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


Community Health Disparities in Elimination of Social Determinants of Health

  • Founder and Executive Director, VSNS, Inc.

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

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

Evonne R Perdue

Member and Secretary, CE Community Steering Board

Community Engagement

Evonne has been a business woman in the greater Atlanta area for many years. Her business ventures include a child care center, print shop and presently a partnership since 1985 in a beauty/ barber salon. Evonne is passionate about volunteering, beginning as a teen working in her neighborhood, church and school. She joined the American Business Women's Association over 30 years ago. She is Director of the "Weight Loss =Equal= Health Gain" Challenge, a community-based nutrition, exercise and life changing program designed to meet the emerging needs in the community, specifically public health and social issues of obesity and unhealthy eating/lifestyle habits from a domestic perspective.

Her volunteer experience includes:volunteer facilitator/lead support group instructor at CHHC Overcomer's Ministry; (prepared group meetings weekly and directed class in sharing and going forth in family aide to addicted family member); a past Alternate Atlanta Planning Advisory Board Member for NPU-Z; Thomasville Community Development Corporation Secretary; Thomasville Heights Community Association member; Satcher Community Health Leadership Institute graduate.

Tabia Henry Akintobi, PhD, MPH

Director, Community Engagement

Community Engagement / Morehouse School of Medicine

  • Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Associate Dean of Community Engagement
  • Director of Evaluation and Institutional Assessment

As Principal Investigator of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center Dr. Henry Akintobi demonstrates leadership in local, national and global community-based participatory approaches and research addressing health disparities. Her public health leadership is also evident through appointments to national taskforces designed to shape the science and practice of effective community-based participatory and translational research and collaborations bridging the gaps between basic, clinical and community-based stakeholders to address disparities and advance health equity. Her research and public health interests in maternal and child health, diabetes and cardiovascular risk reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention are guided by training in public health social epidemiology, social marketing and community based participatory research and evaluation.

Jill Hamilton, RN, PhD, FAAN


Community Engagement / 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. 

Omer T. Inan, PhD

Liaison and Collaborator

Community Engagement / 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 2006, 2009, and 2015, respectively. He joined ALZA Corporation (a Johnson and Johnson Company) in 2006, where he designed micropower circuits for iontophoretic drug delivery. 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. Since 2013, Omer is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also an adjunct assistant Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research focuses on non-invasive physiologic sensing and modulation for human health and performance, including for chronic disease management, acute musculoskeletal injury recovery, and pediatric care.

He is an associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, associate editor for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference and the IEEE Biomedical and Health Informatics Conference, invited member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Translational Engineering for Healthcare Innovation and the IEEE Technical Committee on Cardiopulmonary Systems, and Technical Program Committee member or Track Chair for several other major international biomedical engineering conferences. 

Dwight Curry Anderson, BA


Community Engagement

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

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

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

Karen Russell


Community Engagement / Women's Health Program, Fulton County Health Department

  • Health Coordinator

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

Nikki Randall


Community Engagement

Nikki T. Randall was born and raised in Macon Georgia, the youngest of five children born to the Honorable William C. and Lauretta Fults Randall. She attended Bibb County Public Schools and is a graduate of Tennessee State University in Nashville TN, where she received a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, she also holds a Masters of Public Health from Mercer University School of Medicine.

Ms. Randall, a third generation elected official, made history in 1999 by becoming the first African American female to be elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Middle Georgia. She retired from the Georgia General Assembly in December 2016. She currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Community Outreach and Civic Engagement at Navicent Health. Ms. Randall serves on the boards of the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, and Crisis Line Safe House of Middle Georgia.

Abigail "Abby" Cox


Community Engagement / Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services

  • Director

Abigail (Abby) Cox is the Director of the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services (DAS). In this capacity she administers a statewide system of services for older adults, their families and caregivers. She works closely with other aging agencies and organizations to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of elderly Georgians. DAS meets the challenge of Georgia's growing older population through continued service improvement and innovation.

Before beginning her work with DAS, Abby was the Executive Director of the Georgia Gerontology Society (GGS), which is the largest state organization of multidisciplinary professionals in the field of aging. Abby began her career in Gerontology in 2005 with the Georgia Division of Aging Services. She has also worked with Care Improvement Plus as a Medical Social Worker and at the Georgia Council on Aging as an advocate at the State Capitol on behalf of aging issues.

Lisa Carhuff


Community Engagement / State of Georgia Department of Community Health, State Office of Rural Health

  • Director
Lisa Carhiff is responsible for budgetary planning and oversight of $7 million-dollar hospital services department budget. She provides program development, implementation and oversight for thirty-two federal and state grant programs including; the Health Resources and Services Administration Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) Grant and the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Grant. The hospital services department currently manages concept development and implementation of additional State Office of Rural Health State funding grants, and ongoing technical assistance to Georgia's 62 rural and critical access hospitals. Currently, she serves as project manager for Governor's Rural Hospital Stabilization Project: a $3 million-dollar multi-year grant program focused on strengthening rural healthcare access.

Debra Nesbit


Community Engagement / Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG)

  • Associate Legislative Director

Debra Nesbit is the Associate Legislative Director at ACCG. In this role she is heavily involved in policy work in the health and human services and criminal justice arenas of county government. She is the point person on these issues with the legislature, state agencies and organizations involved in these areas. Debra has been with ACCG for nine years.

Before joining ACCG, Debra was the Deputy Director of the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts, where she was responsible for budget, trial court and legislative liaison, as well day to day management of the agency. Prior to that Debra was a Program Manager with the Department of Human Services, MH/MR/SA Division and worked in the mental health and substance abuse provider licensing and oversight duties. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. She has over thirty years of experience in the policy area of health and human services and court administration.

Teresa R. Jacobs, MD, FAAFP


Community Engagement / Oakhurst Medical Centers, Inc.

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

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

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

Neena K. Smith-Bankhead, MS


Community Engagement / AID Atlanta, Inc.

  • Emory University CFAR

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

Throughout her career, Neena has presented numerous workshops, trainings, and presentations nationally focused on prevention and care, program evaluation, and healthcare provision for underserved populations. Although most of her work has centered on HIV and STDs, Neena also gained substantive experience working on issues including other chronic health conditions, homelessness, mental health, and human sexuality. Neena has also provided technical assistance and support to organizations through consultancies for grant writing, organizational and program development (including faith-based initiatives), and program evaluation. 

Darrell Sabbs


Community Engagement / Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH)

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

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


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

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