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Gov. McCrory Announces Appointments

April 15, 2014. The Office of Governor Pat McCrory announced the following appointments on Tuesday, April 15:

North Carolina Institute Of Medicine

  • Laura J. Easton (Caldwell County) – Easton is the president and CEO of Caldwell Memorial Hospital Inc.
  • Phillip  Tarte (Union County) – Tarte is the public health director for Union County.
  • Mark Payne (Orange County) – Payne is the chief of staff and chief compliance officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Patricia Skinner (Gaston County) – Dr. Skinner is the president of Gaston Community College. 
  •  Kim Schwartz (Halifax County) – Schwartz is the chief executive officer of Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center.
  •  Sy Saeed (Pitt County) – Dr. Saeed is the chairman of the department of psychiatric medicine at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
  •  Robin Cummings (Wake County) – Dr. Cummings is the deputy secretary of health services at DHHS.

The corporation’s goals are to monitor and study health matters and review input to form a basis for health policy decisions. The term length is four years.

Minority Health Advisory Council

  • Humberto Rodriguez (Durham County) – Rodriguez is a community health organizer with Durham Health Innovations, serving the Latino community. He has served as a community outreach specialist and a mental health professional.
  • Kimberly Hammonds (Wake County) – Hammonds works for the North Carolina Division of Indian Affairs. In that role, she works with the Healthy Native North Carolinians at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The council makes recommendations to the governor and secretary of Health and Human Services that are aimed at improving the health status of the state’s minority populations. Each term length is four years.

North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Council

  • Michael Hobbs (Mecklenburg County) – Hobbs is an area manager for Blaser Swisslube Inc.
  • Margaret Ackley (Cumberland County) – Dr. Ackley works at the Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center in the psychology department.

The council reviews, analyzes and advises the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the performance of its responsibilities under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992. The term length is three years.

North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council

  • Pier Tarrant (Wayne County) – Tarrant is the activities director and facility outreach for ReNu Life Extended in Goldsboro.

The council reviews regulations, promotes interagency coordination and studies the needs of individuals with traumatic brain injury and their families. The term length is four years. Tarrant is filling an unexpired term through 2016. 

North Carolina Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  • Lester Latkowski (Wake County) – Latkowski is a content writer for various magazines and websites, as well as an accomplished graphic designer for deaf websites.
  • Ray Lewis (Madison County) – Lewis is retired from working as plant manager for Ace-Tex in Detroit.
  • R. Michael Eury (Cabarrus County)  – Eury is the executive director of the Concord Museum which is part of the Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc.
  • Kathryn Aldridge (Guilford County) – Aldridge is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who trains deaf education teachers. She is a reappointment to the council.
  • Alice Chastain (Davidson County) – Chastain works for the Davidson County School System as an audiologist and hearing impaired coordinator. She is a reappointment to the council.
  • Johanna Lynch (Wake County) – Lynch is filling the seat for a parent of a hearing impaired child.
  • Christina Bryant (Davidson County) – Bryant works at the NC Association for the Deaf.
  • Steve Shore (Wake County) – Shore is the executive director of the NC Pediatric Society.
  • Rachael Ragin (Wake County) – Ragin is a deaf education and audiology consultant for the state Department of Public Instruction. She is a reappointment to the council.
  • Denise Nelson (Orange County)  – Nelson is a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing with Durham Public Schools. 

The council makes recommendations to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for cost-effective provisions, coordination and improvement of services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf and blind. Each member serves a four-year term.

Commission on Children with Special Health Care Needs

  • Steve McKinion (Wake County) – McKinion is a professor of theology and patristics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
  • Dr. Lynn Wegner (Orange County) – Wegner is an associate professor and physician at the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Medicine in the Pediatrics Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a reappointment to the commission.
  • Dr. Deborah Ainsworth (Beaufort County) – Ainsworth is a pediatrician at Washington Pediatrics. She is a reappointment to the commission.
  • Wanda Robinson (Sampson County) – Robinson is the health director of Sampson County. She is a reappointment to the commission.

The commission monitors and evaluates the availability and provision of health services to special needs children in North Carolina, as well as services provided under the Health Insurance Program for Children. The term length is two years.

North Carolina Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control

  • Candace Prusiewicz (Orange County) – Prusiewicz is an industrial hygiene consultant at the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 
  • Renee Batts (Nash County) – Batts is the associate director of Allied Health. 
  • Dr. Steven Patierno (Durham County) – Patierno is the deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute.
  • Dr. Emmanuel E. Zervos (Pitt County) – Zervos is an associate professor of surgery at East Carolina University. He is a reappointment to the committee.
  • JoAnn Smith (Catawba County) – Smith is the administrative director for nephrology and oncology at Frye Regional Medical Center. 
  • Morgan Daven (Buncombe County) – Daven is the senior director of primary care at the American Cancer Society. Daven is a reappointment to the committee.
  • Dr. Robert L. Rich (Bladen County) –Rich is a primary care physician in Bladen County. He is a reappointment to the committee.
  • A. Chase Jones (Wake County) – Jones is the founder and CEO of Vs. Cancer Foundation.
  •  W. Gordon Cole (Guilford County) – Cole is a commercial real estate appraiser and a board member of Fight Colorectal Cancer, as well as a patient advocate.

The committee recommends a plan for the statewide implementation of an interagency comprehensive coordinated cancer control program to the secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, among other duties. The term length is four years.

License to Give Trust Fund Commission

  • Linda Sawyer (Swain County) – Sawyer is a legal assistant for a civil law firm in Bryson City. She will serve in the seat requiring an organ recipient.
  • Delores Evans (Durham County) –Evans and her donor son Ryan Benton Evans were the first kidney transplantation case at UNC Memorial Hospital of a parent receiving a kidney from a deceased child. She received her son’s left kidney the day after he passed away in November 2008. Evans is being reappointed to the commission. 
  • Dennis Meyers (New Hanover County) – Meyers is an organ recipient and in 2012 was elected vice president of Carolina Donor Services. He is being reappointed to the commission.
  • Mary Jo Collins (Alamance County)  – Collins is the founder of Duffy Collins Organ Transplant Foundation. She is an ambassador for Donate Life and a hospice volunteer.
  • Lisa Hood (Mecklenburg County) – Hood is the vice president of clinical services for Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region. Prior to this, she was a traveling ICU nurse. 
  • Alma Montemayor (Wake County) – Montemayor is a marketing specialist with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

The commission works with the Department of Transportation and the Division of Motor Vehicles to maintain a statewide online organ donor website at www.DonateLifeNC.org. The term length is two years.