CHS Principal

Kenny Neal Shults

Kenny Neal Shults has over eighteen years of experience training and consulting with service organizations across the country to develop sound, innovative strategies for exceptional service delivery, strong infrastructure development and lasting organizational growth. He specializes in public health and behavior-change program development surrounding a variety of at-risk populations including youth and adolescents, men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDU), homeless and runaway teens, and trans populations. In 1999, he developed some of the first program objectives and evaluation strategies for agencies using the Internet to reach clients online and developed the first policies, procedures and protocols for agencies' use in minimizing liability and ensuring ethical service delivery. Kenny has been a pioneer in the development of Internet and social media-based approaches and travels the U.S. lecturing and training on social marketing for public health, using the internet to reach youth and MSM, and the impacts of new media on public and mental health and at-risk-population behavior. Kenny has coordinated statewide and national male sexual and reproductive health projects, designed large scale social marketing efforts, designed, organized and facilitated conferences at the national and local level, and is a Street Smart intervention Master Trainer. With a background in acting and theater, Kenny is a dynamic speaker and trainer and consistently lauded for his ability to simplify and teach sophisticated concepts effectively and entertainingly.

CHS Associate Consultants & Contractors

Melissa Lopez

Melissa’s commitment to helping increase access to sexual and reproductive health education in the United States has provided a platform over the last decade for her work as a speaker, trainer, author and sexuality educator. She has partnered with faith-based organizations around issues of embodiment and worked with the Religious Institute, Many Voices, and Intersections International focusing on LGBT acceptance within mainline Christian denominations. Melissa has been called upon to offer anti-racism/anti-oppression and LGBT cultural competency training within the national setting of the United Church of Christ. She is a national trainer for the Our Whole Lives, Sexuality and Our Faith program and provides consultation for congregations working to implement sex positive initiatives into their ministries. In her work with churches she has created effective strategies for partnerships between faith based and community based organizations.  With the Sex Discussed Here team, she has lectured at colleges and universities across the country speaking on a wide variety of sexuality based topics. Melissa has extensive experience developing curricula and the infrastructure necessary to deliver interventions with fidelity. She most recently led a national evaluation of a faith based sexuality education curriculum while also providing training, technical support, and consultation. Melissa is frequently praised for the spark and vitality she brings to her work, the way she sets participants at ease, and her abilities as a “marvelous motivator.” 

Victoria Sterkin

Victoria's intention as a behavior analyst is to teach others how to create more pleasurable, functional, and successful interactions with the world. Victoria received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from The George Washington University, a dual masters in Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education, and a PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University. During her studies she worked in many different schools comprised of amazing students with varying levels of abilities. She has trained, supervised, and conducted research with many practitioners and has additionally developed curriculum and measurement instruments for various educational and extra-curricular institutions. During the past 10 years working in the field, she has learned that all individuals are able to learn and change, that all individuals are capable of experiencing pleasure, and that all individuals can reach new levels of independence while feeling connected to others and their environment. Cutting edge research shows that we have the physical structures to experience pleasure. It is Victoria's mission to open up the functionality and awareness to these structures and the awareness to the pleasure created when we better understand ourselves and others. She combines theories of verbal behavior, mindfulness, and research-based learning tactics to achieve this goal. 

Imelda Walavalkar

Imelda Walavalkar specializes in strategic and management consulting for health and social service programs domestically and internationally. Most recently, Ms. Walavalkar was responsible for managing a CDC-funded grant providing training, technical assistance, consultation and skills-building to community based organizations, health departments and other service organizations implementing effective HIV prevention interventions for at-risk populations. In addition, Ms. Walavalkar has extensive expertise in process and outcomes monitoring and evaluation, behavior science, and intervention curricula development. Ms. Walavalkar has a dual Masters in Public Health and in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University as well as an undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of California at Berkeley.

Sonia K. González

Sonia K. González received her Master's of Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in 2003. She has been working on HIV and reproductive health issues for over 15 years. Ms. González has designed and implemented programs, developed organizational strategic plans, planned regional conferences, conducted process evaluation as well as outcome qualitative and quantitative evaluation, and has worked directly with poor urban youth of color, homeless youth, and LGBTQ youth. Additionally, her pledge to addressing issues of poverty has supported her work with coalitions. The last 5 years of her work has focused on the areas that have been hardest hit by HIV in NYC: Central Brooklyn, East Harlem, and the South Bronx. She has co-founded short-term action oriented projects with community members, representatives of members from City Council, and providers that serve South Brooklyn. She also co-founded the Young Women of Color HIV/AIDS Coalition (YWCHAC), which has received funding from the New York Women’s Foundation, New York AIDS Fund, and the Office of Women’s Health, to name a few, to support structural prevention methods engaging young women of color from New York City. From 2007-2009, Ms. González served on the Prevention Planning Group of the New York City Department of Health, which recommends prevention strategies and programs directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, Ms. González is pursuing her Doctorate of Public Health at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York and is a NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Fellow as a participant of the Research in HIV Intervention: Skills for the Community Fellowship. Her research interests are HIV prevention and young people of color in urban areas.

Laura Keene

Ms. Keene has nearly a decade of experience working collaboratively with organizations to design and implement monitoring and evaluation projects. She has worked in a variety of public health and healthcare areas including HIV prevention, treatment, and case management, substance abuse treatment, and hospital-based palliative care. Her specialization is use-focused evaluation, which involves minimizing data collection efforts while maximizing the effectiveness of the data so that organizations will not just have data but can use it to improve program effectiveness and secure additional funding. Ms. Keene has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Public Health (M.P.H.) from Columbia University. 

Whitney Williams

Whitney Williams specializes in the design and implementation of sexual and reproductive health education, gender based violence prevention and treatment, and home-visiting programs serving at-risk populations including those infected with and affected by HIV, underserved families, and youth.  Her recent work includes curriculum and program development and management for the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation- Lesotho and the Clinical and Community Health Services Unit at Public Health Solutions.Ms. Williams also co-facilitates MyMediaLife sessions.  Ms. Williams holds a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Lukas Huffman

Lukas Huffman is a film and video director who was born in Vermont and is currently based in New York City. He applies lessons learned from his 10yr career as a professional snowboarder to his passion for filmmaking. This produces kinetically charged moving images. Lukas has a long history of working directly with youth in creating narrative content. He leads workshops in which teens are treated as both students and collaborators. This includes guiding youth through the scripting phase and into production. Once on set, Lukas combines his enthusiasm for education with directing to create environments where film production, learning and fun are emphasized. Lukas graduated from Columbia University in 2011. He works with non-profit organizations and product brands to create cutting edge advertising materials. His award winning narrative fiction work is seen in festivals around the world. Click Here to view Lukas' works.

Additional Contractors

Connected Health Solutions was created with the understanding that any organization working with the underserved deserves flexible, efficient, and cost-effective consulting services; therefore, CHS works with highly qualified consultants and specialists across the United States to meet the regional and individual needs of our clients.  CHS associate consultants are chosen for their dedication to excellence and attention to detail and work closely with Principals to ensure consistent, high quality performance.