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Beryl Aldeberan

Beryl Aldeberan became the food insecurity resource coordinator at Caswell Family Medical Center at Compassion Healthcare and the Caswell Chapter of the Health Collaborative in October of 2020. Prior to this position, she was a part-time mobile market coordinator for Rockingham United, a mobile food pantry operated by LOT2540 in Mayodan, in collaboration with Cone Health’s Care Connect and UNC Rural

Aldeberan believes her professional career and private life has led her to this position, which feels to her like a mission. Aldeberan has experienced food insecurity and homelessness in the past and brings that personal experience to her work in underserved Caswell County.

Currently, Aldeberan is assisting with the creation of a food pantry in Milton, NC. She is also involved with the four existing food pantries in Caswell. In 2021, Aldeberan will work to establish a comprehensive coalition involving the pantries, food distributors, farmers, local and state government, churches and interested others to develop a long-term plan of action to address food insecurity in Caswell County.


Alice Ammerman, Dr.P.H.

Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition
Director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Ammerman is interested in design, testing, implementation and dissemination of innovative clinical and community-based nutrition and physical activity interventions for chronic disease risk reduction in low income and minority populations. She is director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), part of a national network of 26 CDC prevention research centers (PRCs) that work with community partners to identify public health problems to develop and evaluate prevention-focused public health interventions for wide dissemination, particularly in underserved communities. Ammerman and colleagues have developed and are testing the “Med-South” diet which is the Mediterranean diet adapted to agricultural availability and taste preferences in the Southeastern US. Her research addresses the role of sustainable food systems in health, the environment, and economic well-being, emphasizing the social determinants of health, particularly food access and food insecurity.


Sherry S. Hay, MPA

Hay serves as Director of Community Health Initiatives and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UNC’s Department of Family Medicine. In her role at FM, she works with a variety of the department’s community health programs from helping the uninsured gain access to primary care, helping the healthcare system develop a process for ACA enrollment, to wellness programs with the Town of Chapel Hill. She was awarded the Hometown Hero award by WCHL for her work on these programs.

Before joining UNC, she has worked at a variety of public and private healthcare groups. Most immediately prior to joining FM, she served as the director of integrated health management for the North Carolina State Health Plan. She was responsible for the daily management of the NC HealthSmart program, which provides a continuum of health and wellness programs for State Health Plan members.

In her more than twenty-five years in healthcare, she also worked at the Office of Rural Health and Community Care, Division of Medical Assistance, WellPath Community Health Plans and served as a national consultant with the Commonwealth Fund.

Hay has a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Public Administration from UNC-Greensboro. She has presented both nationally and within North Carolina on a variety of health care topics. Her most recent publications include writing a chapter on governmental agencies and community-based organizations in the Chronic Illness textbook, Springer International Publishing AG 2018 and an article in the Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, entitled Embedding Care Management in the Medical Home: A Case Study, Volume 5 Issue 2, April 2014. More details on her background and experience are available in her CV.


Ulanie Padilla

When I started high school, I knew I wanted to be just like my mom and be in the medical field. I believe it was my second year of high school when I heard about the nursing program. I studied in the program for three years and helped with blood drives those three years. It was my senior year when it was almost time to take my exam to become a CNA. I studied so hard and practiced all my skills and then it was finally time to take my exam, I failed. I did not let that stop me. A couple of weeks later I retook the exam and passed. I graduated in the summer of 2019. After graduation I worked my first job at Food Lion. I knew I wanted to use my CNA and skills that I learned in Food Lion and school. I applied for nurse technician positions in the hospital and environmental services, but no luck. I almost gave up and then an opportunity to be a Community Health Worker came in, and I was so grateful. I studied a book on “Roles of Community Health Workers and took notes. I started working for a program called Care Connect as a Community Health Worker in March of 2020 when COVID-19 just started. I have grown and learned so many more important skills and developed a humbleness that I can’t describe. I am proud and very honored to have gone through to what I had to, to become the person I am today and in the place I am today.


Victor Johnson

Victor Johnson has a diverse background: he worked in law enforcement, was the public safety director at multiple large shopping centers and was the senior captain of field operations/security at High Point University. He also earned an associate degree in Funeral Services from Fayetteville Technical Community College and spent several years in the funeral profession; he holds a current NC Funeral Director License. He has earned a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Interdisciplinary Studies (Religion and Law Enforcement).

He is currently the café manager for L.O.T. 2540 and the interim program director for Rockingham United (the mobile market). He has a passion for helping others in the name of Christ.

Cindy Corcoran

Dr. Cindy Corcoran is the assistant superintendent of instructional support services in Rockingham County Schools. She has served in the field of education since 1984, when she began her career as a classroom teacher. Corcoran has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of elementary education and Title I, executive director of the Exceptional Children’s Programs and now in her current position. She received her M.S. in education/administration from Shenandoah University in 2004, her Educational Specialist degree from Appalachian State University in 2007 and her Ed.D. in educational leadership and cultural foundations from the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2012. Corcoran has presented at national, state and local conferences. She has served as the liaison to the College Advisers that serve Rockingham County Schools for the past six years.


Yolanda Keith

Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Program Director, Carolina College Advising Corps

Yolanda Keith is from Burgaw, North Carolina. She has an Associate of Arts degree in business education from Cape Fear Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master’s of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. She is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in educational leadership with a focus in higher education.

She has served as program director of the Carolina College Advising Corps and as a senior assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2010. She strives to bridge the gap between secondary and post-secondary institutions through collaboration, sharing of knowledge and community engagement. Prior to her current role, she worked with the national office of the College Advising Corps supporting operations and budgeting. Keith is committed to public service, college access and serving disadvantaged communities.


Matt Queen

Matt Queen is the college adviser at J.M. Morehead High School. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a economics and political science in 2019. While at Carolina, Queen was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, the president of the Daily Tar Heel board of directors, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He also served as an advocate at the Community Empowerment Fund, a nonprofit devoted to empowering community members struggling with or affected by homelessness. Queen’s goal as a college adviser is to facilitate college access for every student who wishes to pursue postsecondary education.



Peers for Progress at UNC-Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute will lead this conversation around community support for farmer stress. The session will begin with an overview and update on the Farmer to Farmer program, which aims to alleviate farmer stress and promote positive social norms toward mental health. In the second half of the session, Marcom will present on her work and lessons learned in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 within farm communities.


Samantha Luu headshotSamantha Luu, M.P.H.
Associate Director, UNC Peer Support Core
UNC Peers for Progress

Luu focuses her expertise on promoting mutual and peer support across UNC-CH’s campus to enhance mental health, face racism and other challenges and build a culture of caring and togetherness. This work follows prior experience in peer support program development and research, experiential education and youth leadership development.


Robin Tutor Marcom headshotRobin Tutor Marcom, Ed.D., M.P.H.
Director, NC Agromedicine Institute

Dr. Robin Tutor Marcom is Director of the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute. She grew up working on her family’s farm in Orange County, North Carolina and is proud to be the mother of an eastern North Carolina farmer. Dr. Marcom has education and work experience in Occupational Therapy, Public Health and Agricultural & Extension Education. Her particular areas of interest are in the recognition & management of farm stress, prevention of agricultural-related respiratory conditions and promoting safe & healthy agricultural work and living environments. Dr. Marcom is known best for her ability to build and maintain collaborative partnerships along the continuum from local to international levels.


Patrick Y. Tang, M.P.H.Patrick Tang headshot
Program Manager, UNC Peers for Progress

Patrick Tang, M.P.H., is a program manager at Peers for Progress in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He collaborates with researchers and practice-oriented staff to develop sustainable, effective, high quality peer support programs. His projects have utilized various modes of program delivery, including in-person one-on-one, in person groups, online groups, telephone and text.


Russ Vollmer
Peer farmer

Meredith Bazemore

Director, Rural Recruitment and Initiatives, UNC Rural

As the director of the Office of Rural Initiatives, Meredith Bazemore supports the mission of the Office of Rural Initiatives (ORI) through recruitment, outreach, pipeline programs, partnership with health affairs schools on interprofessional opportunities, and program management across all initiatives. With a background in financial aid, admissions and college access, Bazemore works to coordinate efforts of all rural programs to meet the mission of service for rural and underserved areas of North Carolina.

The ORI is the central office for the Kenan Rural Primary Care Scholars program, which partners with Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), and Southeast Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) to provide rural experiences through six-week internships across western and eastern North Carolina and is the home campus for Kenan Scholars in Central North Carolina. In addition to the Kenan Scholars Program, ORI manages the NC Promise Scholarship and Community Engagement Opportunities and collaborates with the FIRST program with UNC Family Medicine, the Office of Special Programs within UNC School of Medicine to support diversity recruitment efforts, the Rural Interprofessional Health Initiative and the Rural Medicine Project, a cohort-based program to support UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students from rural North Carolina.


Giselle Corbie-Smith

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Social Medicine
Director, Center for Health Equity Research
Professor, Internal Medicine

Giselle Corbie-Smith, M.D., M.Sc., is nationally recognized for her scholarly work on the inclusion of disparity populations in research, and has over a decade of experience in using community engagement to conduct innovative, translational health equity research. Her empirical work, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, has focused on the methodological, ethical, and practical issues of research to address racial disparities in health. A Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Social Medicine and Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC, Corbie-Smith has served as the principal investigator of several community-based participatory research projects focused on disease risk reduction among rural racial and ethnic minorities. These projects have include funding through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute of Nursing Research, Greenwall Foundation and the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Corbie-Smith is accomplished in drawing communities, faculty and health care providers into working partnerships in clinical and translational research. This engagement ultimately transforms the way that academic investigators and community members interact while boosting public trust in research. She has also shown a deep commitment to working in North Carolina by bringing research to communities, involving community members as partners in research and improving health of minority populations and underserved areas.

In 2013, she established and became director of the UNC Center for Health Equity Research to bring together collaborative multidisciplinary teams of scholars, trainees and community members to improve North Carolina communities’ health through shared commitment to innovation, collaboration and health equity. Corbie-Smith is currently the co-PI for RWJF’s Advancing Change Leadership Clinical Scholars Program, which provides intensive learning, collaboration, networking and leadership development to seasoned clinicians to create a community of practitioners promoting health equity across the country. She recently served as the president of the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2018, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.


Al Richmond

Al Richmond, M.S.W., executive director of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), is a global thought leader advocating for the increased role of communities in research and public health. In his role as executive director of CCPH, Richmond is advancing the organization’s commitment to social justice and health equity. His interest in research ethics and its influence on community engagement was broaden through a 2016 fellowship at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. The residency program resulted in the creation of guidelines for the conduct of community engaged research (CEnR). In August 2017, he launched the inaugural session, Structural Inequality: An On the Ground View. This was a highly experiential session. It provided a look through the lens of equity to develop and expand the understanding of structural and historic factors contributing to racism in America.

Richmond serves as principal investigator of Patient Engagement: Enhancing Culturally Responsive Research funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and as co-principal investigator of Ensuring Ethical Community-Engaged Research: Elevating the Role and Impact of Community-Based IRBs and Research Review Committees funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. In addition, Richmond provides leadership to multiple academic research projects. Richmond’s leadership interest seeks to deepen CCPH’s focus in emerging issues impacting our nation including: education, immigration, diversity and culture.

As a founding member and past chair of the Community Based Public Health Caucus and the National Community Based Organization Network, he helped to foster effective partnerships focused on community-identified health concerns and partnerships that integrated local leaders in the decision-making process.

Richmond completed the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, a two-year leadership program for North Carolina residents, in 2016. This experience has expanded his commitment to provide leadership to improve race, class and gender relationships in North Carolina and beyond. For the past decade he has served as field instructor and supervisor to over 20 students. Many are currently early public health practitioners and scholars.

He holds a Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University. Richmond is a certified facilitator for the Poverty Simulation, Intercultural Developmental Inventory and ToP Facilitation Methods.