Meet Our Board
CO-PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
Melanie Stone, DrPH, MPH, MEd
Melanie Stone directs the Community Service Learning (CSL) program through the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. This innovative program promotes student and faculty engagement with community organizations in conducting service projects which benefit medically underserved populations in Texas. She is adjunct faculty at The University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio regional campus.
Ms. Stone is passionate about public health and enjoys integrating a public health focus into an academic health science center. Her expertise is health literacy, and she helps bring health literacy awareness, knowledge, and skills to the future health care professional workforce. She is currently Co-Investigator on a multi-year US Department of Health and Human Services grant “Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19.” She is actively involved in the community, serving as Co-President of Health Literacy Texas and on the governing council of the Texas Public Health Association. She is an alumni of Leadership San Antonio and Leadership Texas.
Formerly, Ms. Stone supervised a community clinic outreach program, coordinated research for a large public health study, served as a public school teacher, and managed the outreach and education section of University Health System's CareLink program. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and anthropology from Trinity University, master’s in public health and doctor of public health degrees from UT School of Public Health, and a master’s degree in education from Texas State University.
CO-PRESIDENT, FOUNDER, PAST PRESIDENT, & TREASURER
Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CPPS, CHWI, DipACLM, CHWC
Dr. Wagner is a registered and licensed dietitian with a doctorate in public health. An Assistant Professor at UNT Health Science Center and Interim Director / Clinical Executive for Health Literacy at SaferCare Texas, she’s certified in Patient Safety, Lifestyle Medicine, Health Coaching and a certified Community Health Worker Instructor.
Dr. Wagner has delivered multiple programs, speaking engagements and trainings on health literacy issues. Her research focuses on alleviating health disparities in underserved communities through health literacy to improve population health. She works closely with Community Health Workers building workforce capacity to meet community needs to abate barriers causing health disparities in under-resourced and rural communities. As a result of her work, she has received the 2018 Texas Health Literacy Hero Award as well as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Christian University.
Debra Flores, Ph.D., M.A., CCHWI
Dr. Flores has over 35 years of experience in the medical field specifically in nursing, healthcare management and public health. Her expertise includes grant writing, program implementation, program evaluation, healthcare transformation, rural health, patient navigation, chronic disease management, community outreach, health literacy and community health worker training and development.
She is a certified CHW instructor, adjunct faculty for the MPH program at TTUHSC, a recurring faculty for TTUHSC SON, and a faculty affiliate for the Human Development and Family Studies Department at TTU. In her current position, Debra is an Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration in the School of Health Professions at TTUHSC.
Laurie Long, MEd, MS, PhD
Dr. Laurie Long holds an M.Ed. in Communication Disorders, an M.S. in Healthcare Administration and a
Ph.D. in Public Administration and Management. She has over 35 years of professional experience that
spans the healthcare continuum.
Currently, Dr. Long is Texas Health Resources’ Community Health Improvement Program Director for
Strategic Initiatives. Her job responsibilities include developing, implementing, and evaluating Texas
Health’s CHI programs and strategic initiatives; building relationships with public and private
organizations; and facilitating the integration of internal and external resources for the shared goal of
improving community health and well-being. Dr. Long also works for the University of North Texas as an
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION & OUTREACH
Donica’ Beckett, CHES, MPH, MIHL
Award-winning strategist, speaker and servant leader, Donica' is a purpose-driven community investor, and the founder of Complete Package Publishing and Communications. As a seasoned public health professional, she is a researcher, epidemiologist, and educator of all ages, who is passionate about building healthier, wealthier legacies through wellness, empowerment, and philanthropy, globally.
As a top, sought-after orator, she has delivered over 40 and counting, messages, media interviews and award-winning scientific research presentations reaching hundreds of global citizens. A few of her recurring themes include: personal wellness, resiliency, and reproductive health. With a gentle, yet bold voice, her witty, relatable style engages and educates audiences of all ages. She also often finds herself among the "winner's circle" of competitive speakers. However, the most notable win for her is helping others use their voices for social good.
She is also a recipient of over 50 honors ranging from character and service to leadership, academics, and advocacy, including proclamations from City, County and State Officials. She holds several degrees in the fields of public health leadership and political science from the nation's most diverse universities. Donica' also takes pride in preparing the next generation of health equity leaders as a collegiate adjunct instructor.
One can consistently find her at the intersection of public health, education and social justice. Her civic work also includes: political action, board leadership, and community building and engagement. Over the course of her career, she has amassed over $1 million as a fundraising team member for various youth and community initiatives.
DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY
Jesse Sifuentez is an experienced Government Relations Attorney with a demonstrated history of working in public policy and public law. He has policy experience covering several business industries with a focus on insurance, and is skilled in legislative rules and procedures, and other institutional practices of the Texas Legislature. Jesse is also a strong public administrative professional, skilled in the Texas Public Information Act, Texas Legislative and Campaign ethics, and the Texas Administrative Procedures Act.
Sonia Boyd is the Community Relations Manager for Superior HealthPlan. Her career in Community Relations began in 2011 and was previously employed as a Unit Supervisor for Health & Human Services Commission for 16 years. She is also the Founder of Dress for Success
Rio Grande Valley.
Ms. Boyd has a servant leader heart and is a strong advocate for the underserved. Her passion is helping people find their full potential. Sonia is inspired by her five
children and strives daily to teach them about their responsibility to do more for their communities. In her free time, she enjoys reading, thrifting, and playing board games with her grandson.