Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH

Director, Community Engagement

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Director, Prevention Research Center
  • Director, Evaluation and Institutional Assessment
  • Associate Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, RN

Committee Member

Emory University

  • Assistant Research Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and graduated with honors from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Nursing. Her research interests include cardiovascular health promotion, immigrant health, population health, and impact of acculturation on cardiovascular health. Her career goal is to reduce cardiovascular health inequities in African-descent populations through community-engaged research. She was recently a research associate at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with the Office of Science and Innovation.

Yvonne was the principal investigator of the Afro-Cardiac Study, a cross-sectional epidemiological study which examined the association between acculturation and cardiovascular disease risk in West African (Ghanaian and Nigerian-born) immigrants residing in the Baltimore-Washington, DC metropolitan area. She is currently interested in examining the cardiometabolic health of African immigrants residing in the Atlanta metropolitan area and establishing community-based programs to improve the cardiometabolic health of the growing African immigrant population. She teaches biostatistics and population health at the Emory School of Nursing to undergraduate students. She is a member of the American Heart Association, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and serves as a peer-reviewer for various journals related to ethnicity, cardiovascular health, and public health.

Ralph DiClemente, PhD

Committee Member

Emory University

  • Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Professor, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology, and Immunology; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; and Department of Psychiatry
  • Associate Director, Emory Center for AIDS Research

Ralph DiClemente is a member of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council and has served as a member of the CDC Board of Scientific Counselors and the National Institute of Mental Advisory Council. He has published extensively in the area of HIV/STD prevention, particularly among African-American adolescents and young adults. He is the author of six CDC-defined evidence based HIV interventions that are currently being disseminated nationally. He is the author of more than 500 peer review publications, 225 book chapters, and has authored or edited 18 books.

Katherine Erwin, DDS, MPA, MSCR

Co-Coordinator, Community Engagement

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • PI and Program Director, AHEC Point of Service Program
  • Assistant Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine
Katherine Erwin serves as the manager of the Georgia CTSA's Community Engagement program. In addition, she is course director for the Faculty Development Grant Writing Course.

She has 12 years of experience of serving as a peer reviewer and chairperson for numerous peer reviews for various bureaus and divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health.

Katherine earned her doctorate in dental surgery at Howard University School of Dentistry in Washington DC. She has two Master Degrees, a Master in Public Administration from Cleveland State University located in Cleveland, OH and a Master of Science in Clinical Research from Morehouse School of Medicine. She is a member of the National Dental Association, the Georgia Northeast Dental Society, and Georgia’s Oral Health Coalition. Her research interests are oral cancer and cigar use among individuals 18-25 years of age.

Jill Hamilton, RN, PhD, FAAN

Committee Member

Emory University

  • Associate Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Jill Hamilton earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BS in Accounting from North Carolina Central University, and postdoctoral training in the nursing care of older adults at the Oregon Health & Science University. She previously held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was tenured associate professor.

Her research interests include health disparities, social and cultural factors that influence health, and the coping strategies used among older African American cancer survivors and their families. She has developed measures of coping and spirituality and has conducted research to examine ways sociocultural factors influence how older African Americans use social support and spirituality. She is published on topics related to social support, religiosity, spirituality, and quality of life among African Americans with life-threatening illness. She has done original research on the effects of religious songs and verses from scripture on coping with stress among older and younger African Americans which is published in the Journal of Religion and Health, the Gerontologist, and Nursing Research. Her research on the use of religious songs to alleviate psychological distress when diagnosed with cancer is published in Cancer Nursing.

She was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar from 2003-2007 and a member of the 2014 Class of the UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. She is currently a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Faculty Scholar of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, & Health at Duke University. She was the recipient of the 2011 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Publishing’s Division Award for Excellence in Writing Qualitative Research and her work on religious songs was featured in the November 2012 Thanksgiving edition of Good Housekeeping magazine. 

Harry J. Heiman, MD, MPH

Committee Member

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Director, Health Policy, Satcher Health Leadership Institute
  • Assistant Professor, Family Medicine

Harry Heiman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, with over 20 years of clinical practice experience. He joined Morehouse School of Medicine in 2009, where he directs a post-doctoral health policy fellowship program and teaches medical students, residents, public health, and pharmacy students. He received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and his master's in public health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. From September 2012 to August 2013, Harry was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow in Washington, DC and served on committee staff for the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives under Ranking Member Henry Waxman.

His areas of interest and expertise include health policy, health disparities and health equity, and health system transformation. In July 2014, he was appointed to the Southeastern Health Equity Council, one of 10 regional health equity councils in the U.S. formed as part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. He is the Past Board Chair of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a state-wide consumer health advocacy organization.

Omer T. Inan, PhD

Committee Member

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Assistant Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Omer T. Inan received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, in 2004, 2005, and 2009, respectively. He joined ALZA Corporation (a Johnson and Johnson Company) in 2006 as an engineering intern in the Drug Device Research and Development Group, where he designed micropower, high efficiency circuits for iontophoretic drug delivery, and researched options for closed-loop drug delivery systems. In 2007, he joined Countryman Associates, Inc., Menlo Park, CA where he was chief engineer, involved in designing and developing high-end professional audio circuits and systems. From 2009-2013, he was also a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University. He joined Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013.

His research interests focus on non-invasive physiologic monitoring for human health and performance, and applying novel sensing systems to chronic disease management and pediatric care. He is an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, and for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference. He has published more than 45 technical articles in peer-reviewed international journals and conferences, and has two issued and three pending patents. His group's research is currently funded by DARPA (DoD), NIH, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Texas Instruments. Omer received the Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship (Stanford University) in 2008-2009 for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service. He received the NASA Ames Research Center Tech Briefs Award in 2011. He is a three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American in the discus throw and a former co-captain of the Stanford University Track and Field Team.

Melissa Kottke, MD, MPH, MBA

Committee Member

Emory University

  • Associate Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics
  • Director, Jane Fonda Center
  • Medical Director, Teen Services Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital

Melissa Kottke completed a Fellowship in Family Planning and Contraception and is currently the medical director of the Teen Services Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital. This clinic receives Title X funding to support its clinical care, and also has a large outreach educational component involving both adult and youth health educators. She is the director of the Jane Fonda Center at Emory, which is involved in research and program development focused on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Current areas of research include sexuality education, dual protection, dating violence prevention, and contraception for teens. She also serves as the medical consultant for the State of Georgia's Family Planning Program.

Priscilla E. Pemu, MD, MS, FACP

Committee Member

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Medical Director, Clinical Resesarch Center
  • Medical Director, Community Physicians' Network

Priscilla E. Pemu is the medical director of the Community Physicians' Network, an academic-community partnership that is recognized by the AHRQ as a Practice Based Research Network. She is engaged in direct patient care, research, undergraduate, graduate, and resident preceptorship and didactic teaching. Her research enquiry is broadly aimed at improving health outcomes of African-American women and other underserved populations. Specifically, she pursues research that seeks to:

  • Understand the mechanistic basis of vascular dysfunction among obese insulin resistant but non-diabetic African-American women.
  • Improve outcomes of patients with chronic disease by improving self-management skills using a patented web/mobile application, e-HealthyStrides.

She serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of the Morehouse School of Medicine's R-Center Community Based Research Core; Co-PI of the Health Information Technology Implementation arm of the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center on health disparities; and Chair of the Research and Education Committee of the Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization-Educational System (MCACO-ES), a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Her efforts are designed to improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic disease by addressing the gaps between primary care and population health. The development and testing of patient facing technologies that enhance health literacy and the interaction between patient and primary care provider is aligned with this overall goal. Developing and testing approaches that enhance care coordination to improve chronic disease outcomes also aligns with her goals. She has demonstrated sustained collaboration with institutional, local, and national leaders seeking to facilitate effective translation of research between academic institutions and real world clinical practice.

Priscilla E. Pemu, MD, MS, FACP

Committee Member

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Medical Director, Clinical Resesarch Center
  • Medical Director, Community Physicians' Network

Priscilla E. Pemu is the medical director of the Community Physicians' Network, an academic-community partnership that is recognized by the AHRQ as a Practice Based Research Network. She is engaged in direct patient care, research, undergraduate, graduate, and resident preceptorship and didactic teaching. Her research enquiry is broadly aimed at improving health outcomes of African-American women and other underserved populations. Specifically, she pursues research that seeks to:

  • Understand the mechanistic basis of vascular dysfunction among obese insulin resistant but non-diabetic African-American women.
  • Improve outcomes of patients with chronic disease by improving self-management skills using a patented web/mobile application, e-HealthyStrides.

She serves as Principal Investigator (PI) of the Morehouse School of Medicine's R-Center Community Based Research Core; Co-PI of the Health Information Technology Implementation arm of the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center on health disparities; and Chair of the Research and Education Committee of the Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization-Educational System (MCACO-ES), a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Her efforts are designed to improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic disease by addressing the gaps between primary care and population health. The development and testing of patient facing technologies that enhance health literacy and the interaction between patient and primary care provider is aligned with this overall goal. Developing and testing approaches that enhance care coordination to improve chronic disease outcomes also aligns with her goals. She has demonstrated sustained collaboration with institutional, local, and national leaders seeking to facilitate effective translation of research between academic institutions and real world clinical practice.

Herman A. Taylor, Jr. MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA

Advisor

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Endowed Professor and Director, Cardiovascular Research Institute
Herman Taylor is an endowed professor and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and a nationally recognized cardiologist with broad experience in invasive practice/research. His current research predominantly focuses on preventive cardiology, and his teaching is aimed at building research capacity at minority-serving institutions and enhancing the health of minority communities through research and health activism at the community level. Over the past decade, Taylor held the position of principal investigator and director of the landmark Jackson Heart Study, the largest community-based study of cardiovascular disease among African Americans, funded by National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. His extensive experience in epidemiological observation has led him to a deeper appreciation of the urgency of community-level intervention as a priority, as well as a keen interest in broadening the diversity of disciplines and scientists focused on the problem of health disparities nationally and globally. A graduate of Princeton University, Taylor earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, trained in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Winifred W. Thompson, PhD, MSW

Co-Coordinator, Community Engagement

Emory University

  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health

Winifred Wilkins Thompson is the Principal Investigator of the Avon Foundation Community Education and Outreach Initiative Patient Navigation Program, the Health Needs Assessment of Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients and Healthcare Providers at Grady Health System, and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research & Education Cancer Survivorship Connection Website Process Evaluation. She is past Principal Investigator of the Georgia Cancer Coalition Strengthening Bridges Program for Breast and Cervical Cancer Survivorship, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Expanding Patient Navigation to Facilitate Breast Cancer Patients’ Multimodal Treatment Recommendations, the You First! Workplace Wellness Campaign to promote breast cancer screening at Grady Health System, and the Georgia Statewide Cancer Patient Navigation Training. She is co-investigator of the Prospective Surveillance Model for Physical Rehabilitation for Women with Breast Cancer Program and the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute's Community Engagement Research Program.

Winifred earned a PhD from the University of South Carolina (USC) in health promotion, education, and behavior. She earned a graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies/Women’s Health also from the USC. She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia, where she also completed her Bachelor of Science degree in educational psychology. Winifred teaches Research Design and Grant Writing for the Executive Master of Public Health Program and Community Engagement and Health Disparities in Clinical and Translational Research for the ACTSI Master of Science in Clinical Research program. She teaches the Special Topics in Health Disparities and Community Needs Assessment courses for the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Department. Her research interests include investigating the social (socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental) determinants of health in conjunction with how psychosocial and spiritual factors contribute to a woman’s health and wellness. Secondly, she is interested in investigating how lay patient navigation contributes to early screenings, treatment adherence, and quality of life post treatment. Areas of research interest include breast and gynecologic health/cancers, maternal and child health, holistic health, and community health development.

Elleen Yancey, PhD

Committee Member

Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Director Emeritus, Prevention Research Center

Elleen M. Yancey, PhD is associate clinical professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She is Director Emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center. Yancey has served as principal Investigator and co-principal investigator on HIV/AIDS prevention research grants addressing health disparities and as key investigator on other community-based prevention research, health-care related projects such as stroke and cardiovascular disease prevention, and community engaged translational research. She teaches graduate students and healthcare professionals in areas such as community engaged translational research, cultural competence, and qualitative program evaluation and provides integrated behavioral healthcare services to patients at Morehouse Healthcare. Yancey is a licensed counseling psychologist and behavioral scientist. Prior to joining the Morehouse School of Medicine faculty in 1996, she served as Director of the Fulton County Department of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Disorders where she oversaw the implementation of these services for the citizens of Fulton County, Georgia.