MEET OUR TEAM
ANDREW ROSZAK - JD, MPA, EMT-P
Executive Director at the Institute for Childhood Preparedness
Andrew Roszak, JD, MPA, EMT-Paramedic, serves as the executive director for the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, as Chief of Preparedness, Health and Environment for the Region II Head Start Association and as an adjunct professor in the school of community and environmental health at Old Dominion University. Since 2015, he has been working full time on emergency preparedness, response and recovery issues impacting the early childhood sector – child care and family child care programs, afterschool care, Head Start and Early Head Start. Roszak was formerly the Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness at Child Care Aware of America, Senior Public Health Advisor for the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Emergency Care Coordination Center and Senior Director of Environmental Health, Pandemic Preparedness and Catastrophic Response at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, where he worked each day to help prepare communities and the healthcare sector for pandemics and disasters. Roszak began his emergency preparedness career as a firefighter, paramedic and is certified as a hazardous materials technician and in hazardous materials operations. Roszak also served as Health Policy Fellow for the United States Senate Budget and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees during the 110th and 111th Congress. Roszak is admitted to practice law in Illinois, the District of Columbia and before the US Supreme Court. He holds a certificate in early childhood leadership from Harvard.
Senior Safety Advisor
Ronald serves as the senior safety advisor for the Institute for Childhood Preparedness. Previously, Ron has served as a subject matter emergency preparedness expert for Child Care Aware® of America, supporting their Emergency Preparedness Team. Ronald has over 20 years of distinguished service as a law enforcement professional, including experience as a patrol officer, tactical unit supervisor, watch commander, detective and community outreach officer. Ronald has a long history of conducting community outreach and training and was one of the first community educators for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program. He has received specialized instructor training from the Los Angeles Police Department, is a graduate of Marquette University, and is certified as an active shooter instructor from the ALICE Training Institute, which specializes in active shooter trainings for civilians.
Ronald’s experience also includes conducting corporate investigations, including fraud detection and prevention and private security for Fortune 500 companies. In recognition for his outstanding service, Ronald has been awarded Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Ruth Kvistad | Legal/Policy Intern
Ruth Kvistad is currently a MD/JD student at Southern Illinois University, Ruth holds a deep passion for issues that sit at the intersection of law and medicine, such as public health and the safety of our nation’s children. Ruth brings a diverse range of experiences and a unique skill set to the Institute. With a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Ruth's academic foundation reflects her inherent curiosity and analytical thinking. During her undergraduate tenure, she also worked in a biochemistry lab doing cancer research and has teaching experience both in the classroom as a supplemental instructor to multiple Biology courses. As a legal intern, Ruth leverages her knowledge in health, law, and philosophy to support the institute's initiatives in safeguarding the well-being and safety of children.
David Banaszynski | Environmental Health Expert
David Banaszynski serves as an environmental health officer, where he works each day to protect his community from illness and disease. He has 20-years of experience. His work includes inspecting food establishments, child care facilities, public pools, and a myriad of other businesses to ensure they are operating in compliance with public health rules and regulations. Mr. Banaszynski also serves as a member of the State Board of Health and as past-president of the Illinois Environmental Health Association. Mr. Banaszynski has years of expertise as an environmental health officer and collaborates extensively with other organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Environmental Health Association and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Dr. L.J. Samuel | Criminologist
Dr. L.J. Samuel is a criminologist with expertise in police-community relations, police misconduct, risk management, community engagement, and interpersonal violence. With over ten years working with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC she is a leading expert in Early Identification and Intervention System (EIS). She also served as the Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Division. A forward thinker and innovator, Dr. Samuel created and oversaw the MPD Fitness Challenge, a health and wellness initiative designed to better the health of MPD officers. This hard work and dedication earned her the honor of the 2012 MPD Employee of the Year.
Dr. Betsy Kagey | Public Health and Emergency Preparedness Expert
Dr. Betsy Kagey has worked in public health for over 40 years and emergency preparedness and response for 15 years and she most recently worked with the Georgia Department of Public Health. Her primary focus includes planning and preparing for and with vulnerable populations. Dr. Kagey currently resides in Upstate New York and consults on public health emergency preparedness, planning, and response.
Demi Woods | Senior Medical Researcher
Demi Woods will graduate with her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree this December. She is specializing in Diagnostic Radiology with a keen interest in Breast Imaging/ Mammography. She has been a part of our team since 2018. During this time, she has planned preparedness trainings, assisted with blog posts, and is contributing greatly to our upcoming book. What makes her a great asset to our team is not only her medical knowledge, but her interest in public health. While Woods has always had an interest in public health, from 2015-2017 she attended numerous public health seminars at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to further explore the public health crises surrounding her local community. Additionally, she traveled to Puerto Rico with our team in 2018 to work with the local public health sector and Head Start programs within that region. She is currently serving as Senior Medical Researcher, and her extreme interest in public health and background in medicine will allow Woods to be an integral part of our team.
Zakary Woods | Senior Medical Researcher
Zakary Woods is a fourth-year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. Upon graduating in May of 2022 with his Medical Doctorate degree, he is applying to Residency in Pediatrics with aspirations of entering either the field of Pediatric Emergency Medicine or Pediatric Cardiology. Zak has worked with a multitude of pediatric organizations with patient populations ranging from neonates in the NICU to teenagers in high school. After witnessing the impact emergency situations, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic have on pediatric populations, Woods’ passion for advocacy for one of mankind’s most vulnerable populations led him to join our team.