October 8, 2009
Contact: Jamie Arehart (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 267-350-7699)

Executive Director Vanessa Briggs to Meet with World Health Officials

PHILADELPHIA—Executive Director Vanessa Briggs of Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HPC) soon will have the opportunity to meet with public health professionals and government officials halfway across the world. Briggs joins 20 United States delegates on a trip to the Republic of South Africa from October 25 to November 5, 2009 as part of the Nutritional Health and Wellness People to People Citizen Ambassador Delegation.

“I am very excited to have the chance to engage in peer-to-peer learning and to be exposed to international public health,” says Briggs, a registered dietician and licensed nutritionist. The program will allow Briggs the opportunity to meet with officials from South Africa’s Department of Health as well as various medical researchers, nutritionists and others.

“Vanessa has displayed a firm commitment to bettering community health through ground-breaking initiatives,” says Richard Cohen, President & CEO of Public Health Management Corporation, of which HPC is an affiliate organization. “Her trip presents an exciting opportunity for global collaborations among talented public health professionals that will undoubtedly benefit clients in both countries.”

More than 400,000 professionals have enrolled in People to People Ambassador Programs, which were founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower over 50 years ago and offer students, educators and professionals opportunities on all seven continents.

The group will explore South Africa under the guidance of Rita Mitchell, RD, former president of the California Dietetic Association. “A trip like this gives participants a much greater understanding of the nutritional needs of people in different countries and how workers there address them,” says Mitchell.

The group’s itinerary features trips to both Johannesburg and Cape Town and will consist of 30 hours of professional interaction including meetings and site visits balanced by a range of social activities and cultural excursions.


About HPC
Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HPC) is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to promote health, prevent and manage chronic disease, especially among vulnerable populations through community-based outreach, education, and advocacy. HPC's unique programs advocating healthier lifestyles, together with its innovative work with underrepresented minority groups have advanced the field of health promotion in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the state. Established in 1981, HPC became an affiliate of the Public Health Management Corporation, formerly known as The Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, a leading public health institute in the region, in 1999. For more information on HPC, visit