OUR ORGANIZATION

MISSION

The RI Healthy Schools Coalition is committed to making all RI schools healthy places for children to learn, grow and thrive. By leveraging the expertise, resources and inspiration of our partner community organizations, we support Rhode Island schools in sustaining active wellness committees that develop and implement strong, comprehensive wellness policies.

GOAL

All Rhode Island school districts will maintain active wellness committees that effectively lead school wellness initiatives and implement strong school wellness policies by bringing together all stakeholders of the school community.

VISION

Every Rhode Island school will sell and serve only nutritious, appealing food and will provide daily, high-quality Physical Education with additional opportunities for physical activity before, during and after the instructional day.

OUR TEAM

Karin Wetherill, Co-Director   karin.wetherill@rihsc.org

Karin works collaboratively with state agencies, community partner organizations, district leadership and wellness committees to advance healthy culture change in schools. Her expertise, community engagement and advocacy help to build awareness and support for school wellness priorities and systems change.  

Kelly Swanson, Co-Director   kelly.swanson@rihsc.org

Kelly uses her writing, graphic design, website, social media, and administrative skills to coordinate the operation of RIHSC and advance its mission of improving school health environments.  

Jane Vergnani, RDN, LDN, Steering Committee Co-Chair

Jane is Senior School Nutrition Specialist with New England Dairy and has served as Co-Chair of the RIHSC steering committee since 2013. She regularly works with RI school wellness leaders to support student-led nutrition and physical activity initiatives through the New England Dairy school grant programs.

Mary Anne Roll, Steering Committee Co-Chair
Mary Anne is a longtime member of the Lincoln School Committee and has served as Co-Chair of the RIHSC steering committee since 2016. Her fifteen years as Program Manager for Cumberland School Volunteers and her school committee tenure provide the Coalition with valuable expertise.

2024 RIHSC Steering Committee

Erin Dube, School Committee Deputy Chair, Pawtucket Public Schools
Natalie Fleming, School Psychologist Consultant
Heidi Hetzler, MS, RD LDNProgram Coordinator, URI SNAP-Ed
Eliza Mellion, MS, RDN, CDCES, NBC-WC, Wellness Consultant & Health Coach, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Linda Mendonca, DNP, RN, PHNA-BCState School Nurse Consultant, RI Department of Health
Solange Morrissette, District Manager, Chartwells
Deborah ObalilPresident & E.D., Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design/Parent
Deirdre O’Donnell, MPH, Manager, Violence & Injury Prevention Program, Rhode Island Department of Health
Jessica Patrolia, MBA, Coordinator Child Nutrition Programs, RI Dept. of Education

OUR STORY

RI Healthy Schools Coalition OVERVIEW: