Christopher Cross, PhD
Managing Director and Founder, Cross River Strategies
Dr. Cross is a biomedical engineer, anatomist, neuroscientist, population geneticist, cancer biologist, LGBTQ+ advocate, and entrepreneur. Notably, he served as a Congressional Science Fellow on Capitol Hill during the 113th Congress; was recently appointed as the Community Engagement Advisor at QFN TV, and currently serves on the board of visitors for Howard University’s School of Pharmacy. Currently, he leads Cross River Strategies (CRS), a US-based boutique consulting firm that uses community engagement and scientific research to power health equity strategies and services across biotech, pharma, and academic institutions.
Wandy Hernandez-Gordon, AA, CD (DONA), BDT (DONA), CLC, CCE (ACBE), CHW
President, Founding Board, National Association of CHWs
Wandy has been a community health worker in the field for more than 20 years, and is an active speaker and advocate for community health workers locally, statewide and nationally. Wandy is a co-founder of the Chicago Community Health Workers Local Network, and the vice president of the Illinois Community Health Worker Association, (ILCHWA). Currently, Wandy is the president of the Founding Board of the National Association of CHWs, where she brings vision and values to the table in support of unity in the CHW workforce.
Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership
Dr. Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with Latino populations, health promotion, and disparities. She co-leads the NIH funded Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance to address COVID-19 Inequities (CEAL) across diverse populations within the Philadelphia region. She has received numerous honors and awards including the 2021 Health Care Leader Award from the American Academy of Nursing, the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, and the Globy Award for Educational Leadership. Currently, Antonia M. Villarruel is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership.