Alwyn Cohall, MD
Dr. Alwyn Cohall has served as the Director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center (HHPC) since 1999. He is a professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Population and Family Health, and Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center. He has a wide range of research interests, such as access to care, health literacy, sexual and reproductive health, and health communication. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 publications on a wide-range of health issues as they affect adolescents and adults of color. Cohall received his medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, underwent his pediatric residency at Montefiore Hospital, and completed his adolescent medicine fellowship at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Renee Cohall, LCSW-R, ACSW
Renee Cohall serves as the Co-Director for the BeWell Health & Wellness Program. She is also the Director of Special Initiatives for the HHPC where she strategizes, coordinates and implements new projects pertaining to adolescents and young adults within the HHPC and Project STAY programs. She has been instrumental in activating the Youth Access Program outreach and clinical services. She was the Director of the School Health Initiative Project, a former core project of HHPC, which helped incorporate health messages within high schools. She also served as the Director of the Adolescent Initiative Project, which centralized communication among community-based programs and health clinics and spearheaded several coalitions to bring about collective community outreach in Harlem and Washington Heights.
Kristan Rosenthal, MPH, MSW
Kristan Rosenthal is the Program Coordinator for the BeWell Health & Wellness Program. She holds a Bachelor’s in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University and Master’s in both Public Health and Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining BeWell, Kristan served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana developing and implementing life skills programming for HIV prevention in schools and the local community, worked as a health educator with the Children’s Aid Society in a school based health center in Staten Island, and worked to expand sexual health and relationship education programs through work at InterAct in Raleigh, NC and SHIFT NC in Durham.
Health Coach & Parent Coordinator
Madeleine graduated from Columbia University with master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work in 2016, and from Denison University with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2011. Before joining BeWell, she worked with youth and families both as a social worker and as a health educator. Madeleine has worked to fight domestic violence with Sanctuary for Families, created and edited educational content for Sesame Workshop, and written and delivered health education curricula with StreetSquash and Cigna. Madeleine aims to help empower young people and their caregivers to seek the healthiest version of their lives through increasing health literacy, motivating behavior change, and supporting positive communication.
Senior Health Coach
Leah Hargarten is pursing a Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, with a certificate in Child, Youth, and Family Health. Prior to coming to Columbia, she taught English in Santiago, Chile, as well as completed a math teaching fellowship in an under-served high school in Chicago. She is passionate about the intersection between youth, education, health, and social justice.
Mike is currently a graduate student at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, in the Sociomedical Sciences department. His interests and focuses are finding ways to tie in the intersectional framework of race, class, gender, sexuality, documented status, etc. along with the field of medicine of public health in order to address the inequities and disparities that many communities of color face. He is excited to be a part of the BeWell team and look forward to working with the wonderful scholars and staff this year.
Sky M. Sealey
Sky is a first year social work student at Columbia University School of Social Work. Her interests include health, reproductive justice, advocacy, and youth serving programs.
Mary is a first-year student at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, with a concentration in Sociomedical Sciences and earning a certificate in Health Promotion Research and Practice. Before Mailman, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA working on Healthy Futures at a hospital in Phoenix, AZ and a Community Health Education Volunteer with Peace Corps in Koh Kong, Cambodia. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2011 with BAs in Gender Studies and Creative Writing. She is an avid reader and runner and looks forward to working with the students in the BeWell program.
Carly Hutchinson, MA, PhD
HHPC Director of Communications and Community Relations
Carly oversees Center communications including the ongoing development of HHPC’s community-based health website,GetHealthyHarlem.org which makes use of health-literate, culturally-relevant and geographically-focused content. Additionally, Hutchinson works to grow meaningful collaborations with the Upper Manhattan community as well as academic and policy partners throughout New York City in regards to community-engaged research. Hutchinson received her PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University and her MA in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her academic interests focus on social justice issues related to food access, environmental issues, and incarceration.
Christel Hyden, Ed.D.
HHPC Director of Research and Evaluation
Christel is responsible for creating and evaluating multimedia and technology based interventions for various health education programs and educational materials for HHPC. She is also a consultant for several city, state, and federally funded public health initiatives. Christel received her BA in sociology from Wagner College, her MS in social research from Hunter College, and her EdD in Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
HHPC Administrative Assistant
Nydia provides administrative and logistical support for all HHPC projects including the organization and planning of community activities. She is involved in the preparation of grants, reports and publications as well as assisting the community liaison with the HHPC Community Advisory Board. She has more than 10 years experience working at Columbia University in various capacities.