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Our Board

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Brianna Muñoz, DMD, MPH


Dr. Brianna Muñoz is a board-certified pediatric dentist and Public Policy Advocate for the state of Connecticut. Upon graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, she completed residency at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) and became a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. As a resident, Dr. Muñoz concurrently attained her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies through a UConn-HRSA Dual Degree Training Program with Advanced Standing. For outstanding achievement in the field of applied public health sciences, Dr. Muñoz was awarded the Mulvihill Medal for Academic and Research Excellence.

It has been her personal and professional goal to impact policy in promoting oral health and preventing disease for all children. In advancing this aim, she has completed the Samuel D. Harris Research and Policy Fellowship for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), has served as the Legislative Representative for the Connecticut Society of Pediatric Dentists, and has been appointed to the AAPD Pediatric Dental Medicaid and CHIP Advisory Committee of the Council on Government Affairs. Based on scholastic as well as altruistic endeavors, Dr. Muñoz was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) National Dental Honor Society and was a recipient of the AAPD Resident Recognition Award. She has taken pride in advocating for increased access to care with the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative (COHI) and is eager to continue working with this organization as a Board Member. Get to know Dr. Muñoz here


Trisha Pitter, MS
Vice President

Trisha is a co-lead for the Collaborations, Community Engagement & Technical Assistance Core at the UCONN Health Disparities Institute. Trisha has over ten years of experience managing programs with a strong focus in community engagement, health disparities, education, and research. Proficient in project management, auditing programs, organizational oversight, grant and contract administration, and communications.

Trisha volunteers for community events, especially those related to increasing the pipeline of underrepresented minorities in STEM.  She is passionate about social justice issues related to Hartford and looks forward to making connections that will lead to solutions. Get to know Ms. Pitter here.

Roberta Friedman, MS


As Director of Public Policy at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and the University of Connecticut from 2007 to 2015, she played a major role in developing strategies, educating policy makers and public health advocates, and enlisting public support for fighting obesity through policies such as taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, improving school nutrition, and curbing the marketing of junk foods to children.  Her work included writing policy briefs and toolkits, serving as a technical assistant to legislative staff, providing expert testimony for legislative committees, serving as a member of the Connecticut State Task Force on Childhood Obesity Prevention, and coordinating a major grant on advocacy and policy for healthy beverages.

Jean J. Schensul, PhD

Jean J. Schensul is a medical anthropologist and senior scientist at The Institute for Community Research, in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Schensul is most notable for her research on HIV/AIDS prevention and other health-related research in the United States, as well as her extensive writing on ethnographic research methods. She has made notable contributions to the field of applied anthropology, with her work on structural interventions to health disparities leading to the development of new organizations, community research partnerships, and community/university associations. Schensul’s work has been dedicated to community-based research on topics such as senior health, education, and substance abuse, among others. Get to know Dr. Schensul here.

Phil Richmond, MS, LADC

Director, Finance Committee Chair

Phil retired in 2016 after  40+ years of working in the human services field primarily in chemical dependency. For the last 30 years Phil has been the Associate Director of the Hartford Dispensary; the largest medication assisted program in New England. Phil has previously served on the boards of Community Partners in Action, Aids Project Hartford, Project Find and Asylum Hill Organizing Project. He is currently the chairperson of Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition. Married to Brunilda Figueroa, he has one child who is a senior at Northeastern University. In his free time Phil enjoys attending music concerts, sporting events and playing golf.

Debra Rosen, MS


Debbye Rosen is a retired public health professional with over 25 years of experience in both the state and local public health community. Her interests lie in achieving a collaboration between public health; medical, mental, and oral health; and the public. This includes program development and implementation, education and evaluation of community efforts. 


Howard I. Mark, DMD 

Board Member Emeritus & Co-Founder


Howie’s leadership in organizing COHI resulted in CT’s first Early Childhood Caries Symposium in 1999. Under his leadership, COHI made major contributions to advocacy efforts that had positive outcomes for oral health for underserved children and families. Howie, is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, retired from teaching at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He is a member and has received recognition from the American Dental Association, CT State Dental Association, Pierre Fauchard Academy, the American Assoc. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Yankee Dental Congress for his outstanding service and numerous contributions to oral health. Get to know Dr. Mark here.

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