Board of Directors

Florence Champagne, MSW, Chairman & CEO

Florence 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 under insured. This 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.

 

Paul Underwood MD, FACC, FSCAI, RAC, Vice Chairman

Paul is an interventional cardiologist with over 30 years of experience in the private practice setting. He completed medical school and residency at the Mayo Clinic and completed cardiology training at the Cleveland Clinic. He learned interventional cardiology at Iowa Heart Center and practiced interventional cardiology in Phoenix, AZ. There he has been an influential member of cardiology society through the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Intervention and the American College of Cardiology (where he sat on the Arizona Board of Councilors). Most notably, he is a life member and former president of the Association of Black Cardiologists.

 

Alexis Cecile Tolliver,  Acting Treasurer

Alexis is originally from East Orange, New Jersey. She received her Masters in Reading from New York University and later received her Masters in Education and Administration from Seton Hall University. She started out her career as a teacher, reading specialist, then school administrator for Newark, New Jersey Public School System. She later relocated to Washington, DC as First Lady where her husband, Dr. Reverend Richard L. Tolliver was the fourth Rector at the St. Timothy Episcopal Church. Alexis is a Graduate of Fisk University where she received her BA in Education.

 

Khaleelah Cohen, M.A.,  Secretary

Khaleelah has over six years of research and collegiate teaching experience  and a professional background in non-profit program development and volunteer services. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Talking Drum, Inc.

Khaleelah previously oversaw the enhancement and execution of numerous program initiatives and national training conferences. As Director of Programs a WomenHeart: The National Coalition of Women with Heart Disease, she managed community-based education initiatives, peer support programs, social media campaigns and led the planning of the organization’s annual conferences.

 

Holly Jones, Financial Secretary

Holly is a survivor that thrives!  At the age of 19, she was diagnosed with Polymyositis with Interstitial Lung Disease.  In 2014, her lung disease progressed and developed into Pulmonary Hypertension and required her to be on oxygen daily.  After six years of being in clinical remission, the Pulmonary Hypertension progressed into Congestive Heart Failure.  

Holly has turned her tears into triumph.  She is a social media guru and hosts a Facebook Live talk show, called “Krazy N Christian”. She speaks on trending topics, life as a Christian and important information about health and wealth.

 

Gloria Ward Ravenell, Board Member

Gloria is a heart survivor that thrives!  As a child, she suffered from rheumatic fever, which led to congestive heart failure and aortic heart valve replacement.

Gloria retired from the Federal Government after 32 years of service. She is also a 20-year breast cancer survivor, a board member, political advocate, and fundraising director for Supporting Our Sisters International, Inc. Gloria is a member of Sisters Helping Sisters breast cancer ministry at Ebenezer AME church in Fort Washington, MD and she was the first Vice Chair of the National Congress of Black Women founded by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

 

Alma Thomas, Board Member

Alma is an Engineer with the Federal Government. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Howard University; a MS in Computer Information Systems from University of Phoenix and completed her post graduate studies in Management and Organizational Leadership.  Her career in the federal sector has includes engineering, aviation, software, information technology, data management, cloud services, acquisition, policy development, strategic planning, supervisory and management. She has worked for the federal government in several Departments and Agencies. Alma has been an active member of the Howard University Alumni PG County Chapter, and has volunteered with NSBE, JR Chapter and LEAP Forward.

 

Julia Hardeman Tsadick, Board Member

Julia earned her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Michigan and earned a Master’s in Education from Howard University. She has continued her studies at Virginia Tech. University, the University of the District of Columbia, and George Washington University. She has been a School Psychologist for over 30 years, and is also licensed as a School Administrator in Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Julia is also the CEO of “Educational Assistance” an organization that provides contractual educational services, and she is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of a newly formed a non-profit, Rainbows and Windows, Inc., organizations, a non-school hour program for children and youth.

 

Advisory Committee

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 for the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Institute Director.

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

Peggy Morris, Advisory Committee

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.  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.  

 

Dr. Terri Peters, Advisory Committee

Dr. Terri Peters is a Compound Pharmacist and co-owner of Quality of Life Pharmacy. She is also the Ambulatory Clinical Care Pharmacist in Charge at the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center. She turned the pharmacy into a full-service hospital pharmacy to serve the state in treating Maryland Covid-19 patients. She is a Health Coach for Weight Loss, an Associate Professor for Experiential Education for Howard University Doctor of Pharmacy Candidates, a Member of the Prince George’s County Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Co-Chairs the Health Committee. and a member of the Prince George’s County Health Coalition.

 

Dr. Karen Smith, Advisory Committee

Dr. Smith participated on numerous committees and boards throughout her career. She most recently enhanced her professional basket of services by providing treatment for substance abuse disorders, healthcare reform and improvement initiatives, and onsite education experience for learners in healthcare. Her work with the American Medical Association as Physician Champion for the Diabetes Prevention Program allows her to provide viable workflow options for practices to create accessible, quality, efficient, and cost wise strategies.  The practice of Karen L. Smith, MD, PA is most recently selected as one of three Health Leads EOPC entities which engages primary care and their partners in system redesign to promote greater equity in health.

 

Honorary Board Members