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Parental support organization names co-chairs

  • By
  • | 5:00 a.m. March 28, 2024
Kelly Romanoff (left) and Tonika Conaway are co-chairs of the First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative.
Kelly Romanoff (left) and Tonika Conaway are co-chairs of the First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative.
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Parent advisor Tonika Conaway and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Senior Vice President Kelly Romanoff have been selected as co-chairs of the steering committee of the First 1,000 Days Suncoast initiative.

First 1,000 Days Suncoast is a network of nonprofit agencies and health care providers that addresses system barriers, builds community partnerships and coordinates free and affordable services for families during pregnancy and up to age 3. The steering committee helps guide the initiative’s direction and expand the involvement of parents and partners.

“Partnerships are the pulse of our work,” said Chelsea Arnold, initiative manager of First 1,000 Days Suncoast. “Co-creating strategies with nonprofit professionals and parents who have lived experience is key to building effective, sustainable and equitable programs for families.”

With the backing of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, First 1,000 Days supports and connects families with resources during pregnancy and throughout a child’s first 1,000 days, when critical development occurs.

Shared goals during their two-year leadership term include:

  • Increase the number of parents who share their lived experience with the initiative to help shape programs and partnerships.
  • Expand the number of partner agencies throughout the 12th Judicial Circuit that participate.
  • Collaborate with parents, nonprofit professionals, and initiative staff to develop a five-year strategic plan.

Conaway is working to become a case worker with a mental health and addiction treatment provider. After receiving life-changing support through First 1,000 Days Suncoast, she volunteered to serve on the initiative’s parent advisory committee. Romanoff was the Barancik Foundation’s point person in researching, developing and launching First 1,000 Days locally in 2018.  

More information about the program is available at


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