Kristin Lehr Anderson, M.D., FAAP, FACP, President
Dr. Kristin Anderson, FAAP, FACP is dually board-certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She has experience as a primary care physician working with families for over a decade. In her current role as a pediatrician at the Hasbro Partial Hospital Program she is part of a multi-disciplinary team incorporating family-based therapy to provide treatment for children struggling with co-existing medical and psychiatric diagnoses. As a result of these diverse clinical experiences, she recognizes the importance of fostering a healthy relationship with food, physical activity, and sleep.
She has a strong interest in developing programs aimed at the prevention of lifestyle related chronic illnesses and believes this requires creative partnerships. In February 2013 she founded F.I.T. Club, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, with her mother, Dr. Susan Lehr, Past Professor and Chair of the Skidmore College Education Studies Department. In this capacity, she developed an afterschool program in partnership with the Brown University Biology Department and Nayatt Elementary School. Brown University students with a biology concentration taught afterschool literacy-based sessions focused on healthy habits associated with a decrease in the prevalence of childhood obesity (healthy balanced meals, regular physical activity, limited screen time, and sleep hygiene).
She has designed and developed sustainable curriculums. She developed the Young Doctors Club in 2003, while an intern at Rhode Island Hospital, as a partnership with public schools in Providence and the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program of Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. For 15 years, urban students came monthly during the academic year to Rhode Island Hospital to learn about health careers and diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. She also developed the Practice Management and Health Policy Curriculum for third year primary care residents at Brown and continues to teach the Introduction course and Billing workshop. The program has run successfully for many years with lecturers who are leaders in primary care throughout Rhode Island. She also served on the board of Barrington Early Childhood Center for three years in roles such as Nominating and Fundraising Chairs, so has firsthand experience with the operations of a not-for-profit organization.
Susan Lehr, Ph.D. Vice President
Past Professor and Chair of the Education Department, Skidmore College
Dr. Susan Lehr has 32 years of experience as an educator, working with pre-service teachers at The Ohio State University and Skidmore College. Her publications in the field of literacy and children’s literature include 3 edited college textbooks which build a compelling case for using high quality fiction and nonfiction as core texts in the elementary classroom. Her early research (The Child’s Developing Sense of Theme, published by Teachers College Press, 1991) explored children’s dynamic responses to literature. Building on that, her later research involved children’s dynamic responses to literature exploring powerful themes of social justice. Her core teaching beliefs are premised on a constructivist philosophy toward teaching and learning in which the teacher sets up a relevant, flexible, and diverse learning environment in which children cooperatively study the real world while simultaneously developing a range of necessary literacy, mathematical, and science skills to digest and share information with each other. F.I.T. Club principles embrace and extend these core values.
Erika C. Farrell, J.D., Secretary
Erika Farrell has experience working as a commercial litigator for a national law firm for over seven years. In that role, Erika advised clients on a variety of litigation matters, including employment law issues and preventative corporate strategies. She also authored several published articles and participated in speaking engagements regarding employment law issues and general litigation topics. Erika currently acts as the Managing Director for a charitable foundation and that of a local youth sports organization. Further, she serves on the Town of Barrington’s Cemetery Commission and has volunteered her time on several nonprofit Boards of Directors. This has enhanced Erika’s understanding of the nonprofit sector and legal requirements unique to nonprofits. Erika is also a member of the Brown Club of Rhode Island and interviews prospective Brown students in the greater Providence area.
Elliott J. Anderson, MD, Treasurer
Dr. Elliott J. Anderson is currently a medical oncologist and hematologist at a community cancer center in Massachusetts. During fellowship training, he was an active member in the Brown University Oncology Group’s research initiatives, particularly in the area of upper aerodigestive malignancies. In this regard, he constructed several letters of intent seeking support and funding from industry that successfully led to the development and execution of phase II clinical trials. Abstracts/final trial results were ultimately included in American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting portfolios as well as published in peer reviewed medical journals. As a teaching fellow, he participated in the instruction and supervision of Brown University medical residents rotating through the hematology/oncology service at the Miriam and Rhode Island Hospitals. Outside of the medical field, he is active in local youth sports programs having coached in little league baseball, YMCA basketball, and fall soccer league.
Andrew D.C. Anderson, Ed.D., Director
Dr. Andrew Anderson is currently the Principal of Barrington Middle School in Barrington, Rhode Island. As principal he is charged with teacher evaluation, curriculum development, student/school data analysis, school improvement, and the implementation of various state/district/school reform initiatives. Andrew has been in education for 21 years. He has taught 2nd grade for two years in an inner-city catholic school; he has taught special education for six years in a suburban public middle school; he has served three years as an administrator in an urban public middle school; and he has served 10 year as an administrator at a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon public middle school. As a doctoral candidate, Andrew predominately focused his work on the topic of home school communication at the middle school level as it relates to students’ academic and social success. Today, he continues this work by fostering positive home school connections with the families of the students in his school. Throughout the past several years, Andrew has presented to aspiring teachers and administrators on the finer points of becoming a public school educator/administrator.
Tanisha Verneus, MD Candidate, Director
Tanisha Verneus is a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Biology with a focus on Women and Children’s Health from Brown University in 2018. Tanisha first started working with F.I.T. Club during her senior year of college as a Fellow for the Healthy Habits Afterschool Program at Nayatt Elementary School in Barrington, RI. She then went on to serve as an Instructor for Alpert Medical School’s branch of Young Doctors Club, before joining the F.I.T. Club board as a Director. Outside of her involvement with F.I.T. Club, Tanisha has extensive experience teaching and mentoring students of all ages about science and medicine. She is passionate about ensuring access to health education for children from underrepresented and low income backgrounds. As a budding physician, Tanisha hopes to incorporate medical education and pipeline development into her future career.