5 people sitting in the shade facing the camera


Photo of Anna Leslie, MPH

Anna Leslie, MPH


Anna joined the ABHC as part-time Coordinator in 2014. She became part-time Director in 2018 and transitioned to full-time in 2019. As Director, Anna coordinates efforts with multiple community organizations, initiates partnerships, and advocates for the health and wellness interests of Allston-Brighton residents.

From 2014-2019, Anna was also the part-time Director of Development and Evaluation for Union Capital Boston, a non-profit community network of rewards, recognition, resources, and relationships. She chaired the steering committee of Boston’s CHNA, Boston Alliance for Community Health, from 2017-2019.

Born and raised in across the river in Cambridge, Anna earned her BA at the University of Montana, Missoula in 2007.  She worked in education in New Orleans before earning her Masters of Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health in 2012. Anna has received numerous awards during her time leading the Collaborative, including a Community Hero award from Action for Boston Community Development, the Unity and Community Award from The Women’s Table, and the Community Partner Recognition Award from the Allston-Brighton Adult Education Coalition.

She lives in Somerville with her partner and their dog.

Photo of Jess Rubin

Jess Rubin

Food Access Coordinator, Farmers Market Manager


Jess proudly joins ABHC with a passion in food access and sustainable agriculture and believes the two go hand in hand to create an equitable food system.  Jess plays a large part in the growth and success of the Brighton Farmers Market, going on her fourth year as market manager.  She has previously worked with Mass Farmers Market, a non-profit that supports markets across the state with a focus on equity and food justice. Other work Jess has been involved with is Red Tomato Inc; a food intermediary for farmers, often known as a food hub.

Jess received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2010. She also received a Certification in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy from the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Jess lives in Newton with her partner and their pooch, Cooper. Many moons ago she played competitive ice hockey and really enjoys keeping the skating passion alive by searching for beautiful ponds to skate on during the winter.


Photo of Jo-Ann Barbour

Jo-Ann Barbour

Chair, Steering Committee

Executive Director, Charlesview, Inc.

Ms. Barbour is a Licensed, Independent, Clinical, Social Worker (LICSW) with over 30 years of casework, supervisory, administrative, and program development experience in the field of human services. She has worked in a number of community-based nonprofit and public sector organizations specializing in community-based services for diverse populations.

For the last 25 years, Ms. Barbour has worked in the field of affordable/mixed income housing, as both a staff member of national nonprofits and a consultant/trainer to regional and national real estate management firms and service providers interested in developing and implementing resident service programs. Her experience includes multifamily, senior, special needs, affordable, HOPE VI, and mixed income housing. She has extensive experience as a senior level resident service director overseeing the development, financing and implementation of integrated resident service, self-sufficiency and supported housing programs.

Ms. Barbour earned a Masters degree in Social work at Boston University School of Social Work and has a B.S. degree from Utica College of Syracuse University, Utica, New York.

Helen Connolly, RN, BSN

Clerk, Steering Committee

Project Manager, Allston Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force

Helen joined the Allston Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force (ABSATF) in 2006 as the Project Coordinator on a Federal, SAMHSA Drug Free Communities Support Grant based out of SEMC/SECAP. The goals of the grant were two-fold : Reducing Substance Abuse Among Youth and Adults in the Allston Brighton Community and building capacity for a community coalition which includes rep from multiple sectors. From 2006 ? present the ABSATF has established a Youth Coalition, Conducted multiple evidenced based community and city wide prevention strategies and recovery resources including the AB Annual Walk for Recovery. With additional grant funding from the MA DPH, BSAS, strategies aimed specifically at underage drinking and Marijuana prevention have been implemented. The ABSATF has worked with City, State and Federal partners to change community norms around substance abuse, to reduce underage drinking and to prevent Rx Drug Abuse among youth in the Allston Brighton Community.

Helen has a ten year history of working as a nurse at SEMC/ Emergency Department. She was the first Nurse, then Director of Caritas Good Samaritan Hospice (1983-1993). The Hospice is currently part of Steward Home Care.

Chantal Brandimarte

Member, Steering Committee

Director of Events & Community Relations, Franciscan Children's

As Director of Community Relations at Franciscan Children’s, Chantal aims to inform and support the Brighton Allston community by making pediatric care accessible to all.  She joined the Committee in 2019 and is thrilled to coordinate efforts with the many wonderful organizations that make up the Collaborative.

 Chantal earned her BS in psychology from Northeastern University in 2006 and her Masters in counseling from Framingham State University in 2008.  She also received her elementary education teaching credential from the University of San Diego before returning to Boston to lead the event and community relations efforts at Franciscan Children’s, where she has proudly worked since 2013.

An avid runner, Chantal has completed six marathons and numerous half marathons.  She lives in Medway with her son, Jack, and their German Shepherd, Bruin.