Meet Our Team

Want to get involved? Have an idea and looking to collaborate?

Contact a member of our team below.

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Emily Pearce-Spence

Program Director

emily.spence@bristolhealthequityzone.org

(401) 253-1611

 

Emily began her work with Bristol Health Equity Zone (BHEZ) with its inception in 2015.  She came to BHEZ with years of experience working directly in the Bristol community.  In addition to her role with BHEZ, she also is the Program Manager with the Parents As Teachers program, and the co-founder and President of the Bristol Warren Thrive by Five and Beyond.  Emily currently serves on the board of Friends of Rogers Free Library,  Emily is a long-time resident of Bristol where she resides with her husband, Gerard.

Craig Pereira 

Fiscal Director

Horsley Witten Group, Inc.

cpereira@horsleywitten.com

(401) 272-1717

Craig is a Senior Planner with the Horsley Witten Group and has experience with several statewide public health initiatives, most recently the Healthy Places by Design projects in North Kingstown and Pawtucket.  Craig has also worked with the Town of Bristol on numerous municipal projects and has a comprehensive understanding of the community.

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Melissa Goldstein (she/her/hers)

Coordinator | Substance Use, Awareness, & Prevention Champion

melissa.goldstein@bristolhealthequityzone.org

(401) 253-1611

Melissa Goldstein is thrilled to join the Bristol Health Equity Zone team and is excited to get more involved with her community. Melissa has worked in the field of Special Education for over 25 years. She has been a teacher and a school administrator and is passionate about working collaboratively to help others. Melissa is a volunteer for the local community theaters and is on the Board of Directors for the Bristol Warren Education Foundation. Her other interests include going on adventures with her family and friends, being active outdoors and watching her children enjoy their passions of sports, theater and dance. Melissa, her husband and three children reside in Bristol.

Katie Blais (she/her/hers)

Food & Nutrition Working Group Champion

champions@bristolhealthequityzone.org

Katie believes that access to healthy and local food for all is the key to building and maintaining a vibrant community. Katie has a background in Digital Marketing, Project Management, and Client Services and loves being able to use these skills to help local nonprofits and small businesses. On Saturdays you can find Katie at the Mount Hope Farm Farmer's Market where she manages the market and facilitates the Fresh Bucks program which allows SNAP participants to double their dollars for fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Katie lives just over the bridge in Portsmouth with her husband and two young sons.

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Samantha Capacillo, MPH

Physical Activity Working Group Champion

champions@bristolhealthequityzone.org

Despite growing up in the United States Air Force where she moved around often, Samantha Capacillo has always called Rhode Island her home. Samantha has a background in nutrition and public health, previously working as a health educator in the Greater Tampa Bay area where she facilitated classes on diabetes management, nutrition, and fitness. Samantha currently resides in Warren with her husband and two little girls.  

Kate Hawley (she/her/hers)

Personal Health & Mental Wellness Working Group Champion

champions@bristolhealthequityzone.org

Kate Hawley has worked as a mental health ally for 25 years in a variety settings as a group facilitator, program developer and manager, and grant writer. She currently is consultant, and yoga therapist and teacher.

Sarah Barboza (she/her/hers)

Community Health Worker

Sarah is very excited to join BHEZ and get more involved in her community. Sarah is a lifelong resident of Bristol and wants her fellow residents to live a happy and healthy life. She is a full-time college student majoring in Sports Management and is also a coach for multiple sports teams at Mt. Hope High school, Kickemuit Middle School, and Barrington Youth Soccer Association. Her other interests include traveling, snowboarding, being active, and spending time with friends and family. 

Backbone Agency:

Town of Bristol Parks & Recreation Department

Sarah Klein

Director of Bristol Parks and Recreation

Town of Bristol

sarahk@bristolri.us

(401) 253-1611 

Tim Shaw

Acting Director of Bristol Parks and Recreation

Town of Bristol

tshaw@bristolri.us

(401) 253-1611 

Department of Health Project Staff:

Nadine Taveres she/her

Project Officer, Healthy Equity Zones Initiative

Health Equity Institute

nadine.taveres.ctr@health.ri.gov