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Joan Plisko, Ph.D., Director

From 2005-2013 Joan served as the Technical Director of MD H2E, assuming the role of director in 2013. Joan engages and catalyzes hospitals and health care providers to advance a culture of sustainability. She promotes the triple bottom line, tracks and evaluates hospital sustainability programs, and ensures the operational effectiveness of MD H2E. 

Joan currently serves on the Executive Board of Neighbor Space of Baltimore County, was the founding chair of the Baltimore County Commission on Environmental Quality, started the first Maryland green energy buying collective for her community, and started the Environmental Club at her children’s elementary school. Joan is a past recipient of the EPA Region 3 Award for Environmental Achievement as well as the Maryland Tawes Award for a Clean Environment. Joan enjoys yoga, bike riding, and gardening.

Joan has a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Clemson University, a M.E. in Systems Engineering from University of Virginia and a B.S. in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University.

Carrie Flora, MBA, Communcations Coordinator

Carrie, who joined the team in 2013, is MD H2E’s Communications Coordinator. Carrie’s primary functions are to develop and publish the MD H2E newsletter, draft press releases and act as web, email and social media manager. She also assists with annual surveys, award applications, presentations, case studies and reports. Carrie has been in marketing and sales for 15 years, and completed her MBA from University of Baltimore in 2010. More recently in her career, Carrie became interested in Social Media Marketing and Marketing Research. She is an experienced writer and believes brings a ‘business side’ of thought to the table that allows MD H2E to communicate more effectively with decision makers. She has become so inspired by her work, that she has begun eliminating toxic cleaning products and pesticides from her own home. Carrie lives in Perry Hall with her husband and two children.  Contact Carrie cflora@som.umaryland.edu

Gina Navarro, CHC, CNC, Sustainable Foods Program Manager

Gina is a nationally Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC) and Professional Member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and received WellCoaches’ Holistic Health & Wellness Coach (CHC) certification endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Gina received her undergraduate degree in Marketing Communications from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Health Coach Association. May 2013, Gina joined Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (MD H2E) and manages the Chesapeake Food Leadership Council, is the Co-chair for the Chesapeake Foodshed Network (CFN) Leadership Committee, and supports the USDA-Community Food Projects/ Senior Living Communities and the CDC – Community Transformation Grants. She also sits on the board at Stratford University and is part of the Baltimore Integrated Partnership leadership team.

Tarah Ranke, MPH, M(ASCP), Sustainable Foods Coordinator

Tarah manages  the USDA grant-funded Community Food Project. This project launches gardens, farm stands and healthy local food purchasing initiatives at three nursing homes in low-income communities in Baltimore City. Ms. Ranke is also co-coordinating the stormwater management project for MD H2E.

Ms. Ranke received her Masters of Public Health from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in 2013. She led and evaluated the Balanced Menus Challenge study as her Capstone Experience to obtain her MPH.  Ms. Ranke brings her decade long experience as a Clinical Research Specialist for the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health for the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine as well as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in Microbiology for the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and Lakeland Regional Health in Michigan. Ms. Ranke’s work includes research on the increase of hospital acquired infections in hospital patients and it has been published in the American and European Journals of Clinical Microbiology. She is proud to be a Spartan graduate of Michigan State University!