Cassidy Tarullo joined HCIF in September 2019 and has proven to be an invaluable team member since joining us. She is somewhat of a “jack of all trades,” but so much more than that. In addition to supporting HCIF President, Wendy Nickel, Cassidy works closely with our project teams, co-chairs our Anti-Racism Council, and takes on many other critical roles in the organization. If you are involved in any of HCIF’s programs, Cassidy’s hands have probably touched them in some way. Get to know her a little better in this month’s staff profile.
1.) Talk a little bit about your role at HCIF.
As administrative coordinator at HCIF, there’s very few tasks or roles that I won’t take on! I provide administrative support to all staff, which can include anything from troubleshooting an office or technology issue to scheduling meetings. I also provide program support to our clinical improvement and population health programs wherever needed, which is often in the form of scheduling meetings or event planning and support. I previously served as project coordinator to our CPR Ready initiative that ended in fall 2020, and most recently have been a project coordinator to our newly launched “Go to Know” campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer prevention in the African American community. My favorite part of my position is the ability to serve on multiple committees that we have – I am on the COVID-19 Taskforce, Marketing & Communications Committee, and Anti-Racism Council where I serve as co-chair.
2.) How did you come to HCIF?
After graduating with my B.S. Public Health in May 2019, I was searching for a full-time position related to public health like most recent graduates. However, I was beginning a Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) degree that August, so I was looking for a position in which I was already knowledgeable in the skills needed and which would allow me the capacity to be a student and employee at the same time. After several internships and office assistant positions, I felt I was very qualified for the position of Administrative Coordinator. This position turned out to be the perfect balance of applying the administrative and organizational skills I already have, while learning more about nonprofit public health work that I can apply in the future.
3.) Share why you chose to pursue your graduate major.
I have had a passion for social justice and human rights for a long time, and previously actually had the goal of being a human rights lawyer. Once I decided to major in public health, I realized how closely tied this field is to issues like criminal justice, immigration, and civil rights, and the impact that public health advocacy and policies can have on such issues. I decided to pursue my MPP through Temple’s College of Liberal Arts because its curriculum provides a comprehensive and well-rounded education on all facets of policy, including things like public management or state and local budgeting.
4.) What are your long-term career goals?
My long-term career goal is to be involved in the legislative process of health policy. I would love to work in health policy advocacy, and maybe someday even be a legislator myself. I believe that policy is one of the ways to make real change in our country, and the events of the past year have highlighted the need for that.
5.) What is one of the most important things you have learned working at HCIF?
One of the most important things I’ve learned so far during my time at HCIF is how to engage the community in your work. Many of our projects prioritize the health of underserved populations that we are not necessarily a part of (i.e. individuals with opioid use disorder, seniors, low-income folks), but it is crucial to involve community members in decision-making about initiatives that will affect them. Several of our programs have community or patient advisory groups, which can ensure that their voices are being heard.
6.) What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
As I’m graduating from my MPP program this May, much of my spare time is spent working on my capstone project. When I’m taking a break from being a student, I like cooking, watching Netflix, taking walks around my South Philly neighborhood, and playing with my cat, Miso!