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Program Professionals

About the Streetlight Creator

Rebecca Brown, Streetlight DirectorRebecca Denise Brown

Adolescent Programming & Palliative Care
B.M., University of Florida
M.Div., Pacific School of Religion
Berkeley, CA

Office: 352-265-0917
Cell:  352-745-6644


Rebecca Brown, the Streetlight Director, is no stranger to Gainesville. She has worked with adolescents in the Gainesville community since 1984, through a church-based program, which drew 150 adolescents yearly from all the local high schools. It was considered Gainesville’s safe place for youth, as attested to in more than 20 articles by The Gainesville Sun and by local high school counselors.

In 2002, Rebecca left Gainesville to pursue her Master of Divinity degree in Berkeley, California. The premise of her masters thesis, Streetlight, was that today’s generation of youth forms community and accesses spirituality and hope through music, pop culture and strong peer relationships. She has toured and lectured nationally on the Streetlight approach to promoting adolescent spiritual growth and development.

The Streetlight health care model was born in 2006, together with 17 UF social entrepreneurship students who partnered with Brown to create this program, built on the power of peer relationships.

About the Streetlight Assistant Director

Emily Sullivan, B.A.


Emily Sullivan initially began her involvement with Streetlight as a volunteer during her time as an undergrad at the University of Florida. Through her service work, she discovered her own passion for adolescents faced with serious life challenges. Inspired by the depth of the relationships forged through Streetlight’s model of peer companionship, she is now pursuing a Master of Health Education at the University of Florida and will use the degree to continue her future with Streetlight.

About the Streetlight Team

The Streetlight Team is a multi-ethnic group of 60+ UF students selected through interviews and recommendations who have undergone eight hours of special orientation on adolescent psychosocial and health issues, palliative care, end-of-life care, and the three primary disease populations we serve. Team members are aged 18 – 22, and most are pre-med. Each team has a captain and is closely supervised by the director with daily briefing, education, chart-writing, monthly rounds and discussion.

The photo below is a collage of the Streetlight Team 2011-2012.

Other Professionals Associated With Streetlight

Dr. John Reiss

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Health Care Transition Initiative at the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida
Dr. Reiss received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Florida in 1984. Since 1984, Dr. Reiss’ work has focused on facilitating collaborative action among public and private sector organizations at the federal, regional and state levels between families and professionals to improve the organization and delivery of health care for children, youth and young adults with special health care needs, and to promote full partnership with families.

In 1998, Dr. Reiss began his work on the issue of health care transition as part of the federally funded Center for Policy and Program Partnerships. Dr. Reiss served as co-PI for a five-year NIDRR-funded research and training project (2000-2005) having responsibility for the component on the transition of youth with special health needs from child-centered (pediatric) to adult-oriented health care.

Since 2002 he has served as PI on a contract from the Florida Children’s Medical Services Program to develop a web-based Health Care Transition training curriculum for CMS nurses, assess current health care transition practices in the state and develop transition training materials for youth and their families. He is also PI on a contract from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council to develop web-based HCT training materials for families and youth. Dr. Reiss also moderates a special interest email discussion group, which has more than 1,200 members internationally.


Dr. Maureen Novak

Associate Professor and Vice Chairman; Reed Bell Chair for pediatric education; and Medical Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Program

Dr. Novak received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. She completed her pediatric residency at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York and stayed on to do a chief residency year. She spent a year in private practice and then did a Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship at Babies Hospital at Columbia University in New York City.

Upon moving to Gainesville, she worked in a pediatric practice as a generalist for five years. She joined the General Pediatrics division as the head of the adolescent and young adult program at UF in 1997. She became program director in 2003. Her professional interests include integrating competency evaluation into resident and medical student education, infectious disease and adolescent health. She has received multiple honors for her work in medical education.

Dr. Novak is married to another pediatric faculty member and they have six children. She enjoys spending time with her family, travel, biking, rollerblading, Gator sports, cooking and eating!


Dr. Caprice Knapp

Caprice Knapp, Ph.D., is an assistant research professor in the departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research. Dr. Knapp is a health economist who has completed postdoctoral training in health services research and further training in palliative care. Her areas of specialization include pediatric palliative care, children with special health care needs and cancer survivors. Her recent work has been funded by the Florida Department of Health, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, North Florida Veteran’s Administration and Pfizer.


Dr. John Graham-Pole

Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and Palliative Care, University of Florida

Dr. Graham-Pole has received national funding and has published widely in the areas of palliative medicine, adult education and art in health care. He is responsible for recruiting Rebecca Brown to start an adolescent program at Shands at UF.


Dr. Kristin Joos

Dr. Kristin Joos is the director of the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Change: High School Summer Program at UF. In 2005 she brought social entrepreneurship to UF and created the Innovative Social Impact Initiative in the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Kristin is a UF graduate, earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in sociology, religion, and women’s studies and gender research. In 2003 she graduated with a Ph.D. in sociology and a graduate certificate from the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research.

Her research interests center around youth, social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, community service and creating positive social change. Kristin is passionate about teaching students to use the skills and strategies of business to create sustainable solutions to social problems locally and around the world. From 2003-2006 she served as the coordinator of Admissions and Student Activities for the Honors Program at UF; she is now a lecturer, teaching courses in Sociology and Social Entrepreneurship.


Dr. Levette Dunbar

Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Dr. Dunbar’s primary area of interest is pediatric blood disorders with a special focus on sickle cell disease and severe aplastic anemia, specifically improving sickle cell disease overall care practices, quality of life and transition to adult-oriented care for sickle cell patients.


Sibet Grantham

Grantham is an artist with Arts in Medicine and early childhood teacher who assists with Streetlight art projects, including the Streetlight Memory Boxes.


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