Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Get Healthy Philly is funded by city, state, and federal partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illnesses related to obesity and smoking are the leading causes of death and disability in Philadelphia, yet studies show eating healthy and being physically active, along with being smoke-free, can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
” We are committed to treating all human beings with respect and dignity and to truly being the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. We believe deeply in our work to improve health for all residents of our city, to decrease disparities in life expectancy and health between rich and poor, every color and cultural variation and to work together with all communities in our city to make it a truly healthy place to live.”
~ Cheryl Bettigole Division Director for Chronic Disease Prevention — Get Healthy Philly
Our work at Get Healthy Philly is founded in the belief that every human being matters, and that we must work to change systems and structures in our city and in our society that result in disparities in health and opportunity. Racism and bigotry take many forms. The shocking images of Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists we saw in Charlottesville draw our attention, and we are equally appalled by the structural inequities that cause a child born in Strawberry Mansion to have a life expectancy 20 years lower than a child born in Society Hill. Every child matters. Every person living in our city matters. To defeat racism and hatred, we need to insist that racism and bigotry in any form are unacceptable and we need to work together every single day to make the change our city needs.
Get Healthy Philly’s goal is to make healthy choices easier by:
- Ensuring that all Philadelphians have access to healthy and affordable food (locally grown where possible)
- Reducing the consumption and marketing of sugary drinks and junk foods among children and adults
- Creating safe spaces for physical activity in communities, including walkable and bikable neighborhoods and active transit
We partner with government agencies, community-based organizations, the private sector and academic institutions to make healthy choices easier.
2014 Annual Report
Meet the Team
Jennifer Aquilante is the Healthy Food Access Coordinator for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative, a ground-breaking public health initiative that addresses obesity prevention and smoking cessation in Philadelphia. Jennifer oversees healthy food retail initiatives in partnership with The Food Trust and Temple University’s Center for Asian Health. She also works with City departments and local hospitals to implement Comprehensive Food Standards . Jennifer graduated from the University of Delaware in 2000 with a BS in Dietetics and has been a Registered Dietitian since 2001. Her previous nutrition experience includes positions as a clinical dietitian at a small hospital in Maryland, a dietitian for a national weight loss company, a nutritionist for a county health department in Colorado and as a Program Coordinator for a school-based nutrition education program in Philadelphia. After realizing her interest in public health and community nutrition, Jennifer obtained her Master in Public Health degree from Drexel University in 2009 and began working for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in 2010.
Catherine Bartoli is the Healthy Food Procurement Coordinator, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Catherine has a background in school foodservice management, food procurement, operations and nutrition education. Prior to working with Get Healthy Philly, she oversaw the Child Nutrition Services Department for a school district in San Jose, CA to ensure students across 29 elementary and middle schools received healthy, balanced meals. Upon re-locating to Philadelphia, she taught introductory nutrition classes at a local hospitality college. As the Healthy Food Procurement Coordinator, Catherine works with City departments and Philadelphia-based hospitals to integrate comprehensive procurement and nutrition standards into foodservice operations and contracts. Through this work, she collaborates with multiple community partners to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to sites throughout Philadelphia.Catherine is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. She received her MA from Temple University in Urban Studies and her MS from San Jose State University in Nutritional Science.
Dr. Cheryl Bettigole is the Director of Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. She is a board certified family physician and has previously served as the Chief Medical Officer of Complete Care Health Network, a federally qualified community/migrant health center in southern New Jersey, and as a Family Physician and Clinical Director with Philadelphia’s City Health Centers, where she saw patients for more than 12 years. She is also a Past-President of the National Physicians Alliance.
Kinnari Chandriani is the Community-Clinical Linkages Coordinator for Get Healthy Philly. In this role, she is working with partners across the city to address the social determinants of health. When she started with Get Healthy Philly, she worked with City agencies to implement Comprehensive Food Standards into their food service and contracts. Prior to joining GHP, she received her medical degree at Case Western Reserve University and completed her pediatric internship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Amory Hillengas is the Geospatial Analyst at Get Healthy Philly. That means she evaluates data in terms of space or location, often in the form of a map. She works on a lot of different projects that require spatial analysis, like the Tobacco Sales and Neighborhood Income CHART publication, or could just benefit from having a map, like seeing the locations of Healthy Corner Stores. Amory has a Masters in Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA) with a community and economic development concentration from the University of Pennsylvania. In the past, she has taught a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) introductory course at Saint Joseph’s University, served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program coordinating healthy cooking classes for low-income families, and even lived the fast-paced food truck life for a couple years. You can usually find Amory riding her bike around the City, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or in the kitchen trying out new recipes.
Terry Johnson is a communications specialist who also served as director of communications and press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and communications director for Pennsylvania council of the Service Employees International Union. Prior to that he published Real News, a literary journal, and The Business Review, a magazine aimed at African American and Latinos entrepreneurs. He also served as a city editor of New York’s Village Voice, a writer at Newsweek magazine and a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and numerous other newspapers. He has been active in a variety of causes and served on the boards of several organizations.
Dr. Hannah Lawman is the Director of Research and Evaluation for Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Her work and the division research and evaluation agenda emphasizes multi-sectoral and population health approaches including changes to the built environment and policy approaches to chronic disease prevention, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco control. She received her PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina with a concentration in Quantitative Methodology, completed a clinical internship and post-doc in Health Psychology at the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, and is a licensed psychologist. Prior to joining Get Healthy Philly, she worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemiologist with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Hannah can be reached at Hannah.Lawman@phila.gov or at 215-685-5256.
Mary Ellen Mannix has taught in preschools for over 25 years and worked as a field organizer for the Pre-K for PA campaign. She has a Master’s in Restorative Practices and Education, is a PQAS-certified professional development facilitator, and is a member of the national and regional Associations for the Education of Young Children. She was a professional development facilitator for NYC’s PreK for All program since its inauguration in 2014. Her recent work includes supporting a national expansion of critical congenital heart screening and statewide developmental screening. She is working to expand our work in early childhood spaces by helping to create best-practices in nutrition, physical activity and breastfeeding in early childhood settings in Philadelphia.
You can also reach her at email@example.com or 5-5233.
Kelli McIntyre, MA is the Physical Activity Coordinator for Get Healthy Philly.In this role, she oversees the department’s efforts to make an active lifestyle the easy choice for Philadelphians. Projects include stairwell promotion, physical activity opportunity inventory, and promotion of Philly Powered- the department’s physical activity media campaign. Public Health is actually Kelli’s 3rd field of work after spending 10 years coaching individuals through the stages of behavior change as a Workplace Wellness Coach and 3 years working as a Certified Athletic Trainer for the Villanova Women’s Basketball Team. Kelli earned a BS in Athletic Training from Boston University and MA in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kelli lives in Germantown with her 9 year old son. She enjoys cooking, walking, Pilates and Zumba and spends free time being active with her son, coaching youth basketball, and working on projects in her home.
Meka Perez is the nutrition and physical activity coordinator for Get Healthy Philly and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. She is committed to serving the Philadelphia community and its youth by providing an artery of learning for neighborhood children through design, education and wellness. Meka strives to enhance the awareness of healthy living and habits through trainings, events and special programming. Her goal is to remain positive and spread that energy to everyone she can by making a difference, one person at time!
Mica Root is Get Healthy Philly’s Senior Projects Coordinator. In this role, she manages staff, projects and partnerships, especially those related to youth and families. She values opportunities to build shared agendas among City departments and other public entities; a current example of this is the work that Get Healthy Philly, the Mayor’s Office of Education and the School District of Philadelphia are doing with the Healthy Schools component of the City’s Community Schools initiative. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Mica spent twelve years doing economic and social justice organizing, including as a co-founder and first executive director of Media Mobilizing Project.
Lauren Ryder has a background in strategic communications and marketing. Her work has included relationship building and organizational development for both the private and public sectors in North and South America. Lauren is Lean Six Sigma and Solution Sales certified in the Life Sciences Marketing. Lauren joined Get Healthy Philly in April as our new Marketing Manager. Lauren is our point person for digital and social outreach and focuses on community awareness about chronic disease prevention in Philadelphia. Lauren was most recently the regional marketing manager for the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania, where she designed and implemented digital and strategic marketing projects.
Annaka Scheeres is a Research & Evaluation Associate for Get Healthy Philly. She conducts statistical and geospatial analysis for a variety of projects within the division, including the Philadelphia Beverage Tax Evaluation and several citywide campaigns. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Geography concentration) and a B.S. in Biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. After graduating in May 2016, Annaka was a Summer of Maps Fellow at Azavea, a geospatial analysis company in Philadelphia, where she was the project manager, GIS analyst, statistician, and software developer for projects with the American Red Cross and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Previously, she was a research fellow for Calvin’s Geography Department, visualizing ecological and social injustices within the local watershed.
Pramiti Singh – New Youth Wellness Coordinator Pramiti Singh is working with the School District to increase students’ daily minutes of physical activity; building a network of youth leaders and youth-serving organizations for tobacco prevention, education, and policy efforts; and increasing youth participation and perspective in our work.
Pramiti holds an MPH from Temple and was most recently the Health and Family Wellness Programs Coordinator at Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition.