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Prevent Child Abuse America Welcomes Gelasia Croom as Its New Chief Communications Officer

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Chicago — Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America), the nation’s oldest and largest organization committed to preventing child abuse and neglect before it happens, announced today that Gelasia Croom has joined the organization as its new Chief Communications Officer, effective this week. A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Croom most recently served as Director of Strategic Communications at Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, where she oversaw both internal and external communications.

“Gelasia Croom has a robust background in mission-driven communications – her wealth of experience in the field will be an incredible asset to our organization,” said Dr. Melissa Merrick, president & CEO of PCA America. “We’re thrilled that she’s joining us during our 50th anniversary year, bringing tremendous expertise and passion for community-based solutions that benefit children and families.” 

At Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, Croom served as lead communicator, managing all organizational communications. In this role, Croom also mobilized staff and program participants to examine their roles through the lens of racial and social justice, and developed successful marketing campaigns for their home visiting, fatherhood, foster care and doula programs. As a result, the work of the agency was featured nationally and statewide in outlets including The New York Times, ABC7 Chicago, CBS2 Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune and numerous other media outlets.

“Prevent Child Abuse America is reshaping the narrative around child abuse and neglect. I’m proud to be joining an organization that has demonstrated its commitment to evidence-based tools, like home visiting, to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect before they happen,” said Croom. “My work at Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois aligns with this proven approach to improving the lives of children and families everywhere, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue that work with PCA America.”

Prior to her positions with Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, Croom served as a regional communications manager and associate director at The Nature Conservancy where she was also appointed as a charter member of the League of Employees of African Descent (LEAD). Croom worked to connect global conservation challenges to the localized issues in communities that felt the greatest impacts of climate change, flooding, diminishing canopy cover and more. She organized and led an effort to engage community leaders and partners in a project that successfully brought diverse youth to the conservation industry, providing them a voice and career opportunities that also improved their own community environment.

Croom received her master’s degree in public relations from Syracuse University and bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Hampton University.

Gelasia Croom

About Prevent Child Abuse America 

Commemorating its 50th year in 2022, Prevent Child Abuse America is a national organization with chapters in 48 states and nearly 600 Healthy Families America home visitation sites throughout the country. It promotes services that improve child well-being and develops programs that help to prevent all types of abuse and neglect. Ninety-four cents of every dollar spent goes directly into programs and services, which is why it is rated as one of the top charities for children by Consumer Reports and charity oversight organizations, including Charity Navigator, GreatNonprofits and GuideStar. Visit to learn more.

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