Kenny Neal Shults has over 20 years of experience working and consulting with service organizations across the country to develop sound, innovative, measurable, engaging, and respectful strategies for engaging with key, vulnerable populations. Kenny specializes in public health and behavior-change program and curriculum development surrounding a variety of at-risk populations, including adolescents, men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDU), homeless and runaway teens, lgb and trans populations. Kenny has been a pioneer in the development of Internet and social media-based approaches and travels the U.S. lecturing and training on social marketing for public health, using the internet to reach youth and MSM, and the impacts of new media on public and mental health and at-risk-population behavior. In 1999, he developed some of the first program objectives and evaluation strategies for agencies using the Internet to reach clients in online venues, and later developed the first policies, procedures and protocols for agency use in minimizing liability and ensuring ethical service delivery. As the CDC’s Master Trainer for Street Smart, a multi-session, cognitive-behavioral skills building intervention targeted to adolescents, Kenny has spent many years traveling the country helping service providers to build their capacity to work with adolescents. In 2010 Kenny created MyMediaLife, a fun and interactive workshop series that teaches people (most often adolescents) to envision and produce their own public service messaging campaigns that also market the host agency. MyMediaLife has not only resulted in a host of beautiful and compelling population-produced social marketing campaigns, but has helped numerous participants develop consequential thinking, problem solving skills, and self-efficacy. Kenny is also New York City-based stand-up comedian with a background in theater, making him a dynamic speaker and trainer who is consistently lauded for his ability to simplify and teach sophisticated concepts effectively and entertainingly. (Kenny was recently featured in The Advocate and HIVplus magazines for his innovative approaches to making social change through video and stand up comedy.)
Emily Hanlen has a Masters in Education and a Masters in Public Health. She spent a year living in Langa, South Africa evaluating the peer-education HIV prevention education model used in South African schools. She was a public school teacher in East Harlem New York for four years, where she taught 6th and 8th grade English classes. Emily received her MPH in Global Health from NYU and now works in the field of sexual and reproductive health and education for high-risk adolescents. She is currently exploring the impact that non-clinical services have on risk-behaviors of teens in immigrant communities.
CHIEF MEDIA STRATEGIST
Savas Abadsidis is an accomplished editor and marketing/media relations executive with an extensive background in the entertainment, publishing and marketing worlds. (Clickhere for a list of Savas’ articles and profiles.) He began his career at Shahid & Company Advertising where he created and was Editor-in-Chief of the Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly, overseeing the burgeoning retailer’s buzzmaking magazine and primary marketing tool. Following his time at Abercrombie & Fitch he served as Executive Editor at Complex magazine, designer Marc Ecko’s signature men’s lifestyle publication. After working with Marc Ecko on COMPLEX and doing brand development for MarcEcko Enterprise’s ZOO YORK label, he served as the West Coast Editor for Wizard Entertainment, heading up the Hollywood Editorial Office of Wizard, Toyfare and Anime Insider Magazines; in addition he produced events for their Wizard World Conventions as well as oversaw a reboot of wizardworld.com. Savas has worked as a freelance story editor for producer Tom DeSanto on Paramount/Dreamwork’sTransformers.
Savas’ editorial/advertising and marketing work includes clients as diverse as photographer Patrick McMullan, The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, The Scleroderma Foundation of Southern California, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, heavy.com, Amy and Nora Ephron’soneforthetable.com, Antenna Magazine (including antenna.com), planetwaves.net, Angry Panda (angrypanda.com), Time Inc. Custom Publications, AT&T, Sander Moses Productions (Slam 360 Internet Outreach), Otabo Shoes (otabo.com), mtv.com, FAB.com, JAMAK Fabrications (thewiperstore.com), The National Hellenic Society (myparea.com), Little Studio Films and Kickstart Entertainment (kickstartent.com). A regular contributor to MAXIM, Interview Magazine, Fangoria, Odyssey: the World of Greece and The Goodmen Project Magazines, among others; Savas is also a founding editor for both B Magazine and Phil Knott’s TALLY HO! both out now! Savas attended Vassar College and is a graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges with a BA (with Honors) in English and Comparative Literature.
CHS Associate Consultants & Subcontractors
Imelda Walavalkar specializes in strategic and management consulting for health and social service programs domestically and internationally. Most recently, Ms. Walavalkar was responsible for managing a CDC-funded grant providing training, technical assistance, consultation and skills-building to community based organizations, health departments and other service organizations implementing effective HIV prevention interventions for at-risk populations. In addition, Ms. Walavalkar has extensive expertise in process and outcomes monitoring and evaluation, behavior science, and intervention curricula development. Ms. Walavalkar has a dual Masters in Public Health and in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University as well as an undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of California at Berkeley.
Sonia K. González
Sonia K. González received her Master’s of Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in 2003. She has been working on HIV and reproductive health issues for over 15 years. Ms. González has designed and implemented programs, developed organizational strategic plans, planned regional conferences, conducted process evaluation as well as outcome qualitative and quantitative evaluation, and has worked directly with poor urban youth of color, homeless youth, and LGBTQ youth. Additionally, her pledge to addressing issues of poverty has supported her work with coalitions. The last 5 years of her work has focused on the areas that have been hardest hit by HIV in NYC: Central Brooklyn, East Harlem, and the South Bronx. She has co-founded short-term action oriented projects with community members, representatives of members from City Council, and providers that serve South Brooklyn. She also co-founded the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition (YWCHAC), which has received funding from the New York Women’s Foundation, New York AIDS Fund, and the Office of Women’s Health, to name a few, to support structural prevention methods engaging young women of color from New York City. From 2007-2009, Ms. González served on the Prevention Planning Group of the New York City Department of Health, which recommends prevention strategies and programs directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, Ms. González is pursuing her Doctorate of Public Health at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York and is a NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Fellow as a participant of the Research in HIV Intervention: Skills for the Community Fellowship. Her research interests are HIV prevention and young people of color in urban areas.
Ms. Keene has nearly a decade of experience working collaboratively with organizations to design and implement monitoring and evaluation projects. She has worked in a variety of public health and healthcare areas including HIV prevention, treatment, and case management, substance abuse treatment, and hospital-based palliative care. Her specialization is use-focused evaluation, which involves minimizing data collection efforts while maximizing the effectiveness of the data so that organizations will not just have data but can use it to improve program effectiveness and secure additional funding. Ms. Keene has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Public Health (M.P.H.) from Columbia University.
Whitney Williams specializes in the design and implementation of sexual and reproductive health education, gender based violence prevention and treatment, and home-visiting programs serving at-risk populations including those infected with and affected by HIV, underserved families, and youth. Her recent work includes curriculum and program development and management for the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation- Lesotho and the Clinical and Community Health Services Unit at Public Health Solutions.Ms. Williams also co-facilitates MyMediaLife sessions. Ms. Williams holds a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Connected Health Solutions was created with the understanding that any organization working with the underserved deserves flexible, efficient, and cost-effective consulting services; therefore, CHS works with highly qualified consultants and specialists across the United States to meet the regional and individual needs of our clients. CHS associate consultants are chosen for their dedication to excellence and attention to detail and work closely with Principals to ensure consistent, high quality performance.