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Board of Directors


Louis Sullivan

Louis W. Sullivan M.D.
CEO & Chairman of The Sullivan Alliance
President emeritus,
Morehouse School of Medicine

Louis W. Sullivan, M.D. is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions. He is also chairman of the board of the National Health Museum (NHM) in Atlanta, Georgia. The goal of the NHM is to improve the health of Americans by enhancing health literacy and advancing healthy behaviors. Dr. Sullivan served as chair of the President’s Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2002-2009 and was co-chair of the President’s Commission on HIV and AIDS from 2001-2006. With the exception of his tenure as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1989 to 1993, Dr. Sullivan was president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) for more than two decades.

As Secretary of HHS, Dr. Sullivan’s efforts to improve the health and health behavior of Americans included (1) the introduction of a new and improved FDA food label; (2) release of Healthy People 2000, a guide for improved health promotion/disease prevention activities; (3) education of the public about health dangers from tobacco use; (4) successful efforts to prevent the introduction of “Uptown”, a non-filtered, mentholated cigarette by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; (5) inauguration of a $100 million minority male health and injury prevention initiative; and (6) implementation of greater gender and ethnic diversity in senior positions of HHS, including the appointment of the first female director of the National Institutes of Health, the first female (and first Hispanic) Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the first African American Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

Jay Gershen

Jay A. Gershen D.D.S., Ph.D.
Secretary/Treasurer of The Sullivan Alliance
President,
NEOMED

Jay Alan Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. became the sixth president of the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), formerly Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM) in January 2010.

He has initiated an ‘education for service’ initiative in Northeast Ohio, an innovative health workforce development program that reduces student indebtedness, provides health care to underserved rural and urban communities, diversifies the healthcare workforce and contributes to economic growth. In partnership with Cleveland State University, Dr. Gershen has also expanded NEOMED’s regional mission to the Cleveland area, working with local hospitals, community health centers and other providers to create an urban primary care training program. In addition, he has provided leadership to expand NEOMED’s research activities through investments in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, the recruitment of renowned scientists, and commercialization activities. Furthermore, he has initiated a campus expansion plan that includes the Bio-Med Science Academy, the first rural STEM school in Ohio.

Dr. Gershen serves on the boards of the Greater Akron Chamber, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, NorTech, Akron Tomorrow, Portage Development Board and the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. He also serves as secretary/treasurer of the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions and is a member of the Board and Executive Committee of Research!America.

Dr. Gershen holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a D.D.S. from the University of Maryland. He completed both a clinical specialty in pediatric dentistry and a Ph.D. in education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Concurrently, he was a postdoctoral scholar in child psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. In 1982, he was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Geraldine Bednash

Geraldine Bednash Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Director of The Sullivan Alliance
Executive Director,
American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. serves as a Director of The Sullivan Alliance. Dr. Bednash is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Since 1989, she has led the education, research, public policy, and outreach work for the organization recognized as the voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Dr. Bednash currently serves as the chair of the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care and as a member of the Quality Alliance Steering Committee. She has served on multiple boards and commissions, including the board of the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, the Advisory Board for the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nursing Associations Scholars Development Project, and on the editorial boards of several leading nursing publications. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the National Center for the Analysis of Health Care Data. Her publications and research presentations cover a range of critical issues in nursing education, research, clinical practice, and legislative policy.

Robert Gold

Robert S. Gold Ph.D., Dr.P.H., F.A.S.H.A., F.A.A.H.B.
Director of The Sullivan Alliance
Chair,
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
University of Maryland School of Public Health

Robert Gold, PhD, DrPH is an accomplished researcher and nationally known expert in the application of technology in public health. Dr. Gold is founding Dean, University of Maryland School of Public Health, and Founding Director of the Public Health Informatics Research Laboratory. He formerly held positions as: 1) Vice President – ORC Macro International where he directed the Applied Human Technologies Division – the principal component of the organization responsible for public health technology development; 2) Director, Prevention Policy Branch in the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and, 3) Representative for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Gold holds a Ph.D. in health education with major emphases in computer science and research design, and a Dr.P.H. in Community Health Practice with major areas of study in program evaluation and epidemiology.

Ronny Lancaster

Ronny B. Lancaster
Director of The Sullivan Alliance
Senior Vice President,
Government Relations,
Assurant, Inc.

Mr. Ronny B. Lancaster, a Director of The Sullivan Alliance, is Senior Vice President for Government Relations at ASSURANT, Inc., a Fortune 300 company, providing specialty coverage in health, life, property and casualty insurance. Prior to his current position, for more than 12 years, Mr. Lancaster was at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), becoming Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. While at MSM, Mr. Lancaster also served for six years as President of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS). In addition to MSM, the Association included the Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Schools at Howard University, the Medical and Dental Schools of Meharry Medical College, the Medical Program at the Charles R. Drew University, the Pharmacy Schools of Hampton University, Florida A&M University, Xavier University and Texas Southern University, and the Veterinary School at Tuskegee University.

Before coming to Morehouse, Mr. Lancaster served under Secretary Louis W. Sullivan at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a number of positions, including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Mr. Lancaster has held several senior level positions in health including, Senior Washington Representative for the National Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and Chief of the Fee-For-Service Plans at the U. S. Office of Personnel Management, administering the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Mr. Lancaster serves on the board of OraSure Technologies, Inc., and on the Medical Advisory Board of Henry Schein, Inc., as well as on the non-profit boards of City Year, Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Carroll High School.

Mr. Lancaster received a B.A. in Economics from Catholic University of America, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Georgetown University. Mr. Lancaster was admitted to the Bar in the State of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Jeanne Sinkford

Jeanne Sinkford D.D.S., Ph.D.
Director of The Sullivan Alliance
Senior Scholar-in-Residence,
Office of the Executive Director,
American Dental Education Association

Jeanne Sinkford, D.D.S., Ph.D. serves on The Sullivan Alliance’s Board of Directors. Before Dr. Sinkford joined the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in 1991 as Director of the Office of Women and Minority Affairs, she served for 16 years as Dean at Howard University College of Dentistry (first female dean of a U.S. dental school). Prior to her appointment as Dean, she held the Associate Dean post from 1967 to 1974 and was Chair of Prosthodontics from 1964 to 1974. During her career at Howard University, Dr. Sinkford was named to a nine-member panel studying the U.S. Public Health Service Tuskegee Syphilis Study No. 1 (1972), and, in 1974, she became the first African American female dentist inducted into the U.S. section of the International College of Dentists. Dr. Sinkford has played a role in crafting significant reports on the status of minorities in dentistry including the 2004 Sullivan Commission on Diversity report, Missing Persons: Minorities in the Health Professions.

Louis Stokes

Louis Stokes Esq
Director of The Sullivan Alliance

Louis Stokes, Esq. serves as a Director of The Sullivan Alliance. Mr. Stokes served in the United States House of Representatives for 15 terms from 1968 to 1999. He is from Cleveland, Ohio.

During Stokes’ tenure in the House of Representatives, he was particularly interested in veterans’ issues and secured funds for healthcare facilities for veterans in Cleveland. Many buildings throughout the country have been named in Stokes honor, including: Howard University medical library, and the greater Cleveland area Veterans’ hospital.The former Congressman was inducted into the Karamu House Hall of Fame in 2007 for his contributions to the continued legacy of Cleveland’s black settlement house and theatre.

Mr. Stokes is now a partner in the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, with offices in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. He attended Western Reserve University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Ciro Sumaya

Ciro V. Sumaya M.D., M.P.H.T.M.
Director of The Sullivan Alliance
Dean and Cox Endowed Chair,
School of Rural Public Health,
Texas A&M University System, HSC

Ciro V. Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M. serves as a Director of The Sullivan Alliance. Dr. Sumaya was the Founding Dean of the School of Rural Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in College Station. He currently holds the rank of professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and is the holder of the John and Maureen Cox Endowed Chair. Prior to becoming Dean of the School of Rural Public Health, Dr. Sumaya was a Presidential Appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He first served as Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal focal point for innovation in health care delivery and health professions education, and subsequently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, spearheading the federal Initiative on the Future of Academic Health Centers. Dr. Sumaya was Associate Medical Dean at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and also held an academic position at the Pediatric Infectious Disease Division, UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Sumaya was one of the six Founding Scholars in Academic Administration and Health Policy of the Association of Academic Health Centers and an Executive Committee Member of the Surgeon General's National Hispanic Health Initiative. He currently serves as Board Chairman for the National Hispanic Medical Association and as a member of the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the principal recommending governmental body for vaccines administered to the American public.

Robin Carle

Robin Carle
Executive Director & COO of The Sullivan Alliance

Robin H. Carle is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of The Sullivan Alliance. Ms. Carle is an experienced executive manager who has a professional track record of weaving short-term and long-term strategic goals into highly organized plans and program implementation.  Ms. Carle is charged with managing and enhancing the Alliance and its initiatives to enlist health professionals, students, corporations, associations, business leaders, government officials, the academic community, and other nonprofit and community-based organizations by educating the public and policy makers on the crucial need to increase diversity in the health professions.

During the past three decades, Ms. Carle has developed and maintains a significant national resource network among government, policy, academic and corporate communities. She began her professional career as a field operative in party politics.

Ms. Carle is the former Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, having been elected to that position in the 104th and 105th Congresses (1995 – 1999). Immediately prior to joining the Alliance, she was a senior vice president at Fleishman Hilliard (FH), one of the world’s largest public relations agencies working with clients in the areas of health policy and health technology. Prior to FH, she was vice president for government affairs of The Century Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to issues of underage drinking and drunk driving. Earlier in her career, Ms. Carle served as chief of staff to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the chief of staff and director of campaign operations for a national party organization.

Born in New Mexico and raised in Idaho, Ms. Carle graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has resided in the Washington, D.C. area since 1983.