Joanne McLaughlin Toran, MPA, is a public administrator by profession and the retired Associate Director of the Mt. Sinai Pediatric School Based Health Center and faculty member in the Division of General Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. She had administrative oversight of four school-Based health centers, which provided comprehensive medical services for approximately 4,000 children.
From 1994–2000 she was the Coordinator for Community Affairs and Capital Development and Administrative Manager for Harlem Health Promotion Center at Columbia University. Prior to that time she was the Projects Administrator for the Biosocial Treatment Research Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University where she had primary administrative oversight for all research projects within the division. Her responsibilities included budget planning and implementation , management of approximately 100 central and field staff and the coordination and writing of project administrative reports to internal and external funding agencies. She is a New York City native and has been committed to community service for the last four decades. Majoring in Psychology, she received her undergraduate degree from State University of New York, Empire State College and her graduate degree in Public administration from the Wagner School of New York University. She was the recipient of a NAAWLI (National African American Women’s Leadership Institute) Fellowship in 2003.
Firmly believing that overcoming obstacles is difficult but not impossible, she has been involved as a change agent in the city’s educational and health care systems. In this role, she views herself as an advocate for meaningful, collaborative and viable partnerships. With an appreciation for community assets, her approach is first one of appreciation of community culture and skills, and subsequently the identification of problems, resulting in a more inclusive approach to problem solving. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors of CLOTH (Community League of the Heights) a dynamic community development organization working to strengthen and empower the neighborhoods of southern Washington Heights, a Board Member of CHN (Community Healthcare Network) a not for profit healthcare organization providing comprehensive quality and culturally competent care to underserved communities throughout New York City and President of Sankofa Circle a cultural organization that seeks to develop, promote and cultivate a positive self image among African Americans through Cultural, recreational and educational Activities.