Community Academic Leadership Committee
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
Michelle C. Kegler, DrPH, MPH
Co-Director, Community Engagement
- Director, Intervention Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Shared Resource, Winship Cancer Institute
- Co-Director, HERCULES Community Outreach and Engagement Core
- Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health
Michelle C. Kegler is a professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is also director of the Emory Prevention Research Center which focuses on cancer prevention in rural Georgia. She received her doctorate in health behavior and health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Masters in public health from the University of Michigan.
Michelle's general research interests are community-based approaches to prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases, particularly those that use a collaborative model. She is particularly interested in tobacco control, obesity prevention, and program evaluation. She recently completed an intervention study that used coaches to improve the home environment to be more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating in rural communities. This project, called Healthy Homes/Healthy Families, was conducted in collaboration with the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia, and was developed using a community-based participatory approach. The intervention is currently being adapted for delivery by a range of partners. She is PI on several other projects including a U01 from the National Cancer Institute to develop and disseminate a smoke-free homes intervention as part of NCI's State and Community Tobacco Control Research program. She is also co-director of the community outreach and education core for Emory's new environmental health center called HERCULES.
Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, RN
- 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
- 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
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.
Harry J. Heiman, MD, MPH
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
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
- 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
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.
Khuyen Tina Nguyen, MPH
BPSOS Representative, CERP Community Steering Board
- Health Awareness & Prevention Program Coordinator, BPSOS-Atlanta, Inc.
Tina Nguyen oversees the Health Awareness & Prevention Program (HAPP) at BPSOS-Atlanta, Inc. Her work focuses on reducing high cancer incidence and related morbidity suffered by Vietnamese-Americans through education and information, referral and navigation of services, and improving community capacity to address emerging health issues. As a first generation Vietnamese American, Ms. Nguyen is aware of the health disparities and difficulties many Vietnamese Americans and immigrants struggle with. Her work focuses on improving access to healthcare services and promoting preventive health behaviors among the Vietnamese and Asian American communities.
Tina obtained a Bachelor of Arts in asian studies from Sewanee: The University of the South and a Master in Public Health in healthcare administration from East Tennessee State University. Her research interests are in health disparities, prescription drug abuse and misuse, quality improvement, and health information technology utilization. She has published in Frontiers in the field of public health services and systems research, and she is a member of the East Tennessee State University Prescription Drugs Abuse/Misuse Working Group.
Winifred W. Thompson, PhD, MSW
Co-Coordinator, Community Engagement
- 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
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 has served as Principal 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.
Elleen is a licensed counseling psychologist and behavioral scientist with extensive years of experience in community-based participatory research, program evaluation, clinical treatment, and behavior change. 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.