Our Senior Leadership Team is responsible for the day to day guidance of Public Health Solutions (PHS). They are also highly committed to inspire PHS’ passionate and talented staff to learn more, do more, and become more.
President and CEO
Lisa David is the President and CEO of PHS. She leads the organization in successfully providing public health services to underserved families and children, offering grants and management assistance to over 200 community-based organizations, and guiding public health research and evaluation. She also provides leadership in executing long-term strategies to address the public health needs of low-income communities throughout New York City.
Lisa has over 30 years of experience in the public health and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining PHS, Lisa held positions as the Interim CEO of Medicines360, the EVP and COO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Vice Chair for Administration of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Columbia School of Physicians and Surgeons. Lisa currently serves on the Health and Mental Health Advisory Committee for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and is a member of the United Hospital Fund Policy Forum. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Medicines360, and on two committees of the Human Services Council: the Value Based Payment Commission and the Priority and Strategy Council.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Steve Lawitts oversees PHS’ daily operations, including Human Resources, IT, Finance, and Contracting and Management Services (CAMS). He joined our organization in 2016 from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where he served for 10 years as First Deputy Commissioner, Chief Financial Officer, and Acting Commissioner. During this same time period, Steve was also the Executive Director of the New York City Water Board and served on the board of the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority. Before DEP, Steve served as the Senior Vice President for the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation and spent fifteen years in the transportation sector at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).
Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of CAMS
Christine Nollen, MPA, MPH, oversees the strategic operations as well as the Contracting and Management Services (CAMS) Department. She joined PHS in 2016. Most recently Christine was the Administrative Director of the Department of Medicine for Mt. Sinai Beth Israel, where her role was to restructure and revitalize the department subsequent to a merger. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities, she has spent her 20-year public health career working in the nonprofit and hospital sectors, focused on access to care and quality of care for marginalized populations. She served in a variety of operational leadership roles for the largest HIV Center in New York State, at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, now part of the Institute for Advanced Medicine at Mt. Sinai. She also worked at Planned Parenthood Federation of America on a national STI awareness raising campaign, and has worked internationally consulting on the development of programs in Kenya and Eastern Europe.
Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Marla Tepper joined PHS in 2016 as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel to oversee PHS’ compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as handling litigation. She provides counsel to the Executive Director, Board, and staff, addresses nonprofit governance issues and legal questions related to contracting and commercial leases, and engages in and supports policy work. Marla’s legal and public service career spans more than 25 years. Prior to her current role, she served as General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the largest municipal consumer protection agency in the country. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Civil Rights in the Eastern District New York State Attorney’s office, and as a NYS Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Fraud, Civil Rights, and Litigation bureaus.
Zachariah “Zach” Hennessey
Vice President of Programs and Services
Zach Hennessey joined PHS in 2017 as Vice President of Programs and Services to oversee PHS’ direct service program areas—including program development, delivery and evaluation, budget setting, knowledge management, and all internal and external relationship management. Zach comes to PHS with over a decade of experience in developing, executing, and evaluating health and human services programs in collaboration with local communities. Prior to Public Health Solutions, he served as Assistant Vice President for Community and Population Health at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and co-directed the Special Projects Division of the Spencer Cox Center for Health at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York’s largest Designated AIDS Center. Zach was also the Director of Development and Evaluation at ECQ Group, a small non-profit public health consulting firm, where he developed and evaluated health and human services programs for a broad range of nonprofits.
Vice President of Development and Marketing
Lisa Jakobsberg joined PHS in 2016. She serves as chief strategist in building the direction for fundraising, public relations, marketing, and brand positioning for PHS. She oversees all fundraising, including individual giving and foundation grants, to expand new and existing programs that focus resources to where they are most needed in managing chronic and merging public health issues. Lisa previously served as the Executive Vice President of Development and Corporate Relations at the National MS Society and led re-branding, business partnerships, and events at the Food Bank For New York City. Lisa worked in public relations prior to her career in nonprofit marketing and fundraising. She led multi-year communication campaigns that led to public policy shifts among national health organizations, including the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chief Financial Officer
Joseph Trapani, CPA, CGMA, has been PHS’ Chief Financial Officer since 2002. As head of the Fiscal Department, he oversees organization’s books, financial records banking and payroll, establishes fiscal controls over all aspects of PHS’ business, and ensures compliance and reporting for the 90-100 grants and programs that comprise PHS’ work. Prior to joining PHS, Joseph served as the Chief of the Bureau of Management and Accounting Systems at the City of New York Office of the Comptroller.
Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development
Tom Salvo oversees the Human Resources Department, including personnel management, social welfare and the maintenance of HR records. Prior to joining PHS, Tom served in the top Human Resources role at Glen Cove Hospital and as Vice President of Human Resources at Sandata Technologies in Port Washington, NY. Tom’s previous experience includes senior Human Resources roles at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children in Bayside, NY and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he developed strong benefits, safety, and labor relations programs.
Chief Information Officer
Peter Jensen supervises technology operations for PHS, including our main office and 15 remote locations to support the technological needs for 500 employees. Peter brings 25 years of technical expertise in the nonprofit and educational fields. Prior to joining PHS, he worked as the Content Manager for the Center for Collaborative Education, where he developed a web-based assessment system that aligned teachers’ curricular activities work with New York State education standards. The project supported 40 New York City Public Schools. He has also worked at the Dalton School as the Associate Director of Technology.
Vice President of Informatics
Derek Coursen joined PHS in 2007, and is currently Vice President of Informatics. In this role, he leads the development of strategy and good practices for the management of data and information to serve PHS’ operational and analytic purposes, while overseeing teams that carry out application development, data analysis, and management of client-level data received from government partners. Derek has published articles about innovative data techniques in academic and professional venues, is a technical advisor for justice and human service organizations, and currently teaches at NYU. Prior to PHS, Derek worked for Vera Institute of Justice, where he formed and led a department that carried out software development and performance measurement projects. He also worked for four years at Queens Library planning immigrant services and managing the library system’s performance data.
Chief of Staff
Emily is Chief of Staff to the President and CEO of PHS. She joined PHS in 2016. In this capacity, she oversees the daily activities of the Office of the CEO and helps ensure alignment of key strategic goals and projects. She previously served in similar capacities at Planned Parenthood Federation of America as Managing Director in both the Office of the President and the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, in the sports world for the founders of World TeamTennis, and for a number of senior executives at JPMorgan Chase. In between these roles, Emily was acting Executive Director of Dixon Place, an experimental Off-Off-Broadway theater.