Meet the team!
Ellen Cynar is the Healthy Communities Office Director for the City of Providence. She joined the office in January 2013. Ms. Cynar has worked in a wide variety of public and private settings as well as health education and promotion positions. Her public health interests include nutrition and food policy.
Ms. Cynar directs the City’s efforts on substance abuse prevention, and promotion of healthy eating, active living, and mental health initiatives. In this role, she provides leadership and advises on health and prevention issues, environmental policy changes, and public education efforts.
Ms. Cynar received a MS in Nutrition and Food Policy from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition, a MPH in Global Health from Tufts University’s School of Medicine, and a BS in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband and two children.
Rachel Newman Greene serves as the Healthy Communities Office Deputy Director for the City of Providence since early 2016. Her work focuses on increasing equity in Providence residents’ access to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate foods, opportunities for physical exercise and other resources to lead healthy lives.
Prior to joining the office, she spent more than a decade in community development organizations in Providence’s South Side and West End, including developing and managing resident engagement and leadership programs, urban agricultural initiatives and comprehensive community improvement and health coalitions.
Ms. Newman Greene holds an MA in Urban Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. She and her family are residents of Providence’s Washington Park neighborhood. Ms. Newman Greene loves learning about the food traditions of Providence’s culturally rich community and connecting with nature and her neighbors in Roger Williams Park.
Fiscal and Health Communications Manager
Drug Free Community Program Director
Obed Papp is the Healthy Communities Office’s Drug Free Community Program Director for the City of Providence. She joined the office in 2011, working predominantly on tobacco public health issues. For more than ten years Obed has been committed to working on two important areas in public service, community development and drug prevention.
Mrs. Papp currently serves as the Providence Regional Coordinator and MSAPC Coordinator. She has been very active in the greater Providence community serving as an ambassador of goodwill as well as volunteering with many community organizations, including Praise Tabernacle Church, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, West Broadway Neighborhood Association, Federal Hill House Association, and the Rhode Island Professional Latino Association.
Mrs. Papp has a Master’s in Public Administration from University of Rhode Island, a Bachelor’s in Economics, a Specialist degree in Public Government Administration and she is certified as a Prevention Specialist Supervisor. Mrs. Papp is of Colombian descent and speaks fluent Spanish; therefore, she offers a cultural perspective for the Providence community.
Ramona E Santos Torres is the Program Manager for the City of Providence, starting in 2018. Ms. Santos Torres public health interests include tobacco, alcohol, substance abuse prevention, mental health, equity in education and social justice.
In the current position as Program Manager, Ms. Santos Torres works in the areas of, Tobacco Point of Sales, Health Equity Zone, and Regional Prevention Task Force promoting health equity and public health.
A graduate of Rhode Island College, Ms. Santos Torres lives in Providence, RI with her two daughters and her dog Bebo. Her favorite way to stay active is CrossFit and obstacle races.