. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, and then her Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland in Food Service Administration. She is a Fellow in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is ServSafe Certified.
Director of Community Health, YMCA of South Palm Beach County
Robin Nierman is the Director of Healthy Communities for the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. In this capacity, Mrs. Nierman works with the YMCA and community partners to deliver community health programs including LiveSTRONG at the YMCA an exercise program for cancer survivors, Parkinson’s Surf and Turf program, and the Diabetes Self Management Program. With over 10 years in community health and an additional 10 years in marketing and consulting, Mrs.Nierman has a wide range of expertise in designing, developing, and delivering health education programs. She received her Master of Science in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University 2008 and her undergraduate degree in psychology and art from Muhlenberg College in 1998. Robin is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Quality Coordinator, Wellington Regional Medical Center
Sharon Pardo is the Quality Coordinator for Wellington Regional Medical Center and has worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. For the past ten years, Ms. Pardo’s areas of expertise have included both Hospital-based clinical improvement programs as well as quality improvement initiatives within the Accountable Care Organization outpatient setting. Prior to this time, Sharon coordinated primary and secondary prevention programs including Cardiac / Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Childhood obesity programs. Throughout her career she has served on several community boards including the American Heart Association, and currently serves on both the Gulfstream Stroke Coalition and the Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County. Ms. Pardo holds a Master Degree in Cardiac Rehabilitation from University of Wisconsin, and is working on completing her PhD. Sharon is also a certified lean Six Sigma Black belt.
Program Director, Personal Physician Care Community Center
Dr. Cassidy currently serves as the Program Director of the Personal Physician Care Community Center. A graduate of Davenport, Iowa’s prestigious Palmer College established by the founders of chiropractic medicine, Dr. Cassidy is also a board-certified health coach through New York’s Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Dr. Cassidy brings over 20 years of experience as a chiropractic physician and business owner to his position as the Executive Director of Delray Community Wellness Center.
As the former Executive Director of the Delray Community Wellness Center, Dr. Cassidy established a start-up nonprofit health and wellness center for seniors, building it into an organization with a workable marketing plan, established Board of Directors, and well-attended on-going programs that meet the health and wellness needs of the community.
Dr. Cassidy has successfully implemented comprehensive prevention and education programs for chronic disease management and established support groups to help seniors cope with the emotional, social, and psychology stress of aging and chronic disease. Further, Dr. Cassidy continues his work with seniors and is committed to ensuring that the Community Center provides individuals with a safe and welcoming place where members can meet and socialize with others and feel comfortable in expressing their anxieties, uncertainties, fears, losses, and sadness that often accompanies chronic illnesses.
Dr. Cassidy continues to expand and strengthen existing partnerships and collaborative relationships that include the Diabetes Coalition of Palm Beach County, Florida Department of Health, Palm Healthcare Foundation, Area Agency on Aging, physician groups, and local hospitals.
Associate Director, Administration, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach
Carol Rodriguez was recently promoted to Associate Director for the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach, where she previously served as the Performance and Quality Improvement Administrator.
Prior to her position at Catholic Charities, Carol worked at The Glades Initiative where she initially became involved with the Diabetes Coalition. Her career history includes 5 years at The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County as the Professional Development Director, and 15 years at Father Flanagan’s Boys Town of South Florida – 10 as a Program Director for Family Preservation Services. Carol is a Tobacco Cessation Facilitator for Everglades Area Health Education Center, teaching the 6 week ‘Quit Smoking Now’ course in honor of her beloved parents, lost many years ago to smoking related diseases. Carol is a native New Yorker who came to Florida as a teenager with her family. She currently lives in Royal Palm Beach, with her husband Jose, and son Michael.
Assistant Dean, College of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Campus
Dr. Nappi is the Assistant Dean for the Palm Beach Campus of Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Pharmacy. She began her work in pharmacy education in 2005 in a student affairs capacity before progressing into an administrative role with faculty responsibilities. Her commitment to student success has remained her focus as she transitioned from Assistant Director of Student Services, to Director of Student Services, prior to being appointed as Assistant Dean at the Palm Beach Campus. Her research interests include leadership development, professionalism, co-curricular programming, and communicating across the generations. She planned meetings and corporate events in the private sector before coming to NSU. Each of these experiences have helped her grow and develop into the professional that she is today. Dr. Nappi received her EdD. and MS from Nova Southeastern University and her BA from Florida State University.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center
Mother, grandmother and Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Avis Spradley Brown, is a dedicated health professional with decades of experience and commitment to her community. To accomplish these roles, she received her education from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, where in the year 2000, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and became licensed as a registered nurse. In 2014, Dr. Brown received a Master of Science in Nursing from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and became a licensed, accredited and board certified nurse practitioner. Most recently, she received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Capella University in 2019.
Dr. Brown started her nursing career at St. Mary’s Medical Center in 2000. She has spent the past two decades working in the nursing field in acute care, long-term care, home healthcare, pediatrics, IV infusion and community-based healthcare. Dr. Brown has come full circle, returning to St. Mary’s Medical Center as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse since 2016. With an obvious passion for using her skills to help others, Dr. Brown incorporates her decades of experience in improving the delivery of healthcare and its numerous services. It is her mission to serve her community and fellow providers in a way that helps them to learn, grow and strengthen their ties and sustainability. Most importantly, she wants these qualities to expand both in and outside of her community, reaching well across the globe to populations most in need.
Dr. Brown is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. She is a founding member of the Black Nurses of Palm Beach County and is serving her second term as President. Dr. Brown is most proud of leading PBCBNA on a global medical mission in 2017 to Ghana Africa. Dr. Brown is the current Vice President of the Black Nurse Practitioners of Palm Beach County, a founding member, and chairperson of the conference committee. Dr. Brown led the conference committee in bringing over 120 nurse practitioners, future nurse practitioners and registered nurses, to their inaugural conference, just 6 months after their launch. Dr. Browns goal is to expand the role and increase the presence of the Nurse Practitioners in both the community and health care industry. In doing so, she hopes to gain valuable partnerships that will address health disparities that will lead to positive change for each and every member of the community.
“To whom much is given, much is required” – Luke 12:48