Award-winning Celebrity Trainer, Certified Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle Specialist
Celebrity Trainer Cliff Boyce is an award-winning, certified fitness, nutrition and lifestyle specialist whose vast knowledge and passion for physical and mental transformation has sculpted the bodies of entertainment heavyweights Usher, American Idol judge Nikki Minaj, Grammy Award-winning vocalist Fantasia and hundreds of men and women who have enlisted him to help meet their fitness goals—permanently securing his name in the iPhones, Blackberries and databases of the entertainment elite and everyday clients from Atlanta and Miami to Texas and Los Angeles.
With a commitment to helping people reshape themselves not just physically but also mentally, the 30-year fitness veteran and renowned professional body builder specializes in teaching his clients how to change their bodies both inside and out. His focus on cardiovascular exercise, strength training, nutrition, fat loss and mental health has made him one of Atlanta’s most sought-after trainers, and earned him the distinction of being named Jezebel magazine’s Best Personal Trainer in its “2013 Best Of Atlanta” issue.
Award-winning Recording Artist,
World Renowned Pastor,
Educator, Author, and Visionary
Pastor Norful is an award-winning recording artist, world renowned Pastor, educator, author, and visionary who has reached the heights of success in both music and ministry. A music career that has spanned two decades, Norful now brings his music and ministry efforts towards global humanitarianism. As an internationally known musician, music composer, producer, and singer, Norful’s 2002 solo debut release I NEED YOU NOW catapulted him to worldwide recognition. Since that time, he has found commercial success with five Number 1 Billboard Albums (I NEED YOU NOW, LIMITED EDITION, NOTHING WITHOUT YOU, SMOKIE NORFUL LIVE, FOREVER YOURS) and over 3 million albums sold worldwide. Norful is a multiple RIAA certified gold-selling artist and has been named several times as Billboard Magazine’s “Gospel Artist of the Year”. He has earned 8 Stellar Awards, 5 Dove Awards, 1 Soul Train Music Award, 2 NAACP Image award nominations, 3 BET award nominations, and 2 Grammy Awards. Norful received the Grammy Award in 2005 for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album of the Year for his chart-topping CD NOTHING WITHOUT YOU and again in 2015 received the Grammy Award for “No Greater Love” Best Gospel Performance/Song. Norful has also been inducted by his home states’ Arkansas Black Hall of Fame and most recently Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Norful has also contributed to five platinum selling compilations and has written songs for numerous major-label recording artists. Among his many notable performances he has appeared several times on The Trumpet Awards, Save Africa’s Children Event in Soweto, the Experience in Nigeria, the BET Awards, the Stellar Awards, Soul Train, hosting and performing on the Dove Awards, the UNCF Parade of Stars, the Essence Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the White House salute to Music Month, the legendary Apollo Theater, numerous other festival, events, concert halls, and tours. In 2019, he is scheduled to complete his first performance at Carnegie Hall. He starred alongside Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolonda Adams on the history-making, HOPEVILLE tour, and he has headlined the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration tour three times since its inception.
Norful launched his record label, Tre’Myles Music, affectionally named after his sons Tre’ and Ashton Myles in 2009. Tre’Myles was responsible, in joint partnership with EMI Gospel and Motown Gospel, for the release of four Billboard number one selling cd’s (Once in a Lifetime, Smokie Norful Live, Forever Yours, How I Got Over). Tre’ Myles also released the first ever church recording of Victory Cathedral Worship Center’s Choir, Smokie Norful Present: Victory Cathedral Choir. As a label executive, Norful possesses a unique approach that focuses equally on mentoring and character development as much as artist development. He recently released a single on the first mentoring candidate/artist outside of himself, Isaiah Templeton, “Everything will be Alright”.
Norful also recently released his very first book and is now making strides as an accomplished author. He currently has a book publishing deal with the wellestablished Thomas Nelson books, a division of Harper Collins Publishing. His first book, Take the Lid Off, is an extraordinarily empowering compilation of his personal life stories and antidotes as well as biblical and practical insights to help every individual maximize their potential.
Norful is an educator at heart. Having received his degree in history from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Norful went on to teach junior and senior high school for several years. He attended both Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (in Evanston, IL) and Trinity International Seminary (in Deerfield, IL) where he received a master’s of Divinity and also served on the board of Regents. Most recently, in his perpetual pursuit of growth and development, in May of 2018 he received a degree in Leadership from Trinity International University. Norful officially launched his church, Victory Cathedral Worship Center, in Bolingbrook, IL on Sept. 20, 2005 where he serves as Senior Pastor. Since its launch, Norful and the Victory Cathedral Church Family have experienced an extraordinary and unprecedented growth in this community. He launched a second campus on the south side of Chicago in September 2007. The ministry has been focused on reaching the community by encouraging its members to live to be missed not just remembered™ by adopting a heart of volunteerism, charity, and philanthropy via their Give Yourself Away™ initiative. Norful intends to launch more campuses in the near future and continue his life’s mission of spreading the message of Hope, Healing, and Empowerment.
19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), 9th Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.
Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.
Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings. She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Internationally Renowned Civil Rights Leader, Syndicated Radio Host, Founder/President, National Action Network Host, MSNBC's "Politics Nation"
The Reverend Al Sharpton is an internationally renowned civil rights leader, founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), which has more than 100 chapters across the country. Hailed by former President Barack Obama as a “champion for the downtrodden,” Reverend Sharpton is the host of “Politics Nation” on MSNBC; a nationally syndicated daily radio show “Keepin’ It Real”; and a nationally broadcast radio show on Sunday titled, “The Hour of Power.”
A disciple of the teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Sharpton has been at the forefront of the modern civil rights movement for nearly a half of a century. He has championed police reform and accountability, calling for the elimination of unjust policies like “Stop-and-Frisk.” He has fought for voting rights, equity in education and healthcare and LGBTQ rights. Across the years, Reverend Sharpton has advocated for those who have been victimized including Yusef Hawkins, Michael Stewart, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sean Bell, the Jena Six, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Reverend Sharpton preached his first sermon at the age of 4 at the historic Washington Temple Church of God in Christ. He was ordained at the age of 10 and by 13, he had been appointed Youth Director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket—the economic arm to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
Under the tutelage of his mentors—the Reverends Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., and William Augustus Jones, Jr—Reverend Sharpton honed his organizing and protest skills around economic and political boycotts and quickly emerged as a national figure. By the time he turned 16, Reverend Sharpton had founded the National Youth Movement, Inc, which organized young people around the country to push for increased voter registration, cultural awareness and job training programs.
A fierce believer in the philosophy of nonviolent, direct-action protest, Reverend Sharpton founded National Action Network in 1991 and headquartered the organization in Harlem, all the while serving from 1993 to 1998 as director of the Minister’s Division for Reverend Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition.
An astute political strategist, Reverend Sharpton’s analysis and his endorsement is frequently sought by political candidates seeking public office. Reverend Sharpton’s foray into electoral politics resulted in historic and groundbreaking runs for the U.S. Senate in 1992 and 1994, and he nearly forced a runoff in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City in 1997. His noteworthy presidential run in 2004 brought thousands of new voters into the electoral process and repositioned himself as a trusted progressive who centered critical issues like a living wage, gun reform and voting rights as a cornerstone of his campaign. In July 2004, at the request of the Democratic nominee, John F. Kerry, Reverend Sharpton delivered a rousing primetime speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
The author of three books, Reverend Sharpton is a frequent lecturer on civil rights and political issues and has lent his expertise to several corporate diversity councils at Pepsi, Walmart and Charter Communications. He has received numerous awards, including the Harold Washington Award from the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also honored with the “Mandela Legacy Hope, Success & Empowerment Award” in recognition of his long history of achievements in advancing civil rights causes around the world. In 2017, he received the prestigious James Joyce award from the Literary and Historical Society of the University College in Dublin, Ireland.
Educated in the New York City public schools, Reverend Sharpton attended Brooklyn College. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Medgar Evers College, Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Virginia Union University and Voorhees College.
Reverend Sharpton is the proud father of two daughters: Dominique and Ashley, and the grandfather of Marcus Al Sharpton Bright.
Lieutenant, U.S. Army Medical Service Officer
Caron Nazario is a 27-year-old male, Brooklyn native currently a Lieutenant serving in the US Army. Caron is a graduate from Virginia State University and commissioned from their Army ROTC program. Caron has always been a leader in his community. He was an active participant in the Brooklyn Community board 3-Bedford Stuyvesant, the Municipal Art society of New York and the various Young men’s leadership groups. As an active youth in his community, Caron received many outstanding recognitions from many elected leaders in the community. Some of the most notable awards he has received are The Lifetime Achievement Award given to him by the Municipal Art Society of New York, The Tohoma Y. Faulkner Community Award, awarded to him by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Council Citation for Outstanding Citizenship awarded by Councilman Albert Vann and the NYS Citation for Youth Achievement awarded to him by Assembly woman Annette Robinson.
While attending Virginia State University Caron’s commitment to his community continued to manifest and his desire to join the ROTC showed his commitment to serve our great nation. He also served as his freshman class president and became a proud member of the Alpha Psi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. While at VSU, he volunteered in community events, children’s mentorship programs, raised awareness for breast cancer, prostate cancer, suicide, HIV/AIDS, and many other socially important topics.
Ensuing his bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, Caron worked as a Health Educator where he dedicated his efforts to enhance the health of youth in middles and high schools. He then expanded into the community, working with adults and various college communities. Due to his effective educational skills and success with the various populations, Caron was asked to work through a Center for Disease Control (CDC) program as a Disease Intervention Specialist. Caron role was to control/ decrease and directly combat the increase of diseases through investigation, tracking, and patient treatment.s
In addition, Caron volunteered with the VDH- MEDICAL Reserve Corp (MRC). During his involvement with the ROTC and the strong connection he felt serving his country he participated in the VA Military Funeral Honors Program. This program allows current members of service to represent the United States of America in paying homage to our veterans for their honorable service during their homegoing service or burial service at national cemeteries. Providing this honor to the families of our countries deceased veterans has been one of Caron’s proudest and most memorable experience of his military career thus far.
Caron was raised in a household with his family and was instilled with strong values. He possess some very distinctive qualities and strengths. He is very respectful, equanimous, ambitious and judicious. He is well respected by both his peers and his superiors. It should be noted that Caron initially enlisted as a Combat Medic and then through his determination to graduate from Virginia State University and commitment to the Armed Forces he commissioned in 2016 as a Medical Officer and continues his service in the community. He believes in living a purposeful and productive life. He works hard at achieving his goals and is a proud man. He has a close and loving relationship with his family and friends. Caron believes that each day we all should work to fulfill our life goals because we do not know when we will take our last breath or have a near death experience as tomorrow is not promised to any of us.
Board Certified Urologist Kaiser Permanente
Barnes specializes in sexual dysfunction, non-invasive surgical management of stone disease, and the management of benign prostatic enlargement along with all urologic oncology. For over 20 years Dr. Barnes maintained a urology practice in Atlanta, GA as an affiliate with medical facilities Emory University Hospital Midtown and Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center before recently joining Kaiser Permanente. He is a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine, one of the few HBCU medical colleges in the U.S., where he remained after graduation as a member of the faculty while practicing at Howard University Hospital before moving to Georgia to start private practice.
Dr. Barnes believes in giving back and emphasizes the importance of providing quality care to all, especially those that have difficulty accessing it. For years he has practiced in South Atlanta, a generally underserved African-American area of the city, and has treated patients in the federal penitentiary, also a predominantly Black underserved population. Dr. Barnes is an advocate of medicine as a healing art, and believes that while the technology at our disposal is an essential to excellent patient care, face-to-face personal interaction between doctor and patient is just as vital.
Senior Pastor Apostolic Faith Church Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Northwestern University
Bishop Horace E. Smith, M.D. is a man gifted with a passion for God’s Word coupled with a love for God’s people. He has a contagious spirit of generosity that overflows in every facet of his life. As pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church and an attending physician specializing in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital), Dr. Horace E. Smith has treated bodies and souls for three decades.
Bishop Smith was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, IL, and graduated as an honor student from Lindblom High School and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree (with honors) at Chicago State University, and a M.D. from University of Illinois Medical Center.
Professor, Malignant Hematology Dept. Moffitt Cancer Center
Dr. Brandon Blue earned his MD at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Blue completed an Internal Medicine Residency in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, and d a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship in the Department of Medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Blue is a Professor Malignant Hematology Department Moffitt Cancer Center and recently completed a Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Blue’s clinical interests include treatment of plasma cell disorders and evaluation of patients pre and post bone marrow transplant. His research interests include reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes for plasma cell dyscrasias.
Columbia Psychiatry Global Mental Health Division New York State Psychiatric Institute
Dr. Bernadine Waller is a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) T32 Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University School of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University School of Social Work whose research has been funded by the NIMH and has worked on a project funded by the Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women. Her research examines the intersections of intimate partner violence (IPV), help seeking and mental health, with a specific focus upon Black women.
Bernadine’s scholarship was used to help shape the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and is currently being used by the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. Her research interest stems from more than a decade of practice experience. She has provided trauma-informed services to IPV survivors, court-mandated offenders and emerging adults. Her scholarship has been published in high impact journals including the Journal of Aggression and Violent Behavior, Trauma, Violence & Abuse and the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Her OpEd articles have been published in Newsday and the Huffington Post.
Bernadine is a sought-after speaker who regularly shares her work with international audiences in Canada, Ghana and Nigeria. She has also been the keynote speaker for domestic violence conferences in the U.S., including the Commonwealth of Virginia, and presented for the NYPD Special Victims Unit. Her TEDx Talk, Hindered Help, illuminates the barriers that prevent Black women from securing crisis assistance during their IPV help seeking.
Bernadine is a scholar-clinician who has taught in academia for more than 12 years. A testament to her investment in the next generation of scholar activists was winning the 2020 GADE Award for Teaching in Social Work. She is as a member of a sub-committee of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), which accredits all of the schools of social work. Bernadine is former marketing manager as well as diversity and leadership trainer for a Fortune 100 company. She is a former broadcast and print journalist who has worked in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia covering everything from features and science to investigative and the Centennial Olympic Games. Bernadine serves on the board of directors for the Cedarmore Corporation whose mission is to prepare underserved Black and Latinx youth for lifelong success.
Dr. Waller earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work and Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Adelphi University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, with a concentration in Legal Studies from Temple University.
Senior Policy Advisor for Equity White House COVID-19 Response Team
Dr. Cameron Webb currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for Equity on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Previously, Dr. Webb was an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and Director of Health Policy and Equity at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. A general internist, Dr. Webb has worked clinically in the University's COVID unit since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, he is the founding director of UVA's Health Equity, Law and Policy Research (HELPR) Laboratory and is a core faculty member at the University's Equity Center, an initiative for the redress of inequity through community-engaged scholarship. Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, Dr. Webb spent a year as a 2016 White House Fellow in the Obama-Biden administration's Office of Cabinet Affairs, where he served on the My Brother's Keeper task force and the White House Healthcare team. A born and raised Virginian, Dr. Webb received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, his M.D. from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Board Certified Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon Board Member, Sisters Network, Inc.
A sincere focus on her patients and their needs distinguishes Dr. Camille Cash as an aesthetic plastic surgeon. Her practice is in Houston’s Upper Kirby District and has prospered due to word-of-mouth endorsements from patients and referrals from colleagues who trust and respect her work. While a student at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Cash developed a strong interest in surgery. "I enjoyed being able to heal the body by using my hands." However, it was during rotation in Plastic Surgery during her internship that Dr. Cash found her true calling, "I fell in love with the field instantly. I was not only able to cure disease, but to restore beauty and function. Through Plastic Surgery, I am able to combine artistry and medicine, healing both the body and the spirit."
As a mother of three, Dr. Cash can relate too many of her patients. "Because I am woman, other women often feel more comfortable coming to me to talk about their bodies and their expectations." Dr. Cash has a one-on-one approach that is refreshingly different. She combines competence with compassion. "You have to think of the patient as an individual with specific needs in order to provide exceptional care." Dr. Cash is able to communicate with her patients directly, valuing the personal attention that she gives to all of her patients, whether through preoperative counseling about surgery or direct calls by the surgeon herself.
Board certified in plastic and general surgery, Dr. Cash was the first African American female in the state of Texas with these credentials. She is a member of the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons & the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Cash enjoys mentoring the residents in plastic surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center.
A true understanding of her patients, a keen knowledge of the latest technologies and techniques in the field, and abundant experience enable Dr. Cash to produce the best possible outcomes through surgery. Dr. Cash prides herself on minimizing incisions and scarring to produce the best possible result.
Recognized as an expert in her field, Dr. Cash has been asked to serve as on the Medical Advisory Board for a number of biomedical companies including Neodyne Biosciences, Suneva Medical, and Revance Therapeutics where she has used her knowledge and skill to help successfully launch new medical products.
Dr. Cash performs a myriad of procedures and has extensive experience in breast augmentations, lifts, reductions, and reconstructions, mommy makeovers, liposuction, body contouring surgery, as well as facial rejuvenation through the use of surgery, soft tissue fillers and Botox.
Dr. Cash is active in the Houston community, as well. She is an active member in her church and also devotes a large part of her time to non-profit organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. Her appointment to the Board of Directors for the Sisters Network, Inc., will allow her to raise awareness of the methods and availability of breast reconstruction in the underserved minority community and to help all affected parties and their families take advantage of this aspect of cancer survivorship.
Dr. Cash is married to Roderick “Chris” Lowe and they have three children, Lauren Shelby, Kennedy Camille, and Christopher Delano Lowe.
Deputy Associate Director for Science Office of Minority Health & Health Equity Centers for Disease Control
Jeffrey E. Hall, Ph.D., MA, MSPH serves as the Deputy Director, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) and the Chief, Minority Health and Health Equity (MHHE) team, for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with key involvement in substantive health matters and in health policy and program development. In this position Dr. Hall assures consideration of the Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity (ADMHHE) views in all assignments and assists the Director in performing her duties; leads and directs the development and implementation of a comprehensive minority health equity program, including establishing goals and objectives, instituting CDC-wide policies, programs, and activities and ensuring integration with the Agency’s other research, surveillance, and prevention activities; and provides judgment and advice to the ADMHHE on politically sensitive issues and programs; coordinates major minority health activities; and serves as the principal minority heath liaison for CDC/ATSDR. As a senior member of OMHHE, Dr. Hall also assures that the Agency’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity aims to accelerate CDC’s health impact in the U.S. population and to eliminate health disparities.
Dr. Hall joined OMHHE in 2016 as Deputy Associate Director for Science and has served as both Science Team Lead for the Minority Health and Health Equity unit and Deputy Associate Director for. He worked collaboratively and provided leadership across a number of OMHHE priorities including strategic planning, technical consultation and assistance, refining OMHHE’s health equity framework and grounding concepts and principles, elaborating workforce diversity as a social determinant of health, and measuring and monitoring progress towards health equity, among other contributions.
Prior to joining OMHHE, Dr. Hall was a Lead Behavioral Scientist in the Surveillance Branch of the Division of Violence Prevention in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. In the area of violence of prevention, his professional interests include applications of developmental epidemiology and social psychology within violence prevention, structural and environmental methods for reducing violence-related health disparities, and community-based models for violence surveillance, research, and prevention. His work has focused on topics across the life span, including infant homicide, youth and young adult violence, and elder abuse.
Lastly, Dr. Hall is a medical sociologist by training. He also holds degrees in epidemiology, general sociology, and psychology—all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Hall was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and faculty at Samford University for five years before coming to CDC. He is currently adjunct faculty in UAB’s Department of Sociology.
Board Certified Urologist Founder, Centers for Sexual Medicine in Philadelphia & New York
Dr. Gittens is one of the countries leading specialists in sexual function for men and women, hormone replacement, male infertility and wellness. He is a board certified urologist, fellowship trained specifically in sexual medicine and male infertility. He is also a clinical associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology. He founded the Centers for Sexual Medicine in Philadelphia (formerly Philadelphia Center for Sexual Medicine) – and soon after Centers for Sexual Medicine in New York City- to provide patients a place with expert care, where they can discreetly address their sexual medical concerns without being rushed or waiting hours to see a physician. No waiting for hours to see your physician and accessible office hours.
An expert in the field, Dr. Gittens takes the time to provide an unmatched level of individualized care by listening to his patients and devising personalized treatment plans. Prior to CSM he was an assistant professor of urology and obstetrics and gynecology, and was the director of sexual dysfunction, male fertility and andrology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Where he lectured and advised physicians. He received his postgraduate general surgery and urological surgery training at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Dr. Gittens went on to complete one of the most highly regarded fellowships in sexual and reproductive medicine where he focused on reproductive medicine, sexual dysfunction, hormone replacement and microsurgery.
For men with erectile dysfunction he focuses on allowing them to regain their natural erections and not just treating the symptoms. He also specializes in treating low testosterone, chronic testicular pain, Peyronie’s disease, premature ejaculation and penile rehabilitation after radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy. He also treats men with a history of anabolic steroid use that have problems with infertility, decrease libido and sexual function.
For women, he specializes in female sexual medicine which includes low sexual desire, pain with intercourse and hormone replacement therapy. He also treats women for symptoms of menopause, vaginal dryness and he has a sexual health after cancer program dedicated to women who have been treated for breast cancer or a number of other conditions. Dr. Gittens is one of a small number of physicians using the MonaLisa Touch Laser with great success in treating vaginal atrophy.
Dr. Gittens is an easygoing clinician with a warm, open personality. He is serious about the treatment of sexual health and hormonal problems and believes everyone deserves to live their lives without the fear and anxiety that comes along with sexual dysfunction. Dr. Gittens prides himself on the discreet and personalized care each of his patients receives. He encourages all his patients to be open to starting a journey to better sexual health.
Distinguished ER Physician, Biodefense Expert, Chief Medical Officer & War Veteran
Dr. Daniel B. Fagbuyi, known as “Dr. Dan” by his patients, is a distinguished ER Physician, Biodefense Expert, Chief Medical Officer, War Veteran, Asst. Professor and Media Expert, providing strategic leadership in public health literacy, biodefense, disaster preparedness, emergency management, and business continuity of operations both nationally and internationally. He served as Medical Director for Disaster Preparedness at Children’s National Health System. He was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at The George Washington Univ. School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. at the age of 25.
Dr. Fagbuyi is board certified and one of the first and youngest African Americans appointed by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius (Obama Administration) to the National Biodefense Science Board to provide expert advice and guidance on complex issues of preventing, preparing for, and responding to adverse health effects of public health emergencies. He served as Special Medical Advisor to the FDA Offices of the Commissioner, Pediatric Therapeutics, Counterterrorism & Emerging Threats, on medical countermeasures and drug approvals.
Under the leadership of Gen. David Petraeus, Dr. Fagbuyi (MAJOR) was a unique asset, possessing skills that enabled him to be involved in both combat and civil military operations. He served as an Infantry Man and Battalion Surgeon on the front lines caring for over 800 soldiers (and several hundred Iraqi civilians) while deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 101st Airborne Division—”The Screaming Eagles.” During civil operations, he was appointed “liaison” between the US Army and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, providing health and infrastructure assessments to the US government culminating in the rebuilding of damaged medical treatment facilities and the provision of medical treatments, food, water, and basic human essentials, ultimately winning the “hearts and minds.”
Dr. Dan authored and co-authored various medical literatures and previously delivered expert testimony to the Bi-Partisan committees and congressional leaders on the Hill as needed. As medical expert, Dr. Fagbuyi seeks to empower the public by providing timely, tangible, and easy to digest public health information and education.
He has had appearances in both lay and professional media including: The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX 5, WUSA 9, ABC WJLA 7, Associated Press, Science, Today Show and more.
In his quest to broaden global health security, Dr. Fagbuyi provides expert advice and consultation in the US, Africa, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar. His global footprint continues to expand with his role as CEO of Erudition, LLC.
Physician, Coach, Speaker & Founder, DiverseMedicine, Inc. & Black Men with White Coats Video Series
Dr. Dale Okorodudu was raised in League City, Texas just outside of Houston. He completed both his undergraduate and medical training at the University of Missouri then relocated to Durham, North Carolina were he did his Internal Medicine residency training at Duke University Medical Center. Following his time at Duke, Dr. Okorodudu returned to Texas and completed his Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship here at UT Southwestern Medical Center. His clinical practice is at the Dallas VA Medical Center. Dr. Okorodudu has a passion addressing healthcare disparities which he has done via promoting diversity in the medical workforce. He is the founder of DiverseMedicine Inc. and Black Men In White Coats Video Series. Dr. Okorodudu has a growing interest in health care economics. Outside of medicine, he enjoys spending time with his wife, 3 children, and church family.
Head of Inclusion Strategy & Partnering, Chief Diversity Office at Genentech
Gerren is a clinical pharmacist and award-winning biotechnology enterprise leader who holds a deep understanding of patient care, healthcare disparities, and biotech enterprise leadership from various roles across the healthcare industry. Early in his career, Gerren developed broad clinical pharmacy expertise at Rhode Island Hospital where he practiced both general inpatient and specialized oncology clinical pharmacy services. He later expanded his capacity as a care provider and deepened his commitment to serving diverse populations by transitioning to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, where he managed outpatient ambulatory care clinic services.
Following clinical pharmacy practice, Gerren joined the biopharmaceutical industry 10 years ago to improve patient access to specialized medication and disease outcomes. Since joining Industry, he has held roles of increasing responsibility in Medical Affairs, Managed Care, Marketing, and Government Affairs. Gerren’s industry career began at Genzyme in Medical Affairs, generating publications and supporting oncology medical communications. He later moved to Genentech where he’s held numerous roles of increasing responsibility in managed care strategy, marketing and government affairs. Gerren currently leads Inclusion Strategy & Partnering within Genentech’s Chief Diversity Office. In this role he’s responsible for leading the design and activation of Genentech’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy to fostering belonging, advance inclusive research & health equity, and transforming society. Gerren is the recipient of numerous awards for collaboration, innovation and ability to deliver value to patients. In 2019, Business Insider named him one of the Top 30 leaders under 40 transforming US healthcare.
Gerren contributes time and energy to professional and community organizations on local and national levels. He is a member of the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health System Pharmacists. Gerren is also a 15+ year member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He has held several local officer positions, coordinated fundraisers, organized community outreach and led several youth programs. Gerren received his PharmD from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) and holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College.
Fertility Doctor, Reproductive Endocrinologist & Executive Director, UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Dr. Richard-Davis is a native of south Louisiana, born in Opelousas and grew up in Baton Rouge. She is the Executive Director for the UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is also a tenured Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Division Director for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, as well as Medical Director for the Physician Assistants program. She joined the UAMS faculty in January 2013. She is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She previously served as Professor and Chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Meharry Medical College and Executive Director for Center for Women Health Research (CWHR) from January 2007 – 2012. The CWHR was and remains the only center fully focused on conditions affecting women of color. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Richard-Davis served as the Section Head of Reproductive Health Services for Ochsner Clinic Foundation and the Medical Director of the Fertility Center at Ochsner from 2000-2007 in New Orleans. She was Assistant Dean in Student Affairs and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University School of Medicine from 1994 – 1998.
Dr. Richard-Davis has more than 30 years of experience in women’s health and reproductive endocrinology and in general obstetrics and gynecology. She has served in leadership positions in medical professional societies, including the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). She is an oral board examiner for ABOG. She is recognized nationally as a leader in women’s health serving as a consultant and advisor to many professional organizations and corporations. She is also the recipient of many awards and grants for her research and scholarly activities presented at many national and international meetings.
She recently joined the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UAMS as Executive Director. Throughout her career she has been a fierce supporter and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. Much of her work in research has been focused on conditions that disproportionately affects women of color, such as fibroid. She wrote an early publication highlighting the cultural differences in how women experience menopause and disparities in fertility treatment outcomes, racial physiological differences in uterine fibroids and breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer. She found through ASRM a special interest group on health disparities to highlight those differences and served as Chair the first 4 years. While serving on UAMS medical school admission committee she was keenly aware of the pipeline leaks that occurs with underrepresented minority students at multiple points in the education process. She has been a mentor and advisor to many medical students, residents, health profession and college students.
As a member and officer in the Little Rock Chapter of Links, Inc she serves our underserved communities, specifically communities of color focused on supporting women and children. She has served on many boards focused on disparities such as March of Dimes, Nashville CARES (HIV non-profit) and National Medical Association ob gyn executive committee. She and her husband, Dr. Rodney Davis, have done multiple medical mission trips to eastern and western Africa. They hope to continue this work in retirement.
Urologist, Professor of Medicine and Urology & Director of the Men’s Health Program Meharry Medical College
Dr. Kevin Billups is a Urologist who has dedicated his career to Men’s Health and Sexual Medicine for the past 30 years. His life's goal is to empower men to transform their health and proactively act to prevent chronic medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity) that are major contributors to suffering and early death. To accomplish this goal, he uses sexual medicine (erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency) to engage men into the healthcare system. Dr. Billups believes that sexual health is both a primary driver of behavioral change for men and the foundation to develop a novel clinical practice for Men's Health and treating chronic disease.
Dr. Billups earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and medical degree at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he also completed his residency in Urology at the Brady Urological Institute. He also completed a fellowship in sexual medicine and male infertility at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Dr. Billups is currently a Professor of Medicine & Urology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville TN, where he is also the Director of the Men’s Health Program and works with the COVID-19 vaccination/testing team. Dr. Billups believes that through education you can engage men and empower them to ultimately improve overall health, longevity, performance and quality of life.
Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology, Director of Radiation Oncology & Clinical Trials Leader Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital
Dr. Lannis Hall is Director of Radiation Oncology, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Associate Professor of Clinical Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. Since 2006, Dr. Hall has been a member of the Siteman Cancer Center Program to Eliminate Cancer Disparities Leadership Committee and the Leader of the Clinical Trial Outreach Core. Dr. Hall has been a member of the Disparities Elimination Advisory Committee for Washington University since 2008 and a member of the Siteman Cancer Center Senior Leadership Clinical Research Subcommittee since 2010. She is the Chair of the Cancer Oncology Conference at Barnes-Jewish St Peters and Treasurer of the Medical Executive Committee.
She developed the clinical trials video and brochure used throughout the Siteman Cancer Center and featured on the Clinical Trials Web Page. She helped develop the Health Connections Radio Partnership with Gospel 1600 and 100.3 the Beat, delivering cancer awareness, screening/early detection, and clinical trials information for the Saint Louis Community. She is a founder of the Prostate Cancer Coalition; a group of health care providers, prostate cancer survivors, and community organizations dedicated to raising awareness about prostate cancer in high risk men. She also hosts the The Prostate Cancer Question and Answer Show, a podcast series broadcasted on Gospel 1600 and available on Spreaker, iHeart radio and iTunes. She has a special interest in prostate, breast, head and neck, and lower GI malignancies. She developed the first prostate brachytherapy program in St. Charles County in 2002 and has performed over 1100 brachytherapy procedures.
Clinical Quality Assurance Audit Manager for Global Quality Assurance at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Ms. Linda W. Earland, R.N. is Clinical Quality Assurance Audit Manager for Global Quality Assurance at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with over 30 years of clinical research experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She is patient-focused and committed to addressing health care disparities through community engagement. For over 13 years she has championed efforts to increase diverse population participation in clinical studies and currently serves as the Engagement Lead for Global Demographics and Diversity at GSK. Her passion for this area evolved from her experiences as a registered nurse, two time cancer survivor, clinical study participant and patient advocate. She understands the importance of diverse populations to pursue careers in science, technology and math and recently served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective, a 10 year commitment to increase the number of Black/African American, Latinx and women Philadelphia area students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Ms. Earland received her BSN from Villanova University. She is committed to the principles of health and wellbeing, both in business and in life.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Meharry Medical College
Dr. Lloyda Williamson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College.
She obtained her B.S. in Natural Sciences from Oakwood University and her M.D. degree from Meharry. She completed Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry training at Emory University and is board certified in both specialties. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Williamson has provided clinical services in private practice, community mental health and academic centers, and has taught trainees in multiple disciplines. Her practice approach is holistic. Dr. Williamson’s presentations in community and academic settings include topics regarding spirituality, cultural psychiatry and telepsychiatry. She provides psychiatric services at the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center such as psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluations, opioid maintenance treatment and medication management.
Developmental Pediatrician & Senior Medical Officer Division of Human Development & Disability National Center for Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD, is a Developmental Pediatrician and Senior Medical Officer in the Division of Human Development and Disability in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. She is currently the Disability Lead for the Disproportionately Affected Adult Populations for the CDC COVID-19 response.
Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp was the first African-American student to attend and graduate from Sweet Briar College in VA, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1968. She was the first African-American female to enroll and graduate from the Emory University School of Medicine in 1972. She is board-certified in Pediatrics and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. She is an Assistant (Adjunct) Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, a Life Trustee of Pace Academy, and on the Board of the Sadie G. Mays Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta. She is a member of the Mariette-Roswell Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Dogwood City Chapter of the Links, Inc. and a member of Mt. Paran Church where she has served in various volunteer capacities.
She joined CDC in 1981 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer and completed a Preventive Medicine Residency at CDC in 1984. After coming to CDC, she designed and implemented the first U.S. population-based studies of developmental disabilities among school-aged children. These studies laid the foundation for CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, which has been tracking the number and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities since 2000. Her pioneering work also served as the basis for a CDC epidemiologic research study, the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). She publishes extensively on the epidemiology of developmental disabilities, including autism and cerebral palsy; and speaks to audiences across the country and internationally about CDC’s work. She remains committed to making an impact on the lives of children, no matter their level of ability, and maintained her clinical experience by serving as the Medical Director of the Clayton Early Intervention Program in metropolitan Atlanta until recently.
Multiple Myeloma Advocate & Retired Advanced Practice Nurse and Assistant Professor, College of Nursing Medical University of South Carolina
Dr. Tiffany H. Williams was diagnosis with multiple myeloma in November 2013. Following the myeloma diagnosis, Tiffany retired as an advanced practice nurse and Assistant Professor for the College of Nursing, at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. The life changing treatment and remission process of myeloma led to her transforming her life’s purpose to a myeloma advocate focused on increasing awareness and improving outcomes. The transition from health care professional to cancer survivor and advocate was not easy but oddly seamless, broadening her interest from health disparities affecting children and adolescent’s health to advocating for people living with cancer. She did what came naturally; she became an advocate and speaker, support group leader of two multiple myeloma support groups, and member of multiple patient councils and advocacy boards for organizations and agencies. She is well known for her work on diversity in multiple myeloma and now sits on multiple advisory boards, committees, and patient engagement groups as a patient advocate, and has contributed to published peer-reviewed journal papers. Tiffany believes purpose drives passion and her renewed purpose driven life as a cancer survivor and advocate strengthens her passion for the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities and the disproportionate burden of cancer for African Americans. Knowledge is power, and she is on mission to increase knowledge and empower African Americans and others living with cancer to live their best lives.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Physician & Senior Director of Clinical Research Vir Biotechnology
Dr. David Hong is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician and Senior Director of Clinical Research at Vir Biotechnology where he works to evaluate and develop new treatments for respiratory infections such as COVID-19 and Influenza. He was currently Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) at Stanford University School and Medicine and was the former Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. He is board certified in both Pediatrics and in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Member, Board of Directors NephCure Kidney International
Kevin Mott is an advocate for those living with kidney disease and fights to find a cure and better treatment options. Kevin's own journey with rare kidney disease began in 2002 and a living donor gave him the gift of a new lease on life in 2017. As a board member with NephCure Kidney International, Kevin now speaks with researchers, medical professionals and health care advocates around the world about ways to support patients and families dealing with rare kidney diseases.
Kevin also serves on the board of the Paul W. Caine Foundation and Youth Opportunity United. He has been active with the National Sales Network, the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, the Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni, the Evanston ReBuilding Warehouse, United Way, and the Evanston Community Foundation. He is a past Evanston Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Person of the Year.
Kevin has been a financial advisor since 1992 and has managed an Edward Jones Investments branch in the Evanston, IL area since 1995.
President & CEO Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA)
Beverley Francis-Gibson is President/CEO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) Beverley Francis-Gibson previously served as the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI HC) of Howard County in Columbia, Maryland and has more than 25 years of experience serving non-profits and community foundations. She is on the Board of Directors of the ARM Foundation for Cell and Gene Medicine; member of the Sickle Cell Disease Medical Education and Innovation Steering Committee-Advisory Board; member of the Maryland Statewide Steering Committee on Adults Living with Sickle Cell. Beverley Francis-Gibson is currently a Board Member of the Global Patient Advocacy Advisory Board on Sickle Cell Disease; founding Board Member of the Global Alliance on Sickle Cell Disease Organizations and co-chair of the Governance Committee; a member of the Sickle Cell Disease Coalition and the Sickle Cell Steering Committee. She also serves on the National Minority Quality Forum’s Sickle Cell Disease Working Group, the SCD Patient Survey Steering Committee, oneSCD Voice Engagement Working Group, Emergency Department Sickle Cell Care Coalition, Steering Committee of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Diversity Alliance and the Steering Committee of the Rare Disease Diversity Coalition, and a council member on the Sickle Cell Disease Healthcare Equity Council. She is Past Chair of the Board of Directors of Maryland Nonprofits. She is a 2009 Leadership Premiere Graduate and previous Board member of Leadership Howard County and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Beverley Francis-Gibson is the creator and co-facilitator of “Leadership Conversations” a quarterly gathering of nonprofit Executive Directors who share best practices, network and hear from engaging speakers on various topics. Currently, she mentors Executive Directors through her affiliation with the Association of Community Services.
She has been a dynamic instructor on fundraising, grant writing and philanthropy at Duke University’s Nonprofit Management Program and at the University of Chapel Hill in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, respectively. She has been a popular speaker and webinar presenter at the Maryland Governor’s Conference on Grant Making for several years. She is the recipient of several leadership awards and recently received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for her advocacy efforts.
A native of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Beverley Francis-Gibson holds a B.A. in Public Relations and Communications and an M.A. in Industrial and Community Counseling from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond Kentucky.
Founder MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.
Inspired by her three daughters who battle sickle cell disease, Mapillar Dahn founded MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and provide support to families affected by SCD. Since its inception in November of 2015, the foundation has hosted photo shoots for sickle cell families, sponsored over 100 children battling sickle cell disease to a week-long summer camp, prevented families from being evicted and or getting back vital utilities, hosts its annual kickball tournament to bring awareness to sickle cell disease, hosts awareness step-a-thons, conducts outreach visits to sickle cell patients who were hospitalized, provides educational material for awareness events, provides parking passes and food vouchers for sickle cell families at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, attends health fairs to spread sickle cell awareness, sends birthday presents to sickle cell patients all over the United States, provides financial assistance to families, hosts its annual holiday breakfast and toys giveaway, and more. She has built a very engaged online presence of about 40 thousand users from all over the world and her awareness efforts have reached tens of millions across the globe through television, social media, billboard advertisements, speaking engagements, and more.
Mapillar has served as a Board Member of The American Red Cross Minority Recruitment Advisory Board, a mentor and speaker at Emory University Family Mentor Program, and a strategic partner of The American Society of Clinical Pathology Patient Champions and Lifesouth Community Blood Centers . For her many contributions to the sickle cell community, Mapillar Dahn received the 2016 Woman of Influence by Life Changers Club International, 2017 Game Changer Award by Winning the Battles in Your Mind, 2017 Classy Awards by the Classy Living Society, 2018 Humanitarian of the Year by the Liberian Entertainment Awards, 2018 Sickle Cell Advocate Award by the Lockhart-Morgan Sickle Cell Foundation, 2019 Woman of Honor Award by TNT Entertainment, the 2019 Community Activist Award by Liberian Girls Rock, 2019 Community Activist Award by ATL’s Hottest Special Awards, 2020 Chief Tuazama Legacy Award by the Tuazama Development Initiative, and 2020 District 3 Superwomen Award by Commissioner Felicia Franklin-Warner.
Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Renal Medicine Emory University
Dr. Jason Cobb is an assistant professor of medicine in the Emory University Division of Renal Medicine. Dr. Cobb is a graduate of Morehouse College with a BS in biology. He holds a medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Emory University. He is board-certified in internal medicine and nephrology. He sees patients in nephrology clinic at Emory University Hospital Midtown in the Medical Office Tower seeing patients with nephrology complaints such as chronic kidney disease due to diabetes, hypertension, vascular disease, and glomerulonephritis. Also, Dr. Cobb takes care of hemodialysis patients at Emory Dialysis Greenbriar and Emory Dialysis Northside, and home dialysis patients at Emory Dialysis Northside. He also rounds on inpatient services at Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory University Hospital. Research and teaching interests include quality improvement and nephrology fellow clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital.
CEO TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance
As a Stage 3A Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor/Thriver, Ricki’s personal purpose, passion, mission, ministry and blessing is to bring focus, attention, research 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 web series on the BlackDoctor.org Facebook page that reaches over 2 million viewers. She is a founding member of #BlackDataMatters, in partnership with Breastcancer.org, Ciitizen, The Center for Health Care Innovation, Morehouse School of Medicine and Susan G. Komen Foundation to encourage and elevate the importance of Black Women participating in clinical trial research. In partnership with The Breasties, she founded Breast Cancer United, a global movement garnering the collective strength of over 60 leading breast cancer organizations around the world.
Ricki serves on the Board of Trustees for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation where she spearheads the Marketing Committee and directs multicultural outreach. She is a board member for the Center for Healthcare Innovation, a non-profit research and educational institute making healthcare more equitable. She also serves as an Ambassador and Advisor for the Live Humanly Campaign and works with pharmaceutical companies to provide the patient advocate voice for breast cancer awareness, action, therapy/drug development and advocacy. She writes regularly for the Black press including BlackDoctor.org, Black Health Matters and The Cincinnati Herald. Ricki, with her mom, two daughters and granddaughter are the “poster” family for the Komen 3 Day 60 Mile Walk advertising campaign (https://bit.ly/2vhIaOW). They walk 60 miles annually in San Diego.
Professor and Senior Associate Dean Research, Innovation, and Commercialization Morehouse School of Medicine
James Lillard completed his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the Ohio State University and worked as a product development engineer for IBM. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, where he studied Yersinia “plague” pathogenesis. Dr. Lillard completed post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has worked as an Assistant, Associate, and now Full Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Immunology at Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and completed an Executive MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University with a focus on Biotechnology.
Dr. Lillard was the Smith & Lucille Gibson Endowed Chair in Medicine, Senior Scientist at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and Vice Chair for Research & Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Louisville. Dr. Lillard rejoined MSM’s faculty as Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, & Immunology and Assistant Dean for Research. In July 2011, Dr. Lillard established the Office of Translational Technologies at MSM, where he serves as its Director. Since 2018, he has served as the Program Director of the online MS in Biotechnology program at MSM, which is now ranked #1 out of 139 similar programs by Intelligent.com. He is the Program Director of the online MS in Health Informatics program. Dr. Lillard serves as the Director of the Georgia Research Alliance Ventures Program and Senior Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, and Commercialization at Morehouse School of Medicine. He has helped establish biotech companies and contributed to the formation and commercialization plans of others, as scientific and business advisor and/or founder.
Assistant ProfessorDirector, Neurohospitalist Fellowship ProgramChief, General Neurology Service Memorial Hermann Hospital - TMC
Dr. Shaun Smart attended the University of Miami where he received undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering, Physics and Philosophy while being part of the University of Miami Honors College. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his residency in Neurology at the University of South Florida. Subsequently, he attended Duke University where he completed a 2 year fellowship in Neurophysiology and Epilepsy. He has worked in Miami, Florida at Baptist Hospital as the Assistant Medical Director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and at Palmetto General Hospital as the Medical Director of the Epilepsy division. Dr. Smart is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth where he is neurohospitalist and works closely with the Epilepsy division to expand their continuous EEG program. He is also Co-director of the Neurohospitalist Fellowship Program.
Founder The Confess Project
Born in jail to an incarcerated mother, Lorenzo struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger throughout his youth. At 17, he almost re-entered the system of mass incarceration he had come from. It was then he snapped in and began his journey to wellness.
It started with an education at Arkansas Baptist College and continued with him facing his own emotional challenges, eventually becoming a mental health advocate. Since then, Lorenzo has spoken at numerous venues across the country—from barbershops to universities—exploring themes such as toxic masculinity, therapy taboos, and more. A trained facilitator and speaker, Lorenzo is available for speaking engagements at high schools, colleges and universities, community spaces, and corporate workplaces—anywhere his message will resonate. Most recently, Lorenzo was tapped by Google to equip incoming college STEM students from marginalized communities with the mental health tools they need to thrive.
He is also the recipient of the 2019 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multicultural Outreach Award and Richard E. Tompkins Torch Award from the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference. In addition, Lorenzo was a 2019 finalist for the Echoing Green Fellowship and finalist for Little Rock Regional Chamber’s Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year Award. His work has been widely shared by NAMI, Born This Way Foundation, Watch the Yard, and more. He is an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College.
Former NBA Player President, NBA Retired Players Association (Houston) & Former Vice President NBA Players Association
MAURICE “MO” EVANS, is a seasoned and accomplished highly motivated thought-leader. He is passionate about making difference within his family, businesses, and community. An 11-year veteran of the NBA and FIBA professional basketball organization, he is a former FIBA Champion, MVP, 2X All-Star, and a 9X playoff participant. During his NBA tenure, Mo was a pivotal member of each team and organization with which he played, both on and off of the court. Mo often represented his teams and organizations in the community with outreach to both youth and corporate sponsors. His teams included the LA Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, and the then Eastern Conference Finalist Detroit Pistons who also led the NBA with a league best 64-18 record.
Mo brings a unique blend of sports and business acumen, relationships, and experience related to sports and sports business. Over the past 15 years, Mo has been active as an investor and advisor, in addition to having served in many c-suite capacities for several startups, companies, and charitable organizations. His first-hand experience as a professional athlete, entrepreneur, and businessman has given him a competitive edge, one that he utilizes daily as the Founder and CEO of E.L.O.S. Sports Group. “ELOS” is a global talent agency that provides branding and management services to professional athletes and corporations focused on sports business services. Past clients include: NBA MVP James Harden, Late NBA Champion Kobe Bryant, SPD Bank, Delta Airlines, NBA All Star Gospel Awards, and The Chinese Olympic Boxing team.
Mo currently resides in Houston, Texas, where is a proud husband and father of four. He was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas where he is a member of the Kansas High School Hall of Fame. He was the 1996 and 1997 High School Basketball Player Of The Year, 1996 High School Basketball State Champion, and he was awarded 1997 Kansas Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player Of The Year. As a senior, Evans ranked in the Top 40 players in the nation and was highly recruited by many of the top universities throughout the country. He chose to attend his hometown, Wichita State University, where he is one of only three players in school’s history to have scored more than one thousand points in their first two seasons. He finished Top Ten in the NCAA in scoring as a sophomore along with earning All Missouri Valley Conference Honors. While at Wichita State, he was also a member of the Dean’s List where he held a 3.85 GPA. Maurice transferred to the University of Texas where he was named to the BIG 12 All Newcomer Team, while also leading his team in scoring, steals, three-point percentage and most importantly, a then school record 25 wins and a 2001 NCAA Tournament birth as a 5 seed.
Evans entered the NBA in 2001 as an undrafted free agent. Though he declared for the NBA draft in 2001 after his junior year, he made it a point to complete his degree, and did so in 2011, while still actively playing in the NBA and helping negotiate the NBA collective bargaining agreement. Mo earned his BA in Education from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Not only did Mo have a productive career on the court, he also served 4 years as the Executive Vice President for the NBA Player’s Association. There he gained invaluable experience as a participant and developer of many programs in addition to helping successfully negotiate the 2010-2011 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Professor of Surgery & Surgical Critical Care Grady Memorial Hospital
Dr. Omar K. Danner is a Professor of Surgery and Surgical Critical Care in Atlanta, GA. He is the founder of and Program Director of the renowned Reach One Each One Youth Mentoring and Medical Exposure Program for High School Students in Atlanta, GA. He served as an Attending Trauma Surgeon & Surgical Critical Care Specialist at GMH for over 11 years. He serves as Chair of Health Care 2.0 and the COVID-19 Pandemic Action Group for the 100 BMOA, Inc. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the 100 BMOD.
He is a Healthcare Quality Improvement Expert and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and LSS Facilitator. He is the former Chief of Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital as well as Director of Trauma at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where he served on the faculty for 12 years. He served as President-elect and then President of the MSM Faculty Assembly from 2018 – 2020.
Dr. Danner is now the President & CEO of Danbar for Life, LLC, a bariatric surgery, healthy lifestyle change, and weight management/wellness educational support service and health care analytics consulting firm in Atlanta, GA. He is currently pursuing his EMBA in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where his focus is on healthcare quality and system improvement. He is a Quality Improvement Expert and trained and certified in Lean Six Sigma as a Green Belt (Six Sigma), Purple Belt (Lean), and Orange Belt (Express Work-Out Practitioner and LSS Facilitator) at GMH. He has served as Coach for LSS Projects including Improved Sepsis Identification and Treatment in the ED, Operating Room Turnover and First Case On-time Start Efficiency. He received his LSS in Healthcare Black Belt Certification in 2018 via the hands-on on-site LSS training program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Danner, a native of Birmingham, AL, received his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1995, where he also completed his General Surgery Residency in 2001. He subsequently completed advanced fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma in 2002, where he then served on the surgical faculty as an Attending Trauma Surgeon and Surgical Intensivist from 2002 to 2003 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He next matriculated to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he completed a fellowship in Bariatric Surgery as well as Advanced Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Surgery with an additional focus and concentration in Foregut Surgery, Complex Hernia Repair, and Anti-reflux Surgery from 2003 to 2004. He served as Founder and CEO of Charlotte Bariatrics, LLC as well as Charlotte Comprehensive Weight Management Center & Charlotte Surgical Critical Care, LLC for 4 years from 2004 to 2008. He subsequently joined the Surgical Faculty at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and Grady Memorial Hospital (GMH) in 2009, as an academic trauma and acute care surgeon, surgical critical care specialist, endoscopist and minimally invasive surgeon. While performing clinical and translational research, he was also responsible for training MSM surgical residents and teaching their medical students.
Dr. Danner is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is double-board-certified in Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM) as well as a member of the Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST). He is a member of the Mentoring Committee for the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Prevention Committee for the AAST. He is a member of the Society of University Surgeons (SUS) as well as the Society of Black Academic Surgeons (SBAS). He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Education Committee for the Georgia Society of the American College of Surgeons. His principle clinical and research interests are in Healthcare Quality & Data Analytics, Hospital-based Youth Mentoring and Medical Exposure for High School Student, COVID-19, Sepsis Outcome Improvement using of Predictive Analytics, and Vitamin D Related Research in the Setting of Critical Illness. Dr. Danner is a published author of several manuscripts and abstracts. Dr. Omar K. Danner is a Professor of Surgery and Surgical Critical Care in Atlanta, GA. He is the founder of and Program Director of the renowned Reach One Each One Youth Mentoring and Medical Exposure Program for High School Students in Atlanta, GA. He served as an Attending Trauma Surgeon & Surgical Critical Care Specialist at GMH for over 11 years. He serves as Chair of Health Care 2.0 and the COVID-19 Pandemic Action Group for the 100 BMOA, Inc. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the 100 BMOD. He is a Healthcare Quality Improvement Expert and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and LSS Facilitator. He is the former Chief of Surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital as well as Director of Trauma at the Morehouse School of Medicine, where he served on the faculty for 12 years. He served as President-elect and then President of the MSM Faculty Assembly from 2018 –
Prostate Cancer Advocates
Robert H. Young, Jr. is a 16-year prostate cancer. He was initiated into this Noble Klan in 1975 at the Eta Chi Chapter at the University of Alabama. He is a Kappa Legacy as his uncle and his father were both initiated at the Gamma Epsilon Chapter at Tuskegee and his son followed the Kappa tradition at Tuskegee. Robert is a Life Member and is currently a member of the Birmingham Alumni Chapter. He currently serves as the Scoutreach Director for the Boy Scouts of America in Birmingham, Alabama.
Robert’s prostate cancer journey came as a result from a neck injury on the golf course in September 2004. When he went for treatment, his doctor ran a complete blood test as part of the examination. The results showed an elevated psa of 6 which was above the recommended level. He was referred to a urologist who conducted a biopsy that determined he was in the early stages of prostate cancer. On January 10, 2005, Robert had his prostate removed by the Davinci robotic surgery. Robert is an advocate for early testing and education about detection and treatment for prostate cancer among African American men. Robert can be contacted at KappaBob1975@gmail.com.
Board of Directors, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) Division Director for Adolescent Medicine University of Alabama Birmingham
Tamera Coyne-Beasley, MD, MPH, serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). She is the Derrol Dawkins, MD Endowed Chair in Adolescent Medicine, the Division Director for Adolescent Medicine at the University of Alabama Birmingham and Children’s of Alabama, the Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Community Engagement, and Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. As a vaccine researcher, she has served on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Her areas of expertise and training include adolescent medicine, preventive medicine, epidemiology, public health, vaccinology and health disparities. Dr. Coyne-Beasley is also a past president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, the largest international, multidisciplinary organization of providers serving adolescents and young adults.
Poet, Editor, National Speaker & AuthorBoosting Joy: In the Grips of My Alzheimer’s Caregiver Journey
A writer all her life, Eunice is an author, poet, editor and national speaker. Her fifth book, Boosting Joy: In the Grips of My Alzheimer’s Caregiver Journey, was published in March, 2021. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a daunting task. Getting the most out of caregiving, while taking care of a loved one, is a challenge. When that loved one is a spouse, the tasks are doubly daunting, magnified over and over again. This book offers insights on how to reclaim and get more joy from the caregiver love journey. Its purpose is to share, to educate, and to offer joy and hope to those still on the battlefield.
She is the author of four other books: Mashed Potatoes in My Salad: An Alzheimer’s Caregiver Memoir; My Own Story; From Kibler’s Bridge to Miller Road: 65 Years of Christian Service in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and Instant Church: My Millennium Musings (selected poems). She has edited an inspirational book, Mothers of Hope, has been a guest blog writer for the Alzheimer’s Association, and has done a caregiver podcast.
In her spare time, Eunice chases that elusive little white ball, honing her golf skills. Born in Ohio and raised in northern West Virginia, Eunice lives near Atlanta, Georgia. She has three children and three grandchildren and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Prior to retirement, Eunice was a five-time award winning supplier diversity officer at a Fortune 500 company, leading diversity strategies in both purchasing and workforce environments.
Her body of work can be viewed on www.eunicelsykes.com ; her email address is email@example.com.
Head, Strategic PartnershipsJanssen North America Pharmaceuticals
Bill Whyte is currently Head, Janssen North America Pharmaceuticals, Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Bill is responsible for identifying and developing strategic alliances with external partners to deliver commercial capabilities in support of the entire North America Pharmaceuticals portfolio. Bill has an outstanding track record of success with Johnson & Johnson. He has over 25 years of experience across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer sectors progressing through numerous senior level domestic and international roles. Bill has also spent considerable time in Janssen’s Oncology therapeutic area.
Bill is also passionate about giving back to his community. He is a board member of New Jersey Tennis and Learning Association, a USTA sponsored national organization which seeks to expose underserved youth to STEM education through the game of tennis. Bill has also severed as board member of the American Cancer Society.
Bill is a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; he was initiated at the Beta Psi Chapter (Kansas State University). Bill has held numerous leadership roles within the fraternity including serving as the Senior Vice Province Polemarch of the Middle Western Province. He is currently an active member of the Trenton Alumni Chapter in Trenton, New Jersey and leads the chapter’s community healthcare initiatives. Bill and his wife Kathleen, have two daughters, Alexandria, a recent graduate of Hampton University and Lauren, a sophomore at New York University. They reside in Yardley, Pa.