Sheila Savannah, Managing Director at Prevention Institute’s Houston office, provides leadership on health equity, mental health, safety, and violence prevention focus areas. She focuses on mental health’s intersection with community resilience, and the social determinants of health; with projects aimed at improving outcomes for boys and men and addressing community trauma. Sheila serves on the FRIENDS National Advisory Council on Community-based Child Abuse Prevention and previously served as an expert advisor for several local and national committees. Sheila leads the Movember Foundation-funded Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative, which works in diverse settings across the United States to identify and amplify community approaches to improve mental wellbeing outcomes for boys and men.
Sheila has always been passionate about finding creative ways to promote health and healing within contexts of cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity. From 1990 to 1993, she was director of Child & Adolescent Service at Riverside General Hospital, providing curriculum-based substance abuse prevention training and support for children and youth. In 1993, she became a local project manager for the Annie E. Casey Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children, responsible for community planning, service coordination, and systems reform to reduce out-of-home placements. This project grew into a local nonprofit organization where, from 1996 to 2005, Sheila oversaw the delivery of a range of community-designed programs to strengthen support for youth and families.
In 2006, Sheila was a division manager with the Houston Public Health Department, responsible for strategic partnerships. She also led the Office of Adolescent Health and Injury Prevention, including Houston's CDC-funded youth violence prevention initiative. Sheila holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MA in behavioral sciences with concurrent completion of training in expressive arts therapies from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
Thursday, July 11
9:15 AM – 10:45 AM