Community Advisory Council

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

Tyrone Jones (CAC Chair) has been working for more than 15 years for Delawareans through the offices of Senator Tom Carper, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, and most recently through Astra Zeneca’s Community Alliances and Delaware Government and External Affairs offices. 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.

Peggy Geisler, MA (CAC Co-Chair)  holds a BA in Clinical Psychology from University of Maryland and her MA in Clinical Psychology from Salisbury University. She is the owner and senior consultant of PMG Consulting LLC, who works with not-for-profits on infrastructure, strategic planning, and training as well as conducts community based programs in both Maryland and Delaware. Ms. Geisler currently is the Executive Director of the Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition. She has 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit field and has received numerous awards for her community based work. She currently serves as a board member on Delaware Health Eating and Active Living, sits on the Governor’s Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, sits on the State Health Improvement Planning Committee for mental health, is a graduate from Leadership Delaware 2012 and is a member of the United Way of Delaware Southern Advisory Committee. Peggy also serves as Chair of the ACCEL DE-CTR Community Advisory Committee.

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 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. In addition, Dr Aguida Atkinson 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 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. Frank has received many commendations and awards for his work with HIV. He has been featured in many publications for the work that he is doing to halt the spread of HIV. One of his more notable 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. Frank is very passionate about the work he does and especially helping others. Part time Frank works for the YMCA Resource Center as the Program Specialist for the Alcohol Drug Prevention program and Back on Track program. Frank’s motto is “One’s wealth is the good they do in the world”.

Marsha T. Horton, PhD is Interim Dean for the College of Education, Health and Public Policy at Delaware State University. In that role, she is responsible for administrative leadership for the Departments of Education, Nursing, Public and Allied Health Sciences and Social Work; and for the Center for Student Advising and the Center for Health Promotions. Dr. Horton is a consultant in the areas of assessment, accountability and public policy. Formerly, she was the Associate State Secretary of Assessments and Accountability for the Delaware Department of Education. Dr. Horton serves 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.

Tricia Jefferson, RD LDN is Director of Healthy Living and Strategic Partnerships, for the YMCA of Delaware. She is a licensed, Registered Dietitian, with a strong background in healthcare. In her current role she gives oversight to the Association Healthy Living Department, helping to lead various healthy living initiatives throughout the state including the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Corporate Membership, the YMCA’s Healthy Lifestyles Behavior Change program, as well many other health initiatives within Delaware. She serves as a lead on various steering committees throughout the state, including the Counsel of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (beverage) committee. She also currently serves as the Media Rep for Delaware’s Dietetic Association, and co-chairs Healthy Kids Delaware. She has been able to bring her skills and knowledge to help the YMCA of Delaware scale evidenced-based programs statewide which has created new partnerships within the community allowing the Y to expand and grow, serving the community in new and innovative ways.

Richard E. Killingsworth, MPH is one of the principal architects of the active living movement that emerged in the 1990s and changed the way public health influenced place-making to accommodate healthier behavior and outcomes. As a result, he has consulted in over 300 communities in all 50 states; presented in over 100 conferences; authored over 30 publications; and has collaborated with the CDC, NIH, National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization in the important role the built environment has in public health. Mr. Killingsworth is currently the Chief of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Delaware Division of Public Health. In this capacity he administers key public health initiatives that span issues in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and WIC programs. Mr. Killingsworth is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware. He also serves as Chairman of the New Castle County Planning Board. Mr. Killingsworth also served as the inaugural Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He also served as Deputy Director of Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Executive Director of the Harvest Foundation, Program Director of the Ruth Mott Foundation; National Director of Active Living by Design, Associate Research Professor at The University of North Carolina - School of Public Health, and a Health Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has earned multiple awards including the League of American Bicyclists highest award – the Paul Dudley White Award - for his work to promote bicycling and physical activity; and the Cadence Cycling Foundation’s highest award – the Maguire Award for leadership and service in advancing the mission of the Foundation. Mr. Killingsworth earned his Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Indiana State University and his Masters of Public Health in Public Health Education from Indiana University. He is also the 2015 recipient of the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award which is Indiana University School of Public Health's oldest and highest alumni award.

Charles Madden, JD MS is Executive Director of the Wilmington Hope Commission. In this role he is responsible for working with community groups, private business and non-profit agencies, along with elected officials and community leaders to develop solutions to reduce violence in the City of Wilmington. He holds an MS in HR Management and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Leslie Newman is in her 7th year as CEO of Children & Families First, having served as Director of Development for 15 year before that. She is a Commissioner for the Child Death, Near Death and Stillbirth Commission and a member of the Delaware Early Childhood Council. In addition, Leslie is President of the Board of the Milton & Hattie Kutz Foundation. She is also an advisor for the Youth Philanthropy Board, a program of the DE Community Foundation and a member of the Board of Kids Count in DE.

LaVaida Owens White, MSN RN FCN has more than 40 years nursing experience in a variety of settings of acute and long-term care, rehabilitation, home care and community health. She is currently working in the practice setting of Faith Community Nursing, has served as parish nurse in my congregation for the past 21 years and as Coordinator for the Delaware Region Health Ministries Network, a support network for people of faith who promote whole-person health through faith groups in the communities they serve. Ms. Owens White is a faculty educator for the International Parish Nurse Resource Center and provides instruction for the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing core curriculum for registered nurses and health ministries. As a community activist and life member of the NAACP, engaged in health issues at the state and local levels of government, she is active in several professional organizations, including leadership positions in community-based associations. One of my current interests is in nursing research, exploring a collaborative partnership of community and faith-based organizations in addressing childhood obesity. One characteristic of our nursing profession is the creation of a unique body of knowledge and related skills to guide our practice. Nursing continues to evolve to meet the needs of a changing society and, it is of necessity for nursing research to be an essential component of client care as a scientific discipline.

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 advocate and navigate through the health care and insurance systems. 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. Delaware Family Voices is the official state chapter for National Family Voices; Federation of Families; and Parent to Parent USA. Ann became an advocate for persons with disabilities 14 years ago, after her son sustained a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury from a motor vehicle accident. The lack of services along with the difficulties of navigating through the system prompted Ann to advocate first for her son and eventually for other families. 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. She freely passes on the knowledge she’s gained from studies/assessments and personal experience through publications and interaction through state-wide programs. Ann has been recognized a number of times for her service and dedication, the most recent being the Bayada Pediatrics’ Advocate of the Year Award.

Marlene A. Saunders DSW, MSW has devoted her professional life to working with community residents and professionals to improve the quality of life individuals, families and communities that are deserving of special attention. In her capacities as a social worker, social work educator and administrator, her efforts always 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, a former chairperson for the Department of Social Work, Delaware State University and an involved community resident, most recently as a member on the NAACP, State Conference’s Housing and Economic Development Committees.

Shay Scott, MA is a "Jersey Girl" who has lived in Delaware since 1997. She returned to the workforce in 2008, after staying home for eight years to raise her three children and manage her household. Since 2013, Shay has been with Henrietta Johnson Medical Center and is currently the Fund Development Director. Shay received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a Masters in Management and Leadership at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Harold Stafford is CEO of the Stafford Firm from Kent County, Delaware. From 2000-2005, been active in Delaware government acting as the former Secretary of Labor for Delaware and Director of Administration and Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. As Secretary of Labor. the department received the 2002 Quality Commitment Award and 2003 Quality Merit Award for providing improved service to its customers through the refinement of key business and support processes.