Staff Reflections on 2023

Dec 21, 2023Blog,News
Photo of the Foundation team

This past year, the Foundation re-opened our Center for Health Equity – and co-created roughly 80 equity-focused events. We deepened our work with our local hospitals and the city through our Anchors Collaborative, working with partners like Pinellas County Urban League and Career Source Pinellas to hold job fairs and training opportunities for South St. Petersburg community members and business owners. And, we partnered with Bayfront Health to launch and successfully conclude a $3 million grantmaking request for proposals.

Our year has been rich, overflowing with opportunities to deepen our work to advance health and racial equity in the city we love and call home. And we have so much more yet to do.

Read on for some reflections from team members on this past year and hopes for the year ahead.


I joined the Foundation team in April and consider it an honor to work alongside a committed team of professionals working towards improving racial equity in health outcomes. With the introduction of Dr. Tomalin as the new CEO of the Foundation, I know our organization will soar to new heights at a necessary time within our community. In the new year, I am looking forward to working collaboratively with our community and partners to collectively address systems change and social determinants of health so that we have a healthier St. Petersburg for all of St. Petersburg regardless of your zip code.
–Lisa Brody, Chief Strategy Officer


This past year brought a serious health challenge that is resolved, thankfully. This challenge, and all of the research I did about it, deepened my understanding of racial disparities in health outcomes and strengthened my commitment to our mission. For 2024, I am very excited about supporting our new leader, Dr. Kanika Tomalin, and the team as we work to develop our 3-5-year strategic plan. I am honored to be here for this journey we are on.
–Lisa Yacso, Administration and Operations Manager


In 2023, I have been inspired by the generosity, camaraderie, and passion from my co-workers here at the Foundation. Everyone really cares about the mission, the work, and one another. This makes coming to work and doing the work in 2023 and beyond exciting, engaging, and worthy.
–Dr. Bilan Joseph, Strategic Initiatives Manager


For me 2023 presented some of the most amazing human experiences in service of making St. Pete a just and equitable place to live. As the leader of the Center for Health Equity, I witnessed our team foster true connections with members of the community to create experiences for education, relationship building as well identifying new ways to address old issues. In 2024 we commit to deepening these relationships, serving as thought leaders in our field, and identifying ways to advance racial equity to improve the health of our community. Let’s get it!
–Marcus Brooks, Executive Director of the Foundation’s Center for Health Equity


I joined the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg in 2023 knowing that it was undergoing remarkable transitions, with the Center having reopened just a few months prior and the search for a visionary CEO underway. Despite this, I felt grateful to be given the opportunity to learn and grow in my role. Even though I was experienced in the field of research, I was new to the world of philanthropy and the South St. Pete area. Moving forward, I am excited to continue working with Dr. Susie Paterson on Foundation research and evaluation efforts, which will be crucial to informing our ongoing efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of South St. Pete by prioritizing racial equity.
–Stephanie Rosado, Research and Evaluation Associate


Joining FHSP in October 2023 I was right on time to see the thoughtful conversations around funding decisions, participate in Courageous Conversations, and contribute to preparations for our upcoming work with funded partners. I’m looking forward to the new year working with our partners on some truly amazing projects and seeing the impact of this collective work.
–Olivia London, Grants and Program Administrator


As this year comes to a close and I reflect on 2023, my heart just feels full. It is so gratifying knowing that my work here, specifically my work supporting each of the events in the Center for Health Equity, has helped strengthen our community. This year I’ve met and worked with so many amazing individuals dedicated to advancing our city’s overall health. I am so proud to call St. Petersburg my home, and I’m super-proud to be a part of the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg team. I’m so excited to see where we will go in 2024, and beyond.
–Dean Hendrix, Center Operations Manager


This past year has been a time of learning, collaboration, and gratitude. It’s truly a privilege to do this work with this team in collaboration with our community. I feel grateful for the opportunity to be here, and I look forward to amplifying voices and helping to tell the story of racial health equity in our community in 2024.
–Barbara Green, Communications Manager

Join our Community of Changemakers

It is through our collective actions and ideas that we will achieve racial and health equity in Pinellas County. Keep pushing the movement forward. Connect with the Foundation and subscribe to our emails to stay updated on opportunities, developments, and events around equity.

Thank you for your interest!