Natalie Pennywell currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Community Nutrition in the Virginia Department of Health, which includes the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (VA WIC Program), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Ms. Pennywell works primarily in the community building relationships and raising awareness about the division’s three programs across different components of the healthcare system, human services, community-based and volunteer organizations, government, business, and industry. She represents the Division on outreach projects in the planning, development, and implementation of outreach activities to increase awareness and participation in the VA WIC Program and CACFP. She collaborates with VDH Media/Public Relations staff to build visibility and awareness of these programs as well as consults and works with local health districts to assess needs and develop specific strategies to increase participation of the VA WIC Program. She also provides technical assistance to community leaders and organizations to strengthen and expand the capacity of VA WIC and CACFP.
She previously worked as a Community Health Educator for the Virginia Department of Health, Crater Health District which included eight localities and seven health departments. As one of the two district health educators Ms. Pennywell planned, implemented, and evaluated health education programs and services related to chronic disease both independently and collaboratively with Crater staff and community partners. In her role she was afforded the opportunity to plan, support, conduct, and evaluate community health needs assessments; district health education, promotion, and prevention grant activities and proposals; and data regarding the district’s health status. Ms. Pennywell spent the majority of her work collaborating, engaging, supporting, training and helping to sustain community organizations and coalitions working with each other and the health department to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens in the Crater Health District and across the state.
Ms. Pennywell was the founding coordinator and one of the first mangers of the Healthy Living and Learning Center in the Petersburg Public Library. She is the immediate past Chair of the Regional Coalition Against Alcohol, Nicotine, and Underage Drug Use (CAAN-DUU); served as a central representative on the Virginia HIV Planning Group Members (CHPG); sits on the board of the Great Richmond American Heart Association as the Mission Committee Chair and Virginia Advocacy Committee Liaison; and sits on various organizations and coalitions boards and leaderships teams.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Voorhees College in 2006 and her Master of Public Health in health promotion, education, and behavior from the University of South Carolina in 2010. She holds certifications as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and a Consumer Health Information Specialist (CHIS).