Staff and Contributors

Here’s a brief introduction to the core staff of Young Men’s Health (YMH), who generate content and features on the site. Medical fellows and other Boston Children’s Hospital health care professionals contribute to the development of content.

YMH Team

Gabriela Vargas MD, MPH (she/her/hers), Director

Dr. Gabriela Vargas is an Attending Physician in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Director of the Quality Improvement Program for the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine. Dr. Vargas has a passion for young men’s health. She aims to improve young men’s health care and access in clinic as well as online. Dr. Vargas became the Director of the Young Men’s Health Site in 2020. She develops and reviews health guides as well as other health content for YMH.

Ara Tolentino (she/her/hers), Web Content Coordinator

Ara Tolentino is the YMH’s web content coordinator. She manages the CYWH and YMH websites, designs all print and web material, and helps ensure that all information posted is clear and accurate. She also helps manage the CYWH social media accounts. Ara is passionate about impacting the community through web content creation/management and social media.

Jill R. Kavanaugh, MLIS, AHIP (she/her/hers), Media Consultant

Jill R. Kavanaugh is the part-time Media Consultant for the YMH. Jill provides support to the Media Coordinator and the Web Developer, assisting with both technical and content tasks. Additionally, Jill has a background in media studies, and creates evidence-based content for teens and parents on how media and technology can affect the health and development of children and adolescents.

Brian Keller (he/him/his), Web Developer

Brian Keller builds new features for the CYWH and YMH websites. He is very experienced in developing educational and nonprofit websites and is devoted to using the modern web as an essential tool to help and educate people everywhere.

Youth Advisors

The Youth Advisory Program mentors and trains urban high school students to become peer leaders. Learn more about the program here.

Previous Leadership

Dr. EmansDr. S. Jean Emans, Co-Founder

Dr. Emans is Mary Ellen Avery Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, Chief Emeritus of the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Project Director of the MCHB/HRSA funded Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program, and the Director of the Office of Faculty Development at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is the author of several textbooks, including Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (7th edition, 2020), and more than 180 medical articles. She has lectured extensively around the world on many reproductive health topics and earned multiple awards.  Dr. Emans feels passionately about empowering adolescents to take care of their health.

Phaedra Thomas, RN, BSN, Emeritus Co-Director

Phaedra Thomas is a nurse educator, experienced project leader, and lead author and editor of our curricula and health guides. As Co-Director of the Center for Young Women’s Health and Young Men’s Health Site, she coordinates the Children’s Hospital League’s Resource Center, the Youth Advisory Program, and the Peer Mentoring Program. In 2003 Phaedra received the David Weiner Award for her leadership and innovations in teen health. She is passionate about empowering adolescents to understand and take the best possible care of their heath.


Josh Borus MD, MPH

Dr. Josh Borus  is currently Director of Residency and Medical Student Teaching in Adolescent Medicine at BCH, an attending in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.  His primary interests are teaching, mental health in primary care, and work in clinic.

Additional Contributors:

Deena Altschwager, MS, RD, LDN
Rose Ashraf, PhD
Tamara Baer, MD
Maria Benoit, RN
Josh Borus, MD MPH
Traci Brooks, MD
Emily Brown
Amanda Bryson, MD
Haidee Cano, LICSW
Louise Chase, LICSW
Laura Clasby, RN
Erica Cuevas
Amy Divasta, MD
Ryan Dunk
John Emans, MD
Susan Fitzgerald, RN, MSN, CPNP
Tynaya Frasier
Dawn Freiberger, RN
Amanda French, MD
Kate Garvey MD
Elizabeth Ginsburg, MD
Nanci Ginty Butler, LICSW
Anna Gitlin, LICSW
Esterann Grace, MD
Rosemary Grant, RN
Susan Gray, MD
Ashley Guevara, LICSW
Lalita Haines, MD
Sion Harris, MD
Carolyn Jacobs
Melanie Johnson
Sabra Katz-Wise, PhD
Traci Kazmerski, MD MS
Beth Klements, APRN
John Knight, MD
Amanda Kohn
Atsuko Koyama, MD
Martha Kurland, MSW
Sue Rosenfeld, DMD MPH
Kristelle Lavallee
Tyan-Chi Lin, MD
Jeanine Maglione, RN
Francie Mandel, LICW
Amy McCarthy, MSW
Sarah Pitts, MD
Emily Pluhar, PhD
Cailin Ryrie, MSW, LICSW
Heidi Schauster, MS, RD
Judi Seigel, MSW, LICSW
Lydia Shrier, MD
Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD, LDN
Sarah Spence, MD, PhD
Kara Sugihara, NP
Alex Taylor, MD
Scott Thomas
Valerie Ward, MD
Elsie Weisberg, MS, RD, LDN
Michael C Young, MD
Nora Edwards Renthal, M.D., Ph.D.