Community Advisory Board

Our Community Advisory Board (CAB) includes representatives from community-based health promotion organizations, faith-based organizations, cancer survivors, and other community members who bring a direct patient perspective. The CAB regularly consults with research projects, and supports the implementation of clinical trials.

Bishop Calvin C. Barlow

Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr., is a native of Ripley, Tennessee, and the pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church, located in the heart of the historic Waverly-Belmont community of Nashville, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Tennessee State University and Pensacola Christian College. Bishop Barlow holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Master of Art in Biblical Studies. Bishop Barlow is the president of Lowbar Publishing Company and Second Missionary Baptist Cooperative Ministries, Inc. He has written for The National Baptist Voice Magazine and the African American Lectionary.

Ira Baxter

Ira Baxter volunteers as the Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Coalition of Tennessee. He is a prostate cancer survivor and wants to change the stigma around prostate cancer. He strives to improve awareness and education about the disease, as well as help men and their families make informed decisions about treatment options. He also works to improve the overall health of African American men.

Thoris Campbell

Thoris Campbell is employed by the Metro Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Department (MPHD) and is the program coordinator for the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program (TBCSP). In this role she serves as the liaison to the community, state and TBCSP screening/enrollment sites. The mission of the program is to promote and implement programs of education and screening to reduce mortality rates through early detection of breast and cervical among Davidson County and Tennessee residents who meet program eligibility requirements.

Joan Clayton-Davis

Joan Clayton-Davis is a Retired Senior Technical Advisor from FHI360, Inc. (Family Health International) Center for Social Marketing and Behavior and Center for Health Communications. She has technical expertise and consulting background in social marketing, health communications, health promotion and disease prevention, and health disparities elimination. She is engaged in community leadership with three decades as a United Way volunteer including Middle Tennessee HIV/AIDS Community Planning Leadership Team, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Human Rights Committee, Alignment Nashville Youth Equity and Sexuality A-Team, and has served on boards at Rural Health Association Tennessee and American Heart Association.

Sheila Dorse

CAB Co-Chair
Sheila Dorse is the founder of Dorse Cancer Oasis Support Group and a Community Activist in Davidson County. Dorse Cancer Oasis Mission is to educate the community and connect cancer survivors and family with resources and creating a healthy, mind, body and spirit. She is also a Fulltime IT consultant. She received her degree from the University of Memphis in Management Information Systems and will be pursuing her Master’s in Healthcare Data Analytics in Fall 2022.

Tené Hamilton Franklin

Tené Hamilton Franklin is the Vice President of Health Equity and Stakeholder engagement at Health Leads. In this position, she provides strategic, operational, and organizational leadership that grows capacity for intercultural competence. She also Leads on public health strategic approaches to addressing health equity in local communities and co-leads the Vaccine Equity Cooperative specifically convening philanthropy, government and community-based organizations on efforts to create solutions for mitigation of the COVID-19 virus. Tené is active in her community through a myriad of volunteer and advocacy efforts. She is the Chair of the Metro Public Health Department in Nashville, TN; a member of the Vanderbilt Institutional for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) Community Engaged Research Core; Tennessee State NAACP Health Chair; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Tené, a native of Chattanooga, TN, and holds a master’s degree from Howard University. Tené is a member of Schrader Lane Church of Christ and with her husband and two daughters in Nashville, TN. Tené is a two-year survivor of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Tam Gordon

Native Nashvillian Tam Gordon currently works special projects and outreach for Metro Government’s Human Resources Department. Her prior work includes senior positions with two mayors and a governor, and in communications and programming at the John Seigenthaler Center. Her community involvement includes Room in the Inn Board Secretary, Operation Andrew Group Board Governance, Martha O’Bryan Center Board of Directors, Children’s Memory Garden Committee. She also founded and remains involved in The Afterschool Program (TAP), a 501c3 not-for-profit academic enrichment program for at risk students living in and around the North Nashville area.

Michelle Heil

Michelle Heil has been with the American Cancer Society (ACS) 14 years. Based in Nashville, she serves as the Senior Manager of Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships for the state of Tennessee. She, along with the TN ACS cancer control staff team, focuses on cancer prevention, early detection, screening, quality of life and access to care initiatives, employee health & wellness programs, and population health-related efforts to achieve cancer control priorities.

Paula Hill

Paula Hill is a retired program coordinator with 24 years of experience in the Office of Graduate Medical Education at Meharry Medical College. Before she became a program coordinator, she worked as Assistant Director of Volunteer Services at Meharry/Hubbard Hospital and as a student Coordinator in the Department of Surgery. She received a BS degree from Howard University and a Master’s degree in physiology from Colorado State University. She is a 25 year survivor of breast cancer, and because of her experience, Ms. Hill has volunteered as a community member on various cancer-related focus groups and committees, with a developed interest in cancer patient advocacy and cancer screening.

Reverend Omaràn DèVon Lee, Sr.

Reverend Omaràn DèVon Lee, Sr. is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Reverend Lee is a graduate of Fisk University and studied Non-Profit Management at the Institute for Government at Tennessee State University. Rev. Lee obtained training as a Resident Chaplain in the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program at Tennessee Valley Health System Veteran’s Affairs.  He is also a graduate of Lipscomb University’s Hazelip School of Theology, Master of Divinity program. At present, Rev. Lee is the Director of Spiritual Care at Nashville General Hospital and serves as the Pastor of St. John AME in Springfield, Tennessee. He is also the founder of Reach One, Teach One, Inc. a non-profit organization working with at-risk youth in Nashville/Davidson County.

Ila McDermott

CAB Co-Chair
Ila McDermott is a community member, colon cancer survivor, and currently serves as a Co-Chair for MVTCP Cancer Outreach Core Community Advisory Board. She received her Master of Education from Tennessee State University and Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her work experience is diverse, ranging from education/counseling, and work in the judicial court system to human resources. She currently works as a research interviewer for Survey Research Shared Resource (SRSR) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Audrey Oden

Audrey Oden is an entrepreneur with a background in Human Resource Management who specializes in client retention, implementation, and employee development, while utilizing her background studies in Psychology. She currently serves as a Community Advisory Board Member who continues to participate in various sub-committees and community-based research studies. She serves as a subject matter expert in serving community through knowledge-based provisions on HPV vaccinations, early cancer detection/screening and education. During her tenure as a Community Advisory Board Member, she has gained a wealth of knowledge to help serve and educate communities across Middle Tennessee and abroad. Ms. Oden studied Psychology at Tennessee State University.

Reggie L. Patterson

Reggie L. Patterson is a Recruiter for Shelter Insurance and received his undergraduate degree in finance from Auburn University. He volunteers with the Special Olympics and Walk of Love Charity. His passion includes creating environments of first-class service to others, inspired by his 30 plus years in the food service industry. He is a loving husband and father of two. His experience with cancer has been survivorship of a brain tumor and as a supportive spouse for his wife through her journey with breast cancer.

Wyntress Grimes Patterson, JD

Wyntress Grimes Patterson is a Lawyer currently working with Metro Nashville Public Schools as a Human Resources Employee Relations Manager. She received her law degree from Florida A&M University College of Law and undergraduate degree from Xavier University of Louisiana. She engages in community service by serving on the Foster Care Review Board, (Nashville Juvenile Court) Volunteer Mediator with Nashville Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. A wife and mother of two, her experience with cancer has been one of survivorship having journeyed through breast cancer three times. Her health maintenance approach is through education and the use of holistic and traditional medicine.

Sharon D. Peters, PhD

Dr. Sharon D. Peters is the Executive Director of Institutional Planning and Program Review at Tennessee State University. She has been an administrator with the university for over 19 years and has taught sociology and public administration for over 25 years. Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Peters served as a partner in a research firm that provided training and technical assistance to juvenile justice residential facilities for adolescent females. Dr. Peters’ expertise includes program design, program evaluation, assessment, and student advisement. She also holds a PhD in Public Administration from Tennessee State University, a Master’s in Sociology from Southern Illinois University and a baccalaureate degree in Sociology from Appalachian State University.

Deirdre D. Johns-Porter

Deirdre D. Johns-Porter is a weight loss coach with a background in Nutritional Coaching and Personal Training. She supports individuals who are in transition to create life-long sustainable change in their lives. Deirdre loves seeing others succeed and tapping into their full potential, finding direction, and accomplishing their goals. She holds a MS in Business Administration in Quantitative Management; BS in Organization Management in Engineering Science; and an ASS in Civil and Construction Engineering. Her public servitude includes over 20 years with Metro Government and 2 years working at Vanderbilt in the Epidemiology Department.

Cheryl Hogg-Seay, PhD

Dr. Cheryl Hogg-Seay is currently serving as the Assistant Vice President for Global Online Education and Academic-IT at Tennessee State University (TSU). She has over 25 years of post-secondary education professional & administrative experience. Dr. Seay is responsible for overseeing the distance education (DE) programs at TSU, managing and implementing DE policy in coordination with the academic units, and managing the implementation of technology-based solutions in support of on-ground, hybrid and online courses / programs. Dr. Seay holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from TSU and a PhD and MS in Instructional Systems from Florida State University. Dr. Seay is dedicated to developing programs and models that increase knowledge, awareness, and use of instructional technology in various classroom settings to improve student learning.

Jan Zolkower

Jan Zolkower is the Research Subject Advocate for the Vanderbilt Human Research Protections Program. She has been the contact person for Vanderbilt research participants since 2007 and has been involved in some aspect of human subjects research or cancer reporting for the majority of her career. Jan earned her Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University in Health Law.