The IPHN Conveners are the co-founders and co-directors of the Network. The title Convener emphasizes the Network's focus on connection and collaboration.
Kelly Moltzen, OFS, MPH, RD
Kelly Moltzen is a tireless advocate of making connections between food, faith, and social justice. In addition to being a co-convener of the Interfaith Public Health Network, Kelly is a program manager at the Institute for Family Health with the Bronx Health REACH initiative. She was a 2022 Rockefeller-Acumen Food Systems Fellow, 2021-2022 Abrahamic House Fellow, and 2015 Re:Generate Fellow with the Food, Health and Ecological Well-Being Program of Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She is a Networking Liaison with the Religion Member Interest Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and a member of the Ecumenical/Interfaith Committee of the USA Secular Franciscan Order. She has an MPH from NYU, completed her dietetic internship with the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and has a BS in Nutritional Sciences & Dietetics from the University of Delaware. Kelly was recognized as part of Hunter College's NYC Food Policy Center 40 Under 40 Class of 2020.
Robert Pezzolesi, MPH
Robert (Bob) Pezzolesi, MPH, is a public health advocate dedicated to building healthier communities by integrating faith-inspired social change with science-based public health policy and practice.
An internationally recognized expert on alcohol-related harm and alcohol policy, Bob has presented across the U.S. and around the globe, in settings as varied as small meetings in church basements to the Global Alcohol Policy Conference (Seoul, 2013 and Melbourne, 2017), the World Social Forum (Montreal, 2016), the World Cancer Congress (Paris, 2016), and the United Nations.
Following his work as Alcohol Consultant to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, he coordinated the Building Alcohol Ad-Free Transit (BAAFT) campaign, a successful grassroots effort to remove alcohol advertising from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority system. His consultation and volunteer work have addressed a range of public health issues, including substance use problems and recovery, gendered violence, food systems, and the public health impacts of systemic racism. He earned his Master of Public Health with a concentration in community health from Walden University in 2009. A member of the United Methodist Church (UMC) since 1991, Bob is a Full Candidate for the Office of UMC Home Missioner.
IPHN Board of Directors
Stacey Carpenter; Chair of the Board
Stacey Carpenter is a Postulant for Holy Orders in The Episcopal Church, sponsored through the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Stacey is completing her Master of Divinity (MDiv) at Seminary of the Southwest, with an anticipated graduation in May 2022. Prior to seminary, Stacey had a twenty plus year career working at Fortune 50 companies leading project and program management, training and education, and change management organizations. Stacey is focused on the intersections of faith, healing, and public policy as part of the ministry work she feels called to do.
Rachel Berman, MD, MPH; Board Secretary
Rachel Stein Berman, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Berman received her BA in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 2004. In 2010, she received her MD and MPH from Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Berman is committed to advocating for her patients beyond the medical context, and she seeks to use her clinical experience to inform public health policy, particularly regarding social determinants of health (SDoH) and adverse childhood experiences. Dr. Berman teaches pediatric residents and medical students, and is currently leading an effort to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum on social needs screening and referrals for residents in various specialties. Her research – which has been published in numerous reviewed journals and presented internationally - has focused on primary care of new immigrant children, poverty-related SDoH, and related topics.
Dr. Berman is board certified in Pediatrics and in Preventive Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academic Pediatric Association.
An observant Jew and active member of her Modern Orthodox community, she resides in Bronx, NY with her husband, a rabbi, and their three sons.
Marium Husain, MD, MPH; Board Treasurer
Dr. Marium Husain, MD, MPH is a hematology/oncology fellow at The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed a residency in Internal Medicine. Dr. Husain has been working on community service projects in the Columbus area and abroad for the past 12 years. As the President of the national non-profit, IMANA (Islamic Medical Association of North America), she has been working on public health education and domestic projects related to food insecurity, women’s health, reproductive health, and climate change. She has also traveled to Haiti, as part of IMANA Medical Relief, to help provide primary care at a rural clinic and raised money to build wells for clean water access. IMANA is a leading resource and network for American-Muslim physicians and other healthcare professionals in North America.
Rucha Kaur, PhD
Dr. Rucha Kaur/Kavathe is a social justice and public health advocate with over 10 years of experience in Sikh community centered grassroots organizing and leadership building. Her public health expertise focuses on ensuring that marginalized communities have access to linguistically and culturally competent evidence-based strategies to improve health outcomes. As a trained Community Health Worker, she has helped develop and implemented culturally tailored interventions to address diabetes prevention, hypertension management and oral health promotion in the Sikh community. Rucha currently serves as the Community Development Director at the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights non-profit organization where she works on community empowerment initiatives designed to enhance grassroots leadership, defend civil rights and build community power.
Rucha holds a Doctoral Degree in Communication Studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a Masters Degree in Development Communication from Gujarat University in India. A resident of New Jersey, in her free time Rucha is an avid reader, podcast enthusiast and coffee lover.
Victoria Strang, MDiv
Victoria Strang has worked as a community organizer and advocate with faith communities for over 10 years. Victoria has held positions at The American Heart Association, the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty and The Humane Society of the United States and currently serves as the first Faith Policy Advocate for Human Rights Watch. In 2017, she received her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School where she focused on the intersection of faith and social justice. During her time at Yale she served as a Global Health Justice Fellow through Yale's Law and Public Health Schools. Victoria completed a double major in Religion and Government at Skidmore College in 2010.