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HealthLab@LightCity presented by Kaiser Permanente, Supporting Sponsor: Towson University

Thursday, April 19

Explore the health of our society with noted innovators and on-the-ground practitioners whose work and innovative practices have the potential to affect the quality of life and health for people in Baltimore and around the globe.

Damion J. Cooper, M.Th., Founder/Executive Director, Project Pneuma

Damion is the Founder and Executive Director of Project Pneuma, which is a holistic program to assist young African American boys who are having challenges in middle school as it relates to their impulse actions being barriers to their educational success. This program partners with the Baltimore City Public School System and Baltimore City Police Department.  Damion also serves with Coppin State University’s “Our House” Mentoring Program and the Mayor’s Office and the Baltimore City Health Department’s Task Force on Youth Violence and Prevention. 

Dr. Elizabeth Thompson, Director, Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Elizabeth Thompson, Ph.D., is a child/adolescent mental health executive with an established track record of optimizing service delivery to traumatized children and families through organizational leadership, workforce development, policy and program development, grants management, regulatory compliance and building community relationships. She currently serves as director of the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Thompson is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and is recognized for her contributions to several national workgroups and expert panels. She has a faculty appointment in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Kathryn S. Collins, Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work

Kathryn S. Collins is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Co-Principal Investigator of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network SAMHSA funded Family Informed Trauma Treatment Center and Principal Investigator of Trauma Education Connections Initiative. The focus of her academic career centers on social justice, disparities in access to trauma based mental health services, and developing trauma focused social work interventions for vulnerable and oppressed populations such as minority children, women, and families surviving poverty and chronic violence in the inner city. Currently, she is the co-developer of Trauma Adapted Family Connections, a trauma informed neglect prevention intervention.

Scott Nolen, Director, Open Society Institute – Baltimore Drug Addiction Treatment Program

Scott Nolen is the director of the Drug Addiction Treatment program at the Open Society Institute–Baltimore. Nolen has held a variety of research, legislative, and advocacy positions in the public health and juvenile and criminal justice fields. Before joining the Open Society Institute–Baltimore, he worked as a health scientist in the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Strategic Planning, Legislation, and Scientific Policy. As a part of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Nolen led a project focused on driving the national discussion on health disparities.

Crista Taylor, LCSW-C, Vice President of Programs, Behavioral Health System Baltimore

Crista is the CristaVice President of Programs and a licensed clinical social worker. She oversees the development and day-to-day management of the full range of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services available to individuals and families in Baltimore City impacted by mental illness and substance use.

Dr. Leana S. Wen, M.D., MSc., FAAEM, Health Commissioner, Baltimore City

Dr. Leana Wen is the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. An emergency physician and patient and community advocate, she leads the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), the oldest, continuously-operating health department in the United States, formed in 1793. BCHD is an agency with a $130 million annual budget and 1,000 employees committed to improving well-being and combatting disparities through education, policy/advocacy, and direct service delivery. BCHD’s wide-ranging responsibilities include maternal and child health, youth wellness, school health, senior services, animal control, restaurant inspections, emergency preparedness, STI/HIV treatment, and acute and chronic disease prevention.

Michelle Antoinette Nelson, Founder, Brown + Healthy

Michelle Antoinette Nelson aka LOVE the poet is an artist, innovator, and Founder of Brown and Healthy, a non-profit global health and wellness initiative for people of color. She's also a multifaceted career creative who's dedicated over a decade to her life's work to innovating for social justice, authoring books and plays, writing arts education curricula, and providing platforms for artists and entrepreneurs to explore and discover the true nature of their work.

Mateo Blu, Renowned artist and former NFL Player

Matthew Rice, also known by his creative moniker Mateo Blu, was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, U.S.A. His humble beginnings were like that of many other inner city youth growing up surrounded by temptation and negativity. Outside of having a loving family and a strong spiritual belief, two things that aided in changing Mateo's story were: art and football. Both gave him the escape that he needed allowing him to grow. With this newfound focus and discipline, Matthew went on to excel in both realms. Mateo has been blessed to successfully pursue his purpose; his clients include businesses, art collectors, interior decorators, professional athletes, foreign political dignitaries, and nonprofits.

Peter Bruun, Artist

Peter Bruun is an artist, educator, curator, and community activist in the arts. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1963 and raised in New York City, he moved to the Baltimore area in 1987 to attend graduate school. He has remained in the region ever since, currently dividing his time between Southwest Harbor, Maine, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Kevin Shird, Author and youth advocate

Kevin Shird is a youth advocate and public speaker. Shird served twelve years in prison for drug trafficking, and today works with young people to help them avoid the dangers of the street culture. Shird cofounded the Do Right Foundation with Grammy-nominated singer and actor Mario Barrett and worked for the White House as part of President Barack Obama’s Clemency Project. Kevin has also worked with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to promote substance abuse awareness to students across the nation. He has held a number of positions appointed by the former mayor of Baltimore including the heroin treatment and prevention task force. Shird is also a three-time published author and speaker. He lives in Baltimore, MD.

Nancy Lublin, Founder & CEO, Crisis Text Line and former CEO of Do Something Inc.

Nancy Lublin is the founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line. During her 2013 TED Talk, Lublin launched Crisis Text Line, the world’s first 24/7, free, text message-based support service for people facing a range of issues, from depression and substance abuse to eating disorders and physical abuse. Named one of the “World's 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune, Lublin later launched a separate initiative called Crisis Trends to track when and where issues occur. With such great success using technology and big data, Lublin rolled out in 2018 as a for-profit subsidiary of Crisis Text Line. Lublin is chairwoman of the new board at, a for-profit petition and fundraising website focused on social and political change, and serves on other prominent boards. One of the Schwab Foundation’s 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year, Lublin was selected as a Young Global Leader by The World Economic Forum and named one of the NonProfit Times’ 50 Most Powerful Leaders three years in a row.


Jennifer Facteau, MS, LCPC, Regional Director of Behavioral Health, Kaiser Permanente

Jennifer Facteau, MS, LCPC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with over 16 years of experience, 12 of which have been in operational leadership positions. Jennifer has been with Kaiser Permanente since 2010 and is currently the Regional Director of Behavioral Health. In this role, Jennifer has direct responsibility for all operational and regulatory aspects of Behavioral Health and is responsible for the design, strategy and oversight of effective service delivery throughout the Mid- Atlantic region. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Jennifer worked at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for 8 years in the department of Psychiatry. During this time, Jennifer also served as a Lead consultant for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) where she traveled across the United States to funded SAMHSA programs to perform site assessments and make recommendations to improve the clinical and fiscal operations of these programs. Jennifer also served as a trainer and consultant to the State of Connecticut, Department of Child and Family services to implement cost effective, evidenced-based treatment programs for high risk families.