Dr. Courtney Ferrell Aklin

Dr. Aklin serves as the Chief of Staff at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), helping develop and implement strategic initiatives designed to fulfill the Institute’s vision and mission. In addition, Dr. Aklin oversees the management of NIMHD’s communications, outreach, and legislative activities. Prior to taking on the role as Chief of Staff, she was a Program Director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where she designed and managed programs to augment and strengthen emerging neuroscience research programs at universities and medical schools committed to increasing diversity in the biomedical workforce. Dr. Aklin is a licensed clinical psychologist who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in business administration and psychology from the University of Richmond.

NIMHD Blog Posts

August 8, 2017

Minorities and Mental Health: Moving Beyond Stigma

Elder Sarah Bailey

Elder Sarah Bailey is the Executive Director of Bridges into the Future, a community faith-based organization in Flint, Michigan. She is an ordained Minister and Elder with the Full Gospel Baptist Church International Fellowship. She is a local and national leader and expert in implementing community-based participatory research (CBPR) and building the capacity of community-based organizations (CBOs) and community members to participate as equal partners in research. She is the Vice Chair of Community Based Organizations Partners (CBOP).

Dr. Nancy Breen

Nancy Breen, Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy Breen works in the Office of the NIMHD Director where she co-leads the Science of Health Disparities Visioning Process, especially related to methods and measurement science in health disparities research.  She also works on other projects designed to make data more accessible and to improve methods for health disparities research.  Prior to joining NIMHD, Dr. Breen spent more than 20 years at the National Cancer Institute, where she designed and managed research programs, developed and disseminated data analysis tools, identified ways to more effectively use survey data to support health disparities research; and disseminated written and oral findings to a range of audiences.  Her cancer control focus was on access to screening because it is the initial point of patient access to medical services for screenable cancers, which in turn determines treatment options and can lead to disparities in survival and mortality.  She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Linda Burhansstipanov

linda-b-1Dr. Linda Burhansstipanov (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) is the founder of the Native American Cancer Research Corporation and president of Native American Cancer Initiatives, Inc., in Pine, Colorado. She is also a member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIMHD. Dr. Burhansstipanov has worked in public health since 1971, primarily with Native American issues, and taught at universities for 18 years. She developed and implemented the Native American Cancer Research Program at the National Cancer Institute from 1989 to 1993. She is currently the principal investigator and subcontractor for five NIH grants. She serves on multiple federal advisory boards and has produced numerous peer-reviewed publications, most addressing Native American cancer, public health, and data issues.

Dr. Dorothy Castille

Dr. Dorothy Castille is a Health Science Administrator in NIMHD’s Division of Extramural Scientific Programs. As a program director, she manages the Loan Repayment Programs, projects focused on Social Epidemiology, immigrant health, and community health issues related to American Indian/Alaska Native communities and serves as Project Scientist on U54 Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Marcia M. Gómez

Dr. Gómez is a Health Science Policy Analyst who studies minority health, social determinants of health, access to healthcare, health disparities, and health equity. Her work has spanned many areas related to minority health, including HIV/AIDS; substance abuse; mental health; immigrant populations, including migrant farmworkers; women’s health; and maternal and child health.

Dr. Gómez completed her undergraduate studies at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and received her M.D. from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She joined the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities in 2013.

Dr. Wayne T. Harris

Dr. Wayne T. HarrisDr. Wayne T. Harris serves as contact principal investigator for the Hampton University Minority Men’s Health Initiative and as dean of Hampton University’s School of Pharmacy, which confers the Pharm.D. degree to the largest percentage of African Americans in the country. Dr. Harris is a licensed pharmacist in the state of Georgia who has spent nearly 40 years as a pharmacy educator, administrator, researcher, and practicing pharmacist. He received his B.S. in pharmacy in 1974 from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy and his M.S. and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1977 and 1979, respectively. Prior to joining Hampton University in 2010, he served as professor in the Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy from August 2009 to May 2010 and as professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy from January 2001 to August 2009. During his tenure as dean at Xavier, he was instrumental in establishing the NIH-supported Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education and served as its founding director.

Dr. Tiffany Haynes

Dr. Tiffany Haynes, Ph.D.

Dr. Tiffany Haynes, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.   Dr. Haynes is a clinical psychologist with expertise in mental health services research, intervention development, and community-based participatory research (CBPR). Her research broadly focuses on improving access to and use of mental health services in rural and underserved communities.  Dr. Haynes has served as the PI or Co-Investigator on several NIH and PCORI funded grants examining the feasibility of working with faith communities to improve mental health service use. Specifically, Dr. Haynes is currently the Principal Investigator on a NIMHD funded U01 that aims to test the effectiveness of a faith-based depression intervention within rural African American churches.

Dr. Regina Smith James

Regina Smith James, M.D., is the Director of Clinical and Health Services Research at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). In this capacity, she oversees health services research, research on minority health and health disparities in clinical settings, and patient–clinician communication. She has also served as the Acting Associate Director for Clinical Research and Data Management. Prior to coming to NIMHD, Dr. James served as the Director of the Office of Health Equity at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she developed and implemented national and international programs promoting health for children and families.

Dr. James received both her B.S. in psychology/biology and her M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed a residency in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She has conducted and published clinical research in the areas of health disparities and child/adolescent mental health. Her research interests include understanding and addressing how individual and population-level determinants affect health status and access to and quality of healthcare across the lifespan.

Dr. Linda U. Krebs

Dr. Linda U. Krebs is a retired associate professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado at Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. She has been an oncology nurse for more than 40 years, providing direct care, consultation, education, and training to cancer patients, their families, community members, and healthcare providers. Dr. Krebs has collaborated with the Native American Cancer Research Corporation for more than 16 years, focusing on providing up-to-date cancer education to American Indian cancer survivors, patient navigators, and communities. She spent 13 years as director of and practitioner at the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Screening Clinic, evaluating, educating, and counseling patients about cancer prevention and early detection. She has more than 12 years of experience creating, editing, and evaluating cancer education materials and manuscripts for lay and health professional audiences.

Dr. Spero M. Manson

smmanson_portraitDr. Spero M. Manson (Pembina Chippewa) is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry; is director of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health; and holds The Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health and is associate dean of research at the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Center. His programs include nine national centers in program development, training, and collaboration with 250 Native communities, spanning rural, reservation, urban, and village settings across the country. He has published numerous articles on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, and mental health problems over the developmental life span of Native people. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on Indian and Native health, and he was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2002.

Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable

Director of NIMHD, Dr. Eliseo Pérez-StableEliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., is Director of  NIMHD at NIH. He oversees the Institute’s $281 million budget to conduct and support research, training, research capacity and infrastructure development, public education, and information dissemination programs to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. Read more about Dr. Pérez-Stable.



Dr. Chau Trinh-Shevrin

Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH, is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Population Health (DPH) and Medicine at NYU School of Medicine.  Within DPH, Dr. Trinh-Shevrin serves as Vice Chair for Research and heads the Section for Health Equity. For more than 15 years, Dr. Trinh-Shevrin has been involved in health promotion, disease prevention, and health disparities research programs utilizing community-based participatory research principles for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander and other underserved populations. Currently, she is PI of an NIH NIMHD Center of Excellence – the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health – and a CDC-sponsored Prevention Research Center that is a partnership between the NYU School of Medicine and the CUNY School of Public Health. As co-director of the Community Engagement and Population Health Research Core for the NYU- Health + Hospitals Corporation (H+H) Clinical and Translational Science Institute, she is involved in fostering community-engaged research collaborations between NYU and its community partners and developing research training programs for community and academic partners aimed to strengthen equitable campus-community partnerships. Dr. Trinh-Shevrin is a social epidemiologist with a doctorate in public health from Columbia University and a master in health policy and management at the State University of New York at Albany.

Dr. Lesli Skolarus

Dr. Lesli Skolarus  is a board-certified, fellowship-trained, vascular neurologist whose research focuses on behavioral trials to reduce health disparities, community-based participatory research and health services research. She holds a Master’s degree in Health and Health Care Research. She is currently the principle investigator of an R01 focused on racial disparities in post-stroke disability and a U01 to increase acute stroke treatment rates in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Skolarus has published over 60 manuscripts and is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan.

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