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2019 DCHA Health Heroes
Meet the Inaugural Class of Health Heroes
Michelle Singleton, Director, Bernice Fonteneau Wellness Center
Michelle Singleton cherishes her role as a caring and engaging leader working with seniors in her community. A native of Washington, DC, Ms. Singleton has more than 20 years of experience working with children and seniors, both in the classroom and in health care facilities. For the past eight years she has worked passionately as the Director of the Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center to provide safe and equitable health and wellness programming for Seniors in Ward 1.
Michelle continuously shares health tips and resources to seniors in the Center to improve community health. Due to her relentless push to provide effective programming at the Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center, seniors can engage in their own health and wellness by participating in nutritional and exercise classes. Michelle's teachings have allowed those seniors to advocate for their own health and well-being.
David Salter, MD, Dean of Clinical Studies, St. Matthew's University School of Medicine
Dr. Salter has always been someone who goes above and beyond to give back to his community. Not only is he an outstanding and well-respected cardiac surgeon, but he also serves as the 'soul' of the community and helped preserve the history and integrity of the historic neighborhoods of Blagden Alley and Naylor Court. Dr. Salter undertook a project to document and classify historic DC alleys and worked closely with DC agencies and historic preservation to stop the mass destruction of existing alley homes. He helps with tasks small and large while simultaneously getting to know everyone in the community.
Those who live near him or interact with him are profoundly impacted by their connections with Dr. Salter. Besides his medical background, many were surprised to find out about his efforts to stop violent acts in the alley, encouraging people to know their neighbors, removing graffiti and caring for animals. He has served as a role model, counsel and leader for those in his community, and has taught residents how to take on bureaucracy when needed.
Henry Wigglesworth, Senior Attorney, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
Mr. Wigglesworth is a record-holding athlete who has given much of his passion by organizing and operating the District's first Parkrun race site. Parkrun offers free weekly 5K races for the community and in doing so allows residents of all abilities and ages to participate in the sport of running. Over the past three years, Mr. Wigglesworth has not only organized the weekly 5Ks in Ward 3 but has also advocated to the Council for funding to help expand these race opportunities in other parts of the District.
Mr. Wigglesworth has demonstrated a remarkable level of commitment to the community by organizing and coordinating these accessible 5k races for many years. He has inspired positive change in the District by challenging individuals and families to consistently come out to Fletcher's Boathouse for weekly races. Furthermore, he has increased public attention to the health and wellness needs of the community by engaging the Mayor’s office and the Council on multiple occasions to help support and promote Parkrun.
Dr. Bette Lorrina Catoe Strudwick, Retired Pediatrician
Dr. Strudwick has worked tirelessly to break down racial and gender barriers in the DC health community. Some of her most notable achievements include being one of seven women to graduate from Howard Medical School in 1951, providing quality pediatric care for over 45 years, and providing leadership for multiple medical societies such as the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, DC Health and Hospital Public Benefit Corp. Her leadership has opened doors for Black doctors to receive training in DC hospitals and brought quality health care to communities who could not previously access it.
Dr. Strudwick started the North Portal Civic League to better the living conditions in DC for communities of color. She not only helped desegregate hospitals, she moved her private practice from her home, where she worked while raising three children, to a building owned by Black doctors, lawyers, and business leaders. She helped provide lifesaving and life changing care to Black patients. Dr. Strudwick continues to use her platform to advocate for equal and equitable care for all District residents.
Ronnie Webb, President & Founder, Green Scheme
Ronnie Webb has a strong passion to get young people engaged in eating healthy in order to improve their quality of life. A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Webb founded the Green Scheme to address health disparities focused on food accessibility, food injustice, environmental health and nutrition. He stands on the forefront of educating disadvantaged communities on food accessibility and the best nutrition practices. From developing and implementing USDA food system projects to consulting on behalf of businesses and organizations to adopt more sustainable methods, Mr. Webb has built over 15 community gardens in the District’s high need areas. He uses his unique swag and creativity to reach the youth in very exciting ways. He makes living healthy COOL!
Mr. Webb has been providing his workshops free of charge to his community in Langdon Park for the past three years. He voluntarily serves on the Board of Directors for Good Food Markets located in Ward 5 and expanding to Wards 7 and 8 later this year. In addition, Mr. Webb sits on other health committees and community organizations.
Thelma D. Jones, Retiree (Health Hero Winner)
Thelma D. Jones is a community breast care navigator and survivor! Ms. Jones was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer in 2007. She turned her challenge into an experience to help educate others about breast cancer and to reduce the mortality rates in DC and beyond. She carried her message of “early detection saves lives” to the White House, US Congress, DC legislative branch, The World Bank Group, and numerous other places including community centers, faith- and community-based institutions, hospitals, colleges and universities, schools and out-of-town venues.
Thelma, who has taught chronic disease classes to hundreds of seniors, has been trained extensively and has been recognized numerous times for her civic activism and volunteerism dating back to 1982. Ms. Jones is a DC Health trained Master's Trainer in chronic disease self-management, including cancer thriving and surviving where she brings a unique personal experience.
Oswald Cameron-Morales, DDS, Advantage Health Plans, Inc. (not pictured)
For the past 20 years, in addition to providing dental care services to the multicultural community in DC, Dr. Cameron-Morales has participated in dental mercy missions all over the world, providing free dental care to those in need. He has given educational lectures in schools, provided free or low-cost dental care services, and increased access to health care to indigenous, minority, and African descendants communities locally and abroad.
By taking time to visit local schools, health fairs, and community events he has helped individuals understand the importance of dental health and care with an emphasis on prevention, as well as its effects on our physical and mental health. As a member of the community, Dr. Cameron-Morales has been able to work alongside his neighbors towards a common goal of improving access and affordability for those in need. He does this by providing orientation and low-cost emergency care. Dr. Cameron-Morales’ practice seeks to provide a friendly, culturally sensitive environment committed to assisting anyone in need.
Dr. Laura Meyers, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington (not pictured)
Dr. Meyers is a devoted leader in providing access to comprehensive reproductive health services. She advocates for public policies that guarantee rights to these services and has enhanced public understanding of the importance of such access in an era that threatens reproductive health care.
Dr. Meyers and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC are equipping teens and adults to make healthy reproductive decisions. They strive to provide safe and affordable care, and they are galvanizing supporters to protect the rights of women to make their own reproductive health decisions. Dr. Meyers cultivates champions and activates volunteers for Planned Parenthood across DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
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