Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in the Bristol HEZ project. One way to stay informed is by visiting the project website frequently. Here, you will find our calendar of events, past presentations and graphics, and findings of any outreach efforts.

Another way to stay involved is to contact any of the individuals on our team to share ideas to make suggestions or comments. You can also stay connected on Facebook.


You can get actively involved by volunteering, interning, or using your work-study with us. You can also get actively involved by joining a working group, or collaborating with us on a project.

Working Groups


Food & Nutrition

Suicide Prevention Coalition

Faith Leaders

Physical Activity

Substance Abuse Awareness and Prevention

Personal Health & Wellness




Working Group Champions

Emily Pearce-Spence (Interim), Food & Nutrition

Emily Spence, Substance Use, Awareness and Prevention

Kate Hawley, Personal Health & Mental Wellness

Town of Bristol

Steven Contente, Town Administrator

Nathan Calouro, Bristol Town Council (Chair)

Tim Sweeney, Bristol Town Council (Vice Chair)

Mary Parella, Bristol Town Council

Sarah Klein, Bristol Parks and Recreation Department Director

Diane Williamson, Bristol Community Development Department Director

Ed Tanner, Town Planner

Ed Carusi, Bristol Social Services and Public Welfare Department Director

Betsy Cambra, Town Hall employee/Resident

Tanya Kieron, Bristol Christmas Festival

Bristol Police Department

Capt. Josue Canario, Bristol Chief of Police

Lt. Steve St. Pierre

R.I. Department of Health

Mia Patriarca, Project Officer – Healthy Communities Specialist

Jeff Hill, Youth Suicide Prevention Project Manager

Travis Vendetti, Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator


Bristol Warren Regional School District

Mario Andrade, Superintendent

Leslie Anderson, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

Laurie Heyden, School Psychologist

Deb DiBiase, Principal, Mt. Hope High School

Christine Bandoni, Student Assistant Counselor

Sara Braganca, Student Advocate

Bristol Warren Regional Schools Family Resource Center 

  • Patricia Brissette, Coordinator 

  • Emily Pearce-Spence,  Program Manager Parents as Teachers /Bristol HEZ Coordinator

  • Sarah Bullard, Parent Educator, PAT/Bristol HEZ Assistant Coordinator


Horsley Witten Group, Inc.

Craig Pereira, Project Manager


Mosaico Community Development Corporation

Diana Campbell, Executive Director

Courtney Poissant, Board of Directors


East Bay Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Nicky Tyska, Executive Director

Karen Griffith-Dietrich, Program/Operations Manager


East Bay Community Action Program

Dennis Roy, President and CEO

Donna Ramos Razza, Director - Family Development

Beth Nitkin, Director - Women Infants and Children Supplemental Feeding Program

Bob Crossley, Vice-President of Bahavioral Health

Tommy Joyce, Program Director, East Bay Recovery Center

Ernie Thivierge, Peer Recovery Coach, East Bay Recovery Center

Angie Downing, Director of Social Services

Bristol Warren Thrive by Five and Beyond

Donna Ramos Razza, Emily Pearce-Spence, Beth Nitkin, Sarah Bullard, Executive Board


Looking Upwards

Carolyn Souza, Clinical Supervisor


Women’s Resource Center

Veronica Turner, Counselor



Marcy Shyllon, Community Engagement Director

The Autism Project

Joanne Quinn, Executive Director

Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health

Susan Dickstein, Executive Director

Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties

Joan Rossi


Roger Williams University

K.C. Ferrara, Director – Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement

Kerri Warren, Associate Prof. of Biology/Coordinator – Interdisciplinary Program in Public Health

Becky Spritz, Prof. of Psychology, Director of University Honors Program

Marybeth MacPhee, Chair, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Associate Prof. of Anthropology

Sean Varano

Donna Darmody

Erin Tooley

Steve Melaragno, Director of Public Safety

Maureen Minarik, Assistant Director of Counseling

Nancy Soukup, Chaplain

Franklin Court Independent Living

Marie Knapman, Director - Franklin Court Independent Senior Living 

Angela Cabral, Director - Franklin Court Assisted Living 

Stephany Silvia, Activities Director - Franklin Court Independent Living 

Carmen Dutra, Resident Services Coordinator - Franklin Court Independent Living

Benjamin Church Senior Center

Maria Ursini, Director

Donna Wilson, Assistant Director


Bristol Housing Authority

Candy Pansa, Executive Director

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Melissa Ames

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Penny Ferrara


Bristol County Elks Lodge #1860

David Cioe


Rhode Island Ataxia Support Group

Anabela Azevedo, Founder


Explore Bristol

Mike Byrnes


Hope & Main

Lisa Raiola, President and Founder


Rogers Free Library

Joan Prescott, Library Director


Rhode Island Bike Coalition

Alex Krogh-Grabbe, Executive Director


Rhode Island Statewide Independent Living Council

Jack Ringland, Chairperson

Bristol/Warren Prevention Coalition

Ann Marie Roy

Faith Leaders

Linda Arruda

Rev. Burton Bagby-Grose

Linda Cabral

Joanne Dahmer

Jennifer DeWolf

Rev. Elizabeth Habecker

Rev. Marilyn Mason

Jack Ringland

Joel Sedam

Sean Smith

Kate Sparrow