Board of Directors/Staff

President
Veda Johnson, MD

Emory University

Veda Johnson, MD, FAAP is a Marcus Professor in General Academics and Pediatrics and the Executive Director of PARTNERS for Equity in Child & Adolescent Health for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to her current position, Dr. Johnson was the Director of Community and School Based Clinics for the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University. In that position, she served as Medical Director of the Whitefoord Community Program (WCP) which consists of two school based health clinics (SBHCs) and the Boatrock and Lindbergh Women and Children’s Health Clinics affiliated with the Grady Health System.

Dr. Johnson has participated in the development of national standards for comprehensive school based health programs.  She has also been active in promoting school health programs in the state of Georgia and in petitioning Congress for increasing federal allocation for school health centers nationwide. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and serves on the executive committee for the Academy’s Council on School Health. In addition, she serves as Chair of the School Health Committee for the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Treasurer/Secretary
Ruth Ellis, MPH, JM

Emory University

Ruth is a native of Atlanta, receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Spelman College in 1976. Shortly after graduation she began her career with Emory University: first in the Human Resources Department as a Recruiter, then as a Research Assistant with the Department of Psychiatry, and finally with the Department of Pediatrics. During her career with Emory, she received a Master’s Degree from the University’s School of Public Health. Ruth has been with Pediatrics since 1989, first working with the Division of Neonatology as Administrator, and then serving as the Administrator for the Department’s Grady Operations. She retired in 2009 and returned in 2010 to serve as the Business Administrator, and was promoted to Program Director for the Department of Pediatrics’ PARTNERS for Equity in Child & Adolescent Health.  Ruth received a Juris Master degree from the Emory University School of Law in 2015.

Board Members:

Joseph Barrow, EdD
Fayette County Schools

Dr. Joseph (Jody) C. Barrow, Jr. began his career in education in 1980.  He is the Superintendent of Fayette County Schools,   having also served previously as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent across the K-12 spectrum in several Georgia school systems.  He has been awarded multiple honors during his career; including being named the Georgia Association of Educational Leader’s Outstanding Educator, the prestigious Georgia School Superintendents Association’s Bill Barr Leadership Award, named the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Champion of the Year, was recognized by the Georgia Senate for efforts in Educational Excellence, and was chosen as Superintendent of the Year for the Georgia Head Start Program.

He and his wife, Dr. Susan Barrow, are the proud parents of five children, two who are currently enrolled in the Fayette County School System.

During his career Dr. Barrow’s accomplishments include:

  • Improving Student Achievement
  • Increasing Graduation Rates
  • Implementing and advancing cutting edge 21st Century technology
  • Currently serving as President of the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association (GSSA) and on the National Governing Board of the American Association School Administrators (AASA)
  • Educationally overcoming the largest wild fire in the history of GA
  • Led construction projects that have received national recognition
  • The establishment of School Based Health Centers (SBHC)
  • Leading his districts to these accomplishments while dealing with massive budget challenges.

Dr. Barrow truly strives to be a “Champion for Children” in all endeavors, and works to put children first in every situation.

Linda Goler Blount, MPH
Black Women’s Health Imperative, President and CEO

Linda Goler Blount is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, a nationwide organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of America’s 20 million Black women and girls. As president and CEO, Linda oversees the strategic direction for the Imperative and leads the organization forward in its mission to achieve health equity, reproductive and social justice for Black women across the lifespan.

Before joining the Imperative, Linda served as the vice president of Programmatic Impact for the United Way of Greater Atlanta, where she lead a team focused on achieving transformations in health, income, education and housing stability. She was also the first-ever national vice president of Health Disparities at the American Cancer Society and provided strategic vision and leadership to the Society and its 12 geographic divisions for nationwide health equity policy and social determinants initiatives.

Linda is a sought-after speaker and is a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Cancer Research, American Public Health Association and National Association of Health Services Executives.  She serves on the Emory University Center for Ethics Advisory Board, and Morehouse School of Medicine, Public Health Program Advisory Committee among other board service work.

Sylvia Caley, RN, MBA, JD
Georgia State University College of Law

Sylvia Caley, JD, MBA, RN is an associate clinical professor at Georgia State University College of Law teaching law students and other professional graduate students enrolled in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic.  In addition, she teaches Health Legislation and Advocacy, a year-long course in which law students work with community partners to address health-related legislative and regulatory issues affecting the community.  She is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. She is the director of the Health Law Partnership (HeLP), an interdisciplinary community collaboration among Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and the College of Law.  She is a member of the Ethics Committees at Grady Health System and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and also is a member of the Public Policy Committee at Children’s.  She also is a member of the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, U. S. Department of Health & Human Services. Her research interests focus on using interdisciplinary and holistic approaches to address the socio-economic and environmental issues affecting the health and well-being of children, specifically the lives of low-income, chronically ill, and disabled children.

Jeremy Cole
US Fund for UNICEF

Jeremy Cole is currently the Managing Director for the Southeast Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  Previous to this position, he served as the Deputy Director and a Major Gifts Officer in the same office.  Prior to coming to the U.S. Fund, Jeremy was the Director of Development for the International Community School, a charter school in Georgia.  Jeremy has over eight years of experience working in resource development, and over 16 years total working in all aspects of the non-profit sector, including managing programs for refugee youth and adults, homeless families, and at risk teenagers; writing and administering grants; teaching English as a Second Language; and helping to start the Global Village Project, a private high school for refugee teenagers.

Jeremy is a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University in Educational Policy Studies.  He received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and his M.A. from the University of Georgia. In 2012, Jeremy was selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow, travelling to Europe for three weeks to learn about Europe’s civic institutions.  He currently serves on the board of the Georgia Alliance for School-Based Health Centers, and on the Walton Family Foundation Grants Committee for the State of Georgia, reviewing charter school grant applications.

Danté T. McKay, JD, MPA
Director, Office of Children, Young Adults, and Families; Division of Behavioral
Health; Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities
Danté T. McKay, JD, MPA, became the director of the Office of Children, Young Adults, and Families, at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, in February 2016. McKay directs the development and implementation of policies, practices, and programs that facilitate access to behavioral health treatment and supports for children and young adults who are living with serious emotional disturbances or serious mental illness, and who are uninsured or have SSI Medicaid.
Pursuit of a strong personal desire to effectuate systemic change that improves quality of life led to a fellowship opportunity with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2010. The RWJF fellowship opportunity provided a career pivot for McKay. He later went on to serve as Health Policy Director at Voices for Georgia’s Children, and the first and only Georgia State Director at Enroll America, where he was responsible for leading a statewide public education and outreach campaign focused on maximizing the number of Georgians who enrolled in and retained health insurance coverage.
Collectively, McKay possesses more than two decades of combined experience in administration, advocacy, community and stakeholder engagement, philanthropy, program design and implementation, and evaluation. McKay is a member of the NASMHPD Children, Youth and Families Division, a national association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health State Directors. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for Georgians for a Healthy Future, and the Georgia School Based Health Alliance. McKay is 2013 alumni of The Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Leaders for Results, and 2011 alumni of National Urban Fellows.
McKay holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Clark Atlanta University (1997); a Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center (2007); and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York (2011). He lives in Atlanta with his wife Syreeta, and two sons, Ian and Jaxon.

 

Polly McKinney
Voices for Georgia’s Children

Polly McKinney has worked for more than two decades in communications, film and video production, advocacy, and policy development, much of her work supporting the objectives of non-profit organizations that focus on social services and education.  As a documentary producer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she directed, wrote, and edited numerous programs for local public television, several of which were nominated for regional Emmy Awards.  After leaving public TV, McKinney wrote and directed the documentary that is now shown regularly at the National P.O.W. Museum at Andersonville, GA and then moved into work on high-end commercials and national television series.  In addition, she was a legacy advisor for Georgia Gov. Zell Miller.  Following her career in film and television, she served as executive director for the League of Women Voters of Georgia and communications director for the Southern States Energy Board (an economic development organization composed of governors and legislators from 16 southern states and two territories).  She currently serves as the advocacy director for Voices for Georgia’s Children, an organization that supports the implementation of health, justice, welfare and education policies beneficial to children.  She lives in Atlanta with her children, Skye and Zane.

Lisa Medellin, M.S.W., Senior Program Officer
Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Lisa Medellin joined Healthcare Georgia Foundation in 2005. In her current position, Lisa is the primary liaison between the Foundation and its grant applicants, grantees, policy makers as well as other foundations and nonprofit organizations. Lisa also serves as team lead for the program staff at the Foundation, managing the Foundations’ grant making programs, including developing two annual grant programs to support General Operating and Direct Services funding and identifying new strategic funding strategies to award approximately $3-5million annually.  She manages a diverse grant portfolio that includes; Health Policy, Childhood Obesity, School-Based Health Centers, and Integrated Health Care/Behavioral Health.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Lisa was with Emory University-Rollins School of Public Health, where she was the Director of Resource Management and Communications for a national Tobacco Technical Assistance project. She has held various positions with the American Cancer Society-National Home Office, Emory University School of Medicine, and Planned Parenthood of the Southeast.

Lisa is an active member of the community and is on the board of DeKalb County CASA and the Georgia School Based Health Alliance. She has previously volunteered for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta -Women’s Legacy Council and the Junior League of Atlanta.

Yuri Okuizumi-Wu, MD
Emory University

Yuri Okuizumi-Wu, MD is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine.   She received her medical degree at The University of Illinois School of Medicine (Chicago) and  completed her residency at Bellevue Hospital/NYU Medical Center in New York City.  After residency, she worked at North Central and Jacobi Hospitals in the Bronx, and then joined a private practice in inner-city Chicago.   In 2002, she relocated to Atlanta and joined the faculty at Emory, practicing at the first comprehensive school-based health clinics in Georgia, the Whitefoord and Coan School Based-Health Clinics for 8 years.  She served  as their interim Medical  Director for both school clinics from 2009-2010. Her experiences at  Whitefoord and Coan have shaped her belief that school based clinics are the ideal models for providing quality care for the underserved children of Georgia.  Since September 2010, she has practiced at the Primary Care Clinic of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Hughes Spalding campus.

Karen Williams, MS
HEALing Community Center

Karen Williams, M.S., Chief Executive Officer  at HEALing Community Center and  has extensive experience in directing diverse health care program operations such as primary care to public housing residents, primary care and behavioral health integration, school based clinics, mobile health services, refugee health, homeless and many other at-risk initiatives.  Directing special healthcare programs include strategic planning, research, legislative and regulatory brief preparation.

Current position as CEO, Federally Qualified Health Center, 330(e) with over twenty years in leadership in the Community Health Center setting.  As a tenured leader in health care noted accomplishments include the development and operation of full service primary care services along with ancillary supportive services.  Ms. Williams has successfully opened primary care satellites all giving voice and health care accessibility to at risk populations.  These efforts included marketing plans, environmental needs assessment, cost projections and an integration of project teams both internal and external.

Having effectively managed stand alone primary care operations, fiscal budgets, clinical and administrative challenges has led to best practice models.  The ability to work with a broad range of staff personnel, external environment constituents, federal agencies and legislative policy have been essential in operations development.   Program management experience ranges from researching and/or preparing high impact correspondence briefs to monitoring and evaluating organizational activities.

National and International presentations have been the resultant of the years of involvement with primary and preventive models that are replicable in the area of outreach, need analysis and collaborative partnership development.  Direct interfacing with government entities, non-profit organizations and private organizations has solidified proven accomplishments in client/customer satisfaction and team building.

Academic training was received from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a B.S. and Mercer University with an M.S. additional Executive Training from the University of California at Los Angeles.   Healthcare training and skill development has continued through numerous professional accreditation institutions.

Lynne P. Meadows, RN, MS
Fulton County School System

Lynne P. Meadows has 29 years in health care and nursing experience. She received a BSN from Queens College and a MS degree in nursing from Georgia State University. Lynne had an extensive career at Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA where she served in several leadership roles which included: Assistant Head Nurse, Staff Development Instructor, Director of Quality Improvement & Staff Development for Ambulatory Services and the Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services from 1996-2000. Lynne has also worked as a Pediatric Nursing Instructor and a Legal Nurse Consultant. She is currently the Coordinator of Student Health Services for Fulton County School System (FCS) where she has served in this capacity since the program’s inception in 2000.

Lynne was named 2011 School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the Georgia Association of School Nurses and received the “Game Ball” award for exemplary work in 2014 by FCS Superintendent. Lynne is a certified American Heart Association CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor and a designated Training Center Faculty at Grady Health System. She participates and has served on a host of health care and community boards which has included the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, South Fulton United Way Advisory Board, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Van Advisory Council, the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act Committee and Co-Chair for the Fulton County Board of Health. Lynne is very active in public health initiatives and the school health services arena. She currently serves as the State Director and State Data Champion for the National Association of School Nurses and Georgia Association of School Nurses. Lynne also was selected and participated in the School-Based Health Alliance Leadership Fellows Program in 2015. She was one of ten to graduate in the first cohort class.

She also volunteers for several community organizations which includes Senior Services Meals on Wheels Program, the American Heart Association, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She and her husband, Pete Meadows served in the Leadership Georgia Class of 2009 and she was recognized in 2000 and 2005 by the Outstanding Atlanta organization. Lynne and Pete have two boys: Trey who attends the University of Georgia, and Matthew who attends Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

Her current work is focused on refining school health programs and services, school nurse leadership and school-based health centers.

 

Board Support Staff

Carolyn Aidman, PhD
Emory University

Dr. Carolyn Aidman is PARTNERS for Equity in Child & Adolescent Health’s “Convener” for school based health care, sharing the vision, drawing interest in and helping bring School Based Health Center planning grants to 34 counties in Georgia.

Carolyn has over 30 years of front line, programmatic and leadership experience working with and for minority populations in public health, social services, and education. She directed the Georgia Division of Public Health’s Office of Adolescent Health and Youth Development, managing an $11 million budget, providing training to public health staff, and youth development and clinical services to children and adolescents throughout Georgia. As Executive Director of the Professional Development Centers of Florida, she led the 180-member university team that developed, delivered, and promoted a nationally recognized competency-based training, testing, and certification program for Florida’s child protection professionals.

Dr. Aidman is the Associate Director of Emory’s Urban Health Initiative, see www.urbanhealthinitiative.emory.edu developing university and community partnerships for community engaged learning, training future health professionals, and conducting research, especially community-based participatory research. She has developed transportation ministries, providing transportation to needed services, a community teaching garden at a grocery store in a low-resourced area of Atlanta, and helps bring affordable health insurance plans through her Health Insurance Navigators and student Resource Insurance Navigators team. See http://ringofgeorgia.org


Monica B. Adderley, MS, CHES
Consultant

Monica serves as a consultant and previously worked with Emory University’s PARTNERS for Equity in Child & Adolescent Health as the Sr. Program Associate/Health Education Specialist from 2013-2016.  Monica is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Health Education at A. T. Still University (she is currently working on her dissertation to focus on GA SBHCs, titled: An examination of Georgia School-Based Health Centers implementation of  CDC and ASCD: Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model- 10 components). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Monica has resided in Georgia for most of her life, and she lives in the metropolitan Atlanta area with her husband, AnTuan.