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Meet Our Newest Staff Members
The PRCHN welcomes two new staff members, Anna Thornton and Kakul Joshi. Get to know the latest additions to the PRCHN staff below!

Six Questions for REACH Project Manager Anna Thornton

1) Tell me a bit about your work before you joined the PRCHN. Where did you work and what did you do?

I was at University Hospitals Rainbow Care Connection (UH's pediatric accountable care organization) working as a Pediatric Practice Facilitator for the past two years. Before that, I was a Research Coordinator at the NYU School of Medicine running two NIH-funded studies looking at how the brain is affected by diabetes and obesity.

2) Tell me about your education. Where and what did you study? Is your work at the PRCHN radically different than what you studied in college? In other words, has your career path made any unusual changes?

Abilene Christian University, BA (Latin American Studies/minor in Spanish) 1999
New York University, MPH (International Community Health) 2011

Between 1999 and 2009 (when I started grad school) I was having children (now 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old twin boys) and traveling the world. I’ve lived in Spain, China, Mexico, and Peru. There have many exciting and unusual changes in my work life throughout the years: I taught English (ESL) in China for two years, co-founded a watershed collective in rural Veracruz, Mexico, and ran the front end of a small foodie cafe in Austin, TX

3) What aspects of your new position are most intriguing to you? What are you looking forward to?

I am most intrigued about engendering a healthy Cleveland and being able to look back in 20 years at the multi-pronged, concerted efforts that changed lifestyle behaviors and saved lives in the Greater Cleveland area. I am looking forward to being able to connect all the dots to tell that narrative.

4) What are some of your interests outside of work?

Outside of work (and family) my interests are photography (currently preparing a body of work from my time in Peru), travel (I try to go a new country every year), food (I’m a BIG fan of the North Union Famers Market (we go every Saturday morning even in the winter) and local food—we cook a lot at my house. I’m a master of healthy eating on a budget (it IS possible)!!

5) Where did you grow up and where have you settled in Cleveland (I realize these may be identical answers)?

Born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Roxboro neighborhood where my parents still reside. I left after high school and returned to Cleveland only in 2013. I bought a house in Shaker Heights last fall in the infinitely walkable Larchmere/Shaker Square neighborhood.

6) Is there anything else that you'd like to share with the PRCHN and its stakeholders?

I am THRILLED to be part of the sustainable solution here in my hometown of which the PRCHN plays a vital role.


Six Questions for HEAL Strategy Coordinator Kakul Joshi

1) Tell me a bit about your work before you joined the PRCHN. Where did you work and what did you do?
I worked in India for about a year with UNICEF (Orissa, India), as district coordinator for the government-operated maternal and child health programming. It involved assessing the fidelity of programs at the ground level, training lay health workers as well as health officials on public health issues like infant and young child nutrition, immunization, adolescent sexual health, etc., and facilitating program innovation to increase community participation. In the USA, as an intern at the PRCHN, I had the privilege of working on the pilot phase of the Produce Prescription Program for pregnant women, which dealt with forging relationships between the farmers' markets and healthcare providers to improve access to fruits and vegetables among low-income pregnant women.

2) Tell me about your education. Where and what did you study? Is your work as a Strategy Coordinator radically different than what you studied in college? In other words, has your career path made any unusual changes?

I have a master’s degree in public nutrition from India, and a Master of Public Health from Case Western Reserve University. I feel that my work as the HEAL (healthy Eating and Active Living) Strategy Coordinator is very much aligned with my educational background in the field of nutrition and public health, and it actually creates a perfect platform for me to examine and contribute in the area of food access in relation to other social determinants of health.

3) What aspects of your new position are most intriguing to you? What are you looking forward to?

I am very excited for the blend of research and field work that this position brings. Most exciting is to be working in tandem with community partners on issues that impact us on a day-to-day basis and being able to address these issues through innovative local partnerships with farmers' markets, corner stores, etc. is just incredible.

4) What are some of your interests outside of work?

Outside of work, I like to spend my time gardening and trying my hand at some Indian 'twisted' recipes that never come out the way my mom makes them back at home!

5) Where did you grow up and where have you settled in Cleveland (I realize these may be identical answers)?

I grew up in India, in the capital city New Delhi. It's been more than 3 years in Cleveland Heights now!!

6) Is there anything else that you'd like to share with the PRCHN and its stakeholders?

No, that’s it!
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