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Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership/Greater Harlem Healthy Start

Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EST)


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Building the 0-8 Pipeline Ended Free  

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Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership



The focus of the Consortium General Meeting is to discuss early childhood education from a life course perspective that integrates evidence-based preconception and perinatal program models with innovative birth to 5 programs. Such programs seek to ensure that children enter school with a solid foundation and on a path towards college and career readiness.

The Consortium Meeting will also showcase the collaboration between NMPP's Healthy Start and Head Start programs. Oklahoma's Educare model will be discussed. The collaborations above seek to provide an environment that is supportive of the overall health of the mother and child throughout the life span.

Our Keynote Speaker for this gathering is NYC School's Chancellor Dennis Walcott. Chancellor Walcott will focus on various programs and initiatives that the city is implementing to ensure that children enter school with a solid foundation.

Other speakers include Maria Benejan, Associate Commissioner at the city's Administration for Children Services (ACS); Su An Arnn Phipps, Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing; Andrea Phillips, Vice President in the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs Bank USA;  Segrid Renne, Project Director of NMPP's Central Harlem Healthy Start Program and Women's Health Initiative; Janice Gray-Pierre, Director of NMPP's Center for Preschool & Family Learning Head Start.

Biographies (Keynote and Presenters)

Chancellor Dennis Walcott, M.ed., MSW

Dennis M. Walcott is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. As Chancellor, Walcott oversees a system of more than 1,700 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $23 billion budget. Building on Mayor Bloomberg’s Children First reforms, Chancellor Walcott is committed to cultivating teacher talent; expanding school choices for families so that students attend schools that best meet their individual needs; creating strong partnerships with parents; and preparing students to graduate from high school and succeed in college and careers.

Prior to his appointment as Chancellor, Walcott served as Mayor Bloomberg's Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development for more that eight years. In that Capacity, he oversaw and coordinated the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor's Office of Adult Education.

Chancellor Walcott graduated from New York City public schools in Queens, including P.S. 36, I.S. 192, and Francis Lewis High School. A lifelong Southeast Queens resident, Chancellor Walcott graduated from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Education in 1973 and 1974, respectively, and in 1980, received his Master of Social Work from Fordham University. He has served on numerous boards including Carver Bank Corporation, Primary Care Development Corporation, and the former New York City Board of Education. He has also served as an adjunct professor of social work at York College and as a talk show radio host. Chancellor Walcott and his wife Denise have four children: Dejeanne, Dana, Shatisha and Timmy; and three grandsons, Justin, Gavin, and Christian


Maria Benejan, B.A., M.S. 

Maria Benejan currently serves as Associate Commissioner for Program Development at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.  In this capacity, Maria oversees the direction, coordination, implementation and evaluation of EarlyLearn NYC, the model through which the city’s contracted Child Care and Head Start programs are administered.  Her responsibilities also include setting policies and administrative structures across EarlyLearn NYC.  Maria has been instrumental in the integration of the NYC Department of Education’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten services within ACS and in the development and launch of EarlyLearn NYC.

 Previously, Maria served as Assistant Commissioner for Head Start and Director of Education & Early Childhood Development Services at ACS.  Prior to joining ACS, Maria was Director of the Center for Early Childhood Professionals at the Bank Street College of Education. A former National Head Start Fellow, Maria has a BA in early childhood education from Brooklyn College, a Master’s degree in bilingual education from the City College of New York (CCNY) and is a NYS certified School Administrator and Supervisor.


Su An Arnn Phipps Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E

Su An Arnn Phipps Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing and the Director of Healthy Women, Healthy Futures (HWHF). HWHF is a two year women’s interconception health program for non-pregnant women of childbearing age who have children enrolled at a participating Educare and at selected Community Action Project early childhood education centers (Head Starts). HWHF’s mission is to improve the health of women living in poverty before they conceive again in order to reduce their risk of future premature births, infant morbidity and mortality.

 Dr. Phipps is actively involved in the Tulsa maternal child health community. She is the program evaluator for the Tulsa Healthy Start Initiative and has evaluated other local programs aimed at reducing health disparities.   Dr. Phipps is currently the Chair of the Tulsa Family Health Coalition, a member of the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Community Action Team (FIMR-CAT), and the Tulsa Community Wellness Partnership.

 Dr. Phipps grew up in a multicultural mining community in rural Nevada and graduated with her Bachelor Degree in Nursing from the University of Utah. She earned her Master Degree in nursing from the University of Arizona, Ph.D. in Human Ecology from Oklahoma State University and received a post-graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy from the Menninger Foundation.  


Andrea Phillips, B.A., M.A.

Andrea Phillips is a Vice President in the Urban Investment Group of Goldman Sachs with a focus on social innovation financing, access to capital for small businesses and economic development investing. She led the investment in the Rikers Social Impact Loan (often referred to as a social impact bond), the first ever by a financial institution and in the US market. She has over 20 years of experience in developing small business, workforce and economic development.

Previously, Andrea was President of Seedco Financial, a 54 million dollar Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Prior to her time at Seedco, she served as Deputy Director for Research and Evaluation for New York City’s Victim Services Agency and as a Program Director at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Andrea serves on the board of Freelancers Union and Freelancers’s Insurance Company.

Ms. Phillips holds a BA from Tufts University and a MA in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Segrid J. Renne, M.P.A.

Ms. Renne has over twenty years experience in public health practice and policy development, maternal & child health, social marketing, and information technology to ensure organizational quality, efficiency, productivity and compliance. She also has extensive experience with regulatory compliance, organizational operations, strategic planning and administration, program development and implementation, team development, P&L management, quality management and revenue cycle management.

Segrid Renne is currently a Program Director for Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership/Central Harlem Healthy Start and the Women’s Health Initiative program.   Before joining NMPP, Ms. Renne worked as part of a team of public health leaders that spear headed the Ambulatory Care Reconstruction Initiative program in the public hospitals in NYC. She has also held several positions as Director for major federally qualified health centers NYC. She has international experience as a Consultant/Advisor of a multi-year project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank to design and implement a national Community Care Program as part of the health sector reform in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Presently Ms. Renne is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies and a Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Research Group on Disparities in Health at Teachers College, Columbia University. She obtained a MPA in Policy Analysis and Evaluation from Baruch College and also graduated from the Johnson & Johnson/UCLA Health Care Executive Program at the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.


Janice Gray-Pierre, M.S.

Janice Gray-Pierre has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for over seventeen years. Before joining the Northern Manhattan team, she worked at Breukelen Recreation Rooms and Settlement Head Start where she moved through the ranks from Teacher to Education Director/Disabilities Coordinator and Administrative Director. She brings an extensive background of early childhood experiences to the organization and is committed to improving the lives of low-income children and families - one child at a time.

Fueled by her passion and unwavering committment to her role as an early childhood advocate, Ms. Gray-Pierre has dedicated most of her professional life to the cause. She received her bachelors degree in elementary education from Lehman College, her master’s degree in early childhood education from Brooklyn College and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Leadership and Educational Administration from the School of Education at Capella University. Her educational philosophy aligns with the collaborative leadership approach to teaching and learning. Given the state of our current educational system, Ms. Gray-Pierre strongly believes that there is an urgent need for a systems reform, one that emphasizes high-quality early childhood education as a pre-requisite for lifelong learning, hence her conviction that effective leadership lies at the heart of successful student achievement .

Ms. Gray-Pierre lives in Danbury, Connecticut with her husband and 16 year old son. She also serves as a member on the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Board.


Please rsvp by clicking the "Register" button at the top of the page.

If you have any questions, contact Janice Minott at 212 665-2600 ext. 350 or jminott@sisterlink.com 




Have questions about BUILDING THE 0-8 PIPELINE: EXPLORING EDUCARE, EARLY CHILDHOOD AND PERINATAL MODELS? Contact Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership/Greater Harlem Healthy Start

When & Where

New York Academy of Medicine
1216 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM (EST)

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Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership/Greater Harlem Healthy Start

NMPP is a non-profit organization comprised of a network of public and private agencies whose mission is to save babies and help women take charge of their reproductive, social, and economic lives.  We are a Maternal and Child Health Life Course Organization offering a range of services including prenatal, preconception, and interconception care, and early childhood education.


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