HealthySteps Ambassadors 2020-2022
Meet Our Ambassadors
HS Ambassadors are dedicated liaisons and provide insights and feedback on National Office initiatives and resources to best meet the needs of sites and to advance our shared goal to reach more than 1 million young children and families annually by 2032.
Dr. Boogaard is the HealthySteps Physician Champion in an academic community clinic in Southeast, Washington, D.C.
In 2015, she joined Children’s Health Center at THEARC as an academic pediatrician with an interest in combating social determinants of health and strengthening family resiliency. HealthySteps began in her clinic and a partnering clinic in a nearby community in 2016. Together with her colleagues at both sites, they worked to integrate HealthySteps into each practice, focusing on supporting young families with developmental concerns, maternal depression, and social stressors. The experience has highlighted the diversity of challenges and strengths in each community and clinic setting, leading the team to develop diverse support strategies and programs to best meet the needs of the families. She looks forward to lending her experience to help strengthen the HealthySteps Program nationally and learn from the expertise of others.
Dr. Boogaard received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology at Boston College. She received her MD and Master’s in Public Health in 2011 from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Her personal life brought her to Washington, D.C. where she completed her pediatric internship, residency, and chief residency at Children’s National Hospital.
Bernadette is a HealthySteps Specialist at Ellis Pediatric Care in New York. HealthySteps was a new model to the Ellis Pediatric staff when Bernadette accepted the position as HealthySteps Specialist in 2017. Today the program continues to grow. Her knowledge and experience with trauma with families have given Bernadette a unique opportunity to work with the whole family.
She started her career working in an outpatient clinic with the adult population. For more than three years she worked with the developmentally delayed as a Medicaid service coordinator with NYS. She has worked as a therapist at the YWCA Transitional Housing Program in Central New York. The program focused on families and survivors of domestic abuse and substance abuse.
In her spare time, Bernadette sits on the board of a local nonprofit organization. She also teaches the community health workers course at Schenectady County Community College. She is currently a volunteer mentor for students.
Bernadette earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology and history from the University of Maryland, College Park. She graduated from SUNY, Albany with a master’s degree in social work and criminal justice. She is a Phi Alpha Theta initiate and continues to pursue her love for history.
Lizette has been a HeathySteps Specialist since 2013 at a community health clinic in northern Arizona. She loves her job; her best days at work happen when she knows she has been of service to a family. Lizette co-leads a weekly postpartum adjustment group and when there is no pandemic, the highlight of her week is the toddler playgroup, which she has been running since January 2016. Recently, Lizette received accreditation from Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) to run parenting groups. Triple P is a parenting and family support system designed to prevent – as well as treat – behavioral and emotional problems in children.
Lizette has been working with families and young children since 2000 when she worked for the Arizona Early Intervention Program.
She has 23-year old twins who often remind her how quickly children grow. Lizette is a proud immigrant, born and raised in Mexico City. Recently, she has been playing with watercolors and dreaming of her next adventure. One of her favorite things is commuting to work on her bike; it always makes her feel like a child again.
She has a MA in human resource development and an MEd in early childhood special education.
Dr. Ramgoolam, commonly referred to as Dr. Ram, is a HealthySteps Physician Champion at Piedmont Pediatrics. He has been with Cone Health and Piedmont Pediatrics since 2012. He has had the pleasure of working with the HealthySteps program, has seen firsthand the great impact it can make in the development and well-being of kids and families, and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this great and much-needed program.
He had known from an early age he wanted to provide care to kids and help them to achieve their total potential. He became the lead physician at Piedmont Pediatrics in 2013 and then recently appointed the medical director of the Cone Health Medical Group medical sub-specialty care division.
He graduated from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and practiced medicine and pediatrics in his homeland islands of Trinidad and Tobago. He completed a residency in pediatrics in Brooklyn, New York, and his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Tulane University.
After his fellowship, he provided care in the Mississippi delta in the small town of Clarksdale. Some of his patients did not have the means to travel to his office so as part of the Children’s’ Health Fund, he became head of a mobile unit. The medical facility on wheels provided well-care and sick visits in the school’s parking lot, thus solving the transportation problem for his patients.
Barbara is a HealthySteps Specialist at CentraCare – Plaza Clinic Pediatrics where she works in collaboration with primary care providers to provide integrated behavioral health services.
Working with children and families has been a significant part of her clinical practice and she is excited to take on the role of HealthySteps Specialist within her pediatric health care team. She has a passion for advocating for a two-generation approach to the health care of children. Her clinical interests include primary care behavioral health, parent-child relationship, developmental trauma, anxiety, depression, and mental health services across the lifespan for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.
Barbara has a Master of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Barbara is a Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor™
Dr. Tomcho is a HealthySteps Physician Champion at Denver Health. She has been a pediatrician and medical director at Denver Health’s Westside Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic for more than 10 years. Under her leadership, the Westside Pediatric and Adolescent clinic has been a model in developing medical home practices through the Commonwealth Fund’s Safety New Medical Home Initiative and has embraced practice transformation projects related to the integration of specialties, such as behavioral health and dental care. Within the Denver Health system, Dr. Tomcho’s clinic has been on the cutting edge of partnering with community organizations to address social determinants of health through cooperative efforts.
She grew up in Ohio where she attended medical school and residency. She then spent nearly a decade practicing pediatrics on Colorado’s rural western slope where she experienced firsthand how HealthySteps enhances primary care in rural communities. Once in Denver, she worked to bring HealthySteps to Denver Health.
Dr. Tomcho enjoys collaborating with patients of all ages and diverse backgrounds and loves getting to know their families. She believes that being healthy involves more than just good medical care and wants to partner with families and guide them to take an active role in their children’s health. Dr. Tomcho is also actively involved in community projects and with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Tomcho loves to spend time with her daughter and run in the mountains.