Adrian Taylor is the Director of Diversity for Premier Health in Dayton, Ohio. He leads programming that supports Premier’s commitment to diversity and inclusion with an emphasis on workforce diversity, supplier diversity, patient diversity and community engagement. Because of his commitment and passion for diversity he has won several awards including the 2020 Dayton Business Journal Diversity-In- Business Diversity Champion Award, 2021 National Diversity Council Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Champion Award and the 2021 DiversityMBA Top 50 Under 50 Executive Leader’s Award. Adrian also serves as a board member for the Dayton chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Dayton Foodbank. Before joining Premier Health in 2014, Mr. Taylor served in key management roles, earning positions of increasing responsibility in the private sector with companies like EDS, NCR and The Berry Company. More recently he worked for four years in the non-profit sector for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. As the Manager of Minority Business Retention and Expansion he advocated for and secured over $100M in contracted diverse spend for diverse companies in the Dayton region.
Dr. Airica Steed serves as the first minority appointed System Chief Operating Officer for Sinai Health System, which is an urban teaching healthcare system comprised of four hospitals (acute and post acute), 800 physician medical staff, 4000 employees, an epidemiologic research institute focused on healthcare disparities, and a community insitute offering more than 25 programs serving a population of 1.5 million people. Dr. Steed is a highly accomplished and award winning transformational healthcare executive and scholar with over 20 years of exceptional leadership skills and proven track record of driving results and execution excellence. She is currently charged with spearheading and quarterbacking large scale transformation to drive system level integration/alignment, high quality outcomes, profitable growth/retention, organizational excellence, and a world class customer experience to become the “Employer and Provider of Choice”. Dr. Steed is Modern Healthcare’s "Top 25 Innovators and Minority Leaders”, Diversity MBA Magazine’s "Top 100 Executive Leaders Under 50", and Becker's Hospital Review "Rising Star" and "Top 130 Female Healthcare Leaders to Know". She is recognized as a strategic and visionary change leader, cultural architect and international expert in Lean Six Sigma, Malcolm Baldrige framework, and “Big 4” management consulting across community and specialty hospitals, ambulatory clinics and network, academic medical centers, multi-site healthcare systems, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Dr. Steed is a results driven change agent with significant experience large-scale strategy initiatives to drive high quality care, operational efficiencies, customer satisfaction, workforce and provider engagement, profitable growth, and value optimization. Dr. Steed has served in several key executive leadership roles, including industry firsts, and also holds faculty appointments at several leading academic institutions. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has been an active speaker in the industry. She holds a Bachelors degree in Nursing, a Masters of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Leadership, in addition to numerous credentials and certifications, including a Master Black Belt and International Certification in Lean Six Sigma and Fellowship from American College of Health Executives.
Angeles Valenciano serves as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Council (NDC), becoming the first female CEO of this major nonprofit. In this role, she will continue to advance the NDC’s mission of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She will also focus on strengthening partnerships with businesses, academia and the community at large. Ms. Valenciano is a seasoned strategist with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, primarily focused on diversity, organizational change, and development. She was previously president of the Healthcare Diversity Council and executive vice president of the NDC. In the latter role, she oversaw the growth of several national markets, including California, Colorado and Arizona. In addition, she also served as vice president of business development for the Texas Diversity Council (TXDC), one of the NDC state councils. Ms. Valenciano was the TXDC’s first executive director with responsibility over operations and policy implementation as adopted by the Board of Directors. She directed the agendas of the regional diversity council’s advisory boards in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Under her leadership, the annual Women in Leadership Symposium was created and is now a national and global event held in more than twelve states and several countries including England, Mexico, Canada and most recently United Arab Emirates. Formerly, Ms. Valenciano was the director of diversity and inclusion for 84 Lumber Company. She provided leadership and direction for the infrastructure, design, formulation, implementation and execution of the organization’s overall diversity strategy, which included external communications, public relations, and community engagement. She was also responsible for ensuring the efficacy of these business practices, processes, and procedures. Ms. Valenciano’s role was carried out in the company’s business expansion into Mexico and Canada. As an assistant vice president and officer at JPMorgan, she served in the capacity of leadership development consultant in Credit Card Services and Organizational Development, and consultant to Customer Services’ clients. Ms. Valenciano also managed the strategic direction and execution of organizational-wide development processes as well as diversity programs and initiatives. She served as subject matter expert on global diversity, overseeing the company’s initiatives in various countries. Active in charitable and civic affairs, Ms. Valenciano is a graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de San Luis Potosí located in the City of San Luis Potosí in Mexico with a degree in business and computer information systems. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certificate from University of Villanova. She has completed various leadership and professional development programs across the country and abroad. Ms. Valenciano is fluent in English and Spanish. She serves on the board of the Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. She is a strong advocate and chairs several committees for people with disabilities in the workplace. She is a proud ally to the LGBT community and is active with several chambers of commerce across the country. Ms. Valenciano lives in San Antonio, TX, with her sons.
Brenda Varney is currently the Head of Integrated Stakeholder Engagements at UCB, Inc. in Smyrna, Ga, North American headquarters for the Belgium-based bio pharma where she is responsible for creating value for people living with severe immunologic diseases through strategies that develop progressive, productive and sustainable relationships with influencers and key opinion leaders in immunology. Brenda is passionate about healthcare and has devoted more than 35 years to the field. She began her career as a social worker, where she cared for patients in the medical setting. Her biopharmaceutical industry career has spanned roles across sales and marketing prior to joining UCB in 2008. Brenda’s deep commitment to the role of diversity in achieving business results is well known and has been reflected through her support of Employee Resource Groups, volunteer roles, speaking engagements, developing people and demonstrating an inclusive mindset throughout her career. Brenda earned her master’s degree in Healthcare Management from Troy University and her bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of West Florida. She is a certified Alliance Manager, and active member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association where she is a past president of the Atlanta Chapter. She also serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Diversity Council. At UCB, in addition to her role as a member of US Immunology Leadership Team, she is a founding member of U-PAC, Political Action Committee, and member of the D&I Council and Women in Leadership Employee Resource Group (ERG).
Christen Flack Behzadi, MD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and published intercultural writer. In 2008, she became inspired to pursue avenues for cultural understanding/unity and allyship after she was racially discriminated against in her medical training and experienced the power of allyship-advocacy from an unlikely source. Dr. Behzadi’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion is rooted in cultural humility. An approach that emphasizes we are the learner and not the authority on cultures, communities & identities outside of our own. Her work focuses on equity strategies to effectively support communities outside of our own without causing harm. Through a lens of humility and the actions of allyship & advocacy not only can we respectfully work in diverse environments we can also work collectively to do our part in creating equity for all.
Dr. Cornetta R. Levi earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and her Masters of Business Administration from Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration in May of 2007. She is currently a Healthcare Supervisor for the Chicago Southwest Area of Walgreens. As a Walgreens Pharmacist, Dr. Levi has submerged herself in the business of providing comprehensive healthcare services to her community. Her work is concentrated explicitly in Chicago’s urban communities with high diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and HIV/AIDS populations. To better serve her community, she earned additional certifications as a Diabetes Educator (CDE), Medication Therapy Management (MTM), HIV Pharmacotherapy Educator, and Immunizing Pharmacist. Dr. Levi served as President for the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) from 2012-2014. Dr. Levi has been an active member of NPhA since 2007. She embraced a leadership role in the organization in 2008 as Board Member and currently serves as the NPhA Convention Coordinator. Dr. Levi’s clinical experience includes the field of pharmacy and direct patient care. She has been a licensed paramedic in Illinois then transitioned into a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Prior to her hospital experience, Dr. Levi served as a member of the U.S. Army, where she served her country proudly, both domestically and abroad, as a Medical Coreman for ten years.
A frequent contributor to publications like Forbes.com, HR Magazine, and peer-reviewed journals, David serves as the U.S. subject matter expert on strategic human resources issues, ranging from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and talent management to international benefits and wellness initiatives. David is currently the Director of Human Resources & Talent Strategy for Mobilization for Justice based in NY City https://mobilizationforjustice.org, where he serves on the senior management team. “Mobilization for Justice’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this by providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, conducting community education, and building partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.” For over a decade, David served as a member of the Doctors Without Borders/MSF-USA management team, he is also a frequent lecturer and panelist on DEI, human resources, insurance/risk management, and international employment—including at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the American Bar Association International Employment Law Conference in Dublin. David recently was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (2019) for his speech at the Women in Leadership Symposium. He is a member of the SHRM Global Expertise Panel, a Board Member of the Tri-State Diversity Council, and the Academy of Advanced Practitioners of the Association for Conflict Resolution. Prior to joining MSF-USA, David was Director of Human Resources at the New York Foundling Hospital Center for Pediatric, Medical and Rehabilitative Care (Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center) where he received the NYAHSA (now LeadingAge New York) Professional of the Year Award for his contributions to pediatric long-term care. A graduate of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, he is also a member of the Board of Advisors and Faculty of National Paralegal College and is a Kellogg (Northwestern University) Executive Scholar. He has taught courses for eCornell, the SHRM preparation course and long-term care administration for New England College. David has more than 20 years of human resources experience and holds master’s and post-master’s degrees in management and international employment law. He is a Certified Diversity Professional, Senior Certified HR Professional, Career Management Fellow, coach, and a Certified Wellness Practitioner. He received the Tri-State Diversity Council’s “Most Engaged Leader” and “Company of the Year Award” in 2018. David serves on the National Staff of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Diversity Directorate and received the prestigious U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Citation—the service’s highest non-combat peacetime award, as well as the Meritorious Team Commendation. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard Academy Admissions Partner. David serves on the “Design Thinking Program” at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business and volunteers for the Life Raft Group, a cancer research organization. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Humanitarian Institute for Urban Emergencies and the Harvard Program on Negotiation. In 2019, David was selected as one of the “Top 3 Healthcare Leaders” which was presented at MD Andersen Cancer Center (Healthcare Diversity Council Conference). He also received the “Healthcare Diversity Advocate” honor from the Tri-State Diversity Council that same year, as well as Get5’s “Compassion in Employee Relations” award. In 2020, he was awarded the “Authentic Leadership Award” and “Most Engaged Leader” by the Tri-State Diversity Council. He also presented a workshop on leadership, strategy, and culture at the 2020 National Diversity Council’s Annual Conference, which will be included in the National Diversity Council’s best practice online toolkit. In 2021, he was awarded the National Disability Inclusion Award and presented on wellness and well-being for Cornell University. In addition, David serves as a Board Member of the Coalition for Racial Justice & Equity which develops strategies to address systemic racism in education and the justice system.
Dr. Vatwani is an Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy department at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). She is a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional and strives for efficient organizational processes by incorporating DEI in best practices. She has held service leadership positions including the NSU Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Healthcare Sciences founding chair of the diversity and inclusion faculty committee and the founding co-chair of the Physical Therapy department cultural competence task force. At the state and professional level, she served as the founding co-chair of the Florida Physical Therapy Association Acute Care Special Interest group. She is a certified lymphedema and wound Care therapist (CLWT), certified lean six sigma black belt (CLSSBB), certified project management professional (PMP) and certified in diversity, equity, and inclusion at the workplace. Her primary research interests include cultural competence in healthcare and academia, interprofessional education and practice, simulation-based teaching/learning, healthcare education, physical therapy practice and management specifically in the acute care and cardiovascular and pulmonary fields. She has authored several peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and presentations. Dr. Vatwani will soon be graduating with her terminal degree, an Education and Leadership in Healthcare Doctorate (EdD) in July 2022.
Dr. Debbie Chisolm is an accomplished executive whose career in healthcare spans more than 20 years. As a Healthcare Specialty Supervisor for Walgreens, Dr. Chisolm oversees multiple specialty pharmacies in underserved areas focused on high touch and complex disease states. She is an active member of Walgreens Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, collaborating on initiatives that promote health equity in local communities. In addition, she is a board member on the Connecticut Commission of Pharmacy where she serves to protect the health and safety of the public. Dr. Chisolm holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy at Long Island University, and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Eloho Ufomata, MD MS FACP is an Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) and a General Internist at UPMC. She earned her medical degree at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, then completed her residency and fellowship at the UPMC, while earning a masters degree in Medical Education. Dr. Ufomata serves as the Assistant Dean for Justice and Equity in the Curriculum, and as an Advisory Dean at the School of Medicine. Her focus is on the creating an environment of belonging for all trainees, including those of diverse backgrounds, as well as incorporating themes of anti-racism, equity and justice in medical education. She has been recognized for her achievements in medical education and was awarded the UPSOM Outstanding Early Career Educator Award in 2018 and the 2021 Golden Apple Award which is given to the Best Faculty member. Recognized for humanistic qualities in medicine, Dr. Ufomata was awarded the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award, presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which recognizes a faculty member who serves as a role model for humanistic behavior. In addition, she was honored with the Class of. She was recently recognized by the National Minority Quality Foundation as one of The 2022 Top 40 under 40 Leaders in Minority Healthcare. Clinically, her areas of expertise include Primary Care, Women’s Health, and LGBTQIA+ health. She is the co-founder and Co-Director of the Center for Gender Affirming Care at UPMC.
Latasha Guy has been a pharmacist with Walgreens for over 19 years. Currently, she supports the Health Equity Team, where she manages the health equity stores and helps develop and implement programs to help improve health outcomes in underserved communities. During the pandemic, she helped develop and support local partnerships in some of the most vulnerable communities. In addition, she has assisted with COVID vaccine equity and testing efforts by coordinating mass vaccination clinics and mobilizing Walgreen's mobile trailer. She has worked and lived on the South and West sides of Chicago and experienced first-hand the need to improve health education and access to people in the community. She is passionate about ensuring everyone has an equal chance to live their healthiest life.
Dr. Tiffany A. Love serves as a C-suite executive and healthcare consultant. She is an award-winning, board-certified healthcare executive, and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) with over 26 years of healthcare experience. Dr. Love is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the advancement of women and diverse healthcare executives. She is Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the national Healthcare Diversity Council and a national keynote Speaker and faculty for many prestigious organizations. She serves as coordinator, nurse planner and guest faculty for the Harvard Medical School CME on Career Advancement Leadership Skills for Women in Healthcare as well as faculty, judge, and pitch coach for the course Writing, Publishing, and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals. Dr. Love also works as an advisor and consultant providing executive consultation to many national organizations including the AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship Advisory Committee, the National Institute of Health Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Executive Diversity Career Navigator. With a passion for creating inclusive environments for healthcare researchers, executives, and the healthcare workforce, Dr. Love has truly dedicated her career to promote, protect, and advance health equity and an inclusive environment for all.
As Devereux Arizona’s executive director, Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH, oversees the care and treatment of more than 4,500 children and adolescents each year. Jackson joined the organization in 1998 as a foster parent recruiter/trainer and, in 2002, was promoted to program manager of foster care services. In 2003, Jackson moved into the role of director of community-based services and, six years later, was promoted to assistant executive director. She assumed her current role in November 2019. Jackson has earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Arizona, and a Master of Social Work and Doctor of Behavioral Health from Arizona State University. She is a licensed social worker (LMSW). Jackson is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in healthcare, and is a critical leader in Devereux‘s national efforts around DEI. One of her passions is health equity for the LGBTQ+ population. In 2015, she received the “Leadership in LGBTQ Health Care Award,” and in 2021 she received the “Champion of Change Award” for her work on behalf of LGBTQ+ individuals in healthcare. In 2022, she was awarded the “Integrated Health Excellence Award” from Integrated Health Magazine. Jackson is a faculty associate at Arizona State University, where she instructs graduate-level students in the area of social work. She is a member of the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers Board of Directors. She also is a board member of the Tucson LGBT Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Erica has over fifteen years of leadership experience in global organizational development including leadership development, human resources, diversity & inclusion, and communications. She is a Vice President of Enterprise Learning and Talent Development in the healthcare industry, Founder and CEO of E L Reynolds & Associates, LLC which specializes in addressing the factors of human behavior that affect performance and productivity and a Graduate Professor of Ethics and Diversity in Organizations. Erica has a passion for advancing organizations and people beyond their current limitations to achieve greater results. A dynamic leadership professional, Erica’s work entails delivering innovative solutions that yield impactful and sustainable results. She has provided her expertise in industries ranging from Healthcare, Medical Device, Financial, Retail, Education and Technology as well as host of political and non-profit organizations. Milestones of her career include: establishing and directing international leadership development programs, creating global diversity & inclusion initiatives, and multiple organizational development initiatives that resulted in organization and leadership rewards and recognition. Erica holds a BA in Communications Studies and a MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She is a PhD candidate for a doctoral degree in Organizational Psychology. Erica is a member of Forbes Coaches Council, where she contributes as an expert panelist, and has coached thousands of leaders in various roles, industries, and phases of life. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation and mediator credential. Erica enjoys spending time with family, mentoring and giving back to her community.
Greg Braylock, Jr. is passionate about community, leadership, young people and learning, and looks for ways to have a measurable and lasting impact on people’s lives, organizations, and communities. Married to Tracie – a nurse, mom, and entrepreneur – Greg and his wife have four young children and reside in Toledo, OH. Greg serves as the vice president and chief diversity, equity, & inclusion officer for ProMedica. In this role, he leads the organization’s work to build a culture of inclusion that leverages diversity and creates equity in the workplace, healthcare, and community. Having been with ProMedica since 2013, Greg most recently served as vice president of operations in the metro Toledo acute care division. Before joining ProMedica, Greg worked for United Way of Greater Toledo, where he leads strategies to counter the social, economic, and public health issues that create disparities in education and life outcomes for young people and families. Greg earned a master’s degree in business administration from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Toledo. He was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of Rising Stars: 50 Health Care Leaders under 40 in 2016.
Isaac Baez joined Summa Health as their Primary Prevention and At-Risk Populations Manager at their Health Equity Center in May 2021. His responsibilities are providing leadership and expertise to reduce chronic disease rates and health disparities in at-risk populations through ongoing community-based health programs and with a team of Certified Community Health Workers who support Chronic Disease patients. He also supports and collaborates with Summa’s Diversity Advisory Council and Employee Resources Groups, such as A+PLUs and Excel. He received his Master in Public Health from NEOMED and his Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) certificate through the Institute of Diversity Certification. In addition, he has conducted training throughout Stark and Summit Counties, including Cultural and Linguistic Competency, Cultural Humility, Language Access, and LGBTQ+ 101. His passion for working with those in need has been why he pursued a career in Public Health. It has also allowed him to work with different groups such as Chair of the March for Akron Pride Festival’s Steering Committee, Akron-Canton Latino Committee, Refugee Task Force, and Chair of Outreach & Education Committee for the Board of Plexus LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce.
Kendell LeBray is Director of Quality Improvement and Health Equity at HCSC, where he is responsible for implementing, monitoring, and refining the HCSC health equity strategy; as well as providing strategic guidance to achieve reductions in health and health care disparities for HCSC members and communities served. Prior to joining HCSC, Kendell served as Senior Manager of Health Equity and Strategic Partnerships for the Clinical‐Community Linkages and Population Health team at the American Medical Association (AMA). In this role, he was responsible for building strategic collaborations by leveraging and sustaining clinical‐community linkages within the healthcare ecosystem to prevent and control chronic diseases. Previously, he served as Director of Chronic Disease and Prevention for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, where he addressed chronic disease prevention through promoting healthy lifestyles, created public‐private partnerships to expand health education and awareness throughout the state, and utilized evidence‐based interventions to create impact. Kendell has worked as a public health consultant and has had a successful career as an account executive in the pharmaceutical industry, where he received the Circle of Excellence recognition by his former organization as the top producing account executive in the nation. Kendell holds a BA in Sociology from Morehouse College, a Master's in Public Health from the University of Michigan, and advanced healthcare training in Health Systems Management from Tulane University. He holds additional certificates from Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Kendra N. Smith, AICP is Vice President, Community Health with Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH). As an experienced thought and practice leader in community development, affordable housing, urban planning, and social determinants of health, she provides direction and oversight of collaborative efforts to implement community health priorities and address social determinants and health inequities in BSMH markets. Previously, Smith served as the Director, Social Determinants of Health for ProMedica, managing community investment, housing and community programming, including the Ebeid Neighborhood Promise, a 10-year, $50 million place-based community revitalization health improvement program. In earlier roles as Executive Director of Preferred Properties, Inc. and Senior Housing Planner for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Smith helped leverage more than $20 million for affordable housing development in city neighborhoods, co-authored regional policies related to fair housing and engaged more than 3,000 residents in community-based planning and investment decisions. Smith earned a master’s degree in urban studies with a focus on neighborhood and community development from Cleveland State University and has additional degrees and certifications from Ohio University, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and La Universidad Pública de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.Locally, Smith serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Toledo, is a 2017 recipient of the Toledo 20 Under 40 Award, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Lindsey (pronouns: she/her/hers) received her Master's in Health Administration from the Price School at University of Southern California. She has worked at Keck Medicine of USC since 2009, and is currently a Process Architect in the Office of Performance and Transformation. Her process improvement work centers around the Care Delivery Redesign initiative, working with service lines and other departments on improving the patient journey and removing operational barriers for providers. Lindsey also leads the health system’s efforts to create a more welcoming and affirming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) patients and their families, faculty members, and staff. Lindsey created and currently co-chairs the Keck Pride Committee/LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, which focuses on the design and implementation of LGBTQ-centered efforts across Keck Medicine of USC. She has successfully led the USC hospitals' efforts to achieve the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index designation of “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality” for several years, and led the development and launch of Keck Medicine’s new Gender Affirming Care Program. She has provided over 3000 hours of LGBTQ+ inclusivity training throughout the health system, and has been an expert panelist and speaker at several local, regional, and national conferences and events.
Lourdes Negrón-McDaniel is the Director of Inclusion and Culture at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she helps to lead the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy and people initiatives and programs. Lourdes serves on the leadership team for the health system’s Stand Against Racism and Stand for Health Equity framework, also known as STAND. Within this enterprise-wide framework, Lourdes co-chairs the education and development efforts for the organization on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and serves on a variety of committees representing the overall strategic framework. Lourdes previously served as director for DEI at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, integrating and operationalizing DEI best practices to achieve equity of care and service. Lourdes has substantive experience through the life cycle of diversity strategic planning and implementation, focused on the intersection of health care and community wellness, including intentionally addressing the social determinants of health. As an executive consultant, Lourdes leveraged her expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion frameworks to support hospitals, health and healthcare serving entities, and community-based groups advance health and economic equity for key stakeholders. Lourdes is founder and principal for a consulting practice that provided training and development, coaching, and change management services to clients in industries including healthcare, higher education, nonprofit and community-based organizations, councils, and associations; leading the work through an inclusive lens that creates inclusive environments and leverages diversity for greater impact. A graduate of the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, Lourdes holds a B.A. in Social Work , a master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Diversity Management from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. Lourdes currently represents Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the DEI Advisory Council for the Children’s Hospital Association, based out of Washington DC; serves on the advisory board for the Ohio Diversity Council, and concluded board service with the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.); served on the community advisory committee with Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, and volunteers as a trainer and coach to the Neighborhood Leadership Institute. Lourdes is committed to co-creating ecosystems where all can be of service and thrive. She considers herself a lifelong learner, actively engaging in learning communities. Lourdes holds a variety of certifications, including as Certified Diversity Professional (CDP), Executive Organization Development (EOD) certification from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Society for Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator, MBTI Certified Practitioner, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, Intervention Specialist certification, and a TetraMap Certified Facilitator.
Mavis Nimoh is an award-winning executive-level management and leadership professional in the non-profit, education, business, and government sectors. In 2008, she was appointed director of Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, a Single County Authority in Pennsylvania’s capital region, leading a recovery-oriented system of care for uninsured and under-insured individuals with substance abuse disorders, as well as designing community and data-driven evidence-based prevention strategies. Mavis was also appointed to the board of directors for Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative, a not-for-profit company administering and executing Pennsylvania’s HealthChoices behavioral healthcare contracts for five member counties and the contract with the counties’ managed care partner, PerformCare. She was also among a handful of statewide trainers for Pennsylvania’s substance use disorder diagnostic tool, the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria 3rd edition. She was later appointed Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and was the first Black woman in Pennsylvania history to hold the position. In this role, Mavis managed Pennsylvania’s clemency process including pardons, commutations, and reprieves as well as oversaw and administered public hearings Presently, Mavis is the Executive Director at the Center for Health and Justice Transformation, formerly the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, which is a partnership with The Miriam Hospital and affiliated with Brown University. The center works on advancing health equity for justice involved populations. Her center also co-hosts the National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Biomedical Research Excellence on Opioids and Overdose. She is co-chair of Lifespan Corporation’s Anti-Racism and Health Equity Collaborative. Lifespan is Rhode Island’s largest health system and employer and is also a board member of the Providence and Boston Center for AIDS Research-Community Engaged Research Council. Mavis is a White-Riley-Peterson Public Policy Fellow at Furman University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Penn State University.
Monique Daley, MS, joined Wheeler Health as the first diversity officer at the organization, a statewide leader in integrated primary and behavioral health care. In her role, she promotes and monitors equity, diversity, and inclusion for the Wheeler workforce and patients; lead the Wheeler Diversity and Inclusion Committee; monitor and review the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts; promote the full integration of National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (The National CLAS Standards) and health equity throughout Wheeler; and much more, including training and education, as well as ensuring Wheeler is working with minority- and women-owned businesses. Monique holds previous experience in higher education at Central Connecticut State University and Trinity College. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford. Monique was born and raised in Jamaica before migrating to the United States. Her lived experience informs her approach to understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion. She views diversity as an asset and therefore employs an asset-based lens to her work. She is committed to addressing issues of historical and systemic racism to grant equitable, barrier-free, and just access to care.
N. Chineye (Chi) Anako is a public health practitioner whose work has focused on the intersection of public health and health equity solutions. Past initiatives include work on food security/life cycle, violence prevention in youth and cultural and linguistic programs. She is the Regional Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Trinity Health Of New England, a five-hospital system across Connecticut and Massachusetts, part of Trinity Health. Under her leadership, she led the Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Initiative, which revised the patient demographic questions to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientation on all hospital in-take forms and in EPIC system throughout the Regional Health Ministry (RHM). She also oversees the 3+1 Language Services Program. The program provides cultural and linguistic care to patients, especially those from marginalized groups. In addition to her role at Trinity Health Of New England, Chi currently serves on the board of the Connecticut Chapter for the National Association for Health Services Executives (NAHSE) and is also the immediate past-president. NAHSE is a healthcare organization that ensures greater participation of minority groups in the healthcare field. She also serves on the board of the Connecticut Public Health Association (CPHA) and Copper Beech Institute (CBI). Chineye holds a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and an EPIC Summer Scholar at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Chineye Anako is an avid traveler and a native from Nigeria.
Patrick Decker-Tonnesen (he/him) is an Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Advisor at Mayo Clinic. Patrick is also a doctoral candidate of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and his dissertation focuses on the experiences of individuals who have historically marginalized identities and serve on nonprofit governance systems. Additionally, Patrick has published several peer reviewed journal articles that focus on populations connected to nonprofits. Prior to becoming a researcher, Patrick lived in Punta Gorda, Belize, for several years working with local indigenous Mayan populations. Patrick’s skills include DEI mixed-method assessments and DEI strategic planning and implementation. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s University, and a Master of Social Work, as well as certificates in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy and Measurement & Quantitative Methods, from Loyola University Chicago. Patrick also holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate from the University of South Florida.
Savaliolefilemu (pronounced Sah vah lee oh leh fee leh moo) (Val) LiHang Jacobo is an indigenous Polynesian woman from Oceania hailing from the islands of Oahu and Upolu and acknowledges that she is a guest occupying Tongva lands in Los Angeles, California on Turtle Island (North America). Val brings over 30 years of professional experience in public, private and non-profit sectors cultivating community resilience and ensuring that Indigenous communities are seen and included. Val holds a master’s degree in Public Policy Administration which helps her influence bold and systemic transformations through upstream programs and projects. She currently serves as a Community Resilience Program Manager at Blue Shield of California where she drives health equity outcomes in healthcare. Val will speak from an indigenous reference on how we can place our respective knowledge about the principals of DEI together to find common purpose in creating universal understandings. With a deep focus on the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander experience, Val will argue the importance of surrogate indigenous villages in the diaspora to lead the quest for health and harmony. Her discussion will reveal ways to dialogue with ancestors and the role of myths and rituals in the revival of the displaced Urban Indigenous.
My name is Scott Ollerman, I was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit. I was never a great student, falling behind due to medical issues in my early elementary years. I have always wanted to be a nurse but took a different journey to get to my nursing profession. I was enlisted in the United States Army as a Licensed Vocational Nurse and was accepted at Bowie State University for their RN to BSN program. I was Commissioned in the Army and spent just over 2 years as an officer. During my time in the Army I was able to experience aspects of nursing from emergency, ICU to Labor and Delivery. Being a nurse also gave me the ability to work in the civilian sector and as an Emergency Trauma nurse. After my Army career I came to San Antonio Texas and practiced as a Pediatric Critical Care Transport Nurse and Pediatric Emergency room nurse, Medical Program Director for a non-profit caring for unaccompanied minors in the care of the United States government and as the Chief Nurse Executive for a state hospital. I am currently the Associate Program Director for Galen College of Nursing Associate Degree Program and the Director of Nursing for Ohana Pediatric Home Health. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you all.
Susan Baida is Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) with UPMC, a $24 billion healthcare system of 92,000+ employees and 40+ hospitals. A healthcare professional with 30+ years of experience in DEI, global marketing, entrepreneurship, and creating social impact. As a leader of a 12-person team, she collaborates with the Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management Officer in overarching strategic planning, initiative development and implementation of strategies to advance the Diversity & Inclusion Agenda. Prior to joining UPMC, Susan co-founded a healthcare technology venture, eCareDiary, focused on patient care coordination and resources for family caregivers of aging adults. She held executive roles with Fortune 500 companies including Avon, Estee Lauder Companies and Starwood Hotels leading global expansion and launching culturally relevant products and services. An adaptable, results-driven leader providing vision, strategy, and operational execution, she possesses a successful track record of developing, implementing health equity strategies, utilizing data-driven performance measures that meet organizational objectives. Susan graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, holds certifications in Diversity Leadership and Strategic Human Resources Business Partnership, and completed executive leadership training at Vassar College. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Healthcare Diversity Council, Casa San Jose, Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Women’s Alliance and Pine Richland Anti-Racism Coalition. For 8 years, she was an appointed Director of Manhattan Community Board, an advisory board to the New York City Mayor’s office, and served as its Chair of Human Services advocating on behalf of underserved constituents. Susan is first generation to Ecuadorian and Korean immigrant parents and is fluent in Spanish. Her family includes 11-year-old twin sons, a 14-year-old daughter, her mother, and their beloved beagle.
Sydni N. Howard is currently the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director at Central Ohio Primary Care. She believes the key to success lies in the details; any detail whether it be business, personal or fashion. As a child, Sydni aspired to be a lawyer and impact people’s lives by focusing on civil rights. Never did she imagine working in healthcare. As fortune would have it, she has been able to blend work in healthcare with her childhood dream of being a social justice warrior. She is passionate about educating healthcare professionals on the importance of how culture impacts each patient’s health care needs. Educating community members to better understand their healthcare needs and communicate them to their providers. Allowing them to advocate for their health and well-being. Sydni has 20+ years working in healthcare in a wide variety of roles, including educator and project management. She is taking all of this experience to her role in DEI, focusing a strategy based on understanding the intimacy of the customer service relationship needed for effective high quality patient care. Sydni holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University, an MBA from Ashland University, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, and she is a Certified Diversity Practitioner thru the National Diversity Council. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, bowling, traveling, hosting family and friends for game nights, watching jeopardy and learning the new word of the day!
Tamekia MizLadi Smith is affectionately known as “the Singing Speaking Poet”. As the founder of EDU Arts, LLC she utilizes various forms of creative arts to convey a memorable learning experience. Her experience and passion for Health Equity, DEI and Self-Care has been instrumental in her approach to creating programing for Workplace Culture and Wellbeing. With over 20 years of diverse speaking and training experience her practical approach to aiding corporations in creating a psychologically safe space, has made her a sought after keynote speaker. After speaking at the TED Conference in Vancouver Canada she authored a book entitled “Take the Stage” which provides pre and post stage advice, coaching and life lessons for aspiring public speakers.
Tammy Williams is the Founder & CEO of Envision2bWell Inc dba EnvisionWell. Known as the Chief Democratizer for Social Health Empowerment®, she founded the innovative mission driven digital health and wellness company to address the lack of health equity after an illustrious career leading human resources, corporate communications, business strategy and change management at multiple Fortune companies inclusive of Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, Motorola and mid-size companies. The company’s focus is to democratize 360° Wellness by bringing knowledge, support, access and autonomy (KSAA) to all with a powerful unified, integrated and scalable platform that is mobile first but not mobile only, for companies, payers, healthcare partners, community-based organizations and individual consumers. Named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business by the Network Journal, is just one of the many honors the accomplished speaker has received, including a Pennsylvania Senate Proclamation presented by then-Senator Andrew Dinniman in recognition of selfless service. She has appeared on Bloomberg Business and has been a featured speaker at national and international conferences. Tammy is involved in activism activites and serves on several boards. In June 2021, Williams further demonstrated her activist bona fides when she presented testimony at a Congressional hearing to advocate for reversing the decline in women entrepreneurship. Tammy is also a proud partner of VisionForward, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to advance gender equity through women’s leadership. A Southern New Jersey native, Williams attended Rutgers University and Kellogg School of Management and holds multiple certifications. She is a self-described “mother, granny, wife, sister, auntie, friend, and businesswoman, who loves to help other women “live Life grand,” and has successfully integrated her business, her volunteerism/advocacy, and family into one life in which she tries every day to live by her mantra to “Live Life Grand.”
Tonya currently serves as the US Head for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UCB, a global biopharma company focused on creating value for people living with severe diseases. She is an accomplished leader with over 25 years of experience leading global teams that deliver innovative, resourceful, and efficient solutions. Consistently recognized for turning around underperforming workgroups through process improvement, agile methodology, and change management, Tonya brings a wealth of knowledge in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Learning and Development spaces, having led workforce learning and capability for the nation’s second-largest healthcare company for over two decades. She has served in several multi-faceted client service roles and managed regional and national training departments responsible for delivering technical, modular-based content via Instructor-led (ILT) and Virtual Instructor-led (VILT) training medium. As the learning and development world continued to evolve, Tonya attained certification in performance consulting and led the company’s transformation from traditional training to performance learning, leveraging interactive decision guides, self-paced learning, and a variety of blended modalities across synchronous and asynchronous methods. Tonya earned the coveted Brandon Hall “Best Learning Strategy & Governance” and the Silver award for implementation of a Standards and Governance Model. Prior to joining UCB, she launched a consulting firm, Premier LCS and partnered for several years with organizations to harness the business benefits of a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace. Throughout the years, Tonya has leveraged her leadership, partnerships, and expertise to employ solutions that meet and often exceed the diverse needs of consumers and communities. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Alcorn State University and is certified in performance consulting through Langevin. In 2018, Tonya attained her Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University in New York. She resides in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband of 29 years and her two daughters. She enjoys engaging in community service activities with her sorority and spending quality time with family and friends. Photography and family excursions are among her favorite personal pastimes.
Vanessa Nazario was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Trenton, NJ. She has worked in the field of Community Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for over 25 years. Her career began at MECHA, a Hispanic based nonprofit organization providing home ownership training and counseling to low-to-moderate income families. She later joined PNC Bank where she worked and had the honor of working in several roles over the course of her 20 year career within the Community Development Banking Department. In early 2017, she transitioned into a new role with RWJ University Hospital, which is part of RWJ Barnabas Health System, as Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she was responsible for diversity and inclusion and healthcare equity initiatives. She managed several key programs that helped transform the culture into an inclusive environment for both staff and patients. Vanessa also launched the Hospital’s first Diversity Council and provided oversight for the seven Business Resource Groups. She was also a key leader in the development and launch of the PROUD Gender Medical Center Program: a comprehensive medical program serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. In early 2021, she joined Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, FL as Director of DEI and to lead the System’s diversity, health equity, and inclusion strategy and Language Interpretation Services. In June 2022, she was promoted to Corporate Director, Chief Diversity Officer. In addition, she is leading the System’s inaugural health equity strategy. Vanessa serves on several committees: Florida Diversity Council’s Education Committee; Human Resources Association of Broward County’s (HRABC) DEI Committee; serves as a Student Mentor for Rider University’s Women in Leadership Council; HISPA’s South Florida Advisory Council; ARC of Broward’s Business Advisory Council. Vanessa has spoken at numerous conferences on topics such as: diversity, inclusion; health equity; community development; diverse women in leadership. Vanessa received her MBA from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and also has a Masters in Science degree from Southern New Hampshire University. She completed a Non Profit Management Certificate from Seton Hall University and is certified as a Diversity Executive (CDE) from the Institute for Diversity Certification. She is currently completing an Executive Leadership program at Cornell University.
Wendy Garvin Mayo is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, Stress Solution Strategist, International Speaker, #1 Best Selling Author, and Certified John Maxwell Trainer and Coach with 20+ years experience in the healthcare industry. She has thrived in a number of roles in various nursing sectors including clinical, leadership, research, academia, and pharmaceuticals. Mrs. Mayo currently serves as an Associate Director, Oncology Clinical Scientist, at Janssen Research and Development where she also leads a diversity in clinical trials steering committee with the goal of increasing the number of minorities enrolled in oncology clinical trials. Mrs. Mayo is also a serial entrepreneur having launched several initiatives and continues to serve healthcare organizations. She is the Founder of SHAPE Partners, a collection of resources to support cancer caregivers and the Host of the weekly Nurse Wellness Podcast. Mrs. Mayo is also the CEO of The Stress Blueprint, a personal and professional development firm that empowers individuals and organizations to optimize their health, wellness, and overall well-being through stress management. Lastly, she sits on the Daily Life and Workplace Stress Board for the American Institute of Stress.