L. "Neicey" Johnson, RN, BSN, Esq.

Chairperson

Community Health Disparities in Elimination of Social Determinants of Health

  • Founder and Executive Director, VSNS, Inc.

L. Neicey Johnson, registered nurse and attorney, is the founder and executive director of VSNS, Inc. (Visions), a Georgia not-for-profit personal service and mentoring organization in metro Atlanta since 2003. Its purpose is to provide an environment where persons are empowered to improve their economic status through education and skills development by simply changing the way they think. Under her leadership, the organization seeks opportunities to ensure its program participants overcome barriers to success with adequate skills, education, and access to available resources; the basis for its corporate existence.

Neicey has over 25 years of varying administrative and clinical healthcare experience and is the founder of a healthcare consulting firm and served over 10 years as co-producer of a local public television show. She is an active volunteer and participant of several community-based business boards, including the Diversity Leadership Council of the American Heart Association, Southeast Region Health Equity Council, and lifetime member of the Association of Black Cardiologists.

Neena K. Smith-Bankhead, MS

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

AID Atlanta, Inc.

  • Emory University CFAR

Neena Smith-Bankhead currently serves as the VP of the newly formed Research, Education, and Development Institute at AID Atlanta, Inc. In this role, Neena is responsible for the conceptualization, development and/or implementation of all agency research projects, as well as provides oversight of community outreach and education services, including behavioral interventions and HIV/STD screening services. Neena currently serves as the co-PI on a CDC-funded research project through the MARI initiative, and participated with the research efforts of Emory University's Involvement Study, HPTN 061 and 064, and Project EBAN. Neena also sits on numerous community advisory boards related to local research projects, including the Women's Intergenerational HIV Study (WIHS) and is a co-chair of the Emory HOPE Clinic Community Advisory Board. Neena represents the Emory University CFAR on ACTSI's Community Steering Board.

Throughout her career, Neena has presented numerous workshops, trainings, and presentations nationally focused on prevention and care, program evaluation, and healthcare provision for underserved populations. Although most of her work has centered on HIV and STDs, Neena also gained substantive experience working on issues including other chronic health conditions, homelessness, mental health, and human sexuality. Neena has also provided technical assistance and support to organizations through consultancies for grant writing, organizational and program development (including faith-based initiatives), and program evaluation. Neena has contributed to work cited in various professional journals, publications, and technical reports, and has been highlighted through local news and media outlets. Neena is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, receiving a BS in human development and family studies with an emphasis in adolescent development, and a MS in health education, and has worked in the field for over 20 years.

Camille Feanny, PhD, MA

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Jane Fonda Center, Emory University

  • Atlanta Metropolitan Christian Church

Camille Feanny is an experienced anthropologist, international journalist, and consultant. She specializes in qualitative research, program development, and community awareness building to promote the advancement of vulnerable youth and families in the United States and Latin America. Camille partners in the creation of community development initiatives with faith-based organizations to provide information and access to vital services in the areas of: 1) Youth Education and Mentorship; 2) Employment and Social Advancement; and 3) Public Health.

A veteran journalist, Camille's works have reached audiences worldwide through multi-media productions on CNN-International, CNN.com, TBS, HLN, PBS, NBC, and Yahoo.com, as well as in academic journals, government reports, and other publications. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a PhD in cultural anthropology and a Certificate in Latin American Studies. She holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Miami and a Bachelors Degree from Florida International University. She also obtained a postgraduate Diploma in International Development from Fordham University in Cairo, Egypt.

Dwight Curry Anderson, BA

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Ryan White Planning Council, Jurisdictional HIV Prevention Planning Group for Fulton & Dekalb Counties

Dwight Curry Anderson has worked in the HIV/AIDS advocacy field for 20 years. Being a former educator for Atlanta Public Schools, that experience garnered Dwight the ability to relay technical subject manner in a way that clients of HIV services could understand. He has advocated and lobbied in Georgia and in Washington, DC on behalf of Georgia clients of HIV services. He has also organized conferences, seminars, and educational forums to inform clients of the best ways to improve health disparity outcomes. He works with the Ryan White Planning Council, Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, and the HIV Jurisdictional Prevention Planning Group for Fulton and DeKalb Counties. This often entails working as an intermediary between clients and providers.

Dwight holds a Bachelors Degree in English from Ohio State University, completed non-degree curriculums in Teacher Certification at the University of West Georgia and Georgia State University, and embarked on numerous trainings.

Lewis Autor

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Director, Destiny: The Rock of Escape
  • Warriors for Life Mentoring, Employment, Community Engagement Program

Lewis Autor is the executive director of Destiny: The Rock of Escape, a non-profit project of the United Charitable Programs. For the last 10 years Lewis has lived in Southwest Atlanta communities where he works to improve education, social, health, and economic opportunities for his neighbors. In 2008, recognizing the significant obstacles facing boys and young men of color, Lewis founded the Warriors for Life-Atlanta, a program designed to take 8th grade boys on a journey that could last as long as 11 years. Boys receive mentoring, employment soft skills training, and conduct community service learning projects to help them stay connected to high school and graduate with excellence, and to equip them to lead families, businesses, and communities.

The native of Baton Rouge, LA, Lewis studied mass communications at Southern University and Texas Southern University. His career and volunteer work reflects his diverse creative skills. He is a graphic artist and themed event planner. Lewis is the playwright and producer of "The Covering: Let's Joyful," a living youth stage play that explores contemporary issues affecting boys and young men. Having discovered the rich history and contributions of the Black Press, Lewis has been on staff of several black-owned publications, including the Houston Defender, where he received 21 awards from the National Newspapers Publishers Association. His community organization experience started at the Houston Area Urban League as its public relations coordinator. In Atlanta, he served as special services coordinator at Victory Outreach Atlanta, followed by a youth coordinator position at the Young Adult Guidance Center. Lewis is a member of the Word of Faith Family Cathedral, under the leadership of Pastor Dale C. & Dr. Nina Bronner.

Janet L. Bivens, MD

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Community Physicians' Network (CPN)

  • Founder and President, End Black on Black Crime
  • Graduate of the Morehouse School of Medicine Faculty and Development Program, 2012

Janet Bivens is a family physician, practicing in south DeKalb for 25 years. As a member of CPN, Janet participated in several research studies including e-HealthyStrides, a project using web-based technology to help patients improve diabetic control, a hypertension study with the Consortium for Southern Hypertension Control (COSEHC) which focused on aggressively treating hypertensive patients to reduce cardiovascular events. She displayed her e-HealthyStrides research poster at the 2nd National Community Partner Forum held in in Washington DC in December 2012.

Janet was awarded a ACTSI Community Engagement Research Program (CERP) mini-grant in 2013 and worked with Dr. Kofi Kondwani to help disseminate his research findings which include a type of meditation (CRM) can decrease the risk of Metabolic Syndrome in at risk African-American communities. End Black on Black Crime is a non-profit community organization founded by Janet to help address the issue of violence in the Black community.

Glenda Campbell, RN, BSN, SRA

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Ministry of No Regret
  • Word of Faith Love Center

Glenda Campbell is a native of Atlanta, and often refers to herself as a "Grady Baby." She is the mother of two sons, two daughters through marriage, and seven grandchildren. Since graduating from Georgia Baptist School of Nursing in 1986, she has had a passion for pregnant teens. She utilized her nursing career, and her own life testimony, as a platform to urge teens to go forward with their lives despite the upheaval of teen parenting.

Over the years the impact of delivering teens younger and younger, she experienced a shift in her outlook and wanted to do something to make an impact in teen pregnancy prevention. Knowing first hand the affects of teen pregnancy, single parenting, and being a high school dropout, she utilized this "misery" to birth a new "ministry" - "The Ministry Of No Regrets."

Glenda has become an advocate for teens as she seeks to provide abstinence education and training as a means of helping teens, to make better decisions regarding their sexuality. It is her hope and prayer that through better decision making regarding sexual abstinence many will be saved from the pain of traveling down life's road of "regrets." Sigma Theta Tau candidate 2015, Glenda sits on board as a community person for Satcher Health Institute and More Than Conquers Inc. and has been an educator for 15 years.

Ernest Alexander Hopkins III

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Chairman Emeritus, CERP Steering Board, 2008-2014
  • Executive Director, The Phoenix Group Foundation, Inc.

Ernest Alexander Hopkins III is an experienced community advocate, non-profit organization director, community health leader, and consultant. Ernest is a native of Washington, DC where he attended Howard University School of Business. He specializes in non-profit management and community engagement and mobilization. He is passionately committed to community engagement and academic-community partnerships building and strengthening. Ernest is a 2012 graduate of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute -CHLP (Community Health Leadership Program) and leads the Executive Committee for National Community Centers for Participatory Research Excellence Inc. (LA) which oversees and helps to ensure ethical research including shared power for communities and populations partnered with academic institutions.

A veteran board member and community activist/advocate Ernest's works have served over 2,500 people in underserved communities throughout the southeastern United States in areas of prevention education and targeted outreach efforts. Using multi-media and social networks to reach and engage communities adversely underserved and marginalized. He has provided resources to connect individuals needing medical care and supportive services to rid communities of life threatening health disparities with an emphasis placed on HIV/AIDS.

Ernest is a formidable member and founder of the "African American ED's Forum Atlanta" which allows executive directors of local services organization identify best practices and client needs to strengthen local health outcomes. He is going forward to advance his education and attends Georgia State University studying psychology.

Theresa R. Jacobs, MD, FAAFP

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Clinician Chair GAPHC
  • Site Director Oakhurst Medical Centers, Inc.

Teresa R. Jacobs is a board certified family medicine physician providing the highest quality comprehensive health care to the uninsured and underserved, at-risk populations at Oakhurst Medical Centers. She serves as the clinician chair for the Georgia Association for Primary Health Care, which is the governing body for Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHC) in Georgia. There are 129 FQHC sites scattered throughout the state, servicing over 300,000 Georgians.

Teresa is a scholar who earned an Associate Degree of science in industrial chemistry from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI; a Bachelors of Science in microbiology from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI; and her Medical of Doctorate Degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, MI. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine where she served as chief resident for one year. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She and her sister (Crystal Horhn) are the founders of  The John and Sally Horhn Foundation (JASH), a non-profit organization that is committed to helping disadvantage children excel academically.

Khuyen Tina Nguyen, MPH

BPSOS Representative, CERP Community Steering Board

  • Health Awareness & Prevention Program Coordinator, BPSOS-Atlanta, Inc.

Tina Nguyen oversees the Health Awareness & Prevention Program (HAPP) at BPSOS-Atlanta, Inc. Her work focuses on reducing high cancer incidence and related morbidity suffered by Vietnamese-Americans through education and information, referral and navigation of services, and improving community capacity to address emerging health issues. As a first generation Vietnamese American, Ms. Nguyen is aware of the health disparities and difficulties many Vietnamese Americans and immigrants struggle with. Her work focuses on improving access to healthcare services and promoting preventive health behaviors among the Vietnamese and Asian American communities.

Tina obtained a Bachelor of Arts in asian studies from Sewanee: The University of the South and a Master in Public Health in healthcare administration from East Tennessee State University. Her research interests are in health disparities, prescription drug abuse and misuse, quality improvement, and health information technology utilization. She has published in Frontiers in the field of public health services and systems research, and she is a member of the East Tennessee State University Prescription Drugs Abuse/Misuse Working Group.

Jessica S. Wells, PhD, RN

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Emory University

  • Assistant Research Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Jessica S. Wells earned a doctoral degree in nursing at Emory University in 2012 and a bachelors degree in nursing at Howard University in 2006. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University in 2015. Jessica's overarching focus is cancer control and prevention, specifically to improve cancer outcomes in vulnerable populations with or at-risk for cancer. She is particularly interested in cancer prevention and control in the vulnerable and at risk HIV population. Her research is supported by a NIH National Research Service Award, American Cancer Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

Evonne R. Perdue

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center

Evonne Perdue has been a business woman in the greater Atlanta area for many years, owning of a child care center, print shop, and shared owner of a beauty salon. Evonne is passionate about volunteering, beginning as a teen working in her neighborhood, church, and school. She has been a member of the American Business Women's Association for over 30 years. Evonne's business ventures include a print shop where she shared partnership with the city of Atlanta to train and employ low-income employees.

She is the director of the "Weight Loss=Equal=Health Gain" Challenege, a community-based nutrition and exercise program designed to meet the emerging needs in the community, specifically the public health and social issues of obesity and unhealthy eating from a domestic perspective.

Her volunteer experience includes: volunteer facilitator/lead support group instructor at Chapel Hill Harvester Church Overcomers Ministry (prepared group meetings for support groups weekly and directed the class in sharing and going forth in family aide to addicted family member). She is also a member of the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board, Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Board, Thomasville Heights Community Development Corporation, and Thomasville Heights Community Association.

Bari Roberts

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Winship Cancer Institute

  • Patient Family Advisor

Bari and her husband Charles were diagnosed with cancer within two days of each other. She was given a grim prognosis—stage 4B head and neck cancer. Charles was then given the lab results revealing his acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the suggestion of her daughter, an employee of Emory, she went to the Winship Cancer Institute for a second opinion. Their compassion, dedication, and sense of purpose ignited a feeling of hope and purpose in their hearts as well. “We knew we had a fight before us, but we knew we could win it.”

Today, as a survivor for six years, she is retired, enjoying grandchildren, exercising, volunteering, and taking care to eat healthfully. The randomness of their diagnoses helped her to understand the importance of cancer research, one of the many reasons they participate in races, and frequently registers for the annual Winship Win the Fight 5K. Bari now serves as a Patient Family Advisor Counsel Member with Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Center.

Karen Russell

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Women's Health Program, Fulton County Health Department

  • Health Coordinator

Karen Russell spent the last 20 years with the Fulton County Health Department as the women's health coordinator. She is now a health coordinator for the Women's Health Program, and is contracted for special projeccts involving community partnerships targeting women's health initiatives.

Jevon C. Gibson, MA

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Center for Adolescent Male Development (CAMD)

  • CEO/Founder

Jevon Gibson is an experienced public health and social innovation consultant with over 17 years of experience designing, developing, and implementing public health and social impact initiatives at the local, regional, and national levels. Jevon’s professional experience includes functioning as the director of clinical services for the Georgia Department of Health; director of infectious diseases for the Georgia Department of Health; director of the Office of Coordinated Youth Services with the Clayton County Board of Health; and project director with Constella Group.

As a consultant, he provided consultation and support to multiple agencies, organizations and institutions including; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University of Florida, Georgia Department of Health, Emory University, and a host of local government, quasi-government, and community-based organizations.

Jevon is also founder and CEO of the Center for Adolescent Male Development (CAMD). CAMD is a non-profit organization established with the mission of building and strengthening the continuum of developmental assets available to young men and boys of color. He cites his work with CAMD as his most fulfilling work to date.

Darrell Sabbs

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Emory University Prevention Research Center

  • Community Benefits Coordinator, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH)
For over four decades, Darrell Sabbs has served the communities of Southwest Georgia through hard work and determination, driven by the shared belief that “service is the rent we pay for living.” From teenagers to the eldest members of society, his focus has remained strong – to recognize the struggles of the underserved and to provide tools to help them ensure a healthier future for themselves and their families.

Darrell currently serves as Community Benefits Coordinator for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) in Albany, Georgia. His work with the hospital includes identifying ways to impact community health, with particular focus on the underserved. He works closely with the hospital’s Network of Trust, a national award-winning in-school, interactive outreach program for pregnant and parenting teens in rural Southwest Georgia.

Darrell's involvement in Network of Trust originated as the creator and lead instructor of the Teen Fathers Program, which seeks to educate young men and their families on how to live healthier lives. The specially-designed curriculum includes the “Baby Think It Over” program that exposes them to the responsibilities of parenthood through lifelike dolls, as well as a nationally acclaimed program created by Emory University Hospital that educates teens on how to deal with the emotional and physical challenges of today’s sexual society.

A grassroots organizer, he collaborated with local and state services to develop numerous youth programs in Southwest Georgia, specializing in leadership development. He created a voice for youth in rural Georgia by starting the talk show forum, Teen Talk, and has been involved in countless other television and radio community affair programs.

Darrell played a key role in developing health initiatives for “Men on the Move,” a faith-based partnership of more than 30 institutions designed to help Southwest Georgia men. His work with both underserved men and women led to the creation of two of Phoebe Putney’s most successful health events – a Women’s Health Fair and a Men’s Health Fair. More than 300 individuals attend each event annually. For many, these events empower participants to take control of their lifestyle and well-being. For even more, it is the first time they speak to a physician or nurse face-to-face and learn that they, too, can receive healthcare no matter how poor or underserved they may feel. They leave with tools to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

In 2003, in large part a result of Darrell's commitment, Phoebe Putney was awarded the coveted Foster G. McGaw Prize for excellence in community service.

Prior to work in Albany, Darrell served as the Special Assistant for Youth Affairs with the city of Washington, Georgia. His recognitions are many, including the National Congressional Black Caucus Award for establishing the caucuses’ Youth Roundtable, the Sumter County, Georgia NAACP R.L. Freeman Award, and the Martin Luther King Dream Award in Albany. He also serves the Albany State University School of Social Work and is a consultant to the Morehouse School of Medicine and the Morehouse Research Institute.

Linda Felix

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Emory University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

Linda Felix is a native New Yorker. She is a graduate of Fordham University, NYC (BA Liberal Arts ’74) and Rolllins College, Winter Park, FL (MAT, Master of Art in Teaching, ’81). She is also a fourth generation member of the A.M.E. church.

After spending several years in public education and as a professional sales executive, she found her true calling in HIV/AIDS education, counseling, and advocacy. She began her education in HIV/AIDS at Our Common Welfare (OCW) a program for people living with HIV. At OCW, Linda was trained as a facilitator. Later she became the activity coordinator and co-facilitator of the Women’s Empowerment Project.

In 1999, she became a Peer Health Educator in the W.I.L.L.O.W. Project, a HIV/AIDS risk reduction program at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, under the direction of researchers Dr. Gina Wingood and Dr. Ralph Di Clemente. Since that time she has become a regular contributor and consultant for the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory.

She traveled to Nigeria as part of a medical and humanitarian mission to equip clinics and promote nutritional therapy as a member of Operation Heart to Heart. This was a collaborative effort of Grady Hospital, the Global Initiative for AIDS Nutritional Therapy (GIANT) and Endurance and Love Ministries. Under the direction of Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Alawode Oladele, Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services for the Dekalb County Board of Health, Linda participated in the Pan-African Summit on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases along with President Bill Clinton.

She is a Certified Research Coordinator and certified in community education and African-American community education by the American Red Cross. Linda continues to expand her efforts in HIV/AIDS education and service through her work in faith-based initiatives and community-based organizations. In 2008, Linda founded the What Would Jesus Do HIV/AIDS Health Ministry, a web-based HIV forum. This ministry has lead to the F.A.I.T.H. (Fostering AIDS Initiatives That Heal) Project, a HIV/Heath intervention addressing health disparities and HIV prevention, testing and education for faith based and community organizations.

Hazar Ashouri, MSc

Member, CERP Community Steering Board

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Graduate research assistant at Omer Inan’s Research Laboratory

Hazar obtained her Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon in 2013 then earned her Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2016. She is now working towards her PhD at Georgia Tech. Her research focuses on non-invasive cardiovascular monitoring and specifically making home management of chronic disorders, such as heart failure, possible and available for people in low resource communities.

Linda McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN

Director, Translational Workforce Development

Emory University

  • Dean and Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
  • Professor, Department of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health

Elizabeth O. Ofili, MD, MPH

Principal Investigator

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Professor of Medicine, Cardiology
  • Senior Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research
  • Director, Clinical Research Center

Rondereo Sidney

Program Manager

Morehouse School of Medicine

Rondereo Sidney graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Prior to joining Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Sidney worked in various roles for the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. (ABC) in the Continuing Education, Development, and Member Services Departments. He was honored as the 2003-2004 ABC Employee of the Year. Currently, he works at MSM, as the Program Manager for the Georgia CTSA. He is also the co-author of the book, Why Children Should Know Their Grandparents.

David S. Stephens, MD

Advisor

Emory University

  • Stephen W. Schwarzmann Distinguished Professor of Medicine
  • Interim Dean, Emory School of Medicine
  • Vice President for Research, Emory University
  • Chief of Medicine, Emory Healthcare

Jeff M. Sands, MD

Director, Pilot Translational & Clinical Studies

Emory University School of Medicine

  • Director, Renal Division
  • Associate Dean, Clinical & Translational Research
  • Juha P. Kokko Professor of Medicine

Andrew C. West, MBA, MHA

Center Administrator, Sr.

Emory University

Andrew West graduated from Emory University in 1993 with a history major and an English minor. After graduation, he began working full-time for Wesley Woods, the geriatric and chronic care wing of Emory Healthcare. During his time with Wesley Woods, Andrew obtained an MBA and MHA from Georgia State University. He then left Wesley Woods to work as a consultant for BDO Seidman, LLP. After two years of consulting, he returned to Emory University to manage finances and research administration for the Department of Pathology. In March 2008, West assumed the Center Administrator, Sr. role of the Georgia CTSA.