Calvin B. Johnson M.D., M.P.H., Secretary of Health

Calvin B. Johnson
M.D., M.P.H.,
Secretary of Health
Calvin B. Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., was appointed by Governor
Edward G. Rendell as the Commonwealth’s 24th Secretary of
the Pennsylvania Department of Health on April 22, 2003. He
is the senior advisor to Governor Rendell on health matters,
and directs nearly 1,800 employees in carrying out the Department of Health’s mission to
promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease, and assure the safe delivery of quality
health care for all of the Commonwealth’s 12 million citizens.
A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Johnson attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia,
graduating with a degree in chemistry. He earned his medical degree in 1993 from the Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine and a master’s degree in public health from the Johns
Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (now the Bloomberg School of Public
Health). At the time of his nomination for Secretary of Health, Dr. Johnson was an assistant
professor of pediatrics at Temple University School of Medicine and a practicing pediatrician on
the medial staff of Temple University Children’s Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa.
During Dr. Johnson’s tenure as Secretary of Health, he has led the department through the
implementation of a department-wide data–driven performance-based outcomes management
initiative to ensure that public health programs are effectively meeting the needs of all
Pennsylvanians; setting priorities to reduce health disparities among Pennsylvania’s citizens;
promoting children’s wellness; improving accountability; and recruiting and retaining a highly
skilled public health workforce.
Dr. Garth Graham
M.D., M.P.H.,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health
Dr. Garth N. Graham is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority
Health in the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health
and Human Services. The Office of Minority Health develops and
coordinates Federal health policy that addresses minority health
concerns and ensures that Federal, State and local health programs
take into account the needs of disadvantaged, racial and ethnic
populations. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) was created by
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 1986
as a result of the Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and
Minority Health.
He was previously appointed a White House Fellow and special assistant to former Secretary
Tommy G. Thompson at the Department of Health and Human Services. He founded the Boston
Men's Cardiovascular Health Project, a project designed to identify behavioral explanations for
decreased adherence to adequate diet and exercise by African American men. Dr Graham was
the Founding Senior Editorial Board Member of the Yale Journal of Health, Law, Policy, and
Ethics, served on the Editorial Board of the Yale Journal of Biology and Science, Public Health
Reports and a number of other guest editorial boards. He also served on the Public Health
Executive Council of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Board of Directors of Physicians
for Human Rights, Chairman of the American Medical Association/MSS National Minority
Issues Committee and on the Steering Committee of the Boston Men's Health Coalition. He is
currently on the faculty of Harvard Medical School where he trained in Internal Medicine at
Massachusetts General Hospital and serves as a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public
Health. He has authored scientific articles and presentations on cardiovascular disease,
HIV/AIDS and community medicine.
Dr. Graham earned an M.D. from the Yale School of Medicine, where he graduated cum laude.
He was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and named a Yale President
Public Service Fellow. He also earned an M.P.H. from the Yale School of Epidemiology and
Public Health with a focus in health policy administration. He has received numerous accolades
for his leadership and service in promoting health, including the 2002 American Medical
Association Leadership Award, the Partners in Excellence Award, the Miriam Kathleen Dasey
Award from Yale Medical School and the 2005 Reginald Hawkins award. The Business Network
Journal also named him one of the Forty Leaders Under Forty.
Healthcare Access
Ms. Peterson is Chief Executive Officer of Capital Region Health System at Hamilton Health
Center, Inc., a Federally Qualified Health Center in Harrisburg, PA. She has over 25 years of
experience in health care administration, including eight as a Deputy Secretary of the
Pennsylvania Department of Health. Ms. Peterson also has a Masters of Public Administration
Dr. Joseph Antonowicz is Medical Director of Altoona Regional Health System’s Behavioral
Health Services. Dr. Antonowicz has been Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services since
2001. He is board certified in general psychiatry, with added qualifications in geriatric
psychiatry, and he is board certified in addiction medicine. He was previously board certified in
family practice. Dr. Antonowicz earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester in
Henry R. Fiumelli is the executive director of the PA Forum for Primary Health Care
representing Pennsylvanians Federally Qualified Health Centers. Mr. Fumelli has a Bachelors in
Psychology from California State University and a Master of Public Administration from the
University of Pittsburgh. With over 17 year experience in health care, Henry has been a past
consultant in Human Resources, served as an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at
Waynesburg College (Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.), and currently serves on various state and
national committees dealing with Health and Emergency Preparedness issues.
Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce
Ms. Matthew received her Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Record Administration from
St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. She is a Registered Health Information Administrator
(RHIA) through accreditation from the American Health Information Management Association
(AHIMA). Ms. Matthew has been with the PA Department of Health for 16 years and with the
Bureau of Health Planning since October 2000 serving as the Director of the Division of Health
Professions Development and currently acting as the Director for the Bureau of Health Planning.
Prior to her current assignments, Ms. Matthew was Director for the HealthyWoman Project with
the Division of Chronic Disease Intervention, where she was responsible for planning, directing,
and managing the statewide breast and cervical early detection project by monitoring
contractor’s performance, assisting them in planning programs, preparing budgets, and
conducting systematic reviews.
Ms. Keiser has served as Executive Secretary and Section Chief for the State Board of Nursing
within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs of the Pennsylvania Department of
State since 2002. Prior to this, she served as Nursing Practice Advisor for the Board of Nursing.
Ms. Keiser is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Maryland and an MSN from
the University of Pittsburgh.
TONI STRONG (Panelist)
Toni Strong has worked as a workforce development professional for 20 years. She joined the
Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board in February 2006 as the Director of Partnership
Development. Ms. Strong manages the 19 Regional Career Education Partnerships for Youth
(intermediaries) across the Commonwealth, whose main purpose is to carry out the vision and
goal of the Commonwealth’s Departments of Education and Labor & Industry to continue to
align strategies and strengthen efforts to improve post-secondary education and career awareness
opportunities for all Pennsylvania’s young people. She is the co-coordinator of the new PA
Youth in Transition Initiative focused on reengaging dropouts and youth aging out of foster care.
In carrying out her youth-focused responsibilities, Ms. Strong is directly connected to all aspects
of the work of the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board, which acts as an advisor to the
Governor on policies relating to improving the workforce in Pennsylvania.
Research, Data & Evaluation
LEAH LIND (Moderator)
Leah Lind graduated from Virginia Tech in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.
She received her master's degree in public health in 2000 from the University of Pittsburgh with
a concentration in Epidemiology. She worked for a private contractor for the NIH in Rockville,
MD managing data collection and data analysis for clinical trials. She came to the Pennsylvania
Department of Health in 2004 and is an epidemiologist in the Bureau of Epidemiology, Division
of Infectious Diseases.
JERRY ORRIS (Panelist)
Jerry Orris has over 32 years of experience working in the field of health statistics in the PA
Department of Health. As Director of the Division of Statistical Support, he oversees 20+
professional and technical staff in the analysis and dissemination of health statistics and in
providing related technical assistance and support.
CAROL S. WEISMAN, PH.D. (Panelist)
Dr. Weisman is Professor of Health Evaluation Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department
of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Health and Human Development.
Dr. Weisman is a sociologist and health services researcher with a principal interest in women's
health care and policy. Her research focuses on improving access and quality in women's
primary care and on how health risks affect women's health. Currently she directs the Central
Pennsylvania Center of Excellence for Research on Pregnancy Outcomes, a four-year $4.7
million project to reduce disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes by improving women's
preconceptional health. Dr. Weisman is the author of over 100 publications, including Women's
Health Care: Activist Traditions and Institutional Change (Johns Hopkins University Press,
1998). Dr. Weisman received her B.A. from Wellesley College with a major in Sociology and
Anthropology and her Ph.D. in Social Relations (sociology) from the Johns Hopkins University.
Community & Business Partnerships
Reverend White is currently the founding pastor of the H.O.P.E. Community
Baptist Church in Harrisburg, PA. His education consist of a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Religion, a Master of Arts Degree in Christian
Counseling, a Masters of Divinity and two one year Residency in Clinical
Pastoral Education (Clinical Pastoral Counseling) through the Penn State
Hershey Medical Center. Pastor White was licensed to preach under the late
Rev. Dr. Franklin L. Henley in February 1986 and Ordained under the Rev.
Earl Harris in March 1996 both were pastors of St Paul Missionary Baptist
Church of Harrisburg, PA. Currently Pastor White is employed part-time
contactor as Spiritual Support Facilitator for the Pennsylvania Department of
Public Welfare, Office of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services. Pastor White also serves as
the Director Foreign Mission and Secretary of the Clergy Division, Central Baptist Association
and is the author of Essentials for Christian Living: A New Member’s Guide and Workbook for
African American Baptist Churches with an expected release date of Mid-Fall 2007.
YVONNE COOK (Panelist)
Yvonne Cook joined Highmark Inc. in March 2003 as President of the
Highmark Foundation and Vice President for Community & Health
Initiatives. In this position, Ms. Cook is responsible for the management
and direction of the day-to-day activities of the Foundation and the
development, implementation, administration and evaluation of innovative
and effective community and health initiative activities that assist in the
fulfillment of the corporation’s social mission strategy. Ms. Cook currently
serves on a variety of boards and committees, including: treasurer of the
August Wilson Center for African American Culture; Manchester Bidwell
Corporation’s board of directors and board member of the Multicultural Arts Initiative; She is
also a member of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania and Grantmakers in Health. Ms. Cook
holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a
master’s degree in public management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy &
Management at Carnegie Mellon University.
Lynette Praster joined the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
in September 2006 as the Human Resources Division Chief at the Center for Community
Empowerment. In this position, Lynette is responsible for the oversight and general
management of the Division’s Community Services Block Grant Program and the Neighborhood
Assistance Program. She previously served as Program Specialist Supervisor (since October
1997) for the Office of Child Development (previously Bureau of Child Day Care Services),
Department of Public Welfare, responsible for the statewide management of Quality and
Education Services in the Bureau of Early Learning. Ms. Praster received a BSW (Bachelor of
Social Work) from Shippensburg University, and has completed graduate work in Training and
Organizational Development at Pennsylvania State University.