topper
Eliminating Heart Health Disparaties Amongst African-American Women
The Board of Directors
Florence Champagne, MSW, Chairman and CEO, suffered a heart attack March, 2012, and as a result, she had emergency open heart surgery.   Due to being uninsured at the time, she did not readily receive the diagnostic testing and life-saving treatment.  She found that she was not alone, and met other African-American women along the way, who were either uninsured or underinsured, which impacted their ability to receive treatment, thus, creating a life-threatening disparity.  Being a heart survivor, she found purpose in her pain as she provides support, advocacy, and leadership to women living with heart disease.

Florence is spokesperson for WomenHeart: A national coalition of women who support women living with or who are at risk of heart disease.  To that end, her accomplishments include being on the Dr. Oz show, speaking on Capitol Hill about heart health disparities, written articles as well as her participation in patient education videos, sharing her personal story empowering women to become advocates for their heart health.  Through her advocacy, education, and speaking engagements, Florence has reached approximately 6,000 women.  Florence received a BA from George Mason University in Art Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Howard University. Her history includes working at the White House, the Department of Justice and the US House of Representatives.  She is a published author publishing her first book called "Inez's Granddaughter".  Florence is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and Sisters for Sisters Network, Inc.  She is originally from Philadelphia and currently resides in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Sandra Crewe, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Dr. Crewe is the Dean of Howard University's School of Social Work.  She holds a BSW and MSW from the National Catholic School of Social Services, Catholic University of America. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Work from Howard University in Washington, DC. She is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). Her research interests include Family Caregiving and Kinship Care (emphasis on older adults), Program Development and Evaluation, and Cultural Competence. She has published articles in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Affilia, and  the Journal of Health and Social Policy. She serves as the director of the Multidisciplinary Center for Social Gerontology.
 
Dr. Crewe is a gubernatorial appointee for the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust; member of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (Resident Leadership Faculty); member of the board of directors, American Association of Service Coordinators (chair professional development committee); advisory council member of the Women’s Health Institute and HIV/AIDS Consortium (Howard University); and member and chair of the ethnogeriatric and culture committee, Washington DC Area Geriatric Education Consortium Center (WAGECC). She is also a Master Faculty Scholar for WAGECC and member of the NASW Aging Specialty Group and served as a member of the expert panel for Family Caregiving Standards. Dr. Crewe also serves on the Council of Social Work’s professional development committee. She is a program evaluation/development consultant for the Department of Social Development (provincial government), Cape Town, South Africa.
Michelle Lyons, Treasurer, Board of Directors
Michelle Lyons is the Administrator of Boards and Commissions for the Department of Permitting Inspections and Enforcement in Prince George's County, Maryland.  She received her Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from Indiana University.  She has worked for 13 years in Prince George’s County Government and manages the Boards of Building Contractors, Electrical Contractors, Nuisance Abatement, Dance Hall and is the Chair of the Telecommunications Transmission Facilities Committee.   Prior to her current career, Michelle owned and operated an apparel boutique in Fort Washington , Maryland for 15 years.   Michelle is a campaign manager, and is sought after and serves on many boards.  She  is the Chair of the Prince George’s Education Coalition and serves on the Board of Directors at Ethel’s Place, a program for foster care children transitioning to independence.  She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women,  League of Women Voters, and is also a trained etiquette coach. 
 
Khaleelah Hardie, M.A., Secretary, Board of Directors
Khaleelah received her Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park and earned her B.A. at the University of California, Riverside where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa.  Her special interest in social disparities and under-represented groups led her on a journey of diverse academic ventures including research on Wal-Mart which led to a publication, Wal-Mart and the Logistics Revolution in 2006. Khaleelah has over six years of research and collegiate teaching experience; and a professional background in non-profit program development and volunteer services spanning nearly ten years. She brings a creative and fresh approach to every endeavor, drawing on various disciplines to implement programs and motivate people to action.

In 2010, she transitioned to the non-profit sector working in community outreach and education for WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, a national non-profit organization operating on the strength of over 850+ trained volunteer women heart patients across the nation. During her tenure at WomenHeart, Khaleelah oversaw the enhancement and execution of various program initiatives. As Director of Programs, she managed community-based education initiatives; peer support programs, social media campaigns, and led the planning and execution of over seven conferences.  She continues her work in the non-profit sector, serving community members, through her position with MGUH as Community Benefit Specialist; as well as her position with WomenHeart as Consultant for Patient and Volunteer Programs.
 
Leletha Marshall, Board of Directors.
Leletha is a sought after and highly skilled nonprofit and public relations consultant.  She is currently the Director for Development at Sister Cities International.  She spearheads development efforts in creating and overseeing the implementation of a strategic approach to fundraising which includes major gifts, corporate donations, grant solicitation, and in-kind resources.  In her services to nonprofits, Leletha specializes in working with local, international, federal and health and human service agencies.  She assesses community and organizational needs, develop effective programs, align organizational strategies and evaluate impacts.  As a consultant in the public relations field, she specializes in getting her clients noticed via media such as newspapers, television, magazines, radio, and the Internet.  She is known to provide Promotions, Advertising and Business Development for non-profits and civic organizations.  She specializes in forming working relationships funders as well as with the media to accomplish publicity goals, online public relations, developing and carrying out strategies for her clients.  
Peggy Morris, Board of Directors. 
Peggy is the President and Founder of Sisters 4 Sisters Network, Inc. (S4SN).  S4SN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization driven by membership.  The key to the organization’s success is creating an empowerment, motivational and informative environment developed in a Spirit of Sisterhood, where their focus is on Education and Mentoring, Health and Wellness, Entrepreneurship, and Domestic Violence.  She has created a platform to bring women together to share information, resources and contacts to help elevate each other to the next level in their business. Their motto is “Women Helping Women to Connect”.   Peggy is also a host of a Web TV online radio program called 4Sisters LIVE.  There she helps to provide a platform which allows them to bring information to the community with guests on the topics of Education and Mentoring, Health and Wellness, Domestic Violence, and Entrepreneurship.  

Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., Advisory Committee
Dr. Nickens is a program director in the Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is responsible for the scientific development and fiscal management of research programs focused on prevention, recognition, and treatment in cardiovascular medicine.  She is responsible for initiative development, coordinating workshops and meetings, and preparing all reports within these scientific areas for the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute Director.

Among her various responsibilities, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is particularly interested in disparities in the practice of medicine and cardiovascular health and the effect on women and minorities.

Prior to joining the NHLBI in 1991, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens was a primary care physician at the Johns Hopkins Health Plan in Baltimore. In that position, she treated patients of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds who were afflicted with various complex chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens has reviewed or edited dozens of scientific manuscripts and is an author or coauthor of numerous articles and studies. She is a member of the American Heart Association, the National Medical Association, and the Association of Black Cardiologists.

Arinola Gabrielle Awosika, MBA, Advisory Committee
Arinola battled heart disease and won. After a successful open heart surgery, she decided to give back to her community by becoming a community speaker, educator and healthy lifestyle advocate through WomenHeart.  She received an MBA from American Military University.  She is a freelance Global Business Consultant and Heart Health Advocate.  Heart health advocacy and awareness is very important to her as she shares her heart story and speak on health issues at health and wellness fairs, health services groups, and programs, and gives educational presentations. The support groups provide good listening ears, helping hands, education, awareness and preventative educational materials. She helps people to live a healthy life and prevent another heart episode from happening.  Arinola is working on setting up foundations for women who are heart disease survivors, living in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.