Multi-Faith Coalition Biographies
Jim has over 20 years of experience in the health and human service field. He is the Administrator of the Office of Integrative Services for the Health and Human Service Department of Montgomery County. His office is focused on promoting collaboration, sharing resources, informing community partners about HHS services, and providing HHS staff with professional development opportunities. Prior to this he worked at the Early Learning Resource Center, formerly the CCIS, and helped low-income families to obtain childcare services so they could go to work and or school. He is the current board vice-president of the Interagency Council of Norristown and a chair of the Montgomery County Multi-Faith Coalition that is a multi-sectoral coalition acting as a convener of faith-based organizations, community service providers, and local government to collaborate and share resources for the betterment of the residents we serve. Jim has obtained his Bachelor’s of Science in clinical and counseling psychology from DeSales University and is pursuing his Master’s in Management and Organizational Leadership from Delaware Valley University.
Aziz Nathoo is a Muslim Interfaith and Peace activist hailing from East Africa with extensive experience as an educator, service volunteer, leader and preacher. He has presented on Islam and Interfaith Relations at multiple academic, civic, religious and inter- faith forums. He preaches regularly on Islam at Churches, Synagogues and Temples. He is the founder and president of UMMA Charities and is a frequent guest lecturer at multiple universities. Aziz performs spiritual guide and lay clergy functions for Muslims in the Philadelphia area and preaches tolerance with a focus on wisdom, dialogue & building bonds of interfaith and cultural alliance. He speaks 8 languages and is culturally connected to Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe and works as a bridge-builder.
Robert L. Givens III
Robert L. Givens III is the Founder and Owner of RG 360 Consulting, a social venture that exists to foster cultures of collaboration in communities throughout the U.S. by providing leadership training and capacity building services to coalitions and participating organizations. Robert has spent his entire career leading and supporting cross-sector coalitions to address a wide variety of longstanding local, state and national challenges facing vulnerable populations every day. As a result, he has a deep understanding of the social sector’s many strengths and weaknesses. He leverages this expertise on behalf of his clients and his community to cultivate impactful, sustainable partnerships that are committed to doing good together. Robert earned his B.S. in Finance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein
Dr. Saundra Sterling Epstein (Sunnie) received her B.A., M.S. and Ed.D at the University of Pennsylvania. Sunnie directs Beyachad, a program bringing Jewish living and learning together and has been teaching texts, reaching and inspiring students and looking at challenging issues in the world in which we live and how to bring these three together for decades. She has published widely in a variety of venues on a variety of topics, including Women in Faith, Inclusion of LGBTQ Members in our Communities of Faith, Environmental Sustainability, Prayer, G-d Talk, the importance of Interfaith and Intrafaith Dialogue, Israeli-Palestinian Relations Beyond the Conflict, and so many others. Sunnie is presently serving as Director of the Welcoming Shuls and Communities Project of ESHEL, the National LGBT Inclusion Consortium for the Orthodox Jewish Community, gives shiyurim in various communities, serves on the leadership team of the Montgomery County Multi-Faith Coalition, and continues to develop creative ways of teaching texts to many groups.
Rachelle “Shelly” Longcoy
Shelly has been a Faith Community Nurse Coordinator since 1997 and in community outreach services for 26 years. Additionally, Shelly assists as a nurse coordinator at Abington Adult Day Services on a weekly basis.
In her role as Faith Community Nurse Coordinator, Shelly has offered numerous educational opportunities for Faith Community Nurses, provided community resources and collaborated with community partners. Shelly also chairs the Jefferson Health-Abington, Community Health FCN Advisory Council.
In her role as Chronic Care Management Nurse, Shelly conducts community-based programs, blood pressure screenings and provides individual health coaching.
Shelly is an active member of the Health Ministry at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Lansdale, PA. Shelly obtained her nursing diploma from Bryn Mawr Hospital School of Nursing, Faith Community Nursing (formally Parish Nursing) education through Parish Nurse Preparation Institute, Marquette University College of Nursing and holds a certification as a Chronic Care Professional Health Coach. She lives with her daughter in Montgomery County, PA.
Nanette H. LaFors was an Air Force “brat”. She lived in many states and Japan and Germany. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. She was a high school teacher and worked as a substitute teacher. She worked as a caseworker in Houston County, Georgia. She is an artist and retired from teaching art after 26 years in her private art business. She is a long-time member of the Presbyterian Church USA with emphasis in education and mission. She has focused on food insecurity for local mission and Living Waters for the World for international mission. This involved being part of the team installing clean water systems and teaching health and hygiene. Installations were in Peru, India, Kenya, and Cuba. She cofounded Advocates Against Hunger, Serving Norristown, and Montgomery County in 2008 partnering with The Montgomery County Foundation, Inc., and helped found the Montgomery Multi-Faith Coalition in 2019. She served on the Advocacy and Communications Design Team with HealthSpark Foundation Safety Net Resiliency Initiative. She serves as a board member for the Community Interfaith Food Pantry. She served on the Montgomery County Anti-Hunger Network’s Build Back Better initiative addressing solutions to food insecurity in Montgomery County. She is married and has two children and four grandchildren. She sees service as a way to thank God and Country for her many blessings.
Elizabeth DiArcangelo, M.S.
Elizabeth holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Health Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Albright College. Elizabeth began her career in the Philadelphia children’s mental health system through various roles including intensive case management, children’s service representative for a managed care entity, intake coordinator for the Behavioral Health Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and eventually moved into a leadership role as the director for a children’s case management program. Elizabeth came to the Montgomery County human services system, through the start-up of an evidence-based program focused on improving outcomes for homeless adults struggling with serious mental illness/co-occurring disorders. Additionally, she has worked as a clinician providing therapy to children in their homes and residential treatment facilities, as well as the forensic populations in Berks, Philadelphia, and Montgomery Counties correctional facilities conducting probation assessments. Currently, Elizabeth serves as the Administrator for the Office of Community Connections, for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the InterAgency Council of Norristown and the Montgomery County Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN).
Dave Eckert is the Director of Intersect, an initiative within Access Services that supports those at the intersection of faith and mental health through consultation, training and the fostering of collaboration between faith communities and mental health providers. He has spent over 20 years working for Access Services within various roles including Director of a Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation program and agency Chaplain. In addition, Dave has served as one of the pastors at Grace Community Church in Chalfont, PA for the last 15 years. Dave holds degrees in Social Work, Biblical Studies and Divinity. He lives with his wife and three children in Montgomery County, PA.
Mark is a husband and father of 2 grown children. Mark is currently the Director of Program Development and has served at Access Services in a variety of programs over the past 35 years. He has walked with people experiencing mental illness in both his family and his congregation. Over the course of 20 years, he has served as both a deacon and an elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harleysville.