Executive Board Members:
Chair: Terri Jowers
Vice-Chair: Virginia Berry White
Secretary: Candice Hipp
Treasurer: Meredith Kelley
Meet the Executive Board:
Originally from Cuba, Ana Cossio came to the United States 13 years ago with her husband and 8 year old son. Upon learning a new language and how to navigate new and often challenging health and social service systems, Ana now uses her experiences to connect with and support other Latino immigrants that are facing similar challenges. Ana holds an educational degree from Cuba with a concentration in Biology, and was a professor there for 10 years. Ana has earned the SC Community Health Worker (CHW) certificate, and is currently obtaining her Masters of Social Work at the University of South Carolina. Passionate about serving others and advocating for the rights of underserved communities, Ana has been an integral member of the PASOs team since 2009. Ana is the former PASOs Midlands Coordinator, and recently has been promoted to the statewide Training Manager position at the PASOs Central Office. The Training Manager works to help PASOs achieve its mission of Latino leadership development by providing high quality training to PASOs’ Community Health Workers. Another part of her goals includes the expansion of PASOs’ CHW training program in order to offer the training to other organizations. Ana has helped train over 50 Promotores (CHWs in Spanish).
Lillie Fox graduated from from Coker College with a BSW degree in social work, then from South University with a M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology and I had 36 hours toward my ME.D. in school guidance counseling from Liberty University. Lillie has 25 plus years of experience working with diverse communities. She is the founder of Agape’ Placement , Inc and Family Services Alternative. Lillie brings with her in depth experience of advocating clients’ needs to schools, courts systems, and human health agencies.
Veronica Alicia Graham
Veronica Alicia is a writer, motivational speaker, lifetime student and loves wellness. She currently works with the SCDHEC as a Supervisor and Clinical Coordinator for the PHASE Team. The PHASE Team consist of Prevention, HEAL and Clinical Coordinators. The PHASE Team specifically focuses on making systems changes in medical practices for pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension. We are also working to incorporate and improve the standards on how CHWs are used in Medical Practices throughout the state of South Carolina.
As Manager of Medical Neighborhoods for Prisma Health – Upstate, Candice Hipp provides oversight to the Neighborhood Health Partners Care Team (Community Health Workers & Community Paramedics), the Community Support Team Network, the Diabetes Prevention Program, and a partnership with Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service – Health Coaches for Hypertension Control Program. Her programs work to improve the overall health of the community and aim to provide new innovative models for enabling population health management. Candice holds a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Wofford College.
Living in Williston in rural Barnwell County, Terri has a passion for meeting the needs of underserved South Carolinians in every county. She has worked as a Victim Advocate and Coordinator of a county Guardian ad Litem program. As the Director of Healthy Columbia, Terri and her team worked to establish the original CHW credentialing process in South Carolina. She is excited by the progress the SCCHWA is making to improve CHW training and in developing a SCCHWA Credentialing Council to insure the best quality CHW workforce possible. Terri is also convening a workgroup to address CHW Supervisor training and establish Best Practices for Medical Practices working in underserved communities. She advocates vigorously for policies to expand the role of CHWs in South Carolina
Terri is a farmer, mother of 2 sons, caregiver, political activist, community organizers, church leader and kayaker.
Meredith was born and raised in Greenville, SC and attended Clemson University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has an extensive background working with diverse communities in many different cities and states. She brings with her in depth experience of advocating clients’ needs to schools, courts systems, and mental health agencies. She is an active advocate for children and families and is currently a Guardian ad Litem in Greenville County. As a HOPS (Healthy Outcomes Program Spartanburg), Community Case Worker she works one-on-one with participants to address barriers to living a healthy lifestyle, while also connecting them to quality health care.
Julie Smithwick graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in International Studies and Spanish, then from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s in Social Work. Julie has twenty years of experience working with disadvantaged Latino communities, beginning as a Community Health Worker in Latin America and the southeastern states of the US. She is the founder and Executive Director of PASOs, a community-based organization affiliated with the University of South Carolina and four health-focused institutions throughout the state, that supports Latino families from 29 of 46 counties of South Carolina. Julie and her team have worked for the last eleven years in partnership with Latino communities to fill health and early childhood gaps, at both community and systemic-levels, using the Community Health Worker model. Julie is an active advocate and public speaker on behalf of underserved communities and inclusion, and is a Board member of Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, Edventure Children’s Museum, and the Foundation for Southern Communities. She is also on the National Coordinating Council for the formation of a National CHW/Promotores/CHR organization.
Darin Thomas is a Licensed Social Worker who works with low income communities to achieve optimal health. Darin believes that all people in every community deserve the right to health access and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. Darin has worked with several populations in a variety of settings. Darin’s background as a Social Worker has led him to work as an in-patient psychotherapist, in-patient Medical Social Worker, Emergency Room Social Worker, and most recently as the Neighborhood Health Partners Social Worker – a pilot study paired with Community Paramedics. His current role as a Program Development Manager at Greenville Health System gives him the opportunity to be the instructor to the newly hired Community Health Workers. Darin is a member of the SCCHWA Education Committee.
The Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County manages Access Kershaw(Duke Endowment), LiveWell Kershaw and the Healthy Outcomes Plan (HOP). We work very closely with the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health, as well as the USC School of Psychology in providing services at the county’s only school based health clinic, as well as multiple satellite health clinics in our rural areas. As manager of the Clinical Care Coordination team, I have worked with our team to implement the transitional care program for uninsured individuals in Kershaw County, as well the Hub and Pathway model which was presented by Dr. Mark Redding at the Oct 2016 HOP meeting for all of the clients that we serve.
Virginia Berry White
Virginia Berry White serves as the Director and Administrator for Family Solutions of the Low, an expansion of the Low Country Healthy Start Initiative. Since l998, Virginia has been responsible for the management and leadership of the $1M dollar federally funded Healthy Start Initiative. The project is well known throughout the community as an effective Community-Based Initiative for the Low Country of SC. Virginia has 23 years of experience in the maternal and child health field. Through Family Solutions of the Low Country she has given jobs to numerous community members & formerly clients and currently employs a staff of 26. To add to her work, she has built and maintain a 5 county-wide (Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Hampton and Orangeburg) consortium. In 2014, Virginia and her Grantee, the South Carolina office of Rural Health was granted a Nurse-Family Partnership Initiative and through this initiative serves the Orangeburg Community. Under Virginia’s leadership, a Male Involvement Program called Opportunity Knocks and a Youth Leadership Program called Tomorrow’s’ Scholars was also formed. She is a national conference presenter and is often recognized for her great work done in the 5 county service areas in eliminating disparities in perinatal health.
A certification with SCCHWA provides opportunities for furthering knowledge, skills, and formal education.