Board of Directors

Executive Committee

J. Lloyd Michener, MD

Lloyd MichenerLloyd Michener, MD

Board Chair

Lloyd Michener, MD, is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Community and Family Medicine. 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 primary 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 leads 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 Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Academic Affiliations Advisory Council of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 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 National Institutes of Health, and leader of the annual NIH-funded meeting on community engagement in research.

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, 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 joined Mission Health System, Inc. (the Parent Corporation) as the Chief Financial Officer in March 2007. Mission Health System, Inc. (MHS) owns, operates and manages 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 Health Care 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.

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 was also recognized in September 2014 as one of the nation’s “150 Hospital and Health System CFO’s to know” in a publication 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, in 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 28 years of nonprofit and leadership experience to the organization. Throughout his career David’s work has focused on developing opportunities for low-wealth communities, particularly those of color, that empower families to improve their education, finances and upward mobility. He is passionate about community development through education, fighting food insecurity, providing supports for families impacted by violence, criminal justice reform, and creating factors that mitigate the impacts of poverty.

His past work in crisis intervention, juvenile justice, and health services reflect his dedication to creating and providing supportive factors for children and families to help them succeed. Before joining EDCI, David served as Chief Operating Officer for Food Recovery and Distribution at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Director of Resource Development for Urban Ministries of Wake County and Crisis Intervention Program Director for Urban Ministries of Wake County.

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 East Durham Children’s Initiative, Durham’s Partnership for Children, BB&T Bank’s Durham Advisory Board, United Way of the Greater Triangle and Leadership Triangle. He also serves on the Durham YMCA’s advisory board. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Durham Rotary Club 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

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.

Steve Lawler, MBA

Steve Lawler, MBA

Steve Lawler became president of the North Carolina Healthcare Association in July 2017. He is a veteran health system administrator with experience ranging from one of the smallest hospitals in North Carolina to the largest health system in the state. As president, he oversees NCHA’s work to represent its membership of more than 130 hospitals and health systems providing primary care, inpatient and outpatient care, rehabilitative services, behavioral health care and post-acute care.

Prior to leading NCHA, Mr. Lawler served as senior vice president of regional development of Carolinas HealthCare System from 2014 to 2017. In this role, Mr. Lawler provided strategic development, network and alignment opportunities, and operational support to hospitals and healthcare systems throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Mr. Lawler served more than 20 years in leadership roles at Vidant Health, including president of Vidant Medical Center, the busiest hospital in the state and the exclusive teaching partner of East Carolina University.

A North Carolina native, he received his bachelor’s degree from The Citadel and an M.B.A. from Georgia Southern University. He served as a medical corps service officer in the U.S. Army before joining Vidant Health. Lawler was appointed to the State Health Coordinating Council in 2014, is on the board of the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce and has served on a variety of local and regional charitable boards throughout his career. He has been an adjunct faculty member at East Carolina University and a guest lecturer at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Medical University of South Carolina.

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 cardiology, and psychiatry to over 8,000 students at 22 schools in the mountains of western NC. Additionally, he serves as the Outpatient Medical Director at the Mission Center for Telehealth.

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 the North Carolina School Based Health Alliance. He lives in Spruce Pine, NC with his sons Eli and Oscar.

Kim Schwartz, MA

Kim Schwartz, MA

©les atkins Photography

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.