In 2013, the co-directors of the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) sought the input and expertise of a multi-disciplinary group of clinicians and researchers from across Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to help set direction and priorities for the new initiative. Each VPI Fellow offers a unique perspective to the causes and impact of violence on our children and youth, as well as solutions.
The result is a powerful network of violence experts that helps the VPI to be strategic and practical in its efforts, as well as nimble in our ability to respond to violence and crisis in our communities. Continue reading to learn more about each Fellow and their specific area of expertise.
Ruth Abaya, MD, MPH
Ruth Abaya, MD, MPH is an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has an interest in firearm violence prevention, specifically focusing on access to firearms among high-risk adolescents, as well as patient-centered approaches to prevention that draw on the experiences of the youths themselves.
India Azzinaro, BSW
India Azzinaro, BSW is the Medical Advocacy Supervisor at Lutheran Settlement House and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In her role at CHOP, India provides supervision to Medical Advocates, participates in hospital task force and administration meetings, and supports Medical Advocacy staff in tabling events and trainings as needed, along with other related duties. Within CHOP's STOP IPV program, India provides support at The Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pediatric Center for families affected by intimate partner violence.
Steven Berkowitz, MD
Steven Berkowitz, MD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Director of the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery. His main focus has been on the development of interventions for children living in psychosocial adversity, especially in the area of childhood trauma and was involved in the development of guidelines on how parents and children could deal with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Marné Castillo, PhD, MEd
Marné Castillo, PhD, MEd is a Research Scientist in the Adolescent Initiative at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Castillo works in conjunction with a diverse community coalition to identify and change structural barriers that impact adolescent health. Her research interests include community-based prevention research, HIV and STI prevention, and epidemiology.
Nadia Dowshen, MD
Nadia Dowshen, MD is an Attending Physician in Adolescent Medicine, Director of Adolescent HIV Services, and co-founder of the Sexuality and Gender Development Clinic at CHOP. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Assistant Medical Director of Covenant House in Philadelphia. Her clinical and research interests involve issues around sexually transmitted diseases and HIV prevention/treatment, as well as achieving health equity for other marginalized youth including LGBT and homeless adolescents.
Jeremy Esposito, MD, MSEd
Jeremy Esposito, MD, MSEd is an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His interests and research focus involves increasing awareness and screening of mental health concerns during patient encounters, improving care for behavioral health patients, improving follow-up through better communication once these patients leave the emergency department, and advocating for additional resources.
Christine Forke Young, MSN, RN, CRNP
Christine Forke Young, MSN, RN, CRNP is a nationally certified, licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in adolescent health and epidemiologic methods. Her targeted area of interest is identifying and responding to relationship violence and examining its impact on children, adolescents, and families.
Linda Hawkins, PhD, LPC
Linda Hawkins, PhD, LPC is the Family Services Specialist for the Department of Family Services and Clinical Programs, as well as Co-Director of the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic at CHOP. In her role, Dr. Hawkins provides consultation and training throughout the CHOP Network to increase competence around LGBT patient and family experiences.
Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD
Nancy Kassam-Adams, PhD is the Associate Director of Behavioral Research at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention and Director of the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress. Her research focuses on posttraumatic stress in ill and injured children and their parents and on developing screening and secondary prevention protocols that can be integrated in pediatric health care settings.
Meghan Marsac, PhD
Meghan Marsac, PhD is a Pediatric Psychologist and Behavioral Researcher. Her research focuses on promoting adjustment and preventing posttraumatic stress in ill and injured children and their parents.
Ashlee Murray, MD, MPH
Ashlee Murray, MD, MPH is Director of the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Taskforce and an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The IPV Taskforce, in collaboration with Lutheran Settlement House, is a multidisciplinary group committed to educating the CHOP community about IPV and its effects, screening for patients and caregivers, and providing a safe place for families and employees to discuss their IPV concerns. Dr. Murray is also a CPHI (Center for Public Health Initiatives) fellow and an MPH (Master of Public Health) instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of interest include adverse childhood experiences, IPV, healthcare access, pediatric ER utilization, and quality improvement.
Rachel Myers, PhD
Rachel Myers, PhD is the Program Coordinator for CHOP's Violence Intervention Program (VIP). In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the VIP and supports the research and data collection efforts of the Program. Her research interests include children’s exposure to violence in the home and adolescent intimate partner violence.
Michael Nance, MD, FACS, FAAP
Michael Nance, MD, FACS, FAAP is the Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Nance has conducted extensive research and is a nationally recognized expert in the field of pediatric trauma, specifically examining firearms injury in children, solid organ injuries, and traumatic brain injury. His research has also focused on broader issues related to pediatric trauma, such as access to trauma care and injury prevention.
Thomas Power, PhD
Thomas Power, PhD is the Director of the Center for Management of ADHD and Chief Psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Power’s research focuses on the assessment and treatment of children with ADHD. He also has a special interest in health promotion in schools and the delivery of services for children with ADHD in urban settings.
Terri Randall, MD
Terri Randall, MD is a Psychiatrist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at CHOP. Among Dr. Randall's many clinical interests are access to mental health for urban children, crisis management, and addiction, namely the relationship between trauma and substance abuse. Dr. Randall also serves as the Associate Training Director for CHOP's Psychiatry Fellowship Program.
Beth Rezet, MD
Beth Rezet, MD is a Clinical Professor of Pediatric and came to CHOP in 1989 as a Primary Care Community Pediatrician. Over the years her interests led to a role in education which includes Director of Primary Care Resident Education, Director of the Residency Advocacy Training Program, and Associate Director of the Pediatric Residency Program. Her research and community interests include both education and childhood obesity.
Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE
Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE is an Attending Physician and Director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Scribano is also the Program Director of CHOP’s Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship and is one of just over 200 board certified Child Abuse Pediatrics subspecialists in the U.S. His pediatrics career has focused on prevention interventions to address intimate partner violence; and, the medical and psychological aspects of child maltreatment.
Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD, MEd
Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD, MEd is a Clinical Research Associate in Developmental Psychology and Prevention Science at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Research Scientist at the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include aggression and bullying, relational aggression, peer relationships, and school-based bullying prevention and intervention.
Roy Wade, Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, MSHP
Roy Wade, Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, MSHP is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Department of General Pediatrics. As a clinical scholar, Dr. Wade completed a study of Adverse Childhood Experiences amongst low-income youth in Philadelphia. Recently, Dr. Wade was awarded a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellowship to build a youth-informed childhood adversity measure and promote its adoption amongst health and social service organizations in Philadelphia . His research interests focus on the intersection between poverty, adversity, and childhood well-being. Through his work, he aims to translate research on the science of childhood adversity and toxic stress into effective strategies to improve community level systems of care in economically distressed communities.
Sarah Winters, MD, MSCE
Sarah Winters, MD, MSCE is an attending physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia based at Karabots Pediatric Care Center. Dr. Winters is involved in the programmatic implementation of VPI’s Children and Moms Program (CAMP), which is designed to address intimate partner violence (IPV) and teen dating violence while also considering the impact of child abuse and community violence on individuals and families.
Carl Wolfarth, MA, LPC, ACS
Carl J. Wolfarth, MA, LPC, ACS is the Operations Manager of the Children’s Intensive Emotional and Behavioral Program (CIEBP) at the CHOP Care Network Mays Landing, NJ facility. In this role, he manages the clinical and daily operations of a psychiatric partial hospital program for children ages 5 to 12.
VPI Executive Leadership
Ayana Bradshaw, MPH
Ayana Bradshaw, MPH is the Administrative Director of both CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, as well as the Program Manager for the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs. Ms. Bradshaw has over 15 years of public health experience, including over seven as coordinator of a violence prevention program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Joel Fein, MD, MPH
Joel Fein, MD, MPH is Co-Director of CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative, Co-Director of the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs, and an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Fein’s work takes a public health approach to violence prevention and includes a focus on community-based participatory research. His areas of interest include violence prevention, mental health, and pain management in children and adolescents.
Stephen Leff, PhD
Stephen Leff, PhD is Co-Director of the Violence Prevention Initiative and a Psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His research into aggression, bullying, and social skills promotion has developed and validated several aggression interventions for school-aged youth, including VPI’s Partner for Prevention program.
Brooke Paskewich, PsyD
Brooke Paskewich, PsyD is the Program Manager of the Violence Prevention Initiative and is responsible for the implementation of all overall operational components pertaining to day-to-day function, communications, documentation and reporting. She also manages VPI’s signature programs -- Partner for Prevention, Violence Intervention Program, and Children and Moms Program. Dr. Paskewich's research interests include developmental and clinical psychology, program implementation science, aggression and bullying, and violence prevention.
Flaura Winston, MD, PhD
Flaura Winston, MD, PhD is a Senior Advisor to CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative, Director of the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), and Founder and Scientific Director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP. A board-certified pediatrician, doctorally-trained engineer, and public health researcher, Dr. Winston is an internationally recognized expert in child injury prevention topics.
To contact any of our VPI Fellows, please use our Contact Us form.