Barbara Jacobowitz, MS in Public Health

Chair, Board of Directors and Chair, Data and Resources Committee

Health Services Administration University Department Chair, Keiser University

Barbara Jacobowitz has been very involved in community and institution-specific health prevention, promotion and treatment activities as a professional and volunteer advocate for numerous diseases. Her bachelor’s degree is in Political Science from the State University System in Stony Brook, New York and her Master of Science degree is in Public Health, with a concentration in Administration and Planning from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Over the past 30+ years residing in Florida, Ms. Jacobowitz has been the Planning and Development Coordinator for Hospice By The Sea; Director of Planning at the Palm Beach County Health and Human Services Planning Association; Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Health Council for 15 years; and currently serves as the Health Services Administration University Department Chair at Keiser University.

Ms. Jacobowitz is a founding member of the Palm Beach County Diabetes Coalition and currently serves as the Chair on the Diabetes Coalition Board of Directors, and Chair of the Data and Resources Committee. She was the 2010-2011 Chair of the Florida Alliance for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Palm Healthcare Foundation, where she currently is the Secretary of the Board, and had been a member of the Community Investment Committee for seventeen years. Ms. Jacobowitz is a 2018 Heroes in Medicine awardee and has served over 30 years as a member and past Chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Health and Human Services for the Palm Beach County Commission.

Robin Nierman, MS

Secretary, Board of Directors

Director of Healthy Communities, 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).

Sharon Pardo, MS

Treasurer, Board of Directors

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.


Karen Harwood, MSW

Chair, Awareness and Community Outreach Committee

Director of Care Coordination Services, 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, MS, RD/N, LDN

Co-Chair, Awareness and Community Outreach Committee


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.

James Cassidy, DC, CHHC

Chair, Volunteer Management Committee

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.

Carol Rodriguez, MS

Chair, Membership Committee and Chair, Nominating Committee

Performance & Quality Improvement Administrator, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach

Carol Rodriguez currently serves as Performance and Quality Improvement Administrator at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach.  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.