The Community Advisory Board (CAB) identifies community needs, selects pilot grant projects, and actively participates in the strategic planning of the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention. CAB members may serve as individuals or representatives of an organization.


The primary responsibilities of the CAB are to:

  • Engage in strategic planning with the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention to identify the health needs, barriers, and sustainable community-embedded solutions to systemic challenges experienced by underserved communities.​

  • Collaborate with the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention to establish a broad network of community agencies and stakeholders to facilitate data collection, participant retention, outreach, and service activities.​

  • Ensure activities and research in each Core are in alignment with community needs.​

  • Contribute to final approval authority over partnership, dissemination, and implementation activities that affect the community.



Dorothy Gibbons

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder 

The Rose

Ms. Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo founded The Rose in 1986, believing that no woman should die from breast cancer because she could not afford a mammogram. This Houston-based breast organization serves over 40,000 women annually and provides services throughout Southeast Texas. The Rose is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Its award-winning Patient Navigation Program secures treatment for over 500 women each year and is replicated throughout the nation. The Breast Care Center in Washington DC and Gateway to Care were modeled after The Rose. Ms. Gibbons introduced the concept of patient navigators in 1999, created the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas in 2007. She was the first woman to win the Community Health Leadership Award in 2008, and in 2017, she was recognized nationally with Nancy Brinker as a Woman of Vision. Dorothy’s book, The Women of The Rose, has ranked number one in Cancer E-books.


Sherri D. Onyiego, MD, PhD, FAAFP

Director for Nutrition & Chronic Disease Prevention

Harris County Public Health

Dr. Onyiego is part of the executive leadership team within Harris County Public Health (HCPH). Currently, she serves as the Director for Nutrition & Chronic Disease Prevention in the Nutrition and Chronic Disease Division, focusing on promoting chronic disease prevention efforts in the community. Dr. Onyiego is a Board Certified Family Physician with over 15 years of clinical experience in managing and treating chronic diseases related to individual patient care and population health. She also has academic, research, and administrative experience in previous and current roles. Since joining HCPH in October 2017, she has served as an alternate Local Health Authority for Harris County during Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. She has subsequently helped in responses to measles, opioids, the Intercontinental Terminal Company chemical fire, and Tropical Storm Imelda, as well as current COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts.


Desrye M. Morgan, JD

Managing Director

Wells Fargo Securities

Ms. Morgan is a Managing Director with the Southern Public Finance group of Wells Fargo Securities. She is an accomplished lawyer and investment banker with over 18 years of experience advising and structuring over $30 billion of municipal financings for housing, transportation, airport, water and sewer systems, and other public benefit projects. Ms. Morgan has served as the lead banker on bond financing for the City of Houston, Harris County, Harris County Metro, City of Dallas, and Texas Water Development Board. At Wells Fargo, Ms. Morgan also serves on the Houston Leadership Reputational Council and the Diversity and Inclusion Council. Before joining Wells Fargo, she was a director with the municipal finance group of UBS Investment Bank. As a lawyer, her practice areas consisted of public finance, corporate, and business transactions, focusing on business acquisitions and regulatory compliance.


Sean A. Haley, PhD

Interim Executive Director

Center for Civic & Public Policy Improvement

Dr. Haley is the Interim Executive Director at the Center for Civic & Public Policy Improvement and President of the Haley Responsive Education Corporation. For years he has focused on creating organizational efficiency, stakeholder empowerment, community equity, and success. As a strategist, facilitator, developer, executive leader, and coach, he has impacted outcomes in communities of various demographics nationally while working with multiple leaders and stakeholders. Dr. Haley serves on several boards and coalitions that seek to empower individuals and communities. Across his career, Dr. Haley has served as a consultant for several high-impact agencies, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Center for Leadership in Education, Institute for Public School Initiatives, and National CARES Mentoring Movement. He is a native Houstonian, earning a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Morehouse College, a master's degree in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, and a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.


Charlene Flash, MD, MPH

President & CEO

Avenue 360 Health and Wellness

Dr. Flash, an infectious disease physician, developed one of the first comprehensive HIV prevention programs (pre-exposure prophylaxis in the United States). She has served in senior clinical or administrative positions at Harris Health System (Ben Taub Hospital) and Legacy Community Health. She has been part of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s #AsktheHIVdoc series and has taught at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston since 2012. A graduate of Yale University and Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, her work on HIV has appeared in the New York Times. Her work on COVID-19 has appeared in the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media.


Rep. Garnet F. Coleman

Texas House of Representatives

Member, District 147

Representative Coleman has served the people of District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives continuously since 1991. Throughout his years of service, Representative Coleman has earned a reputation as a diligent leader in health care, economic development, and education. He is currently the senior ranking member of the House of Public Health Committee and the House County Affairs Committee Chairman. Representative Coleman also served as a member of the House Select Committee for Mental Health during the 84th Legislative Session and the House Select Committee on Opioid and Substance Abuse during the 85th Legislative Session.


Elizabeth Perez, MPH

Board Member

Hispanic Health Coalition

Ms. Perez is the Director of Communications, Education, and Engagement at the Harris County Public Health (HCPH). She oversees all the communication, education, and engagement for HCPH programs/initiatives to the public in her role. Her office is currently handling the pandemic response communications for Harris County.

Ms. Perez originally comes into the health policy and communication arena as a clinician, as she worked within the health care sector for over eight years. Ms. Perez is a California native and received her bachelor's degree in Radiation Sciences, emphasizing in health administration and research. She has a master's degree in Public Health in Health Policy and Leadership from Loma Linda University. Ms. Perez is currently a board member of the Hispanic Health Coalition.


Jeanette Lastrape, MPH


African American Health Coalition

Ms. Lastrape is a manager at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ms. Lastrape received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Texas Southern University and her Master of Public Health degree from the UTHealth School of Public Health. She has worked in the field for almost 20 years, with the majority of her focus being in tobacco prevention and control. She currently manages a group of health educators on the Community Relations and Education team, which advances MD Anderson’s mission by educating people about healthy behaviors to reduce cancer risks. The team provides a culturally relevant approach to community cancer control programming and outreach grounded in evidence-based strategies. Ms. Lastrape has been active in many community coalitions and currently serves as Co-Chair of the African American Health Coalition.

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Lynne Nguyen, MPH

Founder & Board Member

Asian American Health Coalition

Ms. Nguyen is Director of the Community & Populations Core in the Center for Community-Engaged Translational Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She leads MD Anderson’s efforts to increase awareness, understanding, and participation for women and minorities in cancer clinical trials. Ms. Nguyen leads a team of community health engagement experts that facilitate long-term, equitable research partnerships between MD Anderson’s researchers and community-based organizations. A passionate community volunteer and health advocate, Ms. Nguyen founded the Asian American Health Coalition, the parent organization of HOPE Clinic in Houston. From its beginnings as a 4-hour a month volunteer-led clinic in 2002, HOPE Clinic is now a fully staffed Federally Qualified Community Health Center that serves all patients regardless of insurance or income status. Ms. Nguyen received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston, and her master's in Public Health degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health here in Houston.


Helen Stagg, LCSW

Senior Director & Chief Executive Officer

Change Happens

Ms. Stagg is Senior Director and Chief Executive Officer of Change Happens, a community-based social service organization in Houston, Texas. She is responsible for operational planning and management, program operations and oversight, strategic organizational issues, human resources planning and management, financial planning and management, and community relations/advocacy. Ms. Stagg received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University, Commerce, and a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work. She is also an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist and serves on the board of the Texas Association of Substance Abuse Programs and the Greater Houston Healthy Marriage Coalition. Ms. Stagg has been featured in a documentary commissioned by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Promise Story: “Empowering Community Health.” Ms. Stagg is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

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Amelia Averyt, MD, MPH


Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities
Third Ward (Health & Wellness Committee)

Dr. Averyt is a primary care physician at Legacy Community Health in Houston, TX. She graduated from UT Austin, where she studied Spanish and Plan II (a four-year interdisciplinary arts and science honors major with a core curriculum). She went directly to medical school at Baylor College of Medicine but took one year off to complete a Master of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She then completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at Baylor College of Medicine and is dual-boarded in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Averyt serves as the Co-President of the advocacy organization Doctors for Change, mobilizing a membership of over 1000 to engage in health policy, health education efforts, and community service to improve the overall health of Houston’s most vulnerable populations. She’s also a Co-Leader of the Third Ward Complete Communities Health and Wellness workgroup, focusing on addressing unmet mental health needs and food insecurity in Third Ward.

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Shao-Chee Sim, PhD, MPA

Vice President for Research & Evaluation

Episcopal Health Foundation

Dr. Sim is the Episcopal Health Foundation’s Vice President for Research and Evaluation. He leads the research and evaluation division by providing timely and relevant health data, research, training, and technical assistance to grantees, congregations, and communities. Current priority areas include Affordable Care Act enrollment analysis, social determinants of health screening instruments, health center payment reform, and rural healthcare service delivery research. 

He currently serves on the Center for Community-Engaged Translational Research advisory committee at the University of Texas  MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Asian American Policy Review at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Dr. Sim earned his master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Doctoral degree in public policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. 


Stephen Williams, MPA


Houston Health Department

Serving as the Director for the Houston Health Department, Mr. Williams is actively involved in public health issues at the local, state, and national levels. He joined the City of Houston as the Houston Health Department Director in June of 2004.

Mr. Williams has a master's degree in Public Administration from City University of New York-Baruch College, a master's degree in Education from Auburn University in Montgomery, AL, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Social Work from Huntingdon College and Montgomery, AL. He serves on numerous community, professional, and civil rights organization boards. He is a past president of the Texas Association of Local Health Officials.