HealthNets Partnerships in Health Conference drew more than 75 health educators from across Long Island and New York City to share health education ideas at Adelphi University.

How sweet it is! Hosted for the 16th year on the Adelphi campus by the Ruth S. Ammon School of EducationHealthNets Partnerships in Health Conference drew more than 75 health educators from across Long Island and New York City to share health education ideas.

HealthNets—which started as a simple “meeting of the minds” for health educators to exchange teaching ideas on various aspects of health education—stands out as the first and for many years only conference dedicated exclusively to health education in the greater NYC area.

At the latest daylong event, on November 7, 2017 in the Ruth S. Harley University Center, Shannon Whalen Gifford, Ed.D., health education professor at Springfield College, headlined a general session with a lively talk titled “My Health Class Dull? No Way.”

An Ammon School faculty member before joining Springfield, Gifford helped start the HealthNets conference with two other former Ammon School professors, Monica Homer, Ed.D., and Mary Barrese.

At the other general session, Charles Rizzuto, M.A. ’11, an Oyster Bay High School educator, focused on “Prepare, Present, Assess.”

Three breakout sessions—two led by Adelphi alumni—gave conference-goers opportunities to hear new ideas from fellow educators.

Victoria Vagnone ’13, a Richmond Hill High School educator, and Angela Matinale ’11, M.S. ’14, with the High School of Fashion Industries—both Ammon health and physical education majors—discussed, respectively, “Educational Methods for a Diversified Classroom” and “The Reality of Being a Dual Subject Teacher in an Alternative Setting.”

Nathalie Zarisfi, director of Adelphi’s Faculty Center for Professional Excellence, and Emilia Zarco, M.D.M. Ed., chair, Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management, jointly presented an informative breakout session explaining “Grant Writing for Teachers—From Daunting to Doable.”

In addition, organizers and attendees praised the exhibition area. Melissa Wayne, M.A.’06, said that area was enhanced from past years so that exhibitors could better connect with HealthNets participants. “For 2017,” she said, “the exhibitors not only surrounded the conference area to support the breakout sessions but had the opportunity to highlight their work in our large general meeting area.”

She added, “The goal of the exhibition area is for participants to see firsthand the innovative programs offered by community-based organizations, engage in discussions on how to utilize services and programs, and create new partnerships to further everyone’s mission of creating healthier communities.”

For more information about HealthNets, please contact:


Cynthia Proscia
HealthNets Coordinator
p – 516.877.4256
e –

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e –

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