The Community Advisory Board (CAB) was established to help bridge the gap between university researchers and local communities. The CAB is comprised of a diverse group of individuals with strong ties to local communities within St. Louis and its surrounding counties.

The CAB serves community-academic partnerships in several ways, including advising community-engaged research and activities.

Reactive Barometer Sessions

Reactive Barometer Sessions are a service of the Center’s Community Advisory Board (CAB). Faculty and research teams seeking initial community feedback on a research project or idea may request to schedule a Reactive Barometer Session during a bi-monthly CAB meeting. Researchers consulting with the CAB will receive input on research materials, recruitment, community engagement activities, and more from a diverse group of individuals with strong ties to local communities in St. Louis and its surrounding counties.

Contact Hilary Broughton at to schedule a Reactive Barometer Session.

Learn more about session expectations.

Current CAB Members

Co-Chair: Doug Lindsay

Keynote Speaker, Workshop Designer, and Personal Medical Consultant

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Beginning at age 21, Mr. Lindsay suffered an 11-year illness that kept him bedbound during which time he worked with 35 senior faculty at 28 institutions to help resolve his illness. He won the first national court case protecting patients’ rights, and developed the concept for the two successful, innovative adrenal surgeries used to treat his case. Once fully recovered, Lindsay returned to Rockhurst University and finished his biology degree. Today he is a nationally-recognized speaker appearing at TEDx, Stanford Medicine X and the American Healthcare Association, among others.

Mr. Lindsay also provides an in-depth Personal Medical Consultant service to a small number of rare disease and complex condition patients who’ve found themselves trapped in the medical system.

Co-Chair: Kelley Vollmar

Director, Jefferson County Health Department

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Ms. Kelley Vollmar has served in public health for over 20 years and is now the Director of the Jefferson County Health Department. Ms. Vollmar holds Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science specializing in the social impact of government regulation of environmental issues and in conflict resolution specializing in multicultural conflict. She also hold a master’s degree in dispute resolution with a dual emphasis on corporate and environmental conflict.

Ms. Vollmar is the Chair of the Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies (MOALPHA) and serves as a member of the #HealthierMO – Transforming the Future of Public Health in Missouri Advisory Council and Hillsboro Rotary, and as a Board Member of the Missouri Institute for Community Health (MICH), Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence (MOCPHE), Jefferson County Health Network, Jefferson County Public Safety Commission, Jefferson County Community Partnership, and Get Healthy DeSoto.

Bishop Luther D. Baker

President, Luther D. Baker Ministries
CEO and President, Man of Valor, Inc.

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With over 30 years of ministry experience, Bishop Luther Baker preaches the gospel and is dedicated to the restoration of men in church, family and community. His passion is seeing youth experience the power of God in their lives as a reality. Luther Baker Ministries mentors and empowers men who are struggling. Alongside his ministry, Bishop Baker is the President and CEO of Man of Valor, Inc., a faith-based nonprofit with a mission to foster the social, emotional and academic development of youth. He received the Superintendent Choice Award in 2015 and PaceSetter Award in 2016 from the University City School District for his work with students. In addition, Bishop has received recognitions for his work in restorative justice and improving financial wellbeing of families in the St. Louis region. Bishop Baker is married to Sebrenia and together, they have a blended family.

Serena Blank, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist, St. Patrick Center

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Ms. Serena Blank is an Occupational Therapist at the St. Patrick Center, an organization that works to increase access to sustainable housing, employment, and healthcare in the St. Louis region. In prior roles, she completed a Fellowship in psychosocial rehabilitation at the VA in Durham, NC. The program assisted Veterans experiencing serious mental illness. Upon returning to St. Louis, she worked for Saint Louis University’s Transformative Justice Initiative. She provided occupational therapy services to people incarcerated and supported their reentry back into the community. Her unique lens of occupations in marginalized populations helps her advocate for change in health and human service systems. She holds two degrees from Saint Louis University including a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science and Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.

Kathy Gardner

Senior Consultant, EMD Consulting

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Ms. Kathy Gardner is a senior consultant with EMD Consulting focused on helping nonprofits strengthen their organizational performance. She was previously a Senior Vice President at United Way for over 30 years, leading the Community Investment Division that distributed the funds raised in the annual campaign, provided agency training, and helped organizations implement sound volunteer management practices.

Ms. Gardner is regarded as a candid, results-driven community leader with strong interpersonal skills. She serves on several nonprofit boards and was named one of the 2011 Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Sherrill Jackson, CPNP

President and Founder, The Breakfast Club, Inc.
Retired, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practioner

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Ms. Sherrill Jackson is the founding President of The Breakfast Club, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing  education, awareness, resources and support for breast health and cancer prevention to medically underserved and uninsured populations in North St. Louis City and County. As a 20+ year breast cancer survivor, Ms. Jackson has worked tirelessly as an advocate to reduce cancer disparities. She has a track record of bringing together university and community partners to help facilitate communication and meaningful partnerships to support medically underserved and uninsured women in the St. Louis community. In addition to her role with The Breakfast Club, Inc., Ms. Jackson worked for nearly four decades as a primary care provider for children in medically underserved St. Louis communities.

Rose Jackson-Beavers

Director of Faith Initiatives
The Behavioral Health Network

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Rose Jackson-Beavers is the Director of Faith Initiatives for The Behavioral Health Network. She oversees the Bridges to Care and Recovery program. In addition, Rose is a mental health advocate, speaker, and writer. She is a former social services administrator and adult educator. She has more than 25 years of experience working with families and their children in five federal programs, including Head Start, CCDP, Healthy Families and Healthy Start, and the Triple P Program. She also has thirteen years of work experience in Settlement Houses.

She grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State and Southern Illinois Universities. Both in her personal and professional life, Rose enjoys actively engaging and volunteering in the faith community and volunteering her time to local organizations by sharing her voice and ideas to help reduce the stigma on mental health.

In her spare time, she loves to write. She is a bestselling author of several books and has received numerous awards for her work as a writer and for working with youth and children. She lives in Florissant, MO, with her husband Cedric and has one daughter, Adeesha, and a grandson, Isaiah.

Allison Kemner, MPH

Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer
Parents as Teachers National Center

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Allison Kemner serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Research Officer for Parents as Teachers National Center. She also serves as adjunct professor for Saint Louis University in the College of Public Health and Social Justice. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Saint Louis University with a focus on Epidemiology and Behavioral Science.

At Parents as Teachers National Center, Allison oversees the research and learning activities for the organization, and she collaborates with a research network to advance the organizations research and learning agenda. For 15 years, Allison has supported national, state, and local research and evaluation projects in the areas of maternal and child health, childhood obesity, child abuse and neglect, family support, child development, and social determinants of health.Allison serves on several advisory groups including the Home Visiting Expert Consensus Panel through Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, the National Advisory Committee for the Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting COVID Health Equity Research project, Home Visiting Evaluation Advisory Council with Tufts University, and the Public Health Advisory Committee for Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice.

Dennis Lane

Author, The Bitch Wall/Vietnam Wailing Wall

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A Vietnam Veteran, Mr. Lane is passionate about veterans concerns regarding quality healthcare and continues to be an active voice on their behalf.

Mr. Lane has had more than thirty years’ experience working in healthcare, mental health and social services delivering assistance to the disenfranchised. While at Grace Hill (now Affinia Health) and Myrtle Hilliard Dave Health Centers, he was instrumental in building a board of directors and considers himself well integrated into corporate and civic communities.

For the past 15 years, he has met weekly with a Vietnam Veterans support group and recently served as a representative for the Ken Burns’ documentary “The Vietnam War”. He also continues to serve on the KETC’s Veteran Outreach Board.

Felice McClendon, MS

Communications Director
City of St. Louis Treasurer’s Office

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With over 25 collective years of generating market interest, branding visibility, and increased revenue, Felice McClendon, a University of Missouri Journalism graduate, brings a multidisciplinary lens to support non-profit strategic planning, organizational development, social justice, media engagement, marketing, and public relations needs. Aligning mission and management to passion with purpose, F.M. Consulting serves a robust network of clients from emerging non-profits in need of advisement, board engagement, and development support to well-known established agencies interested in rebranding, rebuilding, and growing existing programs to a measurable scale. Noted for the capacity to manage complex narratives across local and national media outlets, McClendon launched F.M. Consulting in 2014 as her contribution to bridge the gap between the boardroom and the neighborhood block with interest to bring cohesion to communities in need. With a history of multi-sector stakeholder relationships, her coordination of people, policies, and resources help organizations serve the greatest need with fidelity, integrity and plans for sustainability.

Nancy D. Spargo, AM, LCSW

Chief Innovation Officer, Operation Food Search

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Ms. Nancy Spargo is the Chief Innovation Officer at Operation Food Search. In this role, she leads efforts to intervene with food insecurity “upstream”, including the intersection of mental health and food insecurity.

She is a graduate of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and excels at systems integration and program development for marginalized populations with a focus on trauma. Her career is characterized by a collaborative approach, innovative program design, quality service delivery, professional development, and advocacy.

Ms. Spargo’s commitment to mitigating the impact of trauma and working to strengthen families and their communities has led her to serve a variety of populations, including immigrants and refugees; foster and adoptive families; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations; and the homeless.

Ben Zeno

Strategist, Missouri Foundation for Health

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Ben Zeno currently works at Missouri Foundation for Health as a Strategist supporting the elimination of health inequities throughout Missouri. In his prior role, he helped to launch and grow the Mental Health Collaborative at Casa de Salud. Mr. Zeno collaborated with a diverse team of organizations to ensure access to quality mental healthcare for Casa patients—mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants—in the St. Louis region. During his tenure, the Collaborative quickly grew from four to eighteen partners. Ben came to St. Louis from Seattle to study Latin American Studies and Chemistry at Washington University. He loves St. Louis, but misses the mountains and, yes, the Seattle rain.