Community Advisory Council (CAC)

The Community Advisory Council’s role is advisory and collaborative with the CTR organizational structure and specifically aims to:

  • Clarify best approaches to solving health problems
  • Reach people statewide with new research information
  • Build connections for research in the broad community

The role of CAC members is to:

  • Be involved in clinical research issues in CTR priority health areas
  • Review and disseminate information to others in their network and communities served
  • Work collaboratively to develop approaches to solve problems
  • Advocate for practical application of the research

The CAC adds value to the CEO in its mission to engage the community in translational research:

  • Simplify the message from ACCEL to the community .
  • Helping the CEO/ACCEL with circular feedback from the project to the community and back.
  • Clarifying the language – develop a common language.
  • Clarifying the process for building trust and sharing power between the academic/medical research community and the broad community.
  • Helping with overcoming existing barriers in reaching the community – lack of trust and inclusion.
  • Reviewing communications for “the community” in draft (i.e. the website)

Community Advisory Council Members

Marlene A. Saunders, DSW, MSW (CAC Chair)

Marlene A. Saunders, DSW, MSW, is a social worker, social work educator and administrator,  her efforts have focused on maximizing relationships to enable people from diverse backgrounds to work together to achieve social justice for everyone. She has pursued this goal as a former executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, Delaware Chapter, as a former chairperson for the Department of Social Work of Delaware State University and a member of the NAACP, State Conference’s Housing and Economic Development Committees. 


Tyrone Jones (Former Chairperson)

Tyrone Jones has been working for more than 15 years for Delawareans through the offices of Senator Tom Carper, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Astra Zeneca’s Community Alliances, Delaware Government and External Affairs.  This work has been about establishing relationships and bringing agencies together to advocate for better living circumstances and the improvement of patient/community relationships.  Currently, Mr. Jones brings his expertise to the offices of the United Way. 


Gwendoline B. “Gwen” Angalet, PhD

Gwendoline B. “Gwen” Angalet, PhD, is the CEO of GBA Consulting, a management consulting firm, providing professional services to clients in the public and not-for-profit sectors to help them to lead and manage change and achieve improved results and lasting impact.  Current projects include efforts to increase supports to children, youth, and their families living in the City of Wilmington to achieve academic success, promote positive development, and prevent violence.  Gwen’s career in public service spans over three decades, most of which was in leadership and management roles in the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families and Nemours Health and Prevention Services. Additionally, she serves on the boards of community non-profit organizations, including the Wilmington Hope Commission.


Aguida Atkinson, MD, FAAP

Aguida Atkinson, MD, FAAP, is a Pediatrician in Wilmington DE with Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, and affiliations through Christiana Care Health System and St. Francis Hospital.  She has participated in research and publications focused on childhood obesity.  Dr. Atkinson has served on the Board of Directors of Children & Families First in Delaware, is on Delaware’s Oral Health Coalition, and keeps the board of the American Academy of Pediatrics informed of the latest oral health information and recommendations.


Frank Hawkins

Frank Hawkins has been with AIDS Delaware for 17 years where he serves as the Director of Education & Outreach. Frank has implemented many programs to reach various populations in the City of Wilmington.  He has been featured in many publications for the work that he is doing to halt the spread of HIV. One programs is the  “Do The Right Thing 4LIFE” program, which targets barbershops and beauty salons in the City of Wilmington to reach the African-American community.  Part time Frank works for the YMCA Resource Center as the Program Specialist for the Alcohol Drug Prevention program and “Back on Track” program. 


Marsha T. Horton, PhD

Marsha T. Horton, PhD, is Interim Dean for the College of Education, Health and Public Policy at Delaware State University where she is responsible for administrative leadership for the Departments of Education, Nursing, Public & Allied Health Sciences and Social Work, as well as for the Centers for Student Advising and for Health Promotions. Dr. Horton is on the Board of Directors for the Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education, the DSU Early College High School and Sweet Briar College.  She was named a Living the Legacy Honoree by the National Council of Negro Women and on two different occasions, was honored as an Outstanding Young Woman of America. 


LaVaida Owens White MSN, RN, FCN

LaVaida Owens White MSN, RN, FCN has more than 40 years nursing experience in acute and long-term care, rehabilitation, home care and community health. She is currently working in the practice setting of Faith Community Nursing, and as Coordinator for the Delaware Region Health Ministries Network.  Ms. Owens-White is a faculty educator for the International Parish Nurse Resource Center and instructor for the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing core curriculum. As a community activist and life member of the NAACP, she is active in leadership positions in community-based associations. One of her current interests is in nursing research, exploring a collaborative partnership of community and faith-based organizations in addressing poverty and violence prevention. 


Ann Phillips

Ann Phillips, is Executive Director of Delaware Family Voices, Inc. and Director of the HRSA/MCHB grant funded Family to Family Health Information Center which focuses on helping families of children with special health care needs. Delaware Family Voices is the official state chapter for National Family Voices; Federation of Families; and Parent to Parent USA.  She is also project director for the Statewide Family Network grant with a focus on the families of children with mental/emotional or behavioral issues. In addition, Ann is currently a member of a dozen committees and organizations all associated with care for people with disabilities and the challenges facing their families.  


Cecilia Rich, MPA

Cecilia Rich, MPA earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Behaviors and Urban Studies at the City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2003. Subsequently, she completed all required course work for the Master of Public Administration degree from Walden University in 2017. Ms. Rich established the Village Tree, Inc. in 2012. This 501(c3) non-profit organization utilizes an empowerment, strengths-based philosophy. The organization’s specific objectives include: connecting communities to resources that enable them through partnerships to solve problems utilizing community assets; supporting community viability through urban gardening and providing leadership and support for community meetings that help residents coalesce and mobilize for positive change in such areas as health and community action.

Her professional employment includes, but is not limited to, U. S. Census Bureau Field representative, human service provider and substance abuse counselor. She worked as a Qualified Mental Health Provider where she rendered mental health services to residents in the Central Richmond, VA area. As a human service provider, she also provided services to enable successful re-entry by women incarcerated at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women, in Goochland, VA.


Terry-Ann Richards

Terry-Ann Richards is an Administrative Assistant at UD with CRESP. Her work focuses on research, evaluation, and outreach activities. These include correspondence, scheduling, data organization, performing administrative duties while ensuring confidentiality. Terry-Ann studied at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn New York, while becoming a member of the inaugural class of Public Allies where she had training on bringing communities together to work for a common good. She is a mother to two boys aged 13 and 21. Terry-Ann’s passion and majority of her work experience has been in the nonprofit sector tying into her community interests and finding different ways to help low-income communities. She enjoys volunteering with her sons to show them the importance of being a part of a community changing process.


Meghan Walls, PsyD

Meghan Walls, PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist in the Division of Behavioral Health at Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children, providing integrated primary care services at Nemours’ Jessup Street clinic. She completed her doctoral degree at LaSalle University, her internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and fellowship at Nemours. She has been an attending at Nemours since 2012. She is part of the training team in the Division of Behavioral Health, and has published and presented research at national conferences in pediatric psychology.

Dr. Walls serves as the Media Lead in the Division of Behavioral Health, as well as the Lead for the Advocacy committee. In 2019, she was selected for the Nemours Physician Excellence in Community Service Award. Dr. Walls is the State Advocacy Chair on the Executive Committee of the Delaware Psychological Association and is involved in a number of mental health efforts in the state including: Office of Work-based Learning’s Healthcare Industry Diversity Committee, Data and Policy committee of the Lt. Governor’s Behavioral Health Consortium, and the Take Care Delaware steering committee. She also holds an appointment to the Board of Directors of the Society of Pediatric Psychology as Electronics Communication Editor.

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