Gwen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Indiana University and her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in maternal and child health from Boston University. Gwen’s initial experience providing in-home direct services as a Robins’ Nest Family Preservation Services Counselor in Salem County, New Jersey gave her invaluable insight in subsequent positions overseeing maternal and child health programs. She later worked at the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition where she simultaneously implemented programs from multiple grant sources, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Covering Kids & Families Initiatives.
She was also responsible for coordinating the Jacksonville Friendly Access Initiative which focused on decreasing barriers that low-income women face when accessing prenatal and pediatric care. She presented this data at the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting. Her experience then took her to the Center for Family Services in Southern New Jersey, where under her leadership their emergency homeless shelter for pregnant and parenting women became accredited through the National Council on Accreditation for the first time in the shelter’s thirty-year history.