Board of Directors

Executive Committee

J. Lloyd Michener, MD

Lloyd MichenerLloyd Michener, MD

Board Chair

Lloyd Michener, MD, is Professor and past Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke; Clinical Professor at the Duke School of Nursing; and Adjunct Professor, Public Health Leadership, at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Michener has spent his entire professional career at the interface between communities and academic health centers, focusing on finding ways of making health care more effective through teams, community engagement and practice redesign. He has overseen the Obesity/Chronic Disease Prevention Programs of the Kate B. Reynolds Trust, a program designed to lower chronic disease rates in low-income minority communities across North Carolina, and the obesity prevention programs of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

He now directs a national program for the “Practical Playbook” which facilitates the integration of health care and public health, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the de Beaumont Foundation. He also works with the technical support service of “The BUILD Health Challenge”, a national competitive award program aimed at increasing the number and effectiveness of hospital, community, and public health collaborations that improve health, supported by the de Beaumont Foundation, The Advisory Board Company, the Kresge Foundation, The Colorado Health Care Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Michener has also served as an advisor to the CDC/CMS Million Hearts program, and as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that led to the publication of “Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health”. In addition, Dr. Michener has served as President of the Association for Prevention Teaching & Research, Chair of the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges and as a member of the Board of the Association of Academic Medical Colleges, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, and the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Governors. He has also served as a member of the NIH Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Academic Affiliations Advisory Council of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, and as co- chair of the Community Engagement Key Function Committee for the Clinical Translation Science Awards of the NIH, and leader of the annual NIH-funded meeting on community engagement in research. He current chairs the NIH/NCATS workgroup on health disparities, and serves as a member of the National Academies of Medicine / Robert Woods Johnson Workgroup on Assessing Measures of Community Engagement in Health and Healthcare

Notable professional awards and recognition have included Phi Beta Kappa (Oberlin), Mead Johnson Award for Graduate Education in Family Medicine (American Academy of Family Physicians), Kellogg Family Medicine Faculty Fellowship (Duke), Alpha Omega Alpha (Duke School of Medicine), and Duncan Clark Award (Association for Prevention Teaching and Research).

Dr. Michener graduated from Oberlin College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and completed his family medicine residency and fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

Vandana Shah, LLM

Vandana Shah, Board of DirectorsVandana Shah, LLM

Vice Chair

Vandana Shah is the Director of South Asia Programs for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), a US based non-profit organization that works in the United States and globally as part of the Bloomberg Initiative to reduce tobacco use in developing countries. Vandana leads CTFK’s policy advocacy programming in India and Bangladesh and directs legislative/legal work in Indonesia.  She also supports advocacy efforts in in many other South Asian countries. She provides strategic leadership for both direct and indirect political advocacy, litigation, and media efforts in these countries, working closely with in-country staff and funded partners/grantees. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF), a state foundation that was responsible for awarding $30 million in grants for key health care prevention programs with an emphasis on tobacco control projects.

She is also the co-founder of KIRAN, a domestic violence and crisis services organization for South Asians in North Carolina and is currently serving as chair for the Board. She has also served on the board of North Carolina Society for Health Care Attorneys, Indian American Forum for Political Education, and the International Affairs Council. She has law degrees from Duke University and Calcutta University, India and has practiced in both North Carolina and India. Vandana was born and raised in Kolkata, India currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

Charles Ayscue, MBA

Charles Ayscue, Board of DirectorsCharles Ayscue, MBA


Charles Ayscue’s financial career exceeded more than four decades as he enjoyed a cumulative 45 years of administrative healthcare experience, serving the last 31 years as the Chief Financial Officer for two large Healthcare Systems. Mr. Ayscue joined Mission Health System, Inc. (the Parent Corporation) as its Chief Financial Officer in March 2007. Mission Health System, Inc. (MHS) owned, operated and managed healthcare facilities providing a broad spectrum of inpatient, outpatient and long-term acute care services to a large, 18-county service area in western North Carolina. Prior to joining MHS, Mr. Ayscue served as the Chief Financial Officer at the University of North Carolina Healthcare System in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the University of North Carolina Hospitals for 20 years.

Mr. Ayscue also served for more than 4 years as the Comptroller and Associate Director of Financial Services for the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is recognized as an “advanced member” of the North Carolina Hospital Financial Management Association, having active membership for more than 40 years, and is a former recipient of the Follmer Bronze award for outstanding volunteer service. Mr. Ayscue has also been recognized for his community service related to volunteer fundraising and volunteer coaching for several community recreation departments.

His professional affiliations include prior and continuous service on numerous boards and foundations and he currently serves as the Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee for both the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation, based in the Research Triangle Park and Capstone Health Alliance, based in Asheville (which provides primarily GPO services to 300+ hospitals and related affiliates).

In September of 2013, Mr. Ayscue was the recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine as conferred by the Governor of the State of North Carolina. Mr. Ayscue has also been recognized on numerous occasions as one of the nation’s “150 Hospital and Health System CFO’s to know” in annual publications by Becker’s Hospital Review. In October of 2014, Mr. Ayscue was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by his alma mater, Campbell University. Mr. Ayscue holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Business Administration degree from Campbell College, now Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina.

David Reese, MBA

David Reese, MBA


David Reese, President and CEO of the East Durham Children’s Initiative, brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience to the organization. Throughout his career, David’s work has focused on creating opportunity for low-wealth families and developing chances for children to succeed.

David previously served as Chief Operating Officer for Food Recovery and Distribution at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. He is Past Co-Chair of the Partnership for a Healthy Durham and Past Vice Chair of the Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council. David currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Durham Rotary Club, Foundation for Health and Leadership and Innovation, Durham’s Partnership for Children, East Durham Children’s Initiative, BB&T Bank’s Durham Advisory Board, United Way of the Greater Triangle and Leadership Triangle. He also has served on the Durham YMCA’s advisory board, and the Mayor of Durham’s Poverty Reduction Task Force. In 2006, he was recognized as one of the Triangle Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders.

David holds a Master of Business Administration. He hails from the Bronx, NY, and lives in Durham with his wife, Iris, and their three children.

Steve Cline, DDS, MPH

Steve Cline, DDS, MPH

Executive Committee Member-At-Large

Dr. Cline currently serves as the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships for Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC). His responsibilities include exploring and developing opportunities with provider networks, dental health providers, and other healthcare organizations.  He is also an advisor to the NC Health Information Exchange. Prior to joining CCNC, Dr. Cline was the Assistant Secretary for Health Information Technology in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Spending most of his career in public health, his last position in public health was as Deputy State Health Director in DHHS, where his responsibilities included formulating division policies and priorities as well supervising all programmatic areas of the Division which included Epidemiology, Women’s and Children’s Health, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Oral Health, and Public Health Preparedness.

From 1999 to 2006, Dr. Cline served as Chief of the Epidemiology Section in the North Carolina Division of Public Health where he led the state’s public health response to bioterrorism, SARS, Hurricanes Fran and Katrina, and other public health emergencies. Prior to that, Dr. Cline spent 13 years in local public health with the Wake County Health Department where he held the positions of Dental Director, Deputy Health Director and finally Acting Wake County Health Director.  In 1996 he moved to the state health department where he was the State Dental Director for three years before becoming the Chief of Epidemiology.

Dr. Cline received his B.S. degree from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina and both his DDS degree and his MPH degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He is married with four children and living in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Board Members

Dr. Ronny Bell

Dr. Ronny Bell

Dr. Ronny Bell is Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health at East Carolina University, beginning in November of 2016.  Prior to his appointment at East Carolina, Dr. Bell was Professor of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Dr. Bell is a native of Pembroke, North Carolina and is an enrolled member of the Lumbee tribe.  He received his undergraduate degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Master’s and Doctorate in Foods and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Gerontology and a Master’s in Epidemiology from Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Dr. Bell’s research focuses on chronic disease epidemiology and prevention in racial and ethnic minority populations, with a focus on American Indian populations.  He currently chairs the North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council and the North Carolina American Indian Health Board and co-chairs the Healthy North Carolina 2030 Task Force.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for Access East and the North Carolina Chapter of Nurse Family Partnership.  Nationally, he currently serves on the American Diabetes Association Health Disparities Committee.

Reuben C. Blackwell IV

Reuben Cooper Blackwell IV

Mr. Reuben C. Blackwell IV is a native son of Roxboro, NC where he pastors Cornerstone Community Christian Church. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Blackwell’s lifetime work experience has focused on entrepreneurial and business development, non-profit management, international trade and corporate investment, as well as human service program design and delivery. Reuben Blackwell serves as the President and CEO of Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC). OIC offers comprehensive human services for communities in Edgecombe and Nash counties, providing basic education, job development and placement, youth leadership training and development, valued added business services and a full array of primary health care services to more than 25,000 people annually.

Mr. Blackwell has served as a member of the Rocky Mount City Council since 2000, is the Immediate Past Chair of the NAACP/College Endowment Foundation of the 6th District (covering North and South Carolina) of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and was recently awarded the Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for exemplary service in meeting the healthcare needs of North Carolinians and visionary leadership in the field of public health. A community liaison and social justice activist, Blackwell serves on several Boards of Directors and the Executive Committees of both the Rocky Mount Branch and the NC State Conference of Branches of the NAACP.

Reuben, his wife Neva and their children, Cooper and Saija, are longtime residents of Rocky Mount and call eastern North Carolina home.

Samuel Cykert, MD

Samuel Cykert, MD

Dr. Cykert is a Professor of Medicine at UNC-CH in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology after starting his career as a solo practitioner in Alamance County. Combining his research training and interest in health policy, he has been heavily involved in projects that address health disparities in both cancer treatment and chronic care management. As part of this effort he currently serves as PI or co-PI, on several large, multi-site grants including the NCI funded ACCURE study, and co-PI of CHANGE, Community Health Worker Project. Dr. Cykert is also the Principal Investigator for the NC Cooperative in AHRQ’s Evidence Now project for which 7 cooperatives around the U.S. are working with small primary care practices to reduce cardiovascular risk. The North Carolina Cooperative includes 220 practices caring for 625,000 adult patients in this effort.

Kevin FitzGerald, MPA

Kevin FitzGerald, MPA

Kevin FitzGerald, who has served in several senior leadership roles at UNC Health Care and the University of North Carolina, is the Interim Program Director of the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC). In this role he oversees the organization’s budget and program office, manages health workforce planning and development initiatives across a range of health professions, fosters collaboration among academic programs and organizations across the state, and represents the organization on the state and national level.

FitzGerald retired in 2016 from the University of North Carolina System after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to Presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings. Prior to serving at the University System Office, FitzGerald worked at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was the founding Director of the Center for Public Technology at the School of Government, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Government Affairs, and Vice Dean for Finance and Administration and Chief of Staff at the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care.

John H. Frank, MBA

John H. Frank, MBA

John H. Frank was born in Washington DC, but spent  his early years in Russell County, Virginia and his adolescent years in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Panama City and Lima, Peru, while his father was a controller with the USAID program. John also spent four years in the hospital corps in the United States Navy. 

 John has an undergraduate degree in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wake Forest University. John retired as Director of the Health Care Division of the Kate. B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in 2010 after 15 years of service. Prior to joining the Trust, John was a career hospital administrator for 22 years and President of Lexington Memorial Hospital in NC, a position he held for eight years.  

 John is currently the Principal of JHF Advisors, LLC, a health care consulting firm. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Davidson County Medical Ministries Clinic and serves on the Board of Directors of Wake Forest Baptist Health – Lexington Medical Center. 

In 2008, John was awarded the Ronald H. Levine Legacy Award for Public Health by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and was also the recipient of the NC Hospital Association’s Meritorious Service Award. In 2009, John received the Jim Bernstein Community Health Center Achievement Award. 

Pamela P. Highsmith, M.Ed., CFRE

Pamela P. Highsmith, M.Ed., CFRE

Pam Highsmith has worked in health-related organizations for over 20 years and has spent most of that time working with physicians and physician assistants to improve health in North Carolina.

Pam is currently Vice President of Advancement & Donor Relations at the North Carolina Medical Society and NCMS Foundation. She is responsible for fund development programs of the NCMS and NCMSF, excluding membership dues. The NCMSF’s focus, and a passion for Pam, is improved access to health care for all North Carolinians, particularly those living in rural areas. Pam is particularly interested in helping donors fund solutions to the multi-dimensional causes of health access inequity and poor health.

Working with board leadership and other volunteers, Pam has developed programs such as the NCMS Leadership College, a leadership development program for physicians and PAs that thrives today as one of several programs of the NCMSF’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership. She has also lead capital campaigns, including raising over $15 million for the NCMSF’s Community Practitioner Program.

Pam was also the CEO for the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education and served as Administrator for United Hospice. Pam began her career as a middle school English teacher in public schools in North and South Carolina. She earned a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Education from The Citadel. Pam is also a Certified Fund-Raising Executive.

Tina Markanda, MBA, MSPH

Tina Markanda, MBA, MSPH

Since 2014, Tina Markanda has served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Foundation for a Healthy High Point. This organization exists to encourage, support, influence, and invest in efforts that improve health and wellness throughout Greater High Point, and is centered in examining and addressing health issues that affect the community.

Prior to this role, Tina served as a Program Officer with the Health Care Division at The Duke Endowment, in private industry, at an academic medical center, and with a private not-for-profit community hospital.

Tina is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and is a Hull Fellow with the Southeastern Council of Foundations. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University and MSPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Steve North, MD, MPH

Dr. Steve North, Board of DirectorsSteve North, MD, MPH

Dr. North is a nationally recognized leader in school-based telemedicine and rural telehealth. He founded the Health-e-Schools school-based telemedicine program that currently provides access to primary care, preventive care and adolescent medicine to over 55,000 students at 105 schools in 9 rural NC counties. He is also the State Medical Director for Eleanor Health.

Dr. North is also a practicing Family Physician and Adolescent Medicine specialist in rural Mitchell County, NC. He currently serves on the boards of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center, and Advocates for Youth. He lives in Spruce Pine, NC with his sons Eli and Oscar.


Kim Schwartz, MA

Kim Schwartz, MA

Kim Schwartz currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center (RCCHC), a Federally Qualified Community Health Center in Eastern North Carolina.   In this role, she champions the unique challenges of the health care needs of rural communities in underserved areas and has generated key collaborations and innovations to advance RCCHC’s mission of enhancing the lives of Eastern North Carolinians. Kim leads RCCHC’s team as a member of the Institute of Health Improvement (IHI) Leadership Alliance, represents US Congressional District 1 on the North Carolina Medical Care Advisory Committee, and serves as Chair of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Board and immediate past Chair of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association.

Prior to this role, Kim was a national clinical consultant with Magellan Health Services specific to public sector solutions and  CEO of Guidance Center of Lea County, NM, a comprehensive community mental health agency.  Under Kim’s leadership, the Guidance Center became a FQHC-Look Alike that integrated a primary care site into their scope of service.

Kim has many professional affiliations and frequently presents at national and regional conferences including as an expert panelist at the World Congress Global Health Medicaid Summit in Washington, DC in 2015. Kim was a recipient of the Robert J. Greczn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award, the National Association of Community Health Centers – Cooke Advocacy Award and the BD Building Health Communities Award.  She received her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling Education from the University of New Mexico.

Napoleon Wallace, MBA

Napoleon Wallace, MBA

Napoleon Wallace is a Senior Fellow at Frontline Solutions, a national philanthropic and non-profit consultancy. Napoleon leads the firm’s efforts in impact investing, emerging ventures, and inclusive development. Prior to this role, Napoleon served as the NC Deputy Secretary of Commerce, leading micropolitan economic development, community development, and workforce development. With nearly two decades of experience in finance and community economic development, Napoleon has served in various executive and leadership roles through out his career. He has served as the Social Investment Officer at the Kresge Foundation, leading health and human services social investments, and on the executive staff at Self-Help, where he managed several community development initiatives. Napoleon also worked as an investment banker with Wachovia Capital Markets (now Wells Fargo Securities) and as a community banker with M&F Bancorp’s Commercial Credit Group. Napoleon is a proud resident of Durham and native of Pitt county. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from NC Central University and his MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Dana Weston Graves, MHA, FACHE

Dana Weston Graves, MHA, FACHE

Dana Weston Graves is the Founder & President of DMG Executive Resources, a consulting firm providing healthcare strategy, leadership development, and advocacy services. As a sought after public speaker, writer, guest lecturer, group facilitator, and healthcare advocate, Dana has provided leadership and consulting expertise across the country.

Prior to DMG, Dana served as President & CEO of UNC Rockingham Health Care (formerly Morehead Memorial Hospital) in Eden, North Carolina where she was responsible for the strategic vision, daily operations, and overall system growth – including leading the rural hospital successfully through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Her earlier career experiences include facilitating the implementation of hospital partnership models and serving as a consultant to health systems across the region (Adept Health), as well as managing strategic planning for acute care facilities and clinical service lines (Novant Health).

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Dana received a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from UNC – Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University (Atlanta, GA).

Dana Weston Graves is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and has held active leadership positions in both professional and community organizations. Her recognition & awards include Triad Business Journals’ 40 Leaders Under 40 (2017), Emory University Alumni 40 under Forty (2018), National Association for Health Services Executives (NAHSE) Young Healthcare Executive of the Year (2018), Triad’s Most Admired CEOs (2019), and the UNC Gillings School of Public Health Alumni Leadership Award (2019).

Adam J. Zolotor, MD, DrPH

Adam J. Zolotor, MD, DrPH

Adam J. Zolotor, MD, DrPH, is the President and CEO of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and a professor of Family Medicine in at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Zolotor has practiced family medicine in a small-town practice, rural emergency department, county health department, and academic medical center.

Dr. Zolotor started his academic career in child injury research and is well known nationally for his work on the prevention of physical abuse, shaken baby syndrome, and child discipline as well as the policy issues around prevention. Dr. Zolotor joined the NCIOM in 2012 as the Vice President and has served as the President and CEO since 2014.

Dr. Zolotor has led many new initiatives at the NCIOM, including the rural health plan, the child maltreatment prevention plan, the plan for Alzheimer’s and related dementia, the Task Force on Accountable Care Communities and the Legislative Health Policy Fellowship Program. He also led the NCMJ through a transformative change to a mostly online distribution with dramatic increase in the statewide footprint.

Dr. Zolotor still practices family medicine at the University of North Carolina. He earned both his master’s degree and doctorate in public health as well as his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His undergraduate degree and residency training were at the University of Michigan.