To promote healthy lifestyles and quality of life in underserved communities by decreasing socioeconomic barriers to wellness through education, support, and resources for personal growth and well-being. To provide hands-on experience opportunities for minorities and others seeking to pursue fitness careers.
Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) of Pittsburgh, a 501(c)(3) organization offers a comprehensive array of fitness, nutrition, and financial education programs, complemented by classes in and other topics identified by interaction with the community. Our goal is to empower community members to improve their quality of life through enhanced understanding, practice, and competence in important life skills.
The Community Wellness Initiative of Pittsburgh is excited to bring together a supremely talented and diverse group of health and wellness providers. In starting The Community Wellness Initiative, I envisioned every person, in every neighborhood, having access to the essential tools needed to live a robust and fulfilling life. I believe that sharing our lived experiences, knowledge, and resources will catapult and transform individuals and families into Thriving Communities.
Our current programming has been focused on nutrition, financial, and physical activity classes. With this event as our official kickoff to more and exciting new programming, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for programs that you would like to see. Thank you for visiting our website. Feel free to sign up for classes and to leave your comments. We hope that ENJOY your day and we look forward to seeing you soon, and often!
Christopher E. Howard, Founder and Executive Director
Christopher E. Howard
Chris Howard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science at the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Wellness, and Fitness at California University of Pennsylvania. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise as an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist and personal trainer and as an Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine.
In 2012, he established C. Howard Fitness for personal training. Chris also was instrumental in the Healthy Black Families program run by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Minority Health, where he designed and implemented a fitness assessment protocol for the research project, managed a 6,000+ database for the community health promotion program, conducted 2,000+ baseline and recurrent fitness assessments, taught nutrition education classes for participants in the health promotion program, and was lead health coach and trainer for junior health coaches and new hires.
Board of Directors
Carol M. Greco PhD
Carol is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a licensed psychologist and researcher specializing in pain and chronic illness, and has more than 25 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness meditation, and related approaches.
Dr. Greco is a Co-Investigator and trainer on several research trials designed to reduce the burden of back pain by teaching physical therapists, chiropractors, and other professionals how to help people use mind-body methods such as meditation, relaxation techniques, and stress management to reduce pain. On these trials, Dr. Greco serves on the intervention team, training clinicians of various backgrounds about how to use psychologically informed methods when working with patients who experience pain and suffering. As a pain psychologist and trainer, Dr. Greco particularly enjoys witnessing the “Ah-ha!” moments when trainees and patients realize the personal and clinical value of the skills they are learning.
Mario C. Browne, MPH, CHES, CDP
Mario Browne is the Inaugural Associate Dean for Equity, Engagement, and Justice in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the immediate past Director of the Office of Health Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Mario holds a BS in Biology and a BS in Medical Technology from Salem International University and an MPH from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in Administrative and Policy Studies at Pitt’s School of Education
He is a member of the Delta Omega Honors Society for Public Health Excellence, an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders in Public Health Scholars program at UNC Chapel Hill and the Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research at UCLA. He served as Public Health Administrator for the Allegheny County Health Department’s Bureau of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, responsible for managing county-wide public health promotion/disease prevention programs. Prior to that Mario served as Project Director and Community Health Coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Minority Health (CMH), now known as the Center for Health Equity.
He is a trained Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator and Certified Emotional Emancipation Circle Facilitator. Mr. Browne serves on various community and professional Boards and Committees including the Pennsylvania Department of Health COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and is the Co-Chair of the Community Research Advisory Board (CRAB) at Pitt’s School of Public Health.
Drew is a 2021 retiree from Allegheny Technologies, Incorporated where he honed his skills in effective production and teamwork. During his 33-year career at ATI, Drew held various positions while also earning his business degree from the Community College of Allegheny County.
He is currently the owner of WorldWide Custom T-Shirt, a custom t-shirt printing business specializing in the heat transfer vinyl process for applying logos and designs to apparel.
Nicole is a former Principal and Communications Practice Leader in the Pittsburgh office of Buck Consultants. Previously she was Communication Practice Leader for William M. Mercer’s Pittsburgh office, manager of public relations for Allegheny International, and in Community Relations at Allegheny General Hospital. She also has taught introduction to professional and technical writing, writing for digital media, and the capstone class in the Chatham College Masters in Professional Writing program.
For 40 years, she was a member of the American Chronic Pain Association board of directors, serving as board president and program director, where she developed educational materials, videos, and the organization’s web site.
A Pittsburgh native, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
James Shealey, MBA
James Shealey is the Managing Partner for OMNI Associates (OMNI) in Pittsburgh, PA. OMNI is a marketing company that provides graphic design, web design & development, printing, advertising specialties, custom apparel, office supplies, furniture & equipment, and video & photography services.
Prior to joining OMNI, Mr. Shealey held senior level positions in Municipal Budgeting, Non-profit Accounting, Government Contracting, Corporate Sourcing, and Executive Management. Mr. Shealey has also been an adjunct professor, teaching Introduction to Accounting and Financial Accounting courses.
Mr. Shealey earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Christopher Howard, MS
Chris Howard is the founder and executive director of CWI. After a career as a steelworker, Chris earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science at the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Wellness, and Fitness at California University of Pennsylvania. He is certified by the American Council on Exercise as an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist and personal trainer and as an Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2012, he established C. Howard Fitness for personal training.
Chris also was instrumental in the Healthy Black Families program run by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Minority Health, where he designed and implemented a fitness assessment protocol for the research project, managed a 6,000+ database for the community health promotion program, conducted 2,000+ baseline and recurrent fitness assessments, taught nutrition education classes for participants in the health promotion program, and was lead health coach and trainer for junior health coaches and new hires.
Michele Howard, M.S.
Michele earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Her Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice career spans 38 years and includes serving in both Dauphin County and Allegheny County Juvenile Probation Departments in various capacities including Probation Officer, Supervisor, and currently JJSES/Intake Coordinator. She has served on several statewide committees through the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judge’s Commission and internal Juvenile Justice Committees over the years within the Juvenile Probation Departments where she has been employed.
She is a member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
Patti recently retired after 25 years with the Jewish Community Center where she was Group Exercise and Wellness Director. In this role, she developed fitness and wellness programs for JCC members and staff. In addition, from 2016 to 2021, she created employee wellness programming across the Jewish community, including local synagogues, schools, the Jewish Federation, and Jewish Children and Family Services.