Meet Our Team!


Dr. Heather Padilla serves as the Project Director for Healthier Together. She works alongside the program’s team members and the CDC to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity in our communities. Her favorite part of working with Healthier Together is getting to “work with our team. The Healthier Together goals are big and face challenges – our amazing Team, including our community members, make the work fun and rewarding!”

Email: | Phone: 706-542-4328

Dr. Alison Berg, Nutrition and Health Lead

Email: | Phone: 706-542-3773

Dr. Alexa Lamm, Evaluations and Communications Lead

Dr. Alexa Lamm is part of the Healthier Together Leadership team, where she oversees evaluation and communication efforts for the project. The goal of evaluation is to look at the impact made by the project and the goal of communication is to collaborate within our communities. Her favorite part of working with Healthier Together is “listening to, capturing, and sharing the stories of growth, change and success during our listening sessions because it is an amazing way to show the rest of Georgia, and the world, our community partners are ready and willing to get healthier, and we are doing it together!”

Email: | Website: Lamm Lab

Donnie Longenecker, Physical Activity Lead

Donnie Longenecker is the physical activity lead for Healthier Together and works in the College of Environment and Design at UGA. Donnie works with landscape architect students to build maps and master plans of the community to help determine walkable spaces within a community. We asked Donnie his favorite part of working with Healthier Together and he said “my favorite part of working on the project is watching the interaction between our communities, our partners, and the students. As the relationships develop over the semester, you can start to see the students’ confidence in their own abilities grow – and this provides the energy for them to produce some great work.” 

Email: | Phone: 706-542-4702

Dr. Marsha Davis, Principal Investigator

Email: | Phone: 706-542-0939

Dr. Laura Perry Johnson, Associate Dean for Extension 

Dr. Laura Perry Johnson is part of the leadership team for the Healthier Together project, where she serves as the project’s primary Extension contact. She helps make connections with the project’s internal and external partners and utilizes Extension resources to promote health and wellness within the project’s participating counties. Her favorite part of working with Healthier Together is getting to see the “progress we have made in the targeted communities together with the community members and how we have been able to take the lessons learned and apply them to other communities across the state. This is the beauty of the Extension network!”

Email: | Phone: 706-542-3824


Al Parker, 4-H Program Development Coordinator

Email: | Phone: 706-542-2163

Amanda Tedrow, Northeast Program Development Coordinator

Email: | Phone: 706-542-3503

Andrea Scarrow, Southwest District Director of Extension

Email: | Phone: 229-386-3413

Chelsea Marty, Healthier Together Field Project Manager

Email: | Phone: 229-386-3610

Christina Garner, County Extension Coordinator in Stewart County

Christina Garner is the County Extension Coordinator for Stewart County. Christina works with community members to create a healthier, safer community. We asked Christina her favorite part of working with Healthier Together and she said “my favorite part of the project is harvesting in the garden! All ages of community members get excited when their small little seed grows into something they can eat!” 

Email: | Phone: 229-838-4908

Denise Everson, Northeast District Extension Director

Email: | Phone: 706-542-3179

Hope Smith, Healthier Together Educator in Taliaferro County

Hope Smith recently joined the Healthier Together team in Taliaferro County. Hope is working in the community to help make healthy foods and physical activity more accessible. She also partners with some of the county’s local organizations–like churches, the senior center, and schools–to host nutrition education programs. Hope’s favorite part of working with Healthier Together is getting “to know the people of Taliaferro County, and find new ways to help them thrive. I know I have a lot to learn but I am hopeful for the future of the project and my new community!”

Email: | Phone: 706-224-9761

Katrisha Lester, Healthier Together Educator in Dooly County


Kris Peavy, County Extension Coordinator in Clay County

Email: | Phone: 229-732-2311

Leigh Anne Aaron, Northeast Program Development Coordinator

Email: | Phone: 706-342-2214

Luke Crosson, County Extension Agent

Email: | Phone: 229-849-2685

Rachel Hubbard, Southwest Program Development Coordinator

Rachel Hubbard collaborates alongside UGA Extension professionals and community members in Calhoun, Clay, Dooly, and Stewart counties to assess their healthy food and physical activity needs. She also works with the CDC to determine how the program can meet those needs now and moving into the future. Rachel’s favorite part of working with Healthier Together is getting to “help others…[and] build relationships with new people and help them make healthy choices to improve their quality of life.”

Email: | Phone: 229-391-6936

Shanda Ashley, County Extension Coordinator in Calhoun County

Shanda Ashley serves as both the Calhoun County Extension Coordinator and the 4-H Agent. Shanda’s responsibilities include organizing and allocating resources, preparing budgets, and maintaining relationships in the county and community, while also implementing educational programs for youth within the assigned county. We asked Shanda her favorite part of working on the project and she explained, “Being a part of this program gives me the opportunity to not only give back to this wonderful community but be a partner along with other adults and youth in making positive changes to our county. Together we can do so much more!!”

Email: | Phone: 229-849-2685

Stacey Williams, Extension Program Assistant in Calhoun County

Email: | Phone: 229-849-2685


Beth Kindamo, Nutrition



Emily Loedding, Communications

Emily Loedding is part of the communications team for the Healthier Together project. Emily creates the quarterly newsletter for Healthier Together and aids in other project management tasks. Emily’s favorite part of working with Healthier Together is “getting to collaborate and meet with an incredible group of people. Healthier Together has helped me realize that public health extends into a variety of disciplines including agriculture, communication, environment design, and health promotion. It has been amazing meeting so many people across the university and the state!”


Kristin Gibson, Communications

Kristin Gibson works as a research assistant for the communications team for the Healthier Together project. She helps with social media, the website, press releases, and the newsletter to share the amazing work of our Healthier Together communities. Her favorite part of working with Healthier Together is “having the opportunity to share community members stories from the project!”  

Email: | Phone: 706-542-8913

Tatevik Markosyan, Evaluation

Email: | Phone: 607-327-7007

Megan Appelbaum, Nutrition

Email: | Phone: 706-542-3773