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Archives: Board Members

Dewanna Burke, Chair

Dewanna has over 20 years of experience as program and communications leader at a leading telecommunications and entertainment company.  She most recently obtained her Master of Healthcare Administration at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

As a program management and communications professional, Dewanna’s focus on marketing and operational improvement as well as large scale project management has enabled successful customer experience standards within the industry. Her strengths’ lie in aligning talent with strategic business goals, inspiring action and delivering on a compelling leadership vision.

Dewanna has a passionate desire to bring her skills to the healthcare industry through her Georgians for a Healthy Future and beyond.

She obtained B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University and an M.B.A at Georgia State University.  Dewanna is the proud new mom of daughter, Sarah.

Sar Medoff, Chair Elect

Sar Medoff is an emergency medicine physician passionate about health policy, rural healthcare, his family, and spending time outdoors. Dr. Medoff graduated from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2015 and from the Harvard Kennedy School with a dual degree in public policy. He then completed his emergency medicine residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians. He is also a member of the American College of Emergency Physician’s State and Legislative Regulatory Committee where he has advocated for Medicaid reform.

Sar has previously worked with the state of Vermont on health insurance reform, and during the COVID-19 pandemic he worked with Alaska’s Division of Public Health providing clinical support across state facilities. He is part of the Alaska Healthy and Equitable Communities Unit working to support and expand community health worker initiatives in Alaska. In Georgia, Dr. Medoff has been involved with the Emory Farmworker Project and works in multiple Emergency Departments around Atlanta. Sar was the founding chair of the Young Literacy Council for Reach Out and Read, which distributes books to pediatrician offices, and has been a Big Brother with Atlanta’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Davida Jones, Treasurer

Davida Jones has over ten years of experience providing forensic accounting services, litigation support, and business advisory services in PwC’s Advisory practice.

As a forensic services professional, Davida manages financial fraud investigations, provides damages assessments in civil litigation matters as well as insurance claims, and provides consulting services relating to regulatory and compliance matters for large public and private companies across all industries. On a daily basis, Davida is responsible for managing project teams, marketing PwC’s service offerings, fostering client relationships, and coaching and developing junior staff. Davida specializes in problem-solving situations where she is tasked with quickly defining the problem, identifying solutions, minimizing business interruption, and assisting clients in emerging stronger from unplanned events.

Abbie Fuksman, Secretary

Ms. Fuksman is a health care advocate and policy professional with extensive experience working with insurance carriers, employers and health care providers. An experienced business leader, she is a dedicated to improving access to quality and affordable care regardless of health status, social need, or income.

Her work experience has included regional health care systems, a major insurance carrier, a national physicians’ association and several social advocacy organizations. She has also served on the Boards of various non-profit organizations, and was a founding Board Member of Sojourn, an educational non-profit for LGBTQ youth and their caregivers. Currently, Abbie is serving on the Atlanta Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Board where she advocates and lobbies for health care access and quality issues. She also serves as a health care policy point person for Georgia and national legislation with the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon.  Abbie also assists the national organization, Protect Our Care, with health care-related media releases and press conferences.

Ms. Fuksman has additionally helped many of these organizations achieve their financial goals, through various fundraising initiatives and events. Abbie is dedicated to improving health care policies through legislative actions and social justice activism. She is a strong advocate for educating stakeholders on the complexities of the U.S. health care system. She is a natural communicator and networker who educates and influences decision makers.

Kate Brady

Kate Brady, PhD, ABD, is project manager for NCAPPS and HCBS Setting Rule Engagement and is particularly excited to advance community response to critical public systems changes that align services with HSRI’s goal to see all people living healthy, fulfilling lives as powerful, respected members of society. Kate has worked in the field of disability policy, service, and systems advocacy for nearly two decades. She brings experiences from work across multiple systems including home- and community-based services, vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid, Social Security, and workforce development. Kate thrives leading organizational, team, and individual change through the development and implementation of elaborate research and technical assistance endeavors and is adept at problem identification, process improvement, and program design, implementation, and evaluation.

Prior to coming to HSRI Kate worked as deputy director at the Georgia Council on Disability and has consulted for University Centers of Excellence at both the University of Georgia and the University of Massachusetts and worked as director of research at the National Organization on Disability.

Kate has a lifelong love of the arts, in particular folk music and independent theater and film. When not at work, she enjoys time with her wife, two teenagers, and a gaggle of pets. Community connectedness is precious, too, and she treasures knowing and spending time with neighbors and friends.

Jennifer L Baugh

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) at Open Hand Atlanta, an Atlanta staple
non-profit organization that provides medically tailored meals and food assistance to people
living with HIV and AIDS, disabled, and homebound elderly. Her clients often do not have
insurance, nor access comprehensive healthcare, and are subject to many social determinants
of health. Being a Open Hand client provides them access to medical nutrition therapy, nutrition
education and counseling.

Jennifer earned her Bachelors of Dietetics from Life University and underwent supervised
practice hours at Emory University Hospital and Southern Regional Medical Center. She has put
in leadership volunteer work at Interfaith Outreach Home and with her professional
organizations, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Greater Atlanta Dietetics

Jennifer has a passion for empowering her local community through policy change that will tear
down social determinants of health, such as healthcare disparity. Many patients have limited
access to RDNs due to their insurance plans, even when there is a
condition present where individualized nutrition services would benefit them.

Jennifer believes access to a variety of foods is part of quality healthcare. She believes part of
ending healthcare disparity will also have to include policies that end food apartheid.

Zerita C. Buchanan

Dr. Zerita C. Buchanan is a fourth-generation dentist and a proud HBCU graduate. Her commitment to health equity led her to be recognized as a “Healthcare Hero” by her alma mater Spelman College. With a successful career spanning both the public and private sectors, Dr. Zerita is highly regarded for her expertise in workforce diversity, health policy, and healthcare innovation. A Harvard trained healthcare executive, she has established herself as an accomplished cosmetic dentist, public health expert, and top oral health thought leader. Dr. Zerita utilizes her influential platform to address oral health inequities and to mentor the next generation of culturally competent and diverse dentists. She is a sought-after speaker & consultant, offering valuable insights on health justice, HBCU pipeline development, and diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives.

She received her DDS from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry and her MPH in Health Policy from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her public health research is focused on the enduring impact racism has on the American healthcare system and how it relates to current-day oral health disparities. Dr. Buchanan launched the “Dental Dreams, LLC – Dental Assisting School” to further diversify the dental workforce. The school’s mission is to increase diversity within the dental profession and provide students at HBCUs with the economic means to pursue their dreams of entering dental school. Dr. Buchanan also serves as the Assistant Director of The Increasing Diversity in Dentistry (IDID) pipeline program. IDID is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides a solution to the racial disparity in the dental workforce by cultivating, nurturing, and mentoring underrepresented minority pre-dental students. In 2023 Dr. Zerita, formalized a groundbreaking national partnership with Listerine aimed at diversifying the dental workforce.

She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and The Dogwood City (GA) Chapter of The Links, Inc. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Medical Education.

Deric Gilliard

Deric Gilliard is a career communications professional who is adept at strategic planning and the execution of communication strategies that promote organizational messaging and branding. Key policies issues within his portfolio include the ACA, maternal health, workforce development, HIV/AIDS, SUDS, Medicaid expansion, healthcare access, COVID, diversity and the Cares Act.

Deric is proficient in communicating and working with a broad range of audiences that include intergovernmental, affinity, faith-based, business, tribal and community-based settings. He confidently represented executive management with a broad range of governmental partners and other key non-governmental stakeholders to ensure clear communication of priorities and objectives. Deric’s experience includes 25 years in governmental relations, five years in higher education, 10 years in media and five as an entrepreneur. He also served as HHS representative regarding policy changes and updates for numerous state-wide coalitions.

Deric served as HHS Region IV representative for White House calls with states in 2022.
Also, he served as HHS Regional Director’s representative for Federal Executive Board’s Policy and
Steering Committee for 12 years.

Deric has been married to Rev. Dr. Catherine Gilliard since 1979. They have three adult children, Adam,
Dominique and Veronica, and live in Stone Mountain

Berneta L. Haynes

Berneta L. Haynes is an attorney at National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), where she focuses on consumer energy policy and medical debt. At NCLC, she recently authored The Racial Health and Wealth Gap: Impact of Medical Debt on Black Families, Air-Source Heat Pumps: Protecting the Financial Well-being of Low-Income Families While Addressing Climate Change, and Tariff-based On-Bill Financing: Assessing the Risks for Low-Income Consumers. Before joining NCLC, she served as a director at Georgia Watch, a state-based consumer advocacy organization in Atlanta, where she worked to make energy programs, quality healthcare, financial protection, and civil justice more equitable and accessible for all.

At Georgia Watch, she led coalitions, facilitated forums, steered the passage of crucial medical billing legislation, and authored consumer-facing educational materials (such as the Georgia Consumer Guide for Medical Bills and Debt) and policy guides on energy equity (including Keeping the Lights On and EMCs and Energy Equity: Harnessing Your Power), financial protection, and healthcare billing. Previously, she practiced law at Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and Southern Environmental Law Center, where she authored Solar for All and other policy papers.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English, Writing, and Psychology from Drury University, her Master’s degree in English from University of Iowa, and her law degree from University of Iowa College of Law.

Wayne K. Hoffman, MD

Dr. Wayne Hoffman began his medical career in family medicine in private practice, affiliated with the National Health Service Corps, in the rural Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. After several years in private practice, he joined a managed care practice in Atlanta with a large multi-specialty group affiliated with the PruCare HMO, where in addition to clinical practice, he directed the new Family Practice department. Dr. Hoffman then transitioned to full-time medical administration, holding Medical Director positions with MetLife, MetraHealth, BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, and WellPoint/Anthem.

While at WellPoint, he held several positions, with responsibilities covering WellPoint’s disease management and wellness programs, and national account medical management. After leaving WellPoint, he opened a consulting practice in Atlanta focusing on provider administrative issues.

Dr. Hoffman is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and received his medical degree from George Washington University. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, NC. Currently retired, Dr. Hoffman continues to be a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Association for Physician Leadership. He is also a Past President and Board Chair of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians.

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