Jeanette Lastrape, M.P.H.
Jeanette Lastrape, is a community relations manager in Community Alliances at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She oversees cancer prevention education programs for at-risk populations in the greater Houston area. Lastrape received a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Texas Southern University and a master’s degree in public health from The University of Texas School of Public Health.
Jometra Hawkins is often called a “community translator.” Through her work, she has served as a bridge between communities, policymakers and healthcare services, uncovering and communicating the needs of residents in underserved communities and advocating for policies that will help lift their socioeconomic status. She has overseen key public health initiatives in Houston and surrounding areas and currently serves as the co-chair of the African American Health Coalition. She is also a former co-chair of the Acres Homes Health Action team, which was created as part of the City of Houston’s Complete Communities Initiative. She previously served as a Board Member for the Community Health Workers Association Texas Gulf Coast. Prior to that, Jometra studied at Texas Southern University, where she studied for a Bachelor of Education.
Jeness Sherrell has been employed at Change Happens for seventeen years, and currently serves as the Adult Services Director. She coordinated the day-to-day operations for their ACA Navigator Program as the Program Coordinator for the past seven years. Before that, she coordinated a team of outreach workers that provided outreach, education and application assistance for State Programs such as CHIP/Children’s Medicaid, Adult Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps) and TANF throughout the Gulf Coast Region for seven years.
Jeness has been actively involved in community building and has represented Change Happens on the Third Ward Community Cloth Collaborative, the Enroll Gulf Coast Collaborative, the Gulf Coast CHIP Coalition and the African American Health Coalition. She is a native Houstonian and graduated from the High School for Health Professions (now DeBakey), and then went on to Lamar University – Beaumont for BS in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Counseling at Houston Graduate School of Theology.
Jeness feels fortunate to be employed by an agency that allows her to be instrumental in the health and well-being of our society. It is her desire to educate as many people as possible so that they can make wise and informed decisions.
Sherea Cary is a Houston caregiving educator, author and business consultant. She guided her family through her father’s cancer care and now advises others about caregiving. She compiled her tips into a book entitled Next Step Navigation Tool: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide After the Initial Diagnosis of Cancer. Sherea devotes hours to helping patients and their families take a more-organized, less-stressed approach to battling cancer or other chronic illnesses.
She is featured offering advice in videos on the Patient Empowerment Network website, a cancer information portal. Her humor and zingers make her a sought-after speaker and caregiving mentor for CanCare, a Houston-based cancer support organization. She is also a former chair of the African-American Health Coalition of the Metropolitan Houston Area and currently serves as a general board member.
For the last three decades, Sherea has worked as paralegal for top-tier personal injury lawyers and, as an entrepreneur, solving problems for busy professionals. Sherea was featured on Fox26‘s Isiah Factor Uncensored discussing the ABC’s of Caregiving. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a master’s in human resource development from the University of Houston.
Reiko Boyd, PhD, MSW
Reiko Boyd is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Dr. Boyd’s research focuses on addressing racist inequities that impact Black families in contact with child welfare systems, Black infant and maternal health, youth emancipating from foster care, and structural inequality at the community level. In her work, Dr. Boyd applies a multi-level, life-course perspective that directs attention beyond individual factors to examine and intervene on structures, systems, and conditions in order cultivate healthy contexts and increase opportunities for Black children and families to thrive in their full potential. Dr. Boyd earned her MSW from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her doctorate in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.
Emeritus- Wendell Taylor, PhD, MPH
Wendell C. Taylor, PhD, MPH is the first African American Health Coalition emeritus executive board member. In this role, he assists executive board members to achieve the Coalition’s mission. He provides general and specific recommendations, ideas, advice, and guidance.
Dr. Taylor’s research focus includes health equity, environmental justice, workplace health promotion, physical activity, and sedentary behavior. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers in a variety of scholarly journals, two books, and many book chapters.
At major universities in the United States, Dr. Taylor’s academic appointments include a postdoctoral fellow, visiting scholar, and tenured faculty positions. His degrees are a PhD in Social Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) with concentrations in community health practice, behavioral sciences, and health promotion.