MEET OUR TEAM

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TERESA MCLEAN, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Teresa is a former Behavioral Scientist in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She conducted behavioral interventions to increase screening for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers with a focus on underserved populations.

Additionally, she conducted analyses of large epidemiological health surveys including the National Health Interview Survey and Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System. Teresa has a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Social Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in Psychology. She completed a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship in Gerontology and Health Psychology at the University of Georgia.

Teresa lives with her husband, John, and their three children, Hanna, John Wolfe and Ian. Teresa is a wildlife photography enthusiast and enjoys traveling with her family.

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KOOSH DESAI, M.D.

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Co-Founder/Project Leader

Koosh has completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the Medical College of Georgia. He is Southwest Georgia Regional Campus Curriculum Director at the Medical College of Georgia and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine. 

 

He develops curriculum for and teaches 3rd and 4th year medical students. He brings a wealth of knowledge in marketing and health policy and has led numerous political marketing campaigns across the state of Georgia.

 

His ultimate career goal is to become a practicing gastroenterologist and his passion lies in taking care of the underserved.  

 

Koosh is tasked with creating and deploying UHRU's Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project.

OUR BOARD

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JITENDRA 'JAY' MEHTA

Chairman of the Board

Jay is a former Chief Scientist at Johnson and Johnson in Athens, Georgia. He worked for healthcare pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson for 35 years.

 

Jay has a Master's degree in organic chemistry from Bombay University and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He helped the charity organizations United Way and March of Dimes during his work at Johnson and Johnson.

 

Jay lives with his wife Gita and enjoys spending time with his sons and grandchildren.

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HITESH MEHTA, M.D.

Board Member

Hitesh is a Cardiologist in Knoxville, Tennessee specializing in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. He is affiliated with Methodist Medical Center and is board certified in Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology. 

 

Hitesh received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and trained in Internal Medicine at Emory University and Cardiology at MCG. He has been in clinical practice for 15 years. 

 

Hitesh lives with his wife Mitali, a practicing pharmacist, and their daughter Meera.

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MINESH MEHTA, M.D.

Board Member and Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Co-Founder/Project Leader

Minesh recently joined Digestive Healthcare of Georgia in Atlanta. He manages patients with complex gastrointestinal diseases at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. He completed his Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania (2018-2019) and his General Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellowship at the University of Louisville in Kentucky (2015-2018). 

 

He completed Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Cincinnati (2012-2015). He completed medical school at American University of Antigua/Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India.

 

Minesh lives in Atlanta with his wife Palav, a board-certified psychiatrist, and their 2-year-old daughter Sona. He enjoys playing and coaching baseball; his favorite team is the Atlanta Braves. He enjoys going to concerts and doing outdoor activities with his daughter and wife.

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TODD EMILY

Board Member 

Todd Emily works in the Athens, Georgia branch of Morgan Stanley and currently serves as the branch manager, a position he began in January 2013.

 

He entered the financial services industry in June 1993 working with the firm Edward Jones Investments. In 2011, he joined Morgan Stanley and formed The Webster Shore Group. Todd and his team focus on wealth management for clients.

 

Todd is involved in the community and has served on the board of directors for the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Museum of Art and Nuci’s Space (a nonprofit providing services to musicians).

 

He is from Fulton, Kentucky and received his degree in business from Rhodes College in Memphis. His hobbies include vintage cars, vintage travel trailers and travel.

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KENT SILVER

Board Member 

Kent was born in Caribou, Maine on a potato farm. He attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in political science. He served in the Peace Corp for a short time in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso in west Africa.

 

He received his Law degree from the University of Georgia. After graduating, he worked at Georgia Legal Services in Waynesboro, Georgia from 1979 to 1983, helping low income communities with civil legal matters.

 

Kent founded Silver and Archibald, LLP in 1984. The firm has grown over the last 35 years with three offices in the Athens area, six attorneys, and approximately 25 supporting staff. They specialize in helping individuals with disability related issues, especially social security related claims, throughout Northeast Georgia.

 

Kent is married to Rebecca and has two grown children, Lara and Amanda.

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EVERETT LONG, Ph.D.

Board Member 

Everett Long, Ph.D., M.A. has over 10 years experience in public health at the local, state and federal level. His work uses health communication research and evaluation to create and deliver prevention messages, develop digital health tools, and strengthen public health partnerships.

 

Currently, Everett is the Director of Health Strategy and Evaluation at DLH Corporation, where he consults with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and Tuberculosis Prevention. Formerly, Everett served as Director of Development at the Athens Nurses Clinic, where he wrote grants and developed regional health programs.

 

Everett is passionate about training the next generation of public health practitioners and serves as adjunct faculty in Colorado State Global University’s Healthcare Administration Program.

 

Everett lives in Atlanta and enjoys art, museums and travel.

community advisory board

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HATTIE WHITEHEAD

Community Advisory Board

Hattie became an activist as a child after being involved with the desegregation of her hometown, Athens, Georgia. As a first descendant of Linnentown, she is President and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Linnentown Project. She assisted in writing the resolution for recognition and redress that was unanimously adopted by legislation in 2021. She also co-chairs the Justice and Memory Project Committee that has the formal decision-making power to enact legislative demands. 

 

Hattie worked for 27 years in operations management and an additional 15 years as a property manager for senior living facilities. With the help of her family, she developed the Athens StepUp Scholarship Program for Athens-Clarke County. The program awards scholarships to students who have overcome obstacles to graduate high school and have been accepted to college or technical school. 

 

Hattie’s recently published book, Giving Voice to Linnentown, chronicles life in Linnentown and her role in seeking justice on behalf of first descendant residents.

 

Hattie is a mother, grandmother and tireless community activist residing in Athens. 

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SARAH NEALE

Community Advisory Board

Sarah is a health communication consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. She has supported work in several disease areas including HIV/STDs, TB, hepatitis, and chronic diseases. She is currently supporting CDC’s COVID-19 prevention work in schools. She also works part-time for a non-profit development consultant.

Sarah earned her Master of Public Health from Emory University and her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia. Sarah is passionate about community engagement and working towards equity in healthcare.

Sarah and her fiancé are planning a wedding for March 2022. They currently live in Atlanta with their dog, Benji.

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KENISH CANTRELL, DrPH,MSPH

Community Advisory Board

Kenisha has supported public health efforts at the local, state, and federal level during her career. Her work has spanned public health areas, such as minority health disparities research, health deprivation modeling, health care discrimination, and federal public health policy. She led the 2011 Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Minority Health Report and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College. 

 

Currently, Kenisha is serving as a Senior Analyst for the Government Accountability Office. In her role, she develops, implements, and monitors the progress of messaged driven recommendations to Health Care programs ran by various Federal agencies, such as Veteran’s Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Kenisha earned her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health where her dissertation focused on discrimination and barriers to HIV testing and care in minority populations. She believes addressing structural factors are the key to making progress on important public health issues, particularly among disproportionately affected populations.

 

Although Kenisha has lived in many different states, she is originally from Atlanta and excited to be home with family and friends. She is dedicated to indoor spin cycling and loves spending time with her beautiful 11-year-old fur baby, Rocky.

Interns and volunteers

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Camden Garland

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Camden is a second year undergraduate at the University of Georgia (UGA) studying Exercise and Sports Science with plans to attend medical school after graduation. After medical school, he hopes to practice medicine in rural communities throughout the southeast.

 

He has worked as a caregiver in rural north Georgia and has volunteered with the Children's Physical Activity and Fitness Lab at UGA.

 

Camden is originally from Murphy, North Carolina but graduated high school in Monticello, Georgia. As a volunteer at UHRU, he supports the Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project to help increase colorectal cancer screening among underserved communities. 

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Meghna Iyer

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Meghna is a junior in high school in Atlanta, Georgia. She worked as a volunteer at UHRU supporting our social media.

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Nicholas Hatch

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Nick is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia Class of 2021, earning his Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion with a minor in Health Policy. He is currently studying as a Master of Public Health candidate at the Yale School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy. After graduation, he hopes to work as a health policy expert.

 

He is passionate about LGBTQ rural and minority health and hopes to eventually conduct and plan interventions to benefit this vulnerable population. In addition, he has experience interning with the Wellness Department of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government and a drug toxicology laboratory.

 

Nick is from Marietta, Georgia and enjoys swimming, listening to music and spending time with his two dogs.

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KATE TEMPLETON

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Kate is a fourth-year student at The University of Georgia (UGA) studying Health Promotion and Behavior with minors in Spanish and Music. After graduation in the Spring of 2021, she will be in UGA's Master of Public Health program.

Through classes and volunteer opportunities, Kate has gained experience in public health services and campaigns related to sexual health education, health and wellness of minority populations and gerontology. 

Kate is from Savannah, Georgia and enjoys volunteering at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, singing and spending time with friends and family.

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Sania Qazi

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Sania is a fourth-year student at The University of Georgia (UGA) studying Health Promotion and Behavior. After graduation in the Spring of 2021, she hopes to attend medical school in the state of Georgia.

Sania has worked and volunteered with a number of community health and public health organizations. She recently worked as a contract tracer for COVID-19 at the Georgia Department of Public Health. She is also a research assistant at UGA for a study on men's sexual health.

Sania is originally from Johns Creek, Georgia. During her internship with UHRU, she hopes to gain more experience working with rural and underserved communities.

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Isabel Zhang

UHRU Volunteer

Isabel is a second year undergraduate student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is studying healthcare management, finance and data science. She is planning a career in healthcare administration or consulting.

 

At University of Pennsylvania, she is the Chair of Career Development at the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club. She is also involved with research both at the Wharton School of Business and the Perelman School of Medicine.

 

Isabel is originally from Athens, Georgia. She has been volunteering at UHRU since high school.

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JULIA HENNIG

Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project Intern

Julia completed her Public Health Internship with UHRU in Spring 2020. She completed her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Behavior at the University of Georgia and received a certificate in Disaster Management. 

 

In addition to her academic coursework, Julia gained public health experience by working on projects related to workplace safety, community nutrition outreach, environmental health, and emergency preparedness.

 

Julia assisted with the development and implementation of UHRU’s Georgia Colon Cancer Prevention Project. By contributing to colon cancer screening outreach initiatives, writing standard operating procedures, and creating content for UHRU’s social media platforms, Julia gained experience in cancer prevention, health communication, and public health outreach in rural and underserved areas. 

 

Julia is from Richmond, Virginia and her hobbies include hiking, baking, and volunteering at the Athens Humane Society.