Stewart Landers

With JSI since 1991
JSI, Health Services

Stewart Landers

Director, Boston Health Services  

You’ve been here a long time! What’s made you stay for 25 years?

JSI allows you to do almost anything in the area of public health. So all of the areas I’ve wanted to work in—HIV, substance use disorders, LGBT health, international health, chronic disease and obesity prevention, and now administration—I’ve had the opportunity to do so.

What job first brought you to JSI?

I started by creating (with Frances Marshman) a number of self-assessment modules known as “SAMs” for the HRSA  HIV/AIDs Bureau and they were very challenging but turned out to be a great product that was in use for many years.

What was JSI like 25 years ago?

Well, it was a lot smaller! But I’d say it was similar in terms of the values and the combined focus on both individual initiative and teamwork and mutual support among colleagues.

What do you like most about your current role directing JSI’s Health Services Division in Boston?

I appreciate the chance to be part of JSI’s leadership team. I think we’re at a challenging point both for the company as a whole and for the Health Services Division in terms of defining where JSI moves as an organization going forward and how we can continue to evolve and succeed in an increasingly challenging business environment.

“I think we … really give people the freedom to use their time in ways that are creative and entrepreneurial and contribute to bettering people’s lives.”

How would you describe the corporate culture here?

I think the corporate culture is one that balances people working very hard with encouraging people to have fun, take time off, and spend the time that they need to with their families. I think we try to minimize bureaucratic distractions and burdens and really give people the freedom to use their time in ways that are creative and entrepreneurial and contribute to bettering people’s lives.

JSI, Immunization, health services

Stewart and the JSI team at the 2014 Adult Immunization Conference.

What do you do outside of work?

I’ve been trained as a yoga teacher and I’ve offered some yoga and meditation here over the years. I also like to travel and enjoy biking and swimming and I go to a lot of first run movies here in Boston.

How long have you been doing yoga?

I started when I was 16 at a place in Flushing, Queens where I grew up, called the John Bowne House, which was a historic Quaker meeting site, and where there was a summer teen program when I was growing up. They brought in a yoga instructor on Friday nights and we met up in this dusty atticI thought it was heaven.

What do you like about yoga?

I like how yoga helps us find the peace within ourselves and helps to bring that into everything that we do and experience everyday.

How did you decide to start teaching yoga?

In part, the training was to keep my body in shape, having done it my early 50’s. I also thought it would further deepen my experience and perhaps open up more opportunities in the future for not just doing my own teaching, but also to assist others by having the credential.

JSI, Messages4Men, Health services

Stewart and the JSI Messages4Men field staff.

What’s something your coworkers might not know about you? 

Well, I am an excellent canoeist.

Is that something you’ve also done since childhood?

It was one of the things that I learned when I was a kid in summer camp and I go every year at least once, sometimes more.

I’m assuming not on the Charles River in Boston?

No, primarily I go up to the Ipswich river. I lived on the North Shore for a long time, so it’s a nice way to connect to it now that I live in Boston.

What brought you to Boston originally from New York?

I came here to go to school; I went to MIT and Harvard. As much as I love New York, I like the scale of Boston. It’s much more human and it’s much more green.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working at JSI?

I would be a chrono-scientist. I would study time and people’s understanding and perception  of time. I just think it’s fascinating. Time is this phenomenon that envelops our lives and yet we perceive it so differently, not just as we age over our lifespan, but even in the course of a day.

Do you have any goals for this year?

My goal is to be very healthy and happy in 2016!

 

A Project to Remember

It’s really hard to pick projects—I’ll say one project I really liked was called “TIFFANY”it was about trauma informed LGBT inclusive training that would help address issues of domestic and sexual violence for a range of providers. I liked that we brought together a group of community providers and empowered them to develop standards and best practices for the other providers in Massachusetts. I also liked that the project was very aware of the forces that wind up influencing people in their relationships in terms of power and balances and worked  to not recreate some of the trauma that winds up turning into the violence and dysfunction that often affects people’s lives.