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Executive Director

Lashelle Stewart, MBA, Executive Director
Lashelle Stewart Headshot
Lashelle Stewart is the Executive Director for Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc. She is a recent graduate of the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Executive Program and a member of Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute’s Bunting Leadership Fellowship’s inaugural graduates. She has provided services to families for over twenty years. Lashelle has a passion for working with mothers and babies and takes pride in delivering services that will have multi-generational impact. 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 since 2015.

Leadership Team

Maxine Reed-Vance, RN, MS, Deputy Director
Maxine Reed Vance headshot

Maxine Reed-Vance serves as Deputy Director/Director of Clinical Affairs and Quality Assurance at Baltimore City Healthy Start.   Ms.  Reed-Vance has worked with Baltimore Healthy Start since the program’s inception in 1993.  She has over 30 years of experience in obstetrical nursing and has worked in institutions such as the Johns Hopkins hospital, the Jefferson Davis Hospital (now Lyndon B. Johnson) in Houston, and the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston.  She has over ten years of teaching experience at the College level.  Ms. Reed-Vance has completed all the course work toward a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Nursing Research.  She has participated in applied research carried out by staff at the Baltimore Healthy Start including research on depression screening;  the examination of Chlamydia and Bacterial Vaginosis prevalence among program enrollees; childhood safety among program participants; substance abuse and pregnancy outcomes; and inter-pregnancy intervals, home-based family planning services, and contraceptive use patterns. Ms. Reed-Vance served as the Principal Investigator for the Baltimore site, one of five NICHD funded sites, examining the role of stress and resilience in pregnancy outcome.

She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nation Nurses Honor Society and Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority.  She has held membership in the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing and the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  She is a Johnson and Johnson Fellow (2006). She currently serves as one of the 73 Innovator Advisor for the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation. Ms. Reed-Vance is an ordained minister.  She is co-author of several journal articles including Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae among pregnant women in a community outreach program in Baltimore, MD. ISSTDR 14th Ann. Meet., Berlin, Internat. J. STD & AIDS. 12 (suppl 2): 95, 2001. Spiritual and Religious Resources in African American Women:  Protection from Depressive Symptoms After Childbirth.  Clinical Psychological Science Volume 3 Issue 2, 2015. Explaining Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Postpartum Allostatic Load:  Results from a multisite study of low to middle income women.  SSM Population Health, Volume 2.  December, 2016. pp 850-858.

Felicia McKoy-Laguerre, Program Manager HFA
Felicia McKoy Laguerre headshot
Felicia Mckoy-Laguerre is a Supervisor Case Manager for the Healthy Families America program for Baltimore Healthy Start. Her educational background encompasses a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services with a concentration in urban planning and community development. Felicia has been with BHS for 14 years. Her particular focus is on management training. She also serves on various committees that impact the overall success of Healthy Start.

Susanne Brown, PHR, Human Resources Manager
Susanne Brown headshot
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.

Leah Nicole Abrams, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
Leah Abrams headshot
Leah Abrams has been an accounting professional for over 10 years. She is a Certified Public Accountant and the owner of L. Abrams & Company LLC. Founded in 2014, the company’s vision is a life of service to those in need of financial stability and growth.  She provides encouragement, budget practices, internal control structures, audit for compliance and accounting. Leah joined Baltimore Healthy Start in 2016 as its Chief Financial Officer.

Terrainia Hughes, Staff Accountant
Terrainia Hughes headshot
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.

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.

Natasha Legette, Family Support Worker
Natasha Legette is a Family Support Worker for Healthy Families America. She started her journey at Federal Healthy Start in 2007 as a Neighborhood Health Advocate. In 2012 she started a new position serving the community within the Greenmount Area of Baltimore City. Natasha’s job is to strengthen family relationships, enhance child 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 in 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 an 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 for over 20 years. She enjoys helping and working with families.

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

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 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 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 her clients’ top needs are housing, education, transportation, and mental health services.

Lillian Armstrong, Neighborhood Health Advocate
Lillian Armstrong has worked for Baltimore Healthy Start 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 a highly self-motivated Data Entry Specialist for the Federal Healthy 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 for over 20 years. She enjoys working with moms and children.

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 15 years. Every day she has the privilege of helping families from her community grow and become happier and healthier. 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 a consultant for Baltimore Healthy Start for three 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. He also assists with driving clients to a number of programs offered by BHS. Nate is retired from the D.C. Superior Court where he worked as a courtroom clerk for 24 years. Nate was the Baltimore City Basketball player of the year for Southern High School (1975-1976).