The Herschel S. Horowitz Center Advisory Board
The Horowitz Center for Health Literacy pictured at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health. (back) Cynthia Baur, Ernest Carter, Chad Perman, Travis Gayles, Mark Luckner. (front) Leni Preston, Dianna Abney, Alice Horowitz, Bonnie Braun, Dushanka Kleinman. Not pictured: Joseline Peña-Melnyk.
Dr. Cynthia Baur
Director of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
A full biography can be found online at https://sph.umd.edu/people/cynthia-baur.
Dr. Dianna Abney
Health Officer for the Charles County Department of Health
Dr. Dianna E. Abney is the Health Officer for the Charles County Department of Health. Under her leadership, the health department continues to offer a wide range of public health services, and has decreased disparities by increasing access to dental, behavioral health and primary care services. Dr. Abney represents the Health Officers on the Child Environmental Health and Protection Council and on the Statewide Advisory Commission on Immunizations, which she chairs. She has practiced pediatrics in Waldorf for over twenty years and continues to see patients in her private practice. She has privileges at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center. Dr. Abney is a co-chair of NMAPedsNet—a practice based research network that is a part of the Pediatric Section of the National Medical Association. She serves on and is the president of the board of the Children’s National Health Network. Dr. Abney is a Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and an Associate Faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Bonnie Braun
Professor Emerita, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland
School of Public Health and University of Maryland Extension
Dr. Braun serves as a consultant and continues to lead the Health Insurance Literacy Initiative which she launched while being the Founding Director and Endowed Chair of the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy. Dr. Braun’s career spans Extension Faculty and administrative appointments at four land-grant universities and the USDA. Much of her career focused on health and well-being—especially among rural, low-income families, youths and adults. She is completing two years as Project Manager for the Cooperative Extension System—Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnership to co-create a culture of health in communities. She is a member of a USDA-funded study team focused on health, health care and farm vitality.
Dr. Ernest Carter
Deputy Health Officer for Prince George’s County Health Department
Dr. Ernest Carter is the Deputy Health Officer for Prince George’s County Health Department (PGCHD) with more than 30 years of experience managing and delivering pediatric patient care, as well as more than 20 years of experience in the field of community based health information systems. He has been a strong advocate for efficient health system design and the use of health information technology to improve the quality of health in underserved communities. At the PGCHD, he provides direct oversight for the divisions of Family Services and Health & Wellness as well as oversight of all clinical providers. He is responsible for securing grant funds that created the PGC Health Enterprise Zone, the PGC Public Health Information Network, Consent2Share – (consent management technology for behavioral health), and the System of Care for children with behavioral health problems and their families. He serves on the Maryland Care Coordination Workgroup, Health Information Exchange Policy Board Workgroup, and Maryland Telemedicine Workgroup. He is currently on the boards of CRISP, the Maryland State Health Information Exchange and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Dr. Travis Gayles
Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services for Montgomery County, Maryland
Dr. Travis Gayles is the Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services for Montgomery County, Maryland. He is the former Chief Medical Officer of the DC Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA) and Chief for the Division of STD-TB Control. After completing his residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University, he served as Director of the HIV Treatment and Prevention Program in Adolescent Medicine and faculty member at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Institute of Public Health and Medicine, and DePaul University College of Health Sciences. In addition to his academic work, he is a former board member of the National Coalition of STD Directors, the Illinois State Medical Society, AMA Minority Affairs Consortium, GLMA, and the Chicago House Social Services Agency.
Dr. Alice Horowitz
Research Associate Professor
University of Maryland School of Public Health, Behavioral and Community Health
Dr. Horowitz has extensive work in dental caries prevention and early detection. She also has developed numerous surveys on the subject. Dr. Horowitz was instrumental in initiating the need to address health literacy in dentistry and was one of the authors of the first NIH Program Announcement addressing health literacy. A health educator, Dr. Horowitz formerly was a senior scientist, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Health (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also organized the NIDCR’s workshop on oral health literacy and co-authored the findings. She served as the NIH lead for the Healthy People 2010 Oral Health Chapter and worked on Healthy People and Healthy People 2020. Dr. Horowitz was a primary architect of the Maryland State Oral Cancer Prevention and Early Detection coalition. She served on the recent Institute of Medicine’s panel, Advancing Oral Health in America. She has published over 125 scientific papers and book chapters.
Executive Director of the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission
Mark Luckner is the Executive Director of the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), a position he has held since 2009. Prior to joining the CHRC, Mr. Luckner served as senior policy adviser on health care, human services, and public safety issues for Governor Martin O’Malley’s StateStat program, and s a legislative aide in the Maryland House of Delegates for eight years, including six years as Assistant-to- the-Chairman for the Health and Government Operations Committee.
Hon. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk
Maryland House of Delegates
District 21, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties
Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk represents Maryland Legislative District 21, which includes parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. Delegate Peña-Melnyk is an effective and experienced legislator and has been the lead sponsor of over 50 bills enacted into law. Currently, she is a member of the House Health and Government Operations Committee and chairs the Public Health and Minority Health Disparities Subcommittee. The Delegate co-chairs the Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission. She also serves on other subcommittees and advisory committees, many of them focused on health equity issues. The Delegate serves as the Secretary of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus. She is an active member of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland; the Women Legislators of Maryland; and the Maryland Military Installation Caucus. A detailed biography is available on the Maryland Manual online web page.
Program Manager for Maryland Program Management Office
As Project Manager for the Program Management Office, Mr. Perman manages Maryland’s efforts to develop an advanced primary care demonstration with the federal government. Mr. Perman is a key advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services on health transformation and population health initiatives. Mr. Perman previous served as the Director of Health Systems Transformation with the Department’s Office of Population Health Improvement, where he provided strategic direction and guidance on key health policy initiatives in the area of health system transformation and population health. Mr. Perman leverages additional expertise in the areas of public policy analysis, consumer engagement, econometrics and performance
measurement through a variety of engagements with federal agencies—including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—universities and policy institutes.
Vice-President of Consumer Health First
Leni Preston was a founder of the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform and served as the Chair and volunteer Executive Director from 2010 - 2016. During that time she led the Coalition’s transformation to a 501(c)(3) under the name Consumer Health First (CHF), for which she currently serves as vice-president. Today, CHF is recognized as Maryland’s lead policy and advocacy organization with a focus on health equity through access to high-quality, affordable and comprehensive health care. Leni currently serves as President of the Board of Directors and continues to serve on numerous state health care reform-related committees. In 2015 she chaired the Health Services and Cost Review Commission’s Consumer Engagement Task Force and was the recipient of the Families USA prestigious Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award.