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

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

Tricia Jefferson, RD, LDN, is Director of Healthy Living and Strategic Partnerships, for the YMCA of Delaware.  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, and the YMCA’s Healthy Lifestyles Behavior Change program.  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 serves for Delaware’s Dietetic Association, and co-chairs Healthy Kids Delaware. 

Richard E. Killingsworth, MPH, Mr. Killingsworth is currently the Director of the Center for Public Private Partnerships in Health at the University of Delaware where he is also an Associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences – Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. The Center was recently created to provide national leadership to enable and advance public private partnerships through facilitation, collaboration, and innovation for improved health outcomes.  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. His professional aspiration is to see public health provide stronger leadership in public/private partnerships that may catalyze better solutions to address emerging issues affecting our nation’s health and well-being.

Charles A. Madden, JD, MS, recently joined Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. as the Executive Vice President for Business Development and Corporate Affairs.   In this role he is primarily responsible for evaluating the agency’s strategic position in its target markets, and developing and implementing strategies to form partnerships, affiliations to better serve our target populations.  He is the former Executive Director of the Wilmington HOPE Commission where he was responsible for working in partnership with municipal, private, non-profit, academia and the legislature to develop solutions to reduce violence and improve the quality of life for Wilmington’s underserved communities.  Under Charles’ leadership the Wilmington HOPE Commission launched and managed the Achievement Center, Delaware’s first and only “One-Stop” reentry center supporting formerly incarcerated men and their families.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science, a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management and a Juris Doctorate. 

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 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 childhood obesity.  

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.  

Shay Scott, MA, is currently the Fund Development Director  for Henrietta Johnson Medical Center .  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, consultations for government, public and private sectors, including Not-for-Profits.  He has been active in Delaware government acting as the former Secretary of Labor, Director of Administration, and Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.  He also worked in varying capacities for Delaware’s Department of Correction, as Human Services Planner for Delaware Office of Management, Budget, and Planning, and, outside of Delaware as the Community Developer for West Philadelphia Mental Health Consortium.  Mr. Stafford has worked as a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and served on the Board of Directors for Dover Inter- City Cultural League, First State Community Action Agency, Delaware Curative Workshop, DE Parents Association, Delaware State University Research Foundation, and Jobs for Delaware Graduates.

Matthew Stehl, is a Corporate Communications Manager for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.  He has more than 20 years of experience spanning the government, non-profit management, fundraising and public relations fields.  Prior to joining Highmark Delaware Mr. Stehl served as Executive Director for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in Delaware where he managed a program that provided affordable housing for 250 people with mental illness in 60 homes throughout Delaware.  Previously, Mr. Stehl was State Director for Best Buddies Pennsylvania. Best Buddies is an organization that provides one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mr. Stehl managed offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, chapters in 50 high schools and colleges, and more than 4,000 Pennsylvania volunteers.  He also was responsible for increasing and diversifying funding to expand Best Buddies programs.  Mr. Stehl is a lifelong Delawarean and proud graduate of Salesianum School and the University of Delaware.

Sandra Medinilla, MD, is a Trauma Surgeon and Medical Director of community violence prevention efforts at Christiana Care Health System. She has helped launch Cease Violence in Wilmington, a nationally recognized program to prevent gun violence by identifying nonviolent solutions to resolve conflict. The majority of gun violence victims in the city of Wilmington and the state of Delaware are treated at Christiana Hospital, which sees more than 4,000 trauma patients each year and is the only Level I trauma center between Baltimore and Philadelphia that treats both adults and children. Her career also spans pharmaceutical research, public health education, and occupational health. Dr. Medinilla is a past director of legislative affairs for the American Medical Student Association. She founded Temple University School of Medicine’s chapter of Physicians for Human Rights, and has worked as a homeless outreach volunteer in Philadelphia.