Meet our team 
Directors: 
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Christy Ponder 

Executive Director and Artist-in-Residence 

Meet Christy Ponder! Christy leads our team of artists-in-residence, community volunteers, and University of North Florida student interns.

She started volunteering with AWAHIH in 2011 and knew right away she wanted to be apart of AWAHIH's mission. After realizing that not many people knew about AWAHIH's work, Christy felt it was an easy decision to make when the board chair asked her to step into the executive director role. As a trained chef, Christy says more of her artistry happens in the kitchen than on the canvas. That said, she views her role at AWAHIH "as a creative process of supporting our artists, making sure they have the resources they need to conduct successful art sessions with patients."

  

Christy says "I see the impact that art has on the hospital floor on a daily basis. We are the one thing that kids get to choose while in a hospital setting. They can choose to paint, or to draw, or to make jewelry or origami, among many options. They can even choose just to have an artist sit with them and paint a piece for them. Our service provides empowerment in a frequently powerless situation." 

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Lori Presto, MSW 

Director of Operations and Artist-in-Residence 

     Meet Lori Presto! When Lori began working with AWAHIH as an intern in 2004 she had completed degrees in Fine Art and Psychology (and she later went on to complete a Master’s degree in Social Work). Fast forward to today, and Lori is now Director of Operations and an Artist-in-Residence for AWAHIH. Over the past 15 years, she has seen the organization grow. The number of staff members, number of patients served, number of locations served, and awareness of AWAHIH in the community have all grown steadily. Lori’s belief in how beneficial creativity can be in helping patients relieve stress and heal faster has helped shape the growth of the entire program as well as the awareness of the importance of Arts in Medicine as a whole.

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Maddie Firestone

Program Director and Artist-in-Residence 

     Meet Maddie Firestone! Maddie graduated with an art degree from Flagler College. She began volunteering for Art With a Heart in Healthcare in 2014, and one and a half years later year she was hired as an Artist-in-Residence. Now, in her new position as Program Director, Maddie will provide the artistic direction and leadership involved in guiding our team to carry out AWAHIH's mission.

     “I believe in what we are doing 100% … making a difference one patient at a time.” Maddie feels that, “in a world of constant pokes and prods from the hospital staff, beeps from monitors, and isolation,” the creative process can be very freeing for patients. She feels fortunate to have an art career, especially one that touches people’s lives in such a meaningful way.
 

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 Staff 

Brooke McKinney, MA - Communications/ Artist-in-Residence 

Matt Richards - Artist-in-Residence

Jill Swanson, MA - Artist-in-Residence

Dylan Bauer - Artist-in-Residence

Contracted Artists

Anne Roberts 

Bob Drost 

Alexis Audate 

Lisa Miyares

Heidi Drost 

Abigail Santos 

Meredith Sullivan 

John Guinta

Tony Rodriguez 

Volunteers 

Patsy Moore
Helen Meatte
Janet Massey
Kianna Godoy
Chrissy Granados
Teresa Graham

IIlyssa Harrington

We are so grateful for the dedication of our generous volunteers!

Board of Directors

Hillary Whitaker - Board Chair

Casey Cohen- Secretary

Judy Powell- Treasure     

Laird

Bebe Alexander

Bonnie Hayflick

Kerri Carter 

Board of Advisors

Lori Guadagno - Co-founder

Lisa Landwirth Ullmann - Co-founder

Brooks Cannon

Robert Monsky

Cynthia Jacoby Greene

Katherine Loeb

Sam Hall

Kathy Soler-Sala

Melissa Roland

Jennifer Guthrie

Honorary Trustees

Louise Freshman Brown

Professor University of North Florida

Suzanne McCormick Taylor

Community Volunteer

 

Karen Wolfson

Wolfson Children's Hospital

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Art with a Heart in Healthcare! 

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Call: 904.306.0390

Fax: 904.306.0391 

841 Prudential Dr. 

Suite 150 Jacksonville, Fl 32207

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