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Exploring Inequities in the Health Sciences

Black History Month Panel

The CEHHS Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion presents its panel series “Exploring Inequities in the Health Sciences.” In celebration of Black History Month, the February 2022 panel will discuss “Disparities in Health Access, Representation, and Outcomes for Black Tennesseans.”

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 6:15 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom Webinar

Register Today

Javiette Samuel, PhD (Moderator)Javiette Samuel, PhD

Associate Vice-Chancellor, Community Engagement and Outreach, UTK Office of Diversity and Engagement (Knoxville, TN)

Dr. Javiette Samuel is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, and an affiliated faculty member in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences Department of Child and Family Studies. She is an experienced, engaged scholar with a unique combination of educational, interpersonal, and creative skills. She has worked with P-20 students, families, and underrepresented communities for nearly 25 years, focusing on engagement, outreach, and evidence-based programs.

Michelle Taylor, MD, DrPH, MPA

Michelle Taylor, MD, DrPH, MPHDirector, Shelby County Health Department (Memphis, TN)

Dr. Taylor is the Director of the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD). Previously, she was the Deputy Director for Practice Integration at the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and Division Chief of the Aerospace Medicine Division at the Office of the Air National Guard Surgeon General. She is a Major, Residency Trained Flight Surgeon in the Tennessee Air National Guard and adjunct faculty at the University of Memphis, School of Public Health. She has also served as Associate Medical Director, Deputy Administrator for Maternal & Child Health, and MCH/Emergency Preparedness Physician at SCHD. These experiences have fueled her desire to make a difference in health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Taylor received her medical degree from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and completed pediatric residency at ETSU and UTHSC. She received her doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Lyndsey Hornbuckle, PhD, RD

Lyndsey Hornbuckle, PhDAssistant Professor, Exercise Physiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)

Lyndsey Hornbuckle is an Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology in the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her primary research interest is the effects of various exercise and physical activity interventions on body composition and biomarkers for cardiovascular disease risk. The majority of her work has examined these relationships in underrepresented populations including African American women and low-income individuals. Hornbuckle received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and her Doctor of Philosophy from the Florida State University.

Sa’Nealdra Wiggins, PhD, CHES

Sa’Nealdra Wiggins, PhDResearch Public Health Analyst, RTI International (Raleigh, NC)

Sa’Nealdra Wiggins is a Research Public Health Analyst in the Community and Workplace Health Program at RTI International where her primary focus is the evaluation of public health programs, specifically those that address chronic disease prevention and control. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in May 2021 with her doctorate in Community Nutrition in which her research focused on adapting and implementing an online health promotion program with Black women during the pandemic. This research highlighted the importance of culturally relevant interventions with relatable facilitators. Wiggins is also certified as a health education specialist (CHES) and hopes to continue the work of educating the Black community on incorporating healthy eating into their lifestyles.

La’Keisha Gomes, LMSW

La’Keisha Gomes, LMSWAssistant Director of Clinical Services, Rose Center for Girls, Youth Villages (Memphis, TN)

Ms. La’Keisha Gomes is the Assistant Director of Clinical Services at Rose Center for Girls in Memphis, TN. Prior to this role, she served as the Regional Manager for Memphis Foster Care and West TN Adoptions. She has practiced as a licensed masters social worker for over 13 years, advocating for the wellbeing of children and families across West Tennessee. She is also the co-owner of LC Social Work, where she and a colleague provide exam prep workshops and supervision services for social workers looking to obtain licensure. She is also the Executive Director of Beautiful Spirited Women, an organization designed to aid in community renovation with a primary focus on mentoring young ladies. In 2020, Ms. Gomes was recognized as the Volunteer Administrator of the Year by Volunteer Memphis and Super Woman in Business by Memphis Business Journal. Ms. Gomes received her Master of Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her Master of Psychology from Capella University.

Previous Webinar Recordings

Theme: Disparities in K-12 Education for Black Students

Moderator: Javiette Samuel | Assistant Vice Chancellor, Community Engagement and Outreach, UT Knoxville Office of Diversity and Engagement (Knoxville, TN)


  • Vrondelia (Ronni) Chandler | Executive Director, Project GRAD Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
  • Charles Flowers | 2nd Grade Teacher, Schwab Elementary School, Metro Nashville Public School (Nashville, TN)
  • Bryan Johnson | Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools (Chattanooga, TN)
  • Desirée Jones | Principal, Vine Middle Magnet School, Knox County Schools (Knoxville, TN)
  • Janea Peterson | Coordinator of Education & Youth Services, Knoxville Area Urban League (Knoxville, TN)

Webinar Recording

Theme: Breaking Barriers and Shattering Glass Ceiling in Education

Moderator: Javiette Samuel | Assistant Vice Chancellor, Community Engagement and Outreach, UT Knoxville Office of Diversity and Engagement (Knoxville, TN)


  • Fran’Cee Brown-McClure | Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Union College (Schenectady, NY)
  • Nancy Guerrero | Area Superintendent, Cedar Ridge Learning Community (Round Rock, TX)
  • Lori Messinger | Dean, College of Social Work, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
  • Lisa Yamagata-Lynch | Professor & Ombudsperson, College of Education, Health & Human Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)

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