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Dixie Morgese has over twenty five years of experience developing and implementing systems of care to serve communities in the areas of maternal and child health, family risk and resiliency, and HIV and addictions treatment and prevention. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of Healthy Start, Dixie provided technical consulting, quality monitoring, and staff development for Health and Family Service entities throughout the state of Florida. Since 1993, she has participated in Healthy Start service delivery planning and program implementation. Dixie is a native Floridian married to Dominic Morgese, C.P.A., and the mother of two amazing daughters – Sylvia and Michelle. She is co-chair of the Northeast Central Florida Infant Mental Health Chapter, and a Board member of the Daytona State Alumni and Friends Board of Directors.
Finance & Operations Director
Budget Development, Funding Contract Management and Oversight
A graduate of University of Central Florida, Carrie has over twenty years' experience in the field of maternal and child health planning. She joined the Healthy Start staff in 1994 as Assistant Director, and her knowledge and experience in the field has developed and expanded during the agency’s significant growth over the past years. Prior to her employment with Healthy Start, Ms. Wilson worked for the Volusia County Government in Growth Management and the County Manager’s office for five years. Carrie was born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois, but has been a resident of DeLand, Florida for the past twenty-three years. She enjoys community volunteer work, and volunteers as often as possible at her daughter’s elementary school and for other agencies and events that benefit local women and children.
Accounts Payable/Receivable, Fiscal Support for Budgeting and Reporting
Karla has been working in the Accounting field for over 25 years as a Business Owner, Controller of a multi-location storefront, and Office Manager at an IT company where she also taught computer classes, set up computer/network systems and worked with small business owners to teach them how to utilize their new systems. Her degree is from Southwestern Michigan College where she also worked for 3 years as Project Coordinator for the Marketing Department, including bidding, overseeing and coordinating all print, TV and radio advertising and maintaining the Marketing Department Budget. Karla volunteers whenever possible. She does yoga to stay healthy and enjoys golf, tennis and reading. She also loves everything about living close to the beach!
Norma is a graduate of stetson University's accounting program. She has twenty years of accounting experience in the private sector as staff accountant, multi-company controller and office management. Before becoming an accountant, Norma was an operating room nurse. She worked at Shands Hospital in Gainesville in the Major Surgery Department where she was a Nurse III Supervisor. After marrying her husband, she moved to Flagler county where she was the Surgical Services Coordinator that included five departments. Born in Georgia, she lived in Germany for six years and multiple U.S. states before coming to Florida upon her father's retirement form the Army. Norma currently resides in Ormond Beach. Her hobbies include reading and spending time with friends and family.
Administrative & Project Support
Clarissa came to Healthy Start in January of 2006. Prior to that, she worked for eight years in Medical Staffing and Administration and for ten years as a Medical Receptionist in the Ear, Nose and Throat, and Urology fields. At Healthy Start Clarissa provides administrative support for supervisory personnel and works on special projects. She is an avid reader, baseball fan, and enjoys cooking and swimming
Coalition Programs and Contracts Oversight, FIMR Coordination, Fund Development/Grant Writing, Program Data Evaluation
Rosha is graduate of Benedictine University with a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Graduate Certificate in Health Policy & Management and a Graduate Certificate in Epidemiology. She is an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego, and received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Animal Physiology & Neuroscience, with a minor in Health Care Social Issues in 2001. Her professional background is in public health research with a primary emphasis on maternal & child health and has been published in national journals for birth defect surveillance with the Department of Defense. Since 2001, Rosha has worked as a research associate for the Department of Defense Birth & Infant Health Registry; the University of South Florida (Departments of Public Health & Social Work); the University of Central Florida (Department of Education); as a Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Abstractor (FIMR); as a Neonatal Investigator, program consultant, technical writer, and grant writer; and most recently as the Healthy Start Program Manager. Since 2012, Rosha has been a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance, trained in Kripalu Yoga and certified in prenatal and post-partum. In her free time, Rosha enjoys spending time with her family at the beach and caring for her rescue horses.
Program Manager - Healthy Start
Program Oversight and Contract Management - Services for Healthy Start
Originally from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Thalia Smith received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of the Virgin Islands. Having a keen interest in the many dimensions of health, the next step was to pursue a degree in Public Health. As a 2009 graduate of the Masters of Public Health program at the University of Florida, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health (MCH), she has always had an interest in MCH health care programs and services, specifically those related to substance use. Thalia loves anything that has to do with babies and notes her most rewarding volunteer experience as a baby cuddler with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UF Health Shands Hospital.
Program Supervisor - Coordinated Intake & Referral
Melissa graduated from Ashford University in 2015 with a Master of Arts degree in Education and a minor in Family and Community Services. She also has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resource Management from Keiser University. She has two beautiful children, Jadon and Jazmine. She loves to watch her son play football, spend time with her dogs, or go to the beach with her daughter.
Family Services Coordinator
Intervention and prevention guidance to families visiting the Healthy Start Family Place in West Volusia County
Carmen is fluent in both Spanish and English. For seven years before joining the Healthy Start team, Carmen worked as a family support worker in various home visitation programs. At the Children’s Home Society, she worked in the Family Preservation and Healthy Start programs; and at the Stewart Marchman Center, she worked in the Healthy Start and SOBRA/MomCare programs. On March 2, 2006, Carmen received a “You Make a Difference” award for her seven years of service with Healthy Start providers. Carmen continued her role as a MomCare Specialist at the Healthy Start Coalition until December 2015, at which time she became the Family Services Coordinator. In her spare time, Carmen volunteers at different events in the Deltona, Deland and Pierson communities.
Maternity Care Advisor
Prenatal Services Contact and Case Oversight
Sue worked in the educational field for many years with children of various ages and their parents. Her first job at Healthy Start was doing assessments for at-risk pregnant women and infants. She later moved on to the MomCare program where she assists pregnant women that are Medicaid eligible find a prenatal provider and other resources in the community. Sue enjoys reading, yoga, and her grandchildren.
Program Manager - Intensive Services
Program Oversight and Contract Management - Services for Substance-Involved Pregnant and Post-partum Women, Newborns, and Families
Angelina is a wife and mother of three beautiful children. She earned her B.S. in biology from Bethune-Cookman University in 2008 and will be obtaining her M.S. in counseling for clinical mental health in December of 2016. She has a passion for women, children, and families. She has a sincere desire to give back to her community in any capacity she can.
Program Supervisor - Intensive Services
Supervision, Targeted Case Management, Support and Advocacy - Services for Substance-Involved Pregnant and Post-partum Women, Newborns, and Families
I have been a counselor for over 8 years with a focus on clients that struggle with a history of addiction, mental health and trauma. In my personal and professional experience providing a compassionate, loving and caring approach is essential in the healing process. I also have knowledge of crisis intervention techniques and have experience in facilitating various groups focusing on substance use, women's issues, and coping with trauma.
I attended the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and received my Master's in Holocaust and Genocide Studies in 2009. I am also a Certified Addictions Professional and a Certified Trauma Therapist.
I grew up in New Jersey but I currently live in Deland with my husband and beautiful daughter. In my free time I love baking, spending time with my family and being in nature.
Peer Recovery Specialist In-Training
Services for Substance-Involved Pregnant and Post-partum Women, Newborns, and Families
Hillary has a very overwhelming and passionate urge to help substance abusing mothers get into recovery and back with their children. She has a strong interest to go to school for dual diagnosis in the coming year. Hillary has two amazing boys: Constantien who is six years old, and Xavier who is 21 months. Her goal at Healthy Start is to change the lives of outstanding women.
Victoria Camper joined Healthy Start in 2015 as a Parent Partner. She is dedicated to hosting Community Café dialogues to expand social connections and increase Protective Factors. She maintains a positive outlook and a sense of hope through encouragement of parents and caregivers to utilize the Protective Factors framework. She enjoys going to amusement parks and water parks with her three children.
Sarah is the mother to four wonderful children. She balances her time between sports, school, work, recovery and her family. She has been active in community organizations geared at prevention of substance abuse since 2011. Her passion is to reach out and help people who are struggling by empowering them to find healing and recovery. She has received a general Associate of Arts degree from Daytona State College and should receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida in Spring of 2018.
Program Manager - Healthy Families
Program Oversight and Contract Management - Healthy Families
Susan has been an advocate for children and families throughout her 30 year career in the social service arena and has served in the role of Program Manager for the local Healthy Families program since June 2001. In her role as Healthy Families Program Manager, she has successfully implemented the Best Practice Standards of the Healthy Families America (HFA) model and led the local Healthy Families project through three (3) successful HFA Accreditation cycles. As a certified HFA Peer Reviewer and Team Coordinator, she periodically conducts Peer Review visits at Healthy Families projects across the nation as part of their HFA Accreditation process. Susan is a member of the Florida Association of Infant Mental Health, Junior League of Daytona Beach and Girl Scouts. Her past experience in the mental health field, working with individuals who have an intellectual disability and as a current member of the local Child Abuse Death Review Committee reinforces her belief in evidence-based prevention programming and the role that protective factors plays in all of our lives. In alignment with her dedication to the mission of the Coalition and the Healthy Families program, she would say that her most significant role is that of being the mother to her amazing daughters and parenting in partnership with her incredible husband. Despite being blessed with multiple protective factors, Susan understands the challenges associated with balancing a career and family, which further reinforces her vision that every family should have access to a Parent Educator to help them better understand the developmental stages of their child, link them to the resources to meet their unique needs, and ultimately, to empower them with the tools that they need to be the best parents they can possibly be!
Program Staff Assistant - Healthy Families
Healthy Families Program
I consider myself to be a friendly person and enjoy chatting at the checkout lines. I very much enjoy watching old Hollywood classic movies and spending time with my family. One of my favorite things to do is take photos of family members interacting with each other at family gatherings. My favorite colors are green and blue. I’m a huge sucker for homes with front porches, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and rich gooey brownies.
Parent Support Navigator
Healthy Families Program
Shawnerie is a 2009 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. She also is veteran who served in the United States Army. As she says, it's never easy being a wife and a mother of two gorgeous little girls, but she loves each and every day. Shawnerie demonstrates her unique qualifications and insight of child welfare. She enjoys volunteering in the community and spending time with her family.
Program Supervisor - Healthy Families
Healthy Families Program
I joined Healthy Start in March 2014 to continue my passion of helping families to increase child development, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. Before joining Healthy Start, I worked as a Child Development Specialist for Early Head Start in Seattle, Washington. I moved to Florida with my husband and two boys to be closer to my elderly parents and to enjoy the lovely ocean. As a family we enjoy traveling, swimming, and spending quality time with our fairly large family.
Senior Parent Educator
Healthy Families Program
Yolonda Williams is the mother of 5 children, so it would be obvious that she loves working with little people, which is how she likes to refer to them. She has been employed with Healthy Families Volusia~Flagler as a Parent Educator for 5 years, and she loves sharing information with, and learning from, her families.
Healthy Families Program
Alexis Carey is a mother and a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. She received her BA in Communications. She has been working with children from all levels of preschool (infant - K-4). Alexis has a passion that drives her to the community. She joined the Healthy Start team in 2015, where she is excited to be serving as a Parent Educator for Healthy Families.
Healthy Families Program
She is currently majoring in Social Work at Daytona State College. She gained experience working with children and their families through Easter Seals in their child development center. She is passionate about making sure each child gets the best possible start in order to be their happiest and most successful.
Ann Marie Edrmann
Healthy Families Program
I moved to Florida from Puerto Rico as a teenager, not knowing the language and being exposed to a completely different culture. I quickly adapted and learned to appreciate the new opportunities, even while missing those left behind. Having been exposed to unhealthy family dynamics, I felt a calling to help those who underwent similar upbringings. I have dedicated myself to help others find ways to live a more productive life while avoiding behaviors learned from adults around us. I take great pride at going above the call of duty and excelling at what I do. In the twenty years I have worked in social services, I have learned much about the importance of not judging people and instead finding ways to build on their strengths. As I spent a few years as a mother figure to foster kids in group homes and sometimes had up to eleven teenage girls to care for and guide, including my precious daughter Hannah, I learned the importance of humor and prayer so as to not allow their pain driven actions to impact my ability to love them through their pain. I look forward to working at Healthy Start as a Parent Educator and continue to use what I have learned in life in order to help others achieve their potential as positive parent figures.
Healthy Families Program
Following her own experience with becoming a mother for the first time in 2008, Tirzah found a drive and passion for working with mothers and babies. She became a labor and postpartum Doula through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association in 2008 and soon after returned to certify as a Childbirth and Lactation Educator. In 2013 she began working at WIC as a Lactation Counselor. She is excited about continuing her journey in empowering parents with the Healthy Families program.
Christina (Chrissy) Moore
Healthy Families Program
Christina Moore- Chrissy was born and raised in Volusia County. She earned her Early Childhood Professional Certificate preschool specialization in 2007 and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) credentials in 2011. Chrissy has 5.5 years working with the WIC program (Women, Infant, and Children) where she discovered her passion of working with new moms. In 2009, she welcomed her daughter Jasmine, whom inspires her daily. She's looking forward to using her experiences to continue working with families in the community by offering them the support they need to meet their goals.
Manny is a graduate from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religious Studies while minoring in German. Manny will be completing his Master of Divinity degree in 2019 with a specialization in pastoral counseling. He joined the Healthy Start team in 2016 and has grown a passion for serving families in the community through maternal and child healthcare. Manny juggles between work and school while serving our community. Manny loves teaching, reading, eating Chick-Fil-A, and seeing people reach their maximum potential to live a successful life.
C.I. & R. Specialist
In 2009 Reyia earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno. In 2017 she received a Post Bachelorette Certificate in Mental Health from Capella University. Other educational accomplishments include, an Associate’s degree in Business Marketing from Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada and she is a Certified Perinatal Educator.
Reyia has worked for more than six years with the state of Nevada in the Health and Human Services Department as an Administrative Assistant and Family Service Worker. In 2013 Reyia began working with the Healthy Start Coalition and has held several positions such as Family Assessment Worker and an Intervention Specialist within the agency. Most recently, she has taken on the position of Intake Specialist.
In her free time, Reyia likes to spend time with her family and Grandchildren, hike, cook, and go to a Bingo Hall occasionally.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies in 2016. She is passionate about the welfare and equitable treatment of children and families. She has 5 years of experience working in after-school programs and residential childcare. This Chicago native enjoys music, uplifting others and sharing her culinary creations with friends and family.
Sophia is the mother of two girls and the Grandmother of three boys and one girl. She has a passion to support children, women and their families. Sophia is a disabled U.S. Army veteran and has earned an AA Degree from Daytona State. She is currently furthering her education.