National Disparity Network, SelfMade Health Network, Announces Inaugural Members to its Leadership Council

HAMPTON, Va., Dec. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The SelfMade Health Network, a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consortium of national networks jointly funded by the CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) and Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) to address cancer and tobacco-related disparities, is pleased to announce its inaugural Leadership Council members. Through strategic partnerships, the SelfMade Health Network focuses its national efforts on reducing lung, breast and colorectal cancers as well as tobacco-related disparities among populations with low socioeconomic status (SES) characteristics including income, geography, education, occupation and health insurance status.

The new SelfMade Health Network Leadership Council members are:

  • Bruce Christiansen, PhD- University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health
  • David Coffman, MPA-Louisiana Food Bank Association
  • Kathy Danberry, MS, EdD- West Virginia Division of Tobacco Prevention
  • Colleen Delaney Eubanks, CAE- American Health Quality Association
  • Ed Giganti- Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Leslie Van Horn- Virginia Federation of Food Banks
  • Stephenie K. Kennedy, EdD-West Virginia University, Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center
  • Pat Matthews-Juarez, PhD- Meharry Medical College
  • Molly Meinbresse, MPH- National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Inc.
  • Beverly Morgan, LPN- National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Inc.
  • Tiffany J. Netters, MPA, PMP-Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)
  • Amy E. Rettig, MSN, MALM, RN, ACNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, CBCN(R)- Academy of Oncology Nurses and Patient Navigators and Ohio State University & Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Reina M. Sims, MSA- Ohio Commission on Minority Health
  • Robert Trachtenberg, MS – National Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Organization
  • David Zauche- Altarum Institute

The Leadership Council will serve in an advisory role for the Network. Leadership Council members include national, regional and local representation varying by industry sector, organization size, audience demographics and geographic region. Professionals come from a broad range of facilities including healthcare organizations, nonprofits, academic institutions, food bank associations, homeless councils, cancer centers, faith-based programs, state government, public health institutes and area health education centers. Members were selected for their ability to effectively impact underserved populations.

"As we strive to achieve the Healthy People 2020 national objectives, I'm excited to team with an array of well-respected experts and organizations committed to addressing gaps through innovative approaches to further reduce intergenerational disparities impacting the health and livelihood of vulnerable, underserved and low-resourced populations," said Dwana "Dee" Calhoun MS, Director of the SelfMade Health Network.

Serving as advisors, members of the Network's Leadership Council have an opportunity to shape future policies, develop promising practices as well as provide support for evidence-based models and projects by providing insight and recommendations setting the foundation for how private, public and community stakeholders can further reduce cancer and tobacco-use disparity gaps among vulnerable populations.

"We look forward to addressing and resolving cancer and tobacco-use disparity gaps by creating a paradigm shift where the infrastructure and capacity associated with tobacco prevention within more vulnerable communities is sustained and these populations no longer 'suffer in silence' from fears associated with a cancer diagnosis, costs associated with cancer screening, treatment and survivorship or other potential barriers," says Calhoun.

In addition to selecting Leadership Council members, the SelfMade Health Network plans to extend invitations to additional organizations, associations and business groups nationwide interested in joining efforts as Core Members. Network membership criteria and responsibilities are posted on the Network's website at

SelfMade Health Network is a national network of dedicated organizations, businesses, service agencies, academic institutions and communities seeking to conquer tobacco-related health disparities and expand the promotion of cancer prevention, screening, treatment and survivorship in vulnerable populations. It is our mission to educate, empower and mobilize regions, networks, communities and systems leading to a healthier world, workforce and generation free of preventable lung, colorectal and breast cancers.

The National SelfMade Health Network Tobacco Cessation Marketplace Project, a multi-year national project was initiated in July 2015, consisting of ten sites and 7 states throughout the nation, aimed at reducing tobacco use.

For more information please visit or follow us Twitter at @SelfMadeHealth. Individuals and organizations interested in joining the SelfMade Health Network or subscribing to its communications may email us at

CONTACT: Dwana "Dee" Calhoun MS, Director, (757) 509-0227,

Source: SelfMade Health Network