LA CaTS Cores & Resources

Community Advisory Boards


Baton Rouge

Myra Collins, LPN

Myra Collins is the new marketing manager for the Capitol Area Family Health Center. Her specialty areas are community outreach, resource development, program management, and public relations. Prior to this position, she was the business development and community outreach specialist for the Baton Rouge General. While there, she wasa key contributor to the increase in medical, senior, and community outreach initiatives, resulting in greater visibility, programming, and recruitment for the Baton Rouge General. In addition, Myra has an extensive background in a variety of healthcare roles including Earl K. Long Hospital nurse, Medicaid Prior-Authorization Nurse at Unisys Corporation, and Physician Liaison at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. She was appointed by Governor Jindal to the State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners, elected chairman, and presently serves as hearing officer directing all regulatory and disciplinary matters. Myra is an active volunteer in numerous community organizations including American Heart Association, Together Baton Rouge, MDA, Mid-City Merchants Board, and AARP Advisory Transportation Committee.

Gerrelda Davis, MBA

Gerrelda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Louisiana State University, and her Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in health care management from the University of Phoenix. She worked for Louisiana state government for 22 years, serving in numerous positions where she worked to identify and pursue opportunities for increased access and funding for primary care and rural health initiatives. Currently, she serves as the executive director of the Louisiana Primary Care Association, which promotes health care access for all and elimination of health disparities while ensuring that community health centers remain viable providers of primary health care throughout the state, and resolute partners in comprehensive health care delivery systems.

Mimi Heintz, RN

Mimi Heintz received a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Louisiana State University and a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Loyola University. Her nursing experience includes critical care, coronary care and rehab, school nursing and nurse care management. Her work as RN Care Manager for a SAMHSA grant for integration of primary care and behavioral health has inspired a passion for ameliorating chronic illness, improving access to care, and promoting wellness. Mrs. Heintz is a member and former Nursing Chair of the Louisiana Public Health Association. She is a Louisiana Master Gardener (LMG) and Louisiana Master Naturalist (LMN) and enjoys working with the LSU Ag Center in their collaborative efforts with LMG and LMN to serve our community.

Addie E. Hester, BS, M.Ed.

Addie E. Hester is a native of North Carolina and a retired educator in early childhood education and special education. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from North Carolina A & T State University and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Louisiana State University (LSU). Addie's professional career has spanned more than four decades while being employed primarily with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System and the Louisiana Department of Education. Mrs. Hester has had an on-going affiliation with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) since the late1990's. She served as a former Institution Review Board (IRB) Advisory Board Community Representative and over the years she has been a participant in more than a dozen clinical research studies at PBRC. She is also active with her church and community, a full-time wife, mother and grandmother; all of which continues to be the anchor of her life.

Cheri Johnson, RNC-OB, BSN

Cheri Johnson, RNC-OB, BSN, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Texas State A&M University. She has over 25 years of nursing experience in Labor and Delivery, Intensive Care, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care and Emergency Room Care as well as the management of women's services. She is the Vice President of Perinatal Services at one of the largest women's specialty hospitals in the country, Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge, La. Woman's delivers more than 8,500 babies each year, making it the 16th largest delivery service in the nation and the largest in Louisiana. Johnson oversees Woman's Labor and Delivery unit, Antepartum/Medical Obstetrical unit, Mother/Baby and Lactation unit, Adult Intensive Care unit, and Assessment Center, which facilitates over 17,000 annual visits.

Victor C. Kirk, M. Ed.

Mr. Kirk is a well-established member of the health care community. His experience in primary care emanates from well over 20 years as a member of the senior management and program staff of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Direct operation of primary care centers followed his employment as Program Manager of Community Development for the Louisiana Primary Care Association. The initial foray into primary care health center management occurred as a member of the senior executive leadership team of medium sized FQHC facilities in Lake Charles and Alexandria, Louisiana. He was subsequently appointed to Chief Executive Officer of the Rapides Primary Healthcare Center in Alexandria and enjoyed nearly 6 years of success inclusive of removing the organization from an at-risk status with continuation funding uncertain, to a thriving organization with a budget of $3.5 million and a patient base that grew from slightly more than 3,000 to a present 7,700. After relocating to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mr. Kirk was shortly thereafter, appointed CEO of the St. Gabriel Health Center, Inc.

Twanda Lewis, M.Ed.

Twanda Lewis is the owner of Laurant-Lewis Consultancy LLC, a consultant firm that is is committed to utilizing best practices and a collective impact framework to work with various organizations, investors and communities to assist them in delivering results and improving the quality of their outcomes. Twanda has over 20 years of experience working in the area of human services, project/program management, grantmaking and organizational capacity building, locally and internationally. Utilizing her capacity building skills, she has engaged diverse groups of local, state and regional organizations and advised them on developing sustainable programs that are beneficial and impactful, as well as, facilitated the development of strategic partnerships and collaboratives. She has lived and worked with government, private and nonprofit agencies in Africa and Europe that addressed the needs of expatriates, permanent residents and citizens of foreign countries. She is a graduate of Southern University, where she earned a MEd in Behavioral Studies.

Sidni Lloyd-Shorter, BA

Sidni Lloyd-Shorter is the Deputy Director of the Louisiana Housing Alliance. A Baton Rouge native, has over her 30 year career held positions with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia and as Station Chairman for the largest American Red Cross in the world, located at Ft. Bragg, NC - including Camp Sinai in the Middle East, Pope Air Force Base and Camp Lejuene, NC. Sidni has served as Project Manager for a large faith-based organization in North Carolina for several community development projects. She has also spent time in Washington, DC as a government contractor in grant and contract administration, project management and human resources. Shortly after returning to Baton Rouge, Sidni joined Hurricane Katrina relief efforts working with the City of Baton Rouge in the National Emergency Grant program. Later she entered Louisiana's newly formed digital media industry as Director of Business Development and Human Resources with Nerjyzed Entertainment. After completion of her education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Sidni also earned a certification in Grant Writing and Administration from Virginia Union University.

Marla Y. Newman, JD

Marla Newman is the CEO of Blueprints Consulting, an urban planning and community development firm. She is a results-oriented community development leader with nearly 20 years of extensive stakeholder engagement, neighborhood planning and housing policy experience in supporting the creation of healthy, vibrant and equitable communities. Marla is passionate about and committed to building equitable collaborative processes which bring together policymakers, community stakeholders and, most importantly, the residents of neighborhoods most impacted. Marla is an ardent advocate of designing creative and practical solutions for community revitalization which prioritize people over the physical places undergoing change. Marla holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law, and Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. She is licensed to practice law in Missouri, Texas, and Alabama, is certified by the National Development Council in Economic Development Finance and Housing Development Finance, and is a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute. Marla serves on the Board of Directors for the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations. She is a former member of the Board of Commissioners with the Capital Area Transit System (Baton Rouge), and a 2011 Fellow of the Louisiana Effective Leadership Program.

D'Andra Bradford Odom, MPA

D'Andra Bradford Odom is the Minority Outreach Director for the Southeast Louisiana Health Education Center. She also serves as the liaison for the Louisiana Bureau of Minority Health Access. D'Andra has worked in public health for over six years and has over ten years of public policy experience. Mrs. Odom's primary focus is in chronic disease, health disparities, and food access. Her research interests are in the areas of food tourism, childhood obesity, and minority health. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Grambling State University in Grambling, LA and a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Policy from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. Mrs. Odom has a strong passion for policy and social justice and welcomes the opportunity to share her passion with others. When she is not working in public health and policy she enjoys spending time with her husband (Brandon) and children (Josiah and Corrinne), traveling, dining, reading, entertaining family and friends, and running the family catering business.

Philip Quartararo, Jr, Ph.D

Professor Quartararo received his Undergraduate Degree in Mathematics from LSUNO (in New Orleans, LA, now UNO), his Master's Degree in Mathematics from LSU (in Baton Rouge, LA), and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from LSU (in Baton Rouge, LA). His Dissertation was titled "Finite Unions of Ideals in a Ring R", and is in the area of Commutative Ring Theory which is a sub-area of Abstract Algebra. He along with his Major Professor Dr. Hubert S. Butts, had several publications involving that and related concepts, e.g. : "Finite Unions of Ideals and Modules, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, Vol 52, P 92-96, 10/96 ; "On Finite Unions of Ideals and Modules in a Commutative Ring", LA Academy of Sciences, Vol XXXIX, '76 (Abstract) ; and "Finite Unions of Ideals and Modules, Zentralblatt Fur Mathematik, March 1976 (Abstract). He also co-authored several undergraduate level Mathematics text books. He has been a member of 8 different Professional Organizations, has Chaired the LA MS Section of the Mathematics Association of America, has conducted many Mathematics Workshops, has given talks at many Mathematics Conferences, has participated and chaired many University Committees, has been very active in his church including being a Deacon for several three year terms, and has been very active in various community organizations, including the Baton Rouge Early Risers Kiwanis Club in which he has participated in and coordinated many community and elementary school projects.

Jamie Milano Roques, MPA, MPH, APRN

Jamie Milano Roques is the Director of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration and the Project Director for a Primary Behavioral Health Care Integration SAMHSA grant. She received a Bachelor Degree in Nursing from Louisiana State University School of Nursing in 1979, a Master Degree in Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and attended the University of Texas Health Science Center where she obtained her training as a Nurse Practitioner and became certified by NCC. Most of her career has been spent in public service working with those who have great needs and few resources. Throughout her career, she has developed programs and services at the local level working with governmental authorities and communities. More specifically, Roques worked as a Nurse Practitioner with the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals (DHH) Capital Area Human Services District for 6 years, providing service for mental health, addictive disorders, and developmental disabilities. Also with the DHH, Roques served 27 years with the Office of Public Health and served on the Board of Family Road for 10 years with 2 years as the Chair. She has served in numerous positions with the Louisiana Public Health Association and currently serves as the Area Representative to the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association, the Council of Affiliates Chair representing Federal Region VI (AK, LA, TX, OK, NM), and is an active member of the Executive Committee.

 

New Orleans

Dorian-Gray Alexander, BA

Dorian has been living with HIV/AIDS since 2006 and is a Policy Fellow and member of CHANGE, a Coalition of HIV/AIDS NonProfits and Governmental Entities. He has served on the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council on several committees demonstrating his service to the local HIV community consistent with engagement and involvement in the local Ryan White planning body and other ASO's. Dorian networks with both RW and non-RW agencies, non-profits and CBO's in addition to governmental representatives on local, state, and national levels. He is Chair-elect of LAAN [Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network]. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of CrescentCare, a new FQHC serving the New Orleans community. He serves as chair of the Primary Medical Care Consumer Advisory Council for the NO/AIDS Task Force, a division of CrescentCare, where he is a client. Dorian values his participation in advocacy, training and education regarding HIV at events, forums, and conferences by sharing ideas for treatment, linkage to care and retention in care for HIV. He is an ad hoc staff Standardized Patient Trainer with Tulane University School of Medicine in its Training and Assessment of Professional Skills (TAPS) Program and received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of New Orleans.

Dana Feist, MEd, CHES

Dana Rae Feist is the Patient Care Coordinator and Regional Implementation Coordinator for Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Program at LSUHSC- School of Public Health. She chairs the regional Healthy Communities Coalition (HCC) Region 1 whose mission is to improve the health and quality of life of Louisianans by mobilizing communities through implementing policy, systems and environmental changes in order to build healthy communities. Ms. Feist has over fifteen years of experience working with underserved populations in the areas of comprehensive cancer control, clinical trials, community outreach and patient navigation. Ms. Feist also is a Certified Health Educational Specialist (CHES).

Daphne Pajeaud Ferdinand, PhD, RN

Dr. Daphne Ferdinand is the Executive Director of the Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project (HHCPP), a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote heart health and to eliminate disparities associated with CVD in vulnerable communities.  She is the co-founder Heartbeats Life Center, formerly a cardiovascular diagnostic testing center and clinical cardiology consultation practice having served for 22 years as a practice administrator, clinical nurse specialist, and clinical trials coordinator.  In addition to serving on Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Community Advisory Board (CAB), she holds membership on other CABs such as the LSU Ag Center Extension in New Orleans and the Tulane University PRC.  Dr. Ferdinand has over 30 years of community service advocating for cardiovascular health with the provision of heart healthy educational programs in the greater New Orleans area, specifically in vulnerable communities.  The HHCPP is a community site for the NHLBI We Can! Program, targeting parents and caregivers to educate their families about maintaining a healthy weight. She also serves on the Association of Black Cardiologists' (ABC), Community Programs Advisory Committee, coordinating ABC's Community Health Advocate Training Program, which utilizes the NHLBI/NIH CHW model to train lay-persons to implement strategies to educate community members to reduce CVD risks.  As a backyard gardener for over 30 years and Master Gardener with the LSU Ag Center, she is poised to assist schools, community based organizations, and individuals with horticulture activities to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and in addition to educating community members of the health benefits to reduce CVD and other chronic conditions. Dr. Ferdinand has co-authored publications focusing on topics such as cardiovascular disparities, management of hypertension in diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, fast food consumption in the U.S., and community-based approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention. Dr. Ferdinand received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dillard University and Master of Nursing degree from LSU Health Science Center.  She received her PhD in Nursing from Southern University and A & M College School of Nursing in Baton Rouge, LA.  She is a community advocate who believes in "Helping People to Help Themselves."

Torrie Harris, DrPH, MPH

Torrie T. Harris, DrP.H. MPH is a public health professional with over 15 years of experience in health disparities research and practice. She previously served as the Director of Health Equity for the state of KY where the state conducted the first cultural and linguistic competency assessments of all local health departments. Dr. Harris has also developed the Louisiana Statewide Healthy Communities Coalition with a focus on grass roots community health initiatives to close gaps in health disparities related to obesity, smoking, and physical activity. Dr. Harris has dedicated her career to health equity through health system quality improvement by providing technical assistance to community health centers and other health service organizations.

Catherine Haywood, BSW

Catherine Gray Haywood, Community Service Program Manager for Tulane's Prevention Research Center and the current chair for Louisiana Community Health Outreach Network.   Catherine received her BSW from Southern University at New Orleans. Catherine has worked for the last 25 years advocating for individuals living below the poverty levels, also, working to educated communities around health disparities such as HIV/AIDS, breast and cervical cancers, and other cancers, obesity and active living. She's one of the founding member of Women with a Vision's, a non- profit organization that has been in existence for the last 22 years. She provides structured mentoring process for community members about the PRC's activities.  She also implements training programs for community residents, barbers, stylists and health care providers around health issues.  Catherine provide information on webinars that presents CBPR  for organizations and neighborhood associations. In the past she has worked with ex-offenders in the pre-release program through Community Service Center. She is the Co-Regional Director for the South region for the National Community Committee (NCC), on the Executive Board of the Louisiana Cancer Control Partnership, and the leadership committee for the American Cancer Society's Coffee Program.

Veronica Magee, MEd

Veronica Magee is a native of New Orleans and a retiree from the New Orleans Public Schools. She worked in the field of education for over 20 years holding a variety of positions such as  teacher, Staff Developer, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Principal and as the NCLB Federal Programs Director for the Algiers Charter Schools System.  She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education from Dillard University, a Masters' Degree in Social Studies from the Ohio State University and a Masters' Degree in Education Administration from the University of New Orleans. She is currently employed as the Deputy Director for Brotherhood, Incorporated in New Orleans, where she works in the HIV/AIDS  field to develop and implement programs that address the needs of at-risk and under-served populations.  Ms. Magee oversees all HIV/STI Prevention programs, maintains oversight for all  HIV testing initiatives, serves as manager for Trinity House, coordinates staff development and agency outreach efforts, supervises site personnel  and  serves as the principal grant writer  for the agency.  Ms. Magee has been employed by Brotherhood, Incorporated since 2012.

Emily Mickley-Doyle

Emily Mickley-Doyle has lived in New Orleans since 2005 and earned her B.A. in Sociology at Loyola University New Orleans in 2008. Upon graduation, she moved to Upstate New York to work in community health and HIV care. During her advocacy work, she noticed a lack of access for many to affordable, fresh, healthy food. In 2011, she returned to New Orleans to pursue her new career in urban farming. Emily cofounded SPROUT NOLA, an interactive urban farming organization that spreads the love of growing fresh, healthy food through community engagement and outreach, partnerships with local food vendors and food justice organizations, hands-on training programs, and advocacy. SPROUT NOLA grows market gardens throughout New Orleans, leads backyard and community garden builds, and publicly advocates for sustainable agriculture. SPROUT NOLA currently coordinates the ReFresh Community Farm, a teaching garden that will be located at the new innovative community health hub The ReFresh Project. The project will offer education to community members about gardening basics, assistance and education opportunities for individuals interested in starting a backyard garden, and tools to learn how to harvest and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. Emily is a member of the ReFresh NOLA Coalition, a collaborative group of health-, wellness-, and food access-focused organizations that develop and manage the ReFresh Project's health and community programming, use data to monitor and evaluate the project and manage its impact, and share lessons learned and best practices. Emily is a Parkway Partners community gardener, a Louisiana Master Gardener, and a member of the Friends of Lafitte Corridor  (FOLC) and New Orleans Food and Farm Network (NOFFN).