University of Maryland Extension

EFNEP Leadership Team and Contact Info

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EFNEP Programs are Available in Nine Counties and the City of Baltimore (Click on the map on each place icon to find more information)

 

Maryland EFNEP Leadership

 
 

Dr. Mira Mehta serves as Director of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland. The primary focus of her programming is to develop, implement and evaluate intervention programs for food insecure, immigrant, refugee and diverse communities at high risk for Type 2 diabetes and other diet related non-communicable chronic disorders. Her research interests lie in the areas of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in populations which disproportionately bear the double burden of hunger and adiposity; and health disparities resulting from gender and race/ethnicity. In 2015-16, she was PI of the Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model” through an award by the federally funded North-east Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) at Cornell University, funded by USDA/NIFA. She is currently working on a comprehensive project in Gujarat, India to address ‘the double burden of under nutrition (stunting) and overweight /obesity’ using a policy, systems and environment approach. She received her MS and PhD degrees in International Nutrition from Cornell University and a BS in Human Nutrition from M.S. University, India.

Dr. Kavitha Sankavaram, is responsible for evaluation, reporting and program coordination of special initiatives of Maryland EFNEP. She is passionate about working with low income people, reducing domestic food-insecurity and promoting healthy lifestyle. Her research interests are focused on finding sustainable solutions to the nutrition and lifestyle factors that drive the double burden of food insecurity and obesity. She has assisted with multi-state EFNEP research projects such as the EFNEP Adult Behavior Checklist Cognitive Interviews. Previously, she was a co-PI on the project, “Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model”,  that was funded through the North-east Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) at Cornell University. She served as the chair of the Division of International Nutrition Education in the Society for Nutrition education and Behavior for the year 2014-2016. She received her Doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut and MS from Oklahoma State University in Human Nutrition.  Dr. Sankavaram is part of the MD EFNEP Technology and Social Media leadership and EFNEP National Technology and Social Media team. She is also the chair for Evaluation group in EFNEP Technology Committee. 

 
Mira Mehta, PhD
 
Director
 
301-405-1006
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kavitha Sankavaram, PhD  
  
Faculty Specialist
EFNEP  Outreach & Evaluation
 
301-314-2177

Ms. Maribet Brute received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Antillean Adventist University, Puerto Rico, and a Masters of Public Health, in Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health Nutrition from Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, California. She was involved with the Hispanic community in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties, California, working with different well-known organizations such as Loma Linda University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health. She coauthored peer-reviewed articles about Diabetes Education in the Hispanic community, and translated into Spanish books and articles in Epidemiology and Nutrition. Maribet volunteered with the American Heart Association (AHA) Go Red for Women/Por tu Corazón in Los Angeles and Inland Empire Region for 10 years and continues as a Health/Nutrition Educator in Mid-Atlantic Region and is part of the AHA Go Red for Women National Spokesperson Panel. She’s a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and APHA Latino Caucus. Maribet is part of the MD EFNEP Technology and Social Media leadership and EFNEP National Technology and Social Media team.  She loves to spend time with her family, learn new languages, astronomy, classical music, and singing.

 
Maribet Brute, MPH
 
Coordinator,  
 
class410-856-1850 x122

Ms. Marlene L. Orantes is Maryland EFNEP’s Clinic Program Outreach and Partnership Coordinator. She is a healthcare professional with experience as Program Director, health educator, and nutrition educator in various non-profit organizations in Washington DC and Maryland. Marlene has adapted numerous nutrition curricula for those with Diabetes Type 2, hypertension overweight, and obesity; recent adaptations include “Nutrition for Pregnant and Nursing Women.” Marlene Orantes received her degree in Medicine from the Evangelical University of El Salvador. She worked thereafter for the Salvadorian Public Health System and Social Security Health System as Medical Director and Healthcare Provider.  In 2009, Maryland EFNEP offered Marlene the opportunity to increase her focus on prevention in the community setting while collaborating with other EFNEP professionals and community partners. She used her medical training and public health experience in safety-net clinics to create a unique and novel model of collaboration between EFNEP and safety-net clinics. Since 2013, this model has led to many new initiatives including “Transforming Lifestyles: Integrating Direct Nutrition Education with Physical Activity Using the Health Care System Expansion Model.” She has trained many new nutrition educators to teach using this clinic collaboration model which has enabled Maryland EFNEP to demonstrate, not only behavior change outcomes but also health outcomes. Marlene remains deeply committed to developing and delivering programs for food insecure families and provides leadership for Maryland EFNEP’s Latinx Initiatives and Montgomery County EFNEP.

Ms. Marlene Orantes

Marlene Orantes, EFNEP Montgomery County

EFNEP  Program Outreach & Partnership Coordinator for Latinx Communities

morantes@umd.edu

(301) 590-3203

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Last updated 8/21/20 by Mary Libcke

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