Our Team

Jump to: Mea E. AllenMichael ColantiKevin Crooks | Courtney Mark GreyAmal Hechehouche | Stacey KokaramBenjamin McNeil | Ella Noor | Erin Polich Nancy Smith | Amanda Wolfe

Stacey Kokaram, MPH | Director

Stacey Kokaram is the Director, and in this role she sets the strategic direction of OPHP, which includes the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC), the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness, and the Boston Medical Reserve Corps. She has spent the entirety of her professional career advancing public health and healthcare system preparedness in the City of Boston. She has extensive experience supporting preparedness, response, and recovery activities for incidents such as 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and the 2015 Boston blizzards.

Ms. Kokaram has led the development of policies and procedures that have strengthened public health and healthcare system coordination in Boston through the Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition (HPC). She served as the Boston HPC co-chair and chair from July 2013 through December 2015. In addition, Ms. Kokaram has had the opportunity to share experiences from Boston at several national conferences on topics such as family reunification and the public health response to the Boston Marathon bombings.

Ms. Kokaram has a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Community Health from Tufts University.

Mea E. Allen, M.Ed. | Associate Director, Education and Training

Mea Allen is the Associate Director of Education and Training. This role focuses on the Delvalle Institute for Emergency Preparedness, where she has been working as an educator since 2008. She developed and promoted a long-term strategic vision for the DelValle Institute Learning Center, and currently manages the development and implementation of quality classroom, online, and blended trainings as well as other innovative uses of educational technologies to support emergency preparedness and response.

Her time with OPHP has included providing innovative educational programs to build the resilience of the Boston community during H1N1, designing workshops and other training for Ebola, and supporting the Boston Public Health Commission’s Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center operations during numerous emergencies, such as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the blizzards of 2013 and 2015.

Ms. Allen received her M.Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts Boston, with her capstone research focusing on performance support for public health response operations. She also has a BSEE in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from Tufts University and a master's degree in Intercultural Communications from the School for International Training. Former positions include six years working as a software engineer and interface designer, and four years as a non-profit program manager managing technology education programs in Cameroon and conducting interactive training programs in the US and El Salvador.


Michael Colanti, MBA, CEM, CBCP | Associate Director, Planning and Operations

Michael Colanti is the Associate Director for Planning and Operations, and is responsible for overseeing the development of integrated emergency response plans. This includes public health and healthcare partners, community groups, businesses, universities, and volunteers through the Boston Medical Reserve Corps.

He was responsible for leading the collaborative development of a redesigned emergency operations plan (EOP) for the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and led the formulation of the City of Boston’s incident action plan for operational response to H1N1 in 2009. More recently, Mr. Colanti was the lead author for the City of Boston’s health and medical After Action Report for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and coordinated the plan to manage the sheltering and support of 700 individuals following the closure of Boston’s Long Island Bridge in 2014. Previously, Mr. Colanti served in the Boston Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management working with partners throughout the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region, and managed project initiatives across public safety and healthcare disciplines.

Mr. Colanti has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Stonehill College, and an MBA from the Boston University School of Management. He holds professional certifications in project management (PMP), business continuity (CBCP), and emergency management (CEM), and is an active member of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team (IRCT).


Kevin Crooks, MPH | Coordinator, Media & Technology

Kevin Crooks is the Media and Technology Coordinator, and is responsible for managing, maintaining and monitoring content on online portals and social media for the Office of Public Health Preparedness including the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness. He produces and maintains online educational content and digital media and researches emerging technologies used for educational programming, emergency response, and community engagement.

Prior to joining the Office of Public Health Preparedness, Kevin served as a Health Extension Agent for Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa and received a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University. He is interested in utilizing mobile technology and social media to positively impact community resilience in regard to public health preparedness.


Courtney Mark Grey | Director, Disaster Behavioral Health

Courtney Grey is the Director of Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) in the Office of Public Health Preparedness, and is responsible for designing trainings, workshops, seminars, tabletops and live exercises that instill the field-tested skills necessary to address the biological, psychological, and social impacts of large-scale, potentially traumatic events. This includes workforce protection and self-care measures for deployed resources.

Mr. Grey has coordinated countless local and national DBH deployments for singleton incidents of homicide, suicide, fires, etc., as well as natural and man-made disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. His training content includes best practices and lessons learned from deployments in school, community, and institutional settings. He has been with BPHC for over 10 years.

Mr. Grey is a Trainer of Trainers for Psychological First Aid (PFA), developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).


Amal Hechehouche | Senior Program Manager, Healthcare Systems Preparedness

Amal Hechehouche is the Senior Program Manager for Healthcare Systems Preparedness in the Office of Public Health Preparedness. She manages the Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition which is a partnership of public health and healthcare agencies that coordinate to develop and promote the emergency preparedness and response capabilities in the City of Boston. 

Prior to joining the OPHP team, Ms. Hechehouche worked as a project manager at the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) where she leveraged quality improvement and collective impact strategies to support state and community partners strengthen their early childhood comprehensive systems. Her interests in public health preparedness began during an intensive week-long course at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), where she is currently working to finish her Master’s degree in Health Policy & Management.

Ms. Hechehouche is passionate about strengthening traditional and non-traditional partnerships across and beyond public health to build systems that center communities.


Benjamin McNeil, MS | Associate Director, Healthcare System Preparedness, Response and Recovery

Ben McNeil is the Associate Director for Healthcare System Preparedness, Response and Recovery. He is responsible for overseeing the program management of the Boston Healthcare Preparedness Coalition and leading the public health initiatives of the coalition. He also ensures the operational readiness of the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC) as the Department Operations Center for BPHC and the Multi-Agency Coordinating Center for ESF-8 healthcare partners.

Prior to joining OPHP, Mr. McNeil worked for Partners in Health on their Ebola Response efforts, and received his MS in Disaster Resilience from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. He is currently enrolled in the Boston University Professional Evening MBA program, and is active in the Boston civic community.


Ella Noor, MS | Program Manager, Response and Recovery Operations

Ella Noor is the Program Manager for Response and Recovery Operations. She serves as the Stephen M. Lawlor Medical Intelligence Center (MIC) Duty Officer and is responsible for receiving, analyzing, coordinating and disseminating information in a timely fashion as they relate to a developing or present incident. Some of Ms. Noor’s duties involve staffing the MIC during planned and unplanned activations, assisting with preparation of MIC Operations Plans, Situation Briefings, and sending alert notifications to OPHP/BPHC staff, public health, healthcare, and emergency management partners as appropriate.

Ms. Noor received a Master of Science from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University with a major in Environmental Geosciences and a minor in Political Science. Her interests in public health preparedness began during an interdisciplinary undergraduate research project where she sought to understand evacuation behavior due to  the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami and Earthquake in Japan. 


Erin Polich, MPH | Senior Program Manager, Emergency Planning

Erin Polich is the Senior Program Manager for Emergency Planning at OPHP, and is responsible for overseeing emergency planning within BPHC and partners, and ensuring continuity amongst emergency plans and operational protocols.

Ms. Polich has a Master of Public Health with a concentration in international health from Boston University School of Public Health, and has extensive experience working in emergency public health response overseas in resource limited settings. Prior to joining OPHP, Ms. Polich worked on Ebola response and recovery activities in Sierra Leone, where she coordinated response activities in disease surveillance, infection prevention and control, water and sanitation, and emergency planning. She also coordinated the DFID Ebola Emergency Response Fund, a £12m rapid response fund which awarded more than 60 grants to organizations for Ebola response activities. Prior to this she spent several years working in health coordination at a national level in South Sudan, with a particular focus on maternal and child health and primary healthcare.

Ms. Polich has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Fordham University. Other work experience include several years working in domestic violence and women’s empowerment, as well as environmental consulting.


Nancy Smith | Program Manager, Community Engagement

Nancy Smith is the Program Manager for Community Engagement. She is responsible for developing community relationships in support of emergency preparedness and community resilience in close coordination with other PHP sections. Ms. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Northeastern University and has a Certificate in Maternal Child Health from the Boston University School of Public Health. Ms. Smith joined BPHC in 2002 as a member of the Father Friendly Initiative, Substance Abuse Bureau. In 2008 she transitioned to Boston Healthy Start Initiative and the Child Adolescence Health Bureau. In 2011, Ms. Smith worked with the Emergency Shelter Commission in the position as the Constituent Liaison for the Healthy Start in Housing Initiative.

Ms. Smith is an active neighborhood champion and has an unwavering commitment to the neighborhood residents in the City of Boston. Ms. Smith has strengthened and expanded community relationships for emergency preparedness, and community outreach and engagement; and provides direct access for the community to the programming being delivered from the Office of Public Health Preparedness.


Amanda Wolfe, MPH | Emergency Preparedness Educator

Amanda Wolfe is the Emergency Preparedness Educator. In this role, Amanda supports the education and training programs offered by the Office of Public Health Preparedness including the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness.  Ms. Wolfe contributes to the research, implementation and delivery of classroom and online trainings for public health and healthcare audiences in Boston and statewide. 

Ms. Wolfe received a BA in English and Psychology from Indiana University and a Master of Public Health from Boston University with a concentration in health law and human rights.  She has previously worked as a public health trainer in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and domestic violence prevention education.   As a trainer and a public health advocate, she has collaborated with many nonprofit organizations in Boston as well as Boston Public Schools. 

Last modified: Thursday, 28 March 2019, 11:07 AM