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Our Staff

Paula Kreissler, MBA, CPA

Executive Director

Paula volunteered with Healthy Savannah from its launch in 2007, before accepting her current position. Paula graduated from Concordia University, is a licensed CPA, earned an MBA in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst University in 2012 and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Southeast Georgia. The first 25 years of her career were spent primarily in Operations Management at FedEx.

As a volunteer at Healthy Savannah, Paula was on the inaugural Board of Directors, has led the Policy and Advocacy Committee, Steering Committee, Food Policy Committee, and Visibility Committee. Paula was the Project Lead on a Healthy Savannah grant to reduce childhood obesity in the Savannah/Chatham County community and currently is the Program Manager for the CDC REACH Grant. In 2008 Paula received the Top Ten Working Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award from A Working Women In Need (AWWIN). Paula’s business Wound Care Clinic -ESU won the 2008 Small Business of the Year Award from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2015 she was recognized by the United Way Women’s Legacy Council with a “Women Who Rule” award.

“Healthy Savannah and its 200+ public and private partners are making an impact by collaborating around Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change through the lens of health equity.  We collectively have been at the table to educate policy influencers and policymakers on how they can help the healthy choice to be the easy choice.  Since the creation of Healthy Savannah in 2007, Savannah has seen positive health outcomes as a result of new policies being implemented like Smoke-Free Air, School Wellness Policy, School Design Guidelines, Complete Streets Ordinance, Community Garden Policy, Farm Truck Ordinance, and many more.  I look forward to the next 10 years as we create a Culture of Health in our community.”

Zori Castañeda, R.T.(T)

Communications Coordinator

Zori is from Bogota, Colombia. Zori earned a bachelor’s radiologic sciences degree in radiation therapy and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in healthcare administration at Georgia Southern University. She worked in healthcare for six years as a radiation therapist. Her career goal is to work in population health management and to foster opportunities for healthcare and public health to come together with other sectors to address the social determinants of health to help people live healthier lives.

Ruby Castro, MPH

Nutrition Program Manager

Ruby Castro is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, having recently completed her Master of Public Health degree. Before that she studied Biology and Public Health at Columbia College in South Carolina. Through her role as the Nutrition Manager of the REACH grant, she will continue to improve access to healthy food options for underserved populations alongside other projects in Savannah and Chatham County. Ruby said, “I believe that taking an upstream approach provides the best opportunity to improve the health outcomes of our community.”

Nichele Hoskins, MA

Adult Immunization Communications Manager

A Savannah State University and Beach High School graduate, Nichele Hoskins is a longtime health journalist and group fitness instructor. Hoskins earned an MA in Journalism from The University of Michigan and has worked as a senior editor at national publications including Health and Heart & Soul magazines. Communications and increasing visibility are key parts of her role at Healthy Savannah.

Elsie Smalls, PhD

Adult Immunization Operations Manager

Dr. Elsie W. Smalls earned her Bachelor’s Degree from South Carolina State University, MBA from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University.  Her professional background includes higher education administration, leadership in the nonprofit sector, and adjunct professorship in public policy and business administration.  Additionally, she is the Co-founder of LoMa Spoken Word and Consulting LLC, an organization dedicated to educating, enlightening, and inspiring individuals and organizations.  Dr. Smalls has facilitated workshops, professional presentations, and keynote addresses to a variety of audiences including public sector and nonprofit organizations, churches, high schools, and women’s conferences.

Armand Turner

Deputy Program Manager

A Gary, Indiana, native, Armand Turner is a graduate of Indiana University with a BS in Recreation. Turner interned at the Denver Parks and Recreation Department in 2014. A year later he worked at Texas Parks Recreation Department in Southlake and Grapevine, Texas. Most recently, Armand was the Recreation Coordinator at Albany State University in 2016.

Margie Watson

Breastfeeding Manager

Margie Watson is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She is a graduate of Savannah State University with a bachelor’s degree in Visual and Performing Arts in 2018. Watson has sought career opportunities centered on serving others, including local community agencies and non-profit organizations in both the social work and arts fields. Her desire to further grow in serving others and spreading health equity is what motivates her work with Healthy Savannah.

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