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Speaker Bios

Allana Alexander
Allana Alexander.jpeg

Allana Alexander - Pharm.D, M.S.M.T.M, B.C.M.T.M.S

Allana M. Alexander, Pharm.D, M.S.M.T.M., B.C.M.T.M.S., is a board-certified clinical pharmacist, and CEO/Founder of A² Pharmacy Solutions in Birmingham, Alabama. Her professional purpose is to return to the roots of pharmacy practice by expanding access to quality healthcare services. Her passion rests in serving indigent and underserved patient populations, especially in the Alabama Black Belt Region. She has dedicated years of clinical research to improving diabetes and blood pressure management, statin drug utilization, and medication therapy management outcomes in minority and elderly patient populations.

Her current work includes implementing a free diabetes risk reduction program throughout the state of Alabama and collaborating with a local nursing school to provide a free-standing asthma education clinic in the Alabama Black Belt Region. She dedicates most weekends to providing clinical services at local health fairs, including influenza and COVID-19 immunizations, biometric screenings, and disease state education.

She is a board member of the ADA Birmingham Community Leadership Board and a Board Director of the National Board of Medication Therapy Management. Dr. Alexander is a native of East Palatka, Florida, and a 2014 graduate of the Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy. She completed a PGY-1 Managed Care Pharmacy residency at Viva Health, Inc. while concomitantly earning a master’s degree in Medication Therapy Management from the University of Florida in 2016. Prior to opening her own pharmacy-based clinic, Dr. Alexander was the Pharmacy Director for the Alabama Coordinated Health Network Midstate at Viva Health, Inc. In her spare time, she enjoys taking naps, traveling with her husband, and spending time with family.

Felesia Bowen
Felesia Bowen PhD, DNP, APRN, FAAN

Felesia Bowen - Ph.D., D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N.

Felesia Bowen Ph.D., D.N.P., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N. is a Professor and Inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing.  She earned her B.S. in nursing at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL, master’s degree from Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, NY, and D.N.P. from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ.  


Dr. Bowen is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar Program. It was during this period that she founded the Center for Urban Youth and Families, an interprofessional research center, and distinguished herself as a nurse scientist. She is an expert in community based participatory research methods and her translational research focuses on major health equity conditions of childhood asthma and trauma in urban communities. Dr. Bowen uses her skills as a nurse practitioner in synergy with her research and community activism to advance health care for vulnerable children. Dr. Bowen has tested evidence-based asthma interventions and adapted them for use in Spanish and Portuguese speaking populations and created and tested an alternative care model that embeds asthma specialty care in pediatric practices. This work has resulted in improved access to care, reduced disparities, and addressed health determinants for Black and Latino children. Her current efforts to link chronic stress experienced by minority children to its impact on asthma severity and symptoms at the cellular level has potentially far-reaching implications for treatment and prevention using non-pharmacologic adjuvant methods.  

Nichole Brandon

Nichole M. Brandon

Nichole M. Brandon is the Director of Human Resources for the City of Columbus where she is responsible for providing HR direction and support to all City of Columbus Departments. Nichole previously held the position of Deputy Director for the Department of Development and Human Resource Manager for the Department of Public Safety, Division of Police.

A graduate of the Ohio State University, Nichole studied sociology and criminal justice, and minored in African-American studies. She is also an alum of the African American Leadership Academy, and completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, Changing the Game: Negotiating and Competitive Decision Making.

Currently, she is the Chair of the Board of Directors for CME Federal Credit Union and is a member of the Ohio Public Employers Labor Relations Association (OHPELRA), and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Nichole enjoys giving back to her community through various volunteer opportunities. Her passion lies in promoting the empowerment of women and emerging leaders and she supports the work of AALA, YWCA, Dress for Success, and Star House.

Eugenia C. South

LaPrincess C. Brewer - M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.P.C., F.A.H.A.

LaPrincess C. Brewer, M.D., M.P.H., is a cardiologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine within the Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive Cardiology, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. She has a primary research focus in developing strategies to reduce and ultimately eliminate cardiovascular disease health disparities in racial and ethnic minority populations and in underserved communities through health promotion and community-based participatory research. Dr. Brewer also has special interest in increasing minority and women's participation in cardiovascular clinical trials through mobile health (mHealth) interventions. Additionally, she has published work on faith-based interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention, racial differences in weight maintenance and psychosocial factors influencing cardiovascular risk factors. 

Kimberly Chang
Kimberly S.G. Chang, MD, MPH

Kimberly S.G. Chang - M.D., M.P.H.

Kimberly S.G. Chang, M.D., M.P.H., is a Family Physician and Director of Human Trafficking and Healthcare Policy at Asian Health Services (AHS) in Oakland, California. In 2015, Dr. Chang completed the Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Policy Fellowship at Harvard, examining the role of federally qualified health centers in addressing human trafficking. Previously, Dr. Chang was the inaugural Clinic Director at AHS’ Frank Kiang Medical Center and provided care for many commercially sexually exploited children. She trained thousands of front-line multidisciplinary professionals on the human trafficking healthcare intersection, provided invited expert testimony to the US Helsinki Commission on "Best Practices in Rescuing Trafficking Victims", serves on the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States, and co-founded HEAL Trafficking. She was elected as the Vice Speaker of the House on the Executive Board of Directors for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in 2018, and in December 2021 was announced by the White House as an intended Commissioner for the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. She was nationally recognized with a Physician Advocacy Merit Award from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, and featured in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, PBS Newshour, the Sacramento Bee, and several podcasts. 

Dr. Chang received her B.A. from Columbia University, her M.D. from the University of Hawaii, specialized in family medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and earned her M.P.H. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she was recognized with the 2015 Dr. Fang-Ching Sun Memorial Award for commitment to promoting the health of vulnerable people. Her most recent awards include the Harvard School of Public Health 2020 Emerging Public Health Professional Award, and the 2021 UCSF Alumni Humanitarian Service Award. 

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah - Ph.D., M.H.S, B.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., F.A.H.A., F.P.C.N.A.

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity.   

As a nurse scientist and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist, her program of research seeks to advance cardiovascular health among African-descent populations locally (United States) and globally (sub-Saharan Africa) through implementation science and community-engaged methods. She is the Principal Investigator of the LINKED-BP Program and co-PI of the LINKED-HEARTS Program, two cluster-randomized controlled trials, which are testing the implementation of multi-level interventions to improve hypertension control and the management of multiple chronic conditions in primary care. She is the co-PI of the Addressing HypertensIoN CaRe in Africa (ADHINCRA) Study, a cluster-randomized control trial which tested the effectiveness of a nurse-led, mobile health intervention to improve hypertension control in Ghana .

She is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Hypertension Control Roundtable and serves on the Advisory Boards of the National Hypertension Control Initiative and Target:BP. She is a Board member for the American Heart Association Baltimore and Greater Maryland area and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.   

Jalisa Dawkins
Jalisa Dawkins

Jalisa Dawkins, M.P.H., C.H.E.S

Jalisa Dawkins is the Capacity Building & Education Team Lead within the Center for Public Health Innovation at Columbus Public Health. Her office is responsible for providing capacity building and educational opportunities for staff and the community to identify and address the factors that contribute to health disparities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Jalisa has a decade of public health experience at the local and federal levels in the areas of health equity, food systems, food safety, emergency preparedness and response and chronic and communicable diseases. Jalisa serves as the Emergency Response Team Co-chair of the Columbus (OH) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Board President of Neighborhood Services Inc food pantry. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Master of Public Health degrees from The Ohio State University. When she’s not doing something public health related, you can find her baking her famous chocolate chip pecan cookies or taking a nature walk to counter the cookie eating! 

Amy Delong
Amy DeLong

Amy Delong, J.D.


Amy DeLong was appointed the Executive Director of the Civil Service Commission January 10, 2011. Ms. DeLong previously served as the Director of Human Resources and EEO Officer for the State of Ohio Department of Development. She also has served as Human Resources Administrator for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Director of Career Services for Capital University Law School, and Manager at ManTech International. Ms. DeLong has a bachelor’s degree from Capital University and a law degree from Capital University Law School.

Chyke Doubeni
Chyke Doubeni

Chyke Doubeni - M.D., M.P.H.


Chyke Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., joined the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center as chief health equity officer July 1, 2022. Dr. Doubeni also serves in The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute as associate director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and holds a faculty appointment as a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

In addition to his roles within the medical center, Dr. Doubeni works closely with the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). He is a leader in the RAISE initiative focused on recruiting new faculty who have a research focus on health equity topics. Working with OAA and the health science colleges, he leads the development and implementation of a new Center for Health Equity within the university that will serve as an interdisciplinary incubator for health equity research collaboration across campus and provide opportunities for professional development and training in the field.

Dr. Doubeni is tasked with leading Ohio State’s continued efforts to address the underlying drivers of disparities in health care that adversely impact marginalized groups and foster more equitable care and health outcomes. With our land-grant focus on research, education and patient care that improves the lives of those in our community and our state, Dr. Doubeni leads the vision and strategic direction of the medical center’s health equity and healthy community initiatives in collaboration with leaders, faculty, staff and learners.

Dr. Doubeni came to Ohio State from Mayo Clinic, where he served as the inaugural director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research. In addition, he served as director of the Community Engagement Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, deputy director for community outreach and engagement, including minority accrual on the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Executive Committee, and professor of Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Nationally recognized for his work in cancer prevention and public health, he is a current member of the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, as well as a section editor for diversity, equity and inclusion of the American Gastroenterological Association’s Gastroenterology journal. He served from 2017 to 2021 as one of 16 members of the prestigious U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which makes evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services to promote the health of all Americans and beyond. In 2021, he served as the lead author for the USPSTF’s report: “Addressing Systemic Racism Through Clinical Preventive Service Recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force” published in JAMA.

At the Wexner Medical Center, he brings together the diversity, equity and inclusion, anti-racism and civic and community engagement efforts. Under his leadership, we will develop new and enhance existing clinical programs and care delivery mechanisms, as well as community engagement and outreach programs, to equitably improve health outcomes in the communities we serve.

Dr. Doubeni received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Lagos College of Medicine in Nigeria. After completing additional training in the United Kingdom, he completed a family medicine residency at Duke University and a preventive medicine residency at the University of Massachusetts, where he also earned a Master of Public Health degree and served as the medical school’s interim associate vice provost for diversity. He also completed a fellowship with the National Cancer Institute Scholars Program.

Dr. Doubeni’s numerous accolades include a 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the President of the United States for accomplishments in research, mentoring and community service and the 2019 Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Pittsburgh.

Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Dr. Doubeni was the Harrison McCrea Dickson, M.D. and Clifford C. Baker, M.D. Presidential Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and served as chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. 

Shawnte Elbert
Elbert, Shawnte M_

Shawnté Elbert - Ed.D., C.W.H.C., M.C.H.E.S.

Dr. Elbert is a trailblazer in the realm of college health and wellness, with a distinguished career spanning over 18 years. Starting as a health educator and progressing to a senior administrator, she's made an indelible mark on higher education. Her journey, however, has evolved and expanded, culminating in her current role as the Chief Health Equity Officer for Columbus Public Health (CPH).


At CPH, Dr. Elbert is entrusted with the critical mission of protecting the health and improving the lives of Columbus residents. She addresses pressing public health issues such as infant mortality, basic needs, access to care and health literacy. In her capacity as the Division Administrator for the Center for Public Health Innovation, she confronts an issue of paramount importance: naming racism as a public health crisis.


Under her leadership, the Center is committed to increasing Columbus' life expectancy by reducing racial health disparities and elevating the overall quality of life. Dr. Elbert's expertise in health equity, cultivated through her years in college health and wellness, positions her as a catalyst for transformative change. Her deep understanding of mentorship, leadership development, and public health administration aligns seamlessly with the Center's vision of creating a healthier, more equitable Columbus.


Dr. Elbert's journey is not just a testament to her unwavering commitment to campus well-being and health equity but also a symbol of her evolution as a leader dedicated to addressing broader societal issues. Her influence extends well beyond the campus, now reaching into the heart of the community she serves, where she continues to empower and uplift those who need it most, fostering a healthier and more equitable future for generations to come.


Ricki Fairley

As a Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor/Thriver, Ricki’s personal purpose, passion, mission, ministry, and blessing is to bring focus, attention, research, science, and action to eradicating Black Breast Cancer, and supporting and coaching what she calls her “Breasties” through their breast cancer experience. 

Ricki is an award-winning seasoned marketing veteran that has transformed her strategic acumen into breast cancer advocacy. Ricki co-founded and serves as CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance to address Black Breast Cancer as a unique and special disease state, with the overall goal of reducing the mortality rate for Black women. Ricki founded and serves as co-host for “The Doctor Is In,” a weekly live breast cancer advocacy web series on the Facebook page that reaches over 3 million viewers. She is a founding member of #BlackDataMatters, in partnership with Ciitizen, The Center for Health Care Innovation, and Morehouse School of Medicine to encourage and elevate the importance of Black Women participating in clinical trial research. In January 2022, she started the When We Tri(al) Movement to change the game on Black women participating in clinical trials to improve outcomes for Black women with breast cancer. 

Ricki serves on the Board of Trustees for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation where she chairs the marketing committee. She is a board member for the Center for Healthcare Innovation, a non-profit research and educational institute making healthcare more equitable. She avidly works with pharmaceutical companies to provide the patient voice for breast cancer awareness, action, therapy/drug development and advocacy. 

Ricki has two daughters, Amanda Brown Lierman and Hayley Brown, and 3 granddaughters, Belle, Leia, and Hart, who remind her of her purpose every day. Ricki is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. 

Dr. Darrell Gray, II

Darrell Gray II - M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.G.


President and Ceo, Wellpoint Maryland

Darrell M. Gray II, M.D., M.P.H. is President and CEO of Wellpoint Maryland, one of the largest Medicaid managed care organizations in Maryland and wholly owned subsidiary of Elevance Health. In this role, Dr. Gray works to ensure Wellpoint’s nearly 330,000 members have access to high-quality care and achieve equitable, whole health outcomes. He also stands committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, while enhancing processes and strengthening relations with Wellpoint’s network of more than 30,000 care providers and the diverse communities across Maryland.


Dr. Gray is a highly accomplished and respected senior leader with proven abilities to lead tremendous growth and transformational change. As chief health equity officer of Elevance Health, he successfully led the execution of comprehensive strategies that advanced health equity through a whole-health approach (addressing physical, behavioral, social and pharmacy needs) across Elevance Health’s tens of millions of members, provider networks and respective communities. Notably, his efforts led to Elevance Health attaining the full, three-year National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Health Equity Accreditation for 22 of their Medicaid health plans including Wellpoint, a first in the industry.


Prior to joining Elevance Health, Dr. Gray was an associate professor of medicine at The Ohio State University, where he served as a practicing gastroenterologist and medical director of healthy communities for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as well as deputy director of the Center for Cancer Health Equity at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. 


Dr. Gray is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and graduate of Morehouse College and Howard University College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Duke University Medical Center and gastroenterology fellowship at Washington University, subsequently earning a master’s degree in public health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow.

Anita Gundanna

Anita Gundanna, Ph.D.


Coalition for Asian American Children ad Families (CACF), Co-Executive Director

Anita Gundanna (she/her) joined CACF as Co-Executive Director in April 2017. She has worked throughout her career to prevent and address violence against women and children, and to promote healthy families, primarily in minority and immigrant communities of New York City. Prior to her return to the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), Anita worked as a consultant with a number of small and growing community-based non-profit organizations mostly serving Asian American and immigrant communities. 

Robert H.

Robert Hakes, M.P.H.

Robert Hakes is an experienced public health policy advocate having worked on policy at both the state and local levels. His experience serving as a Legislative Service Commission Fellow in the Ohio House of Representatives, a senior legislative aide in the Ohio Senate, and lobbying as the State Government Affairs Director on behalf of clients focused on healthcare and public safety has led to him advocating for public health policy in his current role as the Policy Director for Columbus Public Health. At Columbus Public Health, he leads a team of policy analysts who focus on five major policy portfolios: access to care, built environment, maternal & child health, mental health & substance use, and food systems. Robert graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy & Management from Kent State University. 

Tracy Heard
Tracy Heard

Tracy Heard


Tracy Maxwell Heard is the Executive Director of Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence, Inc. (MACC). MACC is a statewide clearinghouse for training, resources, research, best practices, and collaboration in the area of cultural competence committed to transformations from individuals to systems with the goal of inclusion, respect and highest delivery of equitable services and engagement.

Heard has an extensive background in leadership roles. She is the former Minority Leader in the Ohio House of Representatives having given eight years of legislative service. In her professional life, she has served as a regional corporate sales manager to card carrying UAW member, news anchor and non-profit executive director.
Her strength is in transformational leadership and organizational development. Building strong teams and measurable, impactful growth is her sweet spot.

Her free time goes to her passion – women and girls. In 2007 Heard established the Princess Brigade. Its purpose is to bring together young girls ages of four and fourteen around cultural exposure, community service and comradery.

Most recently she has added a podcast cohosted with a college classmate entitled, “Women With Issues.”

Heard believes, “Where much is given much is required” and has been giving service back to her community throughout her adult life. She has served on more than 15 boards but her current board focus is with her newest seating with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Central Ohio Chapter and WELD – Women for Economic and Leadership Development where she gave seven years board service and two-terms as National Board Chair and continues to serve on the External Relations Committee. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a lifetime member of the NAACP.

She has been commended on numerous occasions with awards and national recognition for her work including having been bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for her collective body of work in the Ohio legislature by Wilberforce University.

Heard hold a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media Communications with a Minor in Business. She is the proud wife of Howard Heard.

Rachel Hirschey
Rachel Hirschey PhD, RN

Rachel Hirschey - Ph.D., R.N.


Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing and an Associate Member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

Dr. Rachel Hirschey earned her B.S.N. from Endicott College, her Ph.D. from Duke University, and her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She leads a research program to improve cancer outcomes and health equity across diverse populations. Her work is guided by her partnership with the community advisory board– SHARE (Striving to Hold Accountability in Research Equity). Through collaboration with SHARE, she is designing and testing a physical activity intervention for Black individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Her research program has been funded by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute for Nursing Research, and the Oncology Nursing Foundation. As a principal investigator of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, funded by the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Hirschey works with cancer centers across the country to improve equity in cancer research and healthcare. She also serves as a scientific advisor to the Angelic Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports underserved families undergoing cancer treatments by providing financial assistance and emotional support.  

Darryl Hood
Darryl Hood

Darryl Hood - Ph.D.

Darryl B. Hood, Ph.D. is a Professor, Deans’ Fellow, and Environmental Public Health Neurotoxicologist in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining The Ohio State University, he meritoriously served on the faculty at Meharry Medical College in Alliance with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine for 20-years and led what has come to be known as the most successful minority NIEHS-sponsored program project-like (S11) grant initiative. This initiative was the “Advanced Research Cooperation in Environmental Health” (ARCH) Program (2006-2011). The research conducted under this consortium ultimately contributed to the scientific database that the USEPA used to reassess the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from smokestacks etc. Such re-assessments have resulted in public policy changes that will serve to decrease the adverse health effects associated with environmental stressor exposures. At the Ohio State University, Dr. Hood recently received a $1.3M USEPA STAR award adding to his extensive portfolio to continue the innovation in Discovery as the co-architect of the novel Public Health Exposome framework and BD2K analytics with an environmental justice lens.  At Ohio State University his work is focused in the high-risk and vulnerable underrepresented minority census tracts of Columbus, OH.  Dr. Hood currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He also serves as a member of the Children’s Environmental Health Committee and Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

Edward Johnson

Edward Johnson, M.S.

Columbus Public Health protects the health and improves the lives of residents by addressing critical public health issues such as infant mortality, the opioid epidemic, tobacco use and obesity. 


Assistant Health Commissioner Edward Johnson helps lead an  organization of over 500 public health professionals who are  focused on neighborhood-based approaches that address the social determinants of health. 


He currently oversees our Environmental Health Division – where over 8,000 restaurants, markets, public pools and spas, body art facilities, campgrounds and tobacco retailers are licensed and inspected; the Addiction Services Division, implementing the Columbus & Franklin County Addiction Plan, currently presiding over multi-year decreases in overdose deaths since 2020; and lastly the Center for Public Health Innovation, which is naming racism as a public health crisis and seeking to increase Columbus’ life expectancy by reducing racial health disparities and raising quality of life. 


He has more than 11 years of combined experience in public policy and public health, having served in staff roles at the Ohio House of Representatives and Columbus City Council. Edward holds degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Xavier University; and International Economics from Valparaiso University.  

Clarence Jones

Clarence Jones, M.Ed., C.P.H., C.H.W., C.P.E.

Robert "Clarence "Jones, M. Ed., C.P.H., C.H.W, C.P.E., is the Hue-MAN Partnership's Executive Director and Community Engagement Strategist. He was the former Director of Community Engagement at an FQHC in Minneapolis. He serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Medicine for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, and formally as an Adjunct Professor at Saint Catherine University in the School of Public Health. 
He served as a member of the CTSI Executive Leadership team and the Public Health Disparities Research Board (PHDR) at the University of Minnesota. His past experiences include serving as a board member of the Minnesota Urban Area Health Education Center (AHEC), as the Mayor's Representative and co-chair for the Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) for the City of Minneapolis, and also as a National Community Representative for the National Children's Study (NCS). 

Clarence has had extensive experience collecting data and collaborating with organizational leadership, community partners, and members to promote community wellness and access to health services. He has created, planned, and orchestrated strategic health events with the community and faith-based partnerships. Since 2011 in collaboration with local health organizations, FQHCs, HMOs, Universities, and invested community members, more than 250,000 free health screenings have been provided.

Joshua J. Joseph
Joshua Joesph.jpg

Joshua J. Joseph, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.H.A.

Joshua J. Joseph, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.H.A. is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine with Tenure and the Endowed Professor for Research in Internal Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC). He is Co-Chair of the OSUWMC Healthy Communities Obesity and Nutrition Steering Committee and Medical Director of The OSUWMC Healthy Community Center. Dr. Joseph’s National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and United States Department of Defense funded research focuses on advancing prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease through a health equity lens with 4 pillars: 1) Examining the role of stress hormones in Cardiometabolic Disease; 2) Health System to Community Innovations; 3) Community-Based Participatory Research; and 4) Quality Improvement Science. Clinically, Dr. Joseph treats patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease at a community-based clinic. Nationally, he is chair of the Endocrine Society Clinical Affairs Core Committee, Chair-Elect of the American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Diabetes committee and President-Elect of the Central Ohio American Heart Association Board. He has been recognized for his science, community engagement and clinical impact with several awards including election to Alpha Omega Alpha, National Minority Quality Forum 40 under 40, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Maureen Murphy-Weiss
Maureen Murphy-Weiss

Maureen Murphy-Weiss, B.S.N., R.N., C.P.M.

Maureen Murphy-Weiss started her nursing career as a registered nurse in 1994 and has practiced in public health since 1997. She worked as a public health nurse from 1997-2003, and moved to the Ohio Department of Health where she filled a variety of leadership positions focusing on infectious diseases, tuberculosis and refugee health from 2003-2016. She then accepted a position at the Ben Franklin Tuberculosis Clinic Program at Columbus Public Health, where she currently serves as program director.  

Maureen in a nationally recognized TB expert and served two terms on the National TB Controllers Board and is past president of the National TB Nurse Coalition.  

Timiya Nolan
AW - Timiya Nolan WYW Portrait-3_edited.jpg

Timiya S. Nolan, Ph.D., A.P.R.N.-C.N.P., A.N.P.-B.C.

Dr. Timiya S. Nolan is an Associate Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine and Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nolan studies issues in self-management and prevention of chronic conditions (i.e., breast cancer and cardiovascular disease). Her community-based research program is looking at ways to improve quality of life and health among individuals from underrepresented, underserved. She is the co-organizer of The Ohio State University’s “Health Equity through Diversity: From Communities to Clinics to Clinical Trials” webinar series. Nolan’s work has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen and others. She earned a B.S.N., M.S.N. and Ph.D. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, and completed postdoctoral training at The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

Makeda Porter
Mekeda Porter.jpg

Makeda C. Porter, M.S.S.W.


Ms. Porter recognized public health as her passion during her graduate studies in the College of Social Work at the Ohio State University.  That passion led her to Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health where she has been protecting health and improving lives for 20+ years.  Ms. Porter’s tenure in public health has included macro (for example, structuring request for proposals to minimize overhead costs and maximize direct service dollars) and micro level (delivered health education and provided HIV/STI counseling and testing) work. She currently leads the Capacity Building and Education Section within Columbus Public Health’s Center for Public Health Innovation. The Center is working to increase life expectancy and improve quality of life by reducing health inequities; with a focus on racism, in all its forms, as a major cause of those inequities.  

Favorite quote: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin. 

Dr. Tannika

Tanikka Price Ben Haim, Ph.D., J.D.


Dr. Tanikka Price uses her training as a lawyer, her passion as a motivational speaker and the knowledge she gained during her doctoral training at Northcentral University to develop curriculum to educate and train others in caring for and taking responsibility for their own health and healing. She is currently the Chief Education and Equity Officer at the Health Impact Ohio. For over a decade, in addition to being a Family Law Attorney, she has developed and taught learning topics for pregnant women and Community Health Workers in At-risk communities in Columbus, Ohio.  She was inspired to educate following the birth of her premature twins. She uses narrative and trauma-informed care to meet people where they are and empower them to change. She engages through several interactive workshops including “Love Letters,” “Writing to Heal” and “Narrative Repair.” Dr. Price is a wife and mother of six. She earned a Doctorate in Education in May of 2020, researching the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on African American women’s educational attainment at Northcentral University. She also has an American Culture degree from Vassar College and a law degree from Capital University Law School. She is a member of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, The Columbus Bar Association and The Ohio Bar. 

Mysheika W. Roberts
Mysheika W. Roberts

Mysheika W. Roberts, M.D., M.P.H. 


Columbus Public Health is working to protect the health and improve the lives of all residents by addressing our community’s most critical public health issues such as infant mortality, the opioid epidemic, tobacco use and gun violence. 


Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika W. Roberts leads the organization and a team of more than 500 public health professionals who are focused on neighborhood-based approaches that address the social determinants of health from safe, affordable housing and education to jobs and food access in order to decrease the health disparities that exist.


Dr. Roberts has a prolific 20 year public health background at the local, state and national levels. Prior to her appointment as health commissioner in December 2017, she was the medical director and assistant health commissioner at Columbus Public Health. She also built a solid public health foundation early in her career by serving as an epidemic intelligence service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Ohio and leading an STD clinic at the Baltimore City Health Department. 


Dr. Roberts extends her service to the community beyond the walls of Columbus Public Health where she serves as: co-chair of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Health Equity Advisory Board; member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation Board of Directors; member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee to the Director Health Equity Workgroup; member of the Lifeline of Ohio Minority Advisory Group; and, member of the OhioHealth Faith, Culture and Community Benefit Committee. She also is the immediate past chair of the Big Cities Health Coalition, a collaboration of health departments from the 35 largest cities in the country representing 61 million people. 


She earned her doctor of medicine from the University of Maryland and a master of public health from the University of Michigan.


A native of Los Angeles, she enjoys spending time with her husband Edward and their dogs Cosby and Rudy while exploring the diverse culture and experiences of Columbus, the 14th largest city in the nation.

Jessica & Dorian
Jessica M. Roach _  Dorian L. Wingard

Jessica M. Roach, M.P.H., CEO and Co-Founder, Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOT)
Dorian L. Wingard, M.P.A., COO and Co-Founder, Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOT)


ROOTT is a Black-family led, community-based health and wellness organization, dedicated to specifically addressing Black health inequity as it relates to maternal and infant mortality. ROOTT’s reproductive justice philosophy emphasizes and re-empowers the inherent agency Black families have in making their decision to determine when, where, how, and if they decide to have children. 


Both Jessica and Dorian have extensive multi-disciplinary experience in public health and public policy creation, development and advocacy, academic and clinical research, and professional development and training of clinical and non-clinical personnel. Jessica serves as ROOTT’s Chief Executive Officer and Clinical Director, with Dorian serving as ROOTT’s Chief Operations Officer and Policy Director. Together, they bring over four decades of integrated, multi-faceted experience to the challenge of Black family health inequity. 


ROOTT’s Perinatal Support (Doula) Model provides innovative interventions that target the improvement of birthing conditions and outcomes for Black families who have collectively been disproportionately impacted by maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. ROOTT’s philosophy of engagement is laser-focused on addressing Black Maternal, Infant and Family Health through a health equity lens. 


Since 2017, ROOTT has achieved and sustained a 0% Black infant and maternal mortality rate and currently serves as a subject matter expert for White House staff, Congressional leaders, state and local governments, central Ohio hospital systems, and various national and local community stakeholders. ROOTT is a founding member of the national Black Mamas Matter Alliance, and a recent recipient of the 2021 Publishers Award from the Ohio Minority Business Enterprise Media Group. 

Dorian L. Wingard, M.P.A.

Jessica M. Roach, M.P.H.     


Juny Simpson
Juny Simpson

Juny Simpson 


​Juny Simpson is a proven diversity, equity and inclusion leader at the local, regional and national level, passionate about population health issues and access to healthcare for all patients. An accomplished leader with over 20 years industry experience.  Juny’s efforts are focused on building and catalyzing a sustainable model to address healthcare disparities in marginalized communities embedding early disease detection & education. Juny serves as an ambassador for Genentech with her external diversity recruitment efforts and is the current Head of Health Equity for all customer facing teams, tasked with the operationalization of Genentech's Commercial Health Equity Strategy.  Her work includes serving as the immediate past Southwest Region Corporate Relations President for Healthcare Businesswomen Association, Chair of African Americans in Biotechnology, (a Genentech employee resource group) and the D&I Steering Committee where she sits on the Advancing Inclusive Research team. 

Eugenia C. South

Eugenia C. South, M.D., M.S.H.P. 


Eugenia (Gina) South, M.D., M.S.H.P. is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the Faculty Director for the Penn Urban Health Lab. As a physician-scientist, her broad vision is to improve health and quality of life for residents in low-resource and Black communities through both research and clinical work. Dr. South’s research agenda is focused on developing and testing individual and neighborhood level interventions to better understand the ways in which the physical and social attributes of where people live, work, and play influence physical and mental health, and community safety. Her work on vacant lot greening has been published in JAMA Network Open, PNAS, and AJPH, and has appeared in national and international media outlets such as the Washington Post, NPR, and Time Magazine. 

Her current work includes an RWJ-funded community-led micro-greening efforts, developing a peer-navigator intervention with a behavioral economics framework to increase the amount of time people spend in urban nature, evaluating the impact of structural housing repairs on crime, a CDC funded study to evaluate the impact of blight remediation and an alternative response unit on opioid overdose in Philadelphia, and a series of studies evaluating the impact of violent crime on acute care utilization. Dr. South is also passionate about diversity, inclusion, and antiracism and currently serves as co-chair of the PennEM Diversity Committee and is a member of the Penn-CHOP Alliance of Minority Physicians Faculty Steering Committee. 

Dr. South received her M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine in 2008, and her MSHP from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, during which time she was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. 

Jabais Swain
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JaBaris D. Swain, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. JaBaris Swain embarked on his pharmaceutical journey in July 2020 when he joined Janssen Pharmaceuticals. His initial role was as a clinical lead physician in Translational and Experimental Medicine, with a focus on Cardiovascular & Metabolism Therapeutics. Since then, he has transitioned to the position of Medical Executive for Health Systems Integration. In this capacity, he plays a crucial role in aligning the health system strategy of the cardiovascular medical affairs team with the quintuple aim.

Beyond his pharmaceutical career, Dr. Swain is a cardiothoracic transplant surgeon-scientist and a global health scholar. His commitment to humanitarian efforts has led him to resource-limited regions such as Rwanda and Haiti. In these areas, he has actively participated in cardiac surgery and cardiovascular disease education initiatives, aiming to enhance healthcare accessibility.

Dr. Swain's academic achievements encompass a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, along with a master's in public health from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed his clinical training in general surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. He further specialized in cardiothoracic surgery and undertook an advanced fellowship in cardiopulmonary transplantation & mechanical circulatory support at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His dedication to research is evident in his work on translational research, particularly in the exploration of gene therapy for heart failure. Presently, Dr. Swain holds a position as a clinical associate surgeon at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Dr. Swain is currently pursuing an Executive MBA Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Despite his demanding schedule, he remains committed to mentoring residents and fellows at the Pearlman School of Medicine. He also volunteers as a medical director at the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity in north Philadelphia, where he actively advocates for health equity and strives to reduce disparities among vulnerable populations in the greater Philadelphia area.

Andy Wapner
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Andy Wapner, D.O., M.P.H.

Andrew Wapner, D.O., M.P.H. is the Director of the online Master of Public Health Program for Experienced Professionals and an Associate Clinical Professor of Public Health in the Ohio State College of Public Health (CPH). As a pediatrician with nearly 15 years of public health and health policy experience, his primary interest lies in population health planning through integration of health care and public health, with a focus on public health systems and the social and physical environments that impact health. Dr. Wapner's other roles in the college include serving as a co-chair for the CPH Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence Committee, the college's Interprofessional Practice and Education champion, and the lead for the Academic Health Department agreement with Columbus Public Health.      


Before coming to Ohio State, Dr. Wapner served as the chronic disease medical director at the Ohio Department of Health, where he lead the creation of the state's first chronic disease prevention and reduction plan and the plan's implementation collaborative. Dr. Wapner is a board-certified pediatrician practicing in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Urgent Care system. Prior to joining CPH, he served in multiple roles at the Ohio Department of Health focusing on chronic disease and population health. Before beginning his career in public health, Dr. Wapner practiced pediatrics and pediatric diabetes medicine in Southeast Ohio as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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