The Community Advisory Council plays a valuable role in connecting the University of Maryland School of Public Health to the broader community. The SPH benefits from the time and expertise provided by our well-rounded and diverse council.

CAC Members

Dianna Abney, Health Officer, Charles County Department of Health

Dr. Abney is the Health Officer for the Charles County Department of Health. She is a practicing pediatrician  with 25 years of experience working in Waldorf, Maryland. Prior to this, Dr. Abney was the medical director of the county's Child Abuse and Neglect program. She is a commissioner on the Children's  Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, and she chairs the Maryland Statewide Advisory Commission on Immunizations. Dr. Abney’s research interests include health disparities, prevention of childhood obesity, immunizations, and the prevention and treatment of child abuse.

She received her medical degree from Tulane University in 1989.


Uma Ahluwalia, Director, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

Uma S. Ahluwalia is the director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. With over 1,600 employees, the Department is one of the largest agencies in Montgomery County and includes Aging and Disability Services; Behavioral Health and Crisis Services; Children, Youth and Family Services; Public Health Services; and Special Needs Housing. MCDHHS has been pursuing a strong integration and interoperability agenda across the HHS enterprise. The Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017 is more than $299 million. Caseloads for the Department in the past four years have risen dramatically as more families and individuals struggle through the tough economy. Over the years, due to leadership turnover Ms. Ahluwalia performed additional roles as Acting Chief Operating Officer, Acting Chief of Children, Youth and Families and Acting Chief of Special Needs Housing in additional to her role as Director. Currently, the Department is looking for a Local Health Officer/Chief of Public Health and Ms. Ahluwalia is functioning in this role through Designation by the State Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her knowledge of these areas of practice and support from key staff have made these operations seamless through these many transitions.

Ms. Ahluwalia holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Delhi in India and a Specialist Post-Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University. Over a 29-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels.

Oscar Alleyne, Senior Advisor for PH Programs, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

As senior advisor at NACCHO, Dr. Alleyne is in charge of managing programs on infectious diseases and informatics, public health preparedness, pandemic and catastrophic preparedness.

Alleyne is an expert on bio-surveillance, informatics, epidemiology, policy and public health. In the past, he has worked with the New York State Health Department, designing software that guides responses to adverse water quality events in the area.  When he worked in the Rockland County Health Department in New York, Dr. Alleyne developed an educational and surveillance program for a West Nile Virus outbreak.

Dr. Alleyne holds a doctorate from in Public Health from the New York Medical College, School of Health Sciences and Practice

Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell, Director, Office of Community Engagement, University of Maryland

Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell is the director of the Office of Community Engagement at the University of Maryland College Park. Through advocacy, storytelling, planning, service, and partnerships, she builds a figurative bridge with the university’s surrounding communities. She has worked for the university more than 20 years. Her primary role is to contribute to the University’s commitment to the land grant mission, as well as the overall efforts to make the University of Maryland a “Greater College Town.” She is known for her success in bringing together community leaders, advocates, non-profits, government agencies, businesses and campus stakeholders to address challenges impacting the neighboring communities. Aparicio-Blackwell earned an associate’s degree in safety and fire science from Instituto Tecnológico de Seguridad Industrial in Venezuela and a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology with a concentration in safety and fire science from UMD. She earned a M.S. in management from University of Maryland, University College. Prior to joining the university in 1997, Gloria worked in safety and fire management at Potomac Electric Power Company and for American University and Montgomery College (as a student worker). Aparicio-Blackwell received the President’s Distinguished Service Award for public service at UMD, and was named UMD’s Outstanding Woman of Color. Aparicio-Blackwell is a member of the Board of Trustees from Montgomery College, is a graduate and board member of Leadership Maryland and Leadership Montgomery, and serves as a board member of the International Town/Gown Association.


Bill Borwegen, Principal, Prevention at Work, LLC

Bill Borwegen served as founding national director of the Service Employees International Union's Occupational Health and Safety Program, the largest union of healthcare workers and second largest union of public employees in the United States. During a 30-year tenure, he strived to improve workplace conditions including spearheading the successful passage of dozens of federal and state laws and regulations to address hazards ranging from asbestos in schools, blood-borne pathogens and other infectious agents, needle stick injuries, chemical exposures including chemotherapeutic drugs, manual patient handling and workplace violence. He possesses a BS from Rutgers University in microbiology and environmental sciences and an MPH in environmental and industrial health from the University of Michigan. He now continues this work with like-minded organizations as principal at Prevention at Work, LLC. 


Jonca Bull, Director, Office of Minority Health, Office of the Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration


Dr. Bull oversees efforts to reduce healthcare disparities among racial and ethnic minorities. Her strategies to alleviate heath disparities include forging FDA policies, research programs and expanding outreach efforts to promote health in underserved communities. Dr. Bull also served as the Vice President for US Drug Regulatory Policy at Novartis before joining the FDA.

Dr. Bull is a graduate of Princeton University and received her medical degree from Duke University. She is currently an assistant clinical professor the George Washington University Medical Center.


Pamela Creekmur, Health Officer, Prince George's County Health Department

Pamela B. Creekmur’s professional health care management career spans over 25 years in healthcare administration, clinical operations and public health. As the health officer for Prince George’s County, she is responsible for a local health department that serves over 870,000 residents with 600 employees. 

The Prince George’s County Health Department offers a range of public health services including Health and Wellness Services, Family Health Services, Behavioral Health Services and Environmental Health/Disease Control Services. Before coming to the Prince George’s County Health Department, she served as a health plan operations director for the District of Columbia/Suburban Maryland region of Kaiser Permanente, serving over 280,000 members. Prior to this role she was the medical center administrator for the Kaiser Permanente Largo Medical Center, where she was accountable for the overall management of a large multi-specialty medical center with over 350 employees and physicians. 

During her tenure with Kaiser Permanente, she gained experience with process improvement, policy setting, fiscal management, program development, and leadership development. Ms. Creekmur is known as a dynamic group motivator and performance coach with proven accomplishments in the areas of organizational management, leadership assessment, recruitment and retention, and performance improvement. She is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She lives in Prince George’s County with her husband of 32 years and daughter.


Charlene Dukes, President, Prince George's Community College

Ms. Dukes is the first female president of Prince George's Community College. She is the chair on the board of American Association of Community Colleges, member of the Institute for Higher Education (IHEP), the President’s Round Table and the National Council on Black American Affairs. Before becoming president of PGCC, Dukes was an adjunct professor at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, at Prince George's Community College in Learning Foundations and at Morgan State University in the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program. 

In 2014, she was awarded the Dr. Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award presented by the American Council on Education, the Living Legacy Award presented by the Association for the Study of African Life and History (ASALH), and the Golden Hammer award from the Fuller Center for Housing.

Ms. Dukes earned her master’s in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 


Renee E. Fox, Medical Health Policy Advisor, CAHPG Division of Quality & Health Outcomes, Center for Medicare and Medical Services


Dr. Fox is an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she has worked for 16 years. Previously she served as Director of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics. She was also medical director at Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

As executive director at Institute for Healthiest Maryland, Fox facilitated connection between partners from Maryland’s higher education institutions and public health practitioners.

Fox earned her M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where she also completed her residency.

James Hubbard, Former Delegate, Health and Government Operations

For 23 years, Mr. Hubbard served as a Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 23A. During his government career, Hubbard served in various health-related committees, including the Committee of Health and Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Minority Health Disparities. Hubbard is also founder of the Family Crisis Center in Prince George’s County.

Hubbard earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland.


John McElligott, Deputy Executive Director, Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service and PHS Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health

Mr. McElligott is health policy, health advocacy and lobbying specialist. He coordinates legislative initiatives with Congress and proposes strategies to achieve policy objectives, and he co-chairs the Guard/Research and the Military Committee, to which COA belongs as a member.

Mr. McElligott is also director-at-large of the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE). He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar and was a public health advisor for the Institute for Military Support to Governance.

Mr. McElligott holds an MPH from the University of Arizona.

Neil Moore, President/CEO, Dimensions Healthcare Systems

Mr. Moore is the president and CEO of Dimensions Healthcare System, and is responsible for the functions of the integrated health system comprised of the 233-bed Prince Georges’ Hospital Center; 91-bed Laurel Regional Hospital; 46-bed Gladys Noon Spellman Specialty Care Center within Laurel Regional Hospital; Bowie Health Center, a 24-hour freestanding emergency room facility with an Ambulatory Surgery Center and two primary care centers. The entire Dimensions Healthcare System employs approximately 3,000 people and sees about 180,000 patients each year. Mr. Moore has demonstrated his commitment to the communities he has worked in through his willingness to share expertise with others by participating in numerous boards, roundtable discussions and mentoring. He has mentored student members of the National Association of Health Services Executives, University of Maryland, and Greater New York Hospital Association. Mr. Moore belongs to several professional organizations that include American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and Leadership Greater Washington (LGW). He holds an MBA in finance from New York Institute of Technology, an MPA in finance and public financing from Long Island University and a BS in human resources and accounting from St. Joseph College.

Laurie Norris, Oral Health Initiative, Senior Policy Advisor & Coordinator, CMS Oral Health Initiative

Laurie Norris is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Laurie joined CMS in 2011, where her work focuses on children’s oral health.  Prior to joining CMS, Laurie was the state campaign manager for the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign, and before that she served for twenty years as an advocate for low-income children and families in both California and Maryland. In 2007, she was introduced to the world of oral health when her client, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, died from a preventable dental abscess that spread to his brain. Laurie holds a law degree from New York University School of Law. 


John A. O'Brien, Community Representative

Irwin Royster, Director, Outreach and Program Services, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC, Inc.

Mr. Royster specializes in community outreach and youth programs. He has extensive public health experience in working in pregnancy, STI and HIV/AIDS prevention interventions. He is co-chair of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Community Coalition for District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR).

Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Royster worked in the the financial services and sales industry with CitiBank, First Union National Bank and Bank of America.

Mr. Royster is currently earning his master’s at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Edward J. Sondik, Former Director, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Dr. Sondik began his career as an electrical engineer teaching courses related to systems and operations research. He later joined the Department of Health and Human Services, working for CDC-National Center for Health Statistics. In his role, Dr. Sondik worked on finding new sources of data and addressing the data needs at the state and local level in order to meet community needs.

Dr. Sondik holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.