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Executive Director

Joy Twesigye, MS, MPP, WHNP-BC
Joy Twesigye is the Executive Director for Baltimore Healthy Start. Inc. Joy has 25 years’ experience starting and managing socially responsible organizations framed around maternal and family support, community and school-based services, and healthcare reform. As a collaborative and action driven leader in health care, she has more than 10 years’ experience revitalizing organizations and teams through innovation, inclusion, transparency, and engagement. In 1991, founded The Dining Room, the first sustainable soup kitchen for Delaware, OH. In 1993, became a founding member of Andrews House, a not-for-profit community center in the same town. Joy is currently a volunteer Maryland State Co-Coordinator for Postpartum Support International, Ohio Wesleyan University Baltimore Chapter Leader and Maryland Association of School-Based Health Care board member.

Leadership Team

Lashelle Stewart, MBA, Deputy Director
Lashelle Stewart is the Deputy Director for BHS. She has provided services to families for over twenty years. She manages the Federal Healthy Start team and programming for the agency. Lashelle implemented the Parent Leadership Group at the agency, coordinated with the Judy Center and Enoch Pratt Free Library for the Story Time events at the center, reinstated the child development program and established the partnership with Baltimore City Community College to offer GED classes. She is especially proud of a partnership with Oh Taste Lactation to offer a breastfeeding group at Baltimore Healthy Start. Lashelle has been with the agency for over a year.

Maxine Reed-Vance, RN, MS, High-Risk Nurse
Maxine Reed-Vance has worked with Baltimore Healthy Start since the program’s inception in 1993 and presently serves as the organizations’ High-Risk Nurse.   She has participated in applied research, carried out by staff, and was the Principal Investigator when Healthy Start was selected as one of five NICHD funded sites to examine the role of stress and resilience to pregnancy outcomes.  Ms. Reed-Vance is a 2006 Johnson and Johnson Fellow and was chosen as one of  73 Innovator Advisors for the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation.

Dana Gaskins, MHS, CHES Director, Healthy Families America
Dana J. Gaskins is presently the Program Manager of the evidence-based home visiting program, Healthy Families America.  She has worked for the company for 17 years in a variety of management positions, initially being hired as the Nutrition Coordinator.  Dana is grateful to whom she was born which was insurance for a self-sufficient life enabling her to easily serve and give her best, since the best was given to her.

Susanne Brown, PHR, Human Resource Manager
Susanne Brown is responsible for managing the human resources function of the organization, which includes recruitment and workforce planning, HR audit and operating processes and HR compliance and policy handbooks.

Shannon Millington, MBA, MS, Finance Director
Shannon has 19 years of experience in Financial Analysis, Budgeting, and Project Management.  Shannon previously worked for the Department of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, Shannon was responsible for directing and reviewing the agency’s grant programs with special emphasis on workforce development and adult learning. Shannon also has many years of experience with financial reporting and auditing.

Data and Evaluation Team

Patti Jakusz, Management Information System Coordinator
Patti Jakusz has been with Healthy Start since April, 1992.  She was hired as a data-entry clerk because of her background in Rbase.  It was clear that the outside agency hired to develop the client tracking system couldn’t handle the task so, within one month, Patti moved into the programming/database administration position.  She was full-time until 2007, when she began working as an independent contractor on a part-time basis.

Carson Research Group, Internal Evaluator



Darsha Pulliam, Family Support Worker
Darsha is a Family Support Worker for BHS’ Healthy Families America program. Darsha strives for greatness in each and every client she works with. Her goal is to help in any way she can to be supportive to her clients.

Felicia McKoy-Laguerre, Case Manager
Felicia McKoy-Laguerre is a supervisor/case manager for the Healthy Families America program @ Baltimore Healthy Start (BHS). Her educational background encompasses a Bachelor of Art in Human Services with a concentration in urban planning and community development. Felicia has been with BHS for 14 years. Her particular focus is case management and training with staff and families. Felicia also helps with various committees that impacts the overall success of Baltimore Healthy Start.

Keesha Leach, Family Support Worker 
Keesha Leach is a Family Support Worker for the past 5 yrs. with Baltimore Healthy Start /HFA program. Her main focus is to assist families with child development, refferals and goal planning for future family endeavors. Keesha also assists with our organized Sister circle with our families as needed. 

Phyllis Warner, Office Manager
Phyllis Warner is the Office Manager for our Baltimore Healthy Start program. She is the first point of contact for our clients and staff. She ensures that office operations and procedures run efficiently and effectively.

Natasha Legette, Family Support Worker
Natasha Legette is a Family Support Worker for Healthy Families America. I started my journey at Federal Healthy Start in 2007 as a Neighborhood Health Advocate.  In 2012 I started a new position serving the community within the Greenmount Area of Baltimore City. My job is to strengthen family relationships, enhance children development and to increase health outcomes.

Florence Butler, Neighborhood Health Advocate

Florence Butler is a Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, and Perinatal Monitoring Intervention Neighborhood Health Advocate for the Baltimore Healthy Start program. Her particular focus is recruiting and helping pregnant women and infants, enroll into the program. Florence has been with Healthy Start for 20 years, and plans to continue serving families throughout the community.

Angela Holland, Neighborhood Health Advocate

Angela Holland is a NHA who lives and works in the community. Her specialty is working with prenatal clients.

Towanda Jennings, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Towanda Jennings has worked as an NHA for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for over 20 years. She enjoys helping and working with her families.

Angelica Barrera, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Angelica Barrera has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for 4 years as a bilingual NHA. She has created an outstanding relationship with the Hispanic community through her home visiting experience.

Romona Wise, Case Manager
Romona Wise has 20 years of experience as an early childhood NHA case manager and NHA. Her work in the community is a rewarding experience as she gets to observe positive outcomes with the families she works with.

Deshawn Moody, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Deshawn Moody has been an NHA with Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for 20 years. She enjoys seeing the smiles on her clients faces when they successfully complete a goal.

Sheila R. Washington, Recruiter
Sheila R. Washington has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. since the day it opened. She loves working with the people in all the communities including Sandtown, Rosemont, Harlem Park, Edmondson Village and the East side. She believes our clients top needs are housing, education, transportation and mental health.

Towanda Robinson, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Towanda Robinson is a Neighborhood Health Advocate for the Federal Health Start program and has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for one year. She enjoys giving support and coordinating resources for families in need.

Lillian Armstrong, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Lillian Armstrong has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for over 20 years. Her love for her coworkers and the families she serves keeps her coming back every day. She likes to cook and bakes amazing pies!

Erica Kane, Data Entry Specialist
Erica Kane is the highly self-motivated Data Entry Specialist for the Federal Health Start program. She is not the Erica Kane from All My Children in disguise.

Denise Harvey, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Denise is an early child development Neighborhood Health Advocate. She has been with Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for over 20 years. She enjoys working with moms and children.

Terrainia Hughes, Staff Accountant
Terrainia has been employed with Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for 14 years. She has worked as an early child development advocate, client records clerk and coordinator.

Gloria Johnson, Records Coordinator
Gloria has worked as a client interviewer and is now the client Records Coordinator for the federal Healthy Start program.

Pamika Lee, Lead Case Manager
Pamika has been employed at Healthy Start for fifteen years.  Working at Healthy Start is such an amazing experience.  Every day she has the privilege of helping families from her community grow and become happier and healthier.  She has never worked in such a warm environment, one in which every staff member truly cares about each other.  She is grateful for being part of a great team!

Sonia McFadden, Recruiter
Sonia has the unique opportunity to recruit for both the federal Healthy Start program as well as the Healthy Families America Program. Sonia is often spotted at health fairs around Baltimore.

James Mitchell, I.T. Department Manager
James is the owner of Reasonable Tech Solution, Inc. and has been consultant for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. for 3 years.

Tammi Smith, Data Entry Coordinator
Tammi is the Data Entry Coordinator for the Healthy Families America program. She is responsible for timely capture of client and programmatic data into the shared data system across Baltimore for all Healthy Families America programs.

Nathaniel Speight, Facilities
Nate is responsible for maintaining the building and grounds.  Nate also assists with driving the clients to a number of programs offered by BHS.   Nate is retired from D.C. Superior Court where he worked as a court room clerk for 24 years. Nate was the Baltimore City Basketball player of the year for Southern High School (1975-1976).

Kevin Pullen,Facilities Manager/Driver
Kevin is responsible for maintaining the buildings and grounds of the organization.  Kevin is also responsible for transporting clients to the GED program.  Kevin has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start for 22 years.  Kevin served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 3 years.