Staff and Affiliates

Allison Caban-Holt, PhD

Allison Caban-Holt, PhD
Associate Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity


As the Associate Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, I want to foster positive connections between Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and the Winston-Salem community. Programs I will lead have at their core the primary goal of creating networks whereby reciprocal communication can occur between the community and Wake Forest Baptist. Together, we will address health equity deficits by improving access to health education, resources and disease prevention measures. I desire to promote the overall well-being of our community who are medically underserved. My areas of research interest include cognition, Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, stress measurement, Down syndrome, and aging.

Highlighted Projects: Caregiver’s College, Triad Pastoral Network and Congregational Health Ambassadors, NC Brain Health Registry

apri Gabrielle Foy, PhDCapri Foy, PhD



I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, and a member of MACHE. My research includes the effect of physical activity upon health-related quality of life and physical function; designing and examining the effect of theory-based, translatable cognitive-behavioral interventions upon long-term adherence to health-promoting behaviors in older adults; and emerging research on the role of behavioral risk factors upon chronic disease outcomes in older adults using an epidemiological perspective. I am interested in developing health promotion partnerships with community-based organizations and enjoy being Co-Director of the Translational and Health System Science Master’s Degree Program

 Shawnta Lloyd - MACHE

Shawnta Lloyd, PhD, MPH
Project Manager


As a Project Manager, I am involved in research that aims to boost health literacy, increase linkage to research studies, and diminish adverse health outcomes among marginalized populations. I am passionate about improving the quality of life and health of older adults. My areas of research interest include gero-epidemiology, substance use, mental health, and health disparities. The most compelling draw of my career as an epidemiologist is the ability to integrate research with the fundamental basis of medicine, which is preserving health.

Sarah Langdon - MACHE

Sarah Langdon, MPH, MCHES
Project Manager II

As a Project Manager II, I am involved in workforce diversity pipeline programs that focus on increasing the numbers of underserved and underrepresented students pursuing health and biomedical science careers; educational programming for health and biomedical professionals; and community-engaged and clinical health equity research. I am passionate about partnering with communities to develop capacity-building resources that positively impact community health and wellness, and am grateful to have over 15 years of work in health equity and health education. My experience and educational training is in Public Health and Community Health Education, and I am a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

Highlighted Projects: AIMS, MedCaT, Student Internship Program, Integrating Special Populations, Health Equity Certificate


Takiyah Starks - MACHE
Takiyah Starks, MS

Project Manager

As a Project Manager, my focus is research in genetics of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly African Americans and underrepresented populations. My goal is to increase awareness in AD and to bridge the gap of health inequities in the most vulnerable populations. I have a personal connection in that my paternal grandmother is living with AD, diagnosed in her late fifties; this makes this research especially meaningful for me. Currently, there is no cure for AD, which makes it critical to find answers to better understand the disease. My experience and educational training is in Genetics Research, Cancer Biology, and Biology.

Highlighted Projects: African American Alzheimer’s Disease Study, Student Internship Program, Caregivers College, Triad Pastors Network


Dorey Ivory MACHE

Dorey Thomas, MS 
Assistant Project Manager

As the Integrating Special Populations Assistant Project Manager, I offer individualized assistance to patients to overcome barriers and facilitate access to high-quality healthcare through all phases of the research experience; including non-English speaking resources. This role requires me to partner with community organizations and health care providers serving special populations to build trust and mutual respect. I am passionate about educating the community on neurological diseases and my background involves over 15 years of healthcare experience in military and civilian sectors. My experience is in health disparities, neuroscience-related disorders, chemistry, gastrointestinal disorders, pediatrics, emergency care both on land and air.

Charlene Hunt - MACHE

Charlene Hunt, BA
Project Manager

As a Project Manager, my work involves working with NC tribal communities through educational outreach, community-engaged research, and advocacy programs. I am also an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. My areas of interest are in improving health of tribal communities through education, access to care and addressing social determinants of health. I am involved in MACHE Pipeline programs and efforts to educate health professionals on community-engaged research. My educational training and specialty areas are Education, Pedagogy and Community Engagement. I am the manager of the North Carolina American Indian Health Board, which is housed in the Office of Cancer Health Equity.

Highlighted Projects: Native Pathways to Health, AIMS, MedCaT.


Tayla Ford

Tayla Ford, MPH
Health Educator 

Tayla works closely with African American individuals and communities to provide learning opportunities that increases brain health awareness and share the importance of brain tissue donation. With a background in HIV/STI education and prevention among people with serious mental illnesses. She has a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education and utilizes her educational training to inform, advocate and encourage underserved populations to take steps to improve their overall brain health.

Shelby Henderson - MACHEShelby Henderson, MS
Community Research Coordinator

Shelby works with community organizations to help educate communities of color around the factors that increase risk for adverse neurocognitive functioning; and serve as a liaison between the community and MACHE. We partner closely with faith-based organizations to build awareness and involvement of underrepresented populations in research. She has a passion for people and the health and welfare of their communities.  With over 20 years’ experience in the field of Leadership Development, Shelby applies her skills toward developing and maintaining networks of individuals and organizations to help ensure the success of critical health equity research.

Kelvin Lamonte Williams MACHE

Rev. Kelvin Lamonte Williams, D.Min.
Community Liaison and Outreach Specialist

As a Community Liason and Outreach Specialist I work with MACHE and the WFSM Alzheimer's Disease Research Center to develop and lead strategic community engagement and outreach programs. I have served as a pastor since 2009 and my work focuses on social, health, and economic advancement issues that effecting the church and community at large. My experience and expertise in divinity education, mentorship for young adults, and connecting non-profits with the communities they serve through faith community based engagement. As past-president of Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and vicinity, I am passionate about nurturing relationships between WFSM and faith communities.

Highlighted Projects: Black Men’s Health Initiative, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Outreach, Triad Pastors Network

TanYa Gwathmey-Williams MACHE

TanYa M. Gwathmey, PhD, MS
Director of Research in Health Equity Education and Training

My goal is to foster innovative and highly effective approaches to developing a diverse workforce of biomedical scientists and health professionals.  With health equity as the core of this training, programmatic activities are strategically designed to enhance academic performance and professional skills attainment through didactic instruction,  research and community engagement, and refinement of inter-and intra-personal skills.

Sheere Mills - MACHE

Sheree Mills
Grants Administrator

As the finance and grants administrator at the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, I track and organize grant requirements to ensure timely and meaningful reporting to funding agencies. I am also responsible for finance management and human resources.