Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, M.D., M.P.H.

Executive Director

    Jennifer serves as executive director for Penn State PRO Wellness, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine and Associate Director of Research in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Her responsibilities include leading PRO Wellness; engaging agencies, organizations, schools and community groups; maintaining a team-focused climate which attracts, keeps and motivates a staff of high quality individuals; and ensuring that research and projects further our important work to advance the health and wellness of our communities, both within Pennsylvania and beyond.

    Jennifer joined Penn State as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences in 2009. She is a clinician-investigator with a focus on public health research and passion for learning how to help people live healthier lives. Her research has received funding through the NIH as well as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and her research has been presented and awarded at both the regional and national levels.

    Kara Bowers, RD, LDN

    Project Coordinator

      Kara is a Registered Dietitian who serves as a project coordinator for the PRO Wellness Center. She utilizes her background in counseling and community nutrition for health promotion to assist in planning, implementing, and evaluating outcomes related to childhood obesity. She is working specifically with Boy Scouts of America to implement an obesity prevention program, which aims to create a supportive nutrition environment and increase opportunities for physical activity within the Boy Scouts organization.

      Kara holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Messiah College and obtained her RD status through the Sodexo Allentown program. In her spare time, Kara enjoys cooking, working out, and relaxing with her husband and two cats, Yoda and Vader.

      Erica Francis, MS

      Senior Project Manager

        Erica serves as a senior project manager for our community-focused projects, including patient-centered research on Diabetes, the Better Together: Lebanon County project, and a regional multi-tiered obesity prevention intervention with the Boy Scouts of America, which aims to create a supportive nutrition environment and increase opportunities for physical activity.

        Erica holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Biomedical Engineering from University of Maryland. In her spare time, Erica enjoys traveling with her husband and three children.

        Lauren Green, MPH, CHES

        Research Project Associate

          Lauren serves as a part-time research project associate for Penn State PRO Wellness. She uses her background in health education to assist the center with the Healthy Champions program. She also aids in grant writing and program planning, implementation and evaluation.

          Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from Liberty University as well as a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Community and Behavioral Health from Penn State University. She has also been a Certified Health Education Specialist for over ten years. She enjoys reading and experimenting with food in her free time.

          Elizabeth Hivner, M.Ed, CHES

          Project Coordinator

            Elizabeth serves as a project coordinator for PRO Wellness. She utilizes her education and background in public health education to assist school districts in developing sustainable wellness programs and implementing classroom physical activity interventions.

            Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in health sciences with a concentration in public health education from James Madison University and a Master’s of Education in Health Education from Penn State University . She also is a Certified Health Education Specialist who is passionate about helping others reach and maintain good health.

            She enjoys spending time at the beach, running and is a lifelong dancer.

            Ellie Hogentogler, BS

            Marketing Communications Manager

              Ellie serves as Marketing Communications Manager for PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include the  development and implementation of our marketing plan as well as overseeing brand consistency throughout our advertising, social media and public relations activities. She also coordinates our outreach efforts and other special events. Ellie is responsible for overseeing all marketing projects including web design and maintenance, logo designs, newsletters, advertisements, collateral material, and other projects.

              Ellie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Millersville University. She enjoys playing Texas Hold ’em Poker and spending time with her husband and daughter.

              Alicia Hoke, MPH, CHES

              Senior Project Manager

                Alicia serves as senior project manager for our school-based grants, which create supportive nutrition environments and increase opportunities for physical activity in school districts across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in health education to develop educational materials and informational webinars on various school health topics.

                Alicia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from Lycoming College and a Master of Public Health from Penn State University. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys boating and skiing with family and friends.

                Abbey Kinard, BA

                Marketing Communications Specialist

                  Abbey serves as Marketing Communications Specialist for PRO Wellness. Her responsibilities include the development and design of promotional and educational communications. Utilizing social media, web design and web analytics Abbey manages PRO Wellness’s online presence. She also assists with the implementation of our marketing strategy and brand consistency through digital and print advertising.

                  Abbey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication/Journalism, from Shippensburg University. In her spare time, she enjoys diving into creative DIY projects, photographing life’s special moments and making memories with friends and family.

                  Krista Pattison, MS

                  Research Project Manager

                    Krista serves as a project manager for the Building Healthy Schools grant program, a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to promote supportive nutrition environments and quality physical education in schools across the Commonwealth. She utilizes her background in child development and education to assist school districts in planning, implementing and evaluating policy-based changes in order to work toward sustainable improvement of the wellness environment.  

                    Krista holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington and Jefferson College and a Master’s Degree in Applied Developmental Psychology, with a concentration in Program Design and Leadership, from the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, Krista enjoys cooking, crafting and spending time with friends and family.

                    Jennifer M. Poger, M.Ed.

                    Project Manager

                      Jennifer has worked at Penn State in various research roles and across disciplines including Neurology, Pediatrics, Medicine and Public Health Sciences over the past 11 years. She has most recently managed NIH funded behavioral interventions and clinical trials related to weight management, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. Additionally, Jennifer has utilized her graduate training in adult education to train new faculty, staff, and students to research as well as develop and deliver training programs to participants of research. Jennifer is currently responsible for engaging patient partners and stakeholders in a large Patient-Centered Outcomes Research project through several training and community engagement endeavors.

                      Jennifer holds a Masters of Education degree in Training and Development from the Pennsylvania State University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the world with her husband and two children, practicing yoga, doing crafts, and cooking/baking.      


                      Kim F. Spangler

                      Administrative Support Coordinator

                        Kim serves as Administrative Support Coordinator for PRO Wellness. She performs, coordinates and oversees office administrative duties while providing an extensive level of support to the Executive Director. Using her technical abilities and complex administrative skills, Kim is able to provide valuable support for PRO Wellness.

                        Kim brings over 30 years of experience in the administrative and academic arenas, and has been with the institution since 2001.

                        In her spare time she likes to spend time with family and friends, enjoy boating and spending time at the beach.