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Advisory Board

Our diverse collection of advisory members bring decades of experience from academia, research, healthcare, foundations, business, and as illness survivors. 

  • The Advisory Board was formed in 2019 to work with the Center for Health Equity leadership and provide strategic guidance.  
  • They meet two times per year and share objective opinions, insights and knowledge towards specific projects and initiatives, and help identify partnerships and fundraising resources.
James R Gavin

James R. Gavin, III, MD, Ph.D.

Dr. Gavin is past president of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, past chairman of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), national program director of the Harold Amos Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and serves as Chairman of the Board for the Partnership for a Healthier America. He served as senior scientific officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and as director of the HHMI–National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program. He belongs to a number of organizations, including the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the IOM), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and the American Association of Physicians (AAP). He is a past president of the ADA and was voted Clinician of the Year in Diabetes by the ADA in 1991. He has served on many advisory boards and on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology and the American Journal of Medical Sciences. He is on the board of trustees for Emory University, and Livingstone College. He is past. He has published more than 250 articles and abstracts in such publications as Science, Diabetes, and the American Journal of Physiology. He received the E.E. Just Award, the Emory University Medal for Distinguished Achievement, the Banting Medal for Distinguished Service from ADA, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Duke University School of Medicine. He was named a “Living Legend in Diabetes” by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) in 2009, and was named one of the “175 Emory History Makers” on the occasion of the celebration of the University’s 175th Anniversary. In 2015, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Diabetes Research from ADA, and the Lifetime Meritorious Achievement Award from the NMA. 

Ruby Puryear HearnRuby Puryear Hearn, Ph.D.   

Ruby P. Hearn, Ph.D., Senior Vice President Emerita, joined The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as Program Officer in 1976, and served as Senior Vice President from 1996 to 2001. The Foundation is the largest health and health care philanthropy in the United States. As a member of the program executive group, Dr. Hearn took part in strategic program planning with the president and executive vice president and served as a special advisor to the president and as the Foundation’s liaison within the non-profit community. Dr. Hearn had the major responsibility for oversight and program development of initiatives in maternal, infant and child health, AIDS, substance abuse and minority medical education. 

Dr. Hearn received her M.S. and PH.D. degrees in biophysics from Yale University, and is a graduate of Skidmore College. She was a Fellow, Yale Corporation (1992 - 1998) and served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Connecticut, the Science Board for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Advisory Committee to the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Governing Council of the Institute of Medicine (1995 - 1997), the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP), the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council, the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Medicine and its Board of Health Care Services, the President’s Drug-Free Communities Act Advisory Commission, the Goucher College Board of Trustees and various Council on Foundations committees. She is Director Emerita of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and serves on its Revenue Enhancement Committee, and is an independent director of the Legg Mason Funds. 

Jill McGovern

Jill E. McGovern, Ph.D.  

Dr. Jill E. McGovern is a member of the Board of Trustees and Senior Consultant at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, a research organization in Washington affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and focused on U.S.-German relations. Between 1993 and 2007, she served as CEO of The Marrow Foundation, the partner of the National Marrow Donor Program, which maintains the national registry of unrelated blood stem cell donors.  Previously, she was Executive Director of the Baltimore International Festival and senior assistant to the President of Johns Hopkins University.  Between 1975 and 1981, she was associated with the Department of Education at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. and chaired the Department from 1978 to 1981.  In addition, McGovern taught at the Citadel in Charleston and Tulane University in New Orleans.  She also taught in the Orleans Parish Schools for seven years, after she had spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer on Mogmog, Ulithi, Federated States of Micronesia. 

McGovern has served on the Board of Trustees of Legg Mason Funds since 1989.  Between 1994 and 1999, she chaired the Board of the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, and she continues to serve as a member of the Museum's Advisory Council.  She also served on the Boards of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust and the International Biomedical Research Alliance.  From 2012 to 2014, she chaired the Board of the Lois Roth Endowment, a non-profit organization devoted to fostering international cultural dialogue.  In addition, she is an Army Arlington Lady. 

McGovern is involved with Johns Hopkins University in a variety roles:  as a member of the Rising to the Challenge Campaign Cabinet, the Evergreen Campaign Committee, the Peabody National Advisory Council, the SAIS Europe Advisory Council, and the Hopkins-Nanjing Council; and as co-chair of the SAIS Legacy Circle. 

McGovern received her BA from Northwestern University, her Master of Arts from Xavier University, and her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New Orleans. 

Mark Moore

Mark Moore  

Mark Moore is the author of the book, A Stroke of Faith: A Stroke Survivor's Story of a Second Chance at Living a Life of Significance. It was published on April 25, 2017 by FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group. The book tells the story of Mark’s medical crisis in 2007 when he suffered back to back strokes and almost lost his life. It goes on to give witness to Mark’s spiritual transformation from believing he was in charge of his life to knowing that God had control all along. Remarkably, Mark was able to complete a 5K charity run just one year after his stroke, a testament to his faith in Jesus Christ and God’s ability to help Mark overcome the many obstacles that everyone experiences in recovering from a major stroke.  
To that end Mark is now serving as the mid-Atlantic Ambassador for Empowered to Serve, a major initiative of the American Heart Association in reaching out to faith- based and African American communities. And in 2017, ten years after his stroke, he acts as the National Ambassador for the American Heart Association’s Empowered to Serve program speaking all over the country about his faith, stroke prevention and stroke recovery. In that capacity he spoke at churches, hospitals, clinics, wellness centers and community centers as well as giving workshops. 

At the center of Mark’s philanthropic activity is his foundation. Along with his wife, Brenda, Mark established the Mark and Brenda Moore and Family Foundation in 2010. The foundation supports advances in healthcare, education, the arts and Christian Evangelism. The foundation has contributed to a wide variety of causes including the Mount Vernon Hospital’s expansion program, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to be opened in 2016, the Posse Foundation, the Hopkins House Early Childhood Learning Center, the Community Coalition for Haiti and the John Leland Center for Theological Studies. Mark and Brenda believe exposure to the arts is an essential part of a balanced life and have strongly supported the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York, the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, and other cultural institutions. 

Alfred Somner

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS 

Dr. Sommer is a Gilman Scholar and University Distinguished Service Professor at Johns Hopkins University; Johns Hopkins Professor of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology, and International Health; and Dean Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School (1967) and his Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (1973). He has published 6 books and over 300 scientific articles; has received numerous awards including the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research, the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, and the Duke Elder International Gold Medal for Contributions to Ophthalmology; has delivered over 70 named lectureships, including the Jackson Memorial Lecture (American Academy of Ophthalmology), Duke Elder Oration (Royal College of Ophthalmologists), De Schweinitz Lecture (College of Physicians, Philadelphia), Doyne Lecture (Oxford Ophthalmologic Congress), among others. He is a member of both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. His current research interests include child survival and blindness prevention strategies, micronutrient interventions, and the interface between public health and clinical medicine. Sommer has received the Laureate Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and was elected to the ASCRS “Ophthalmology Hall of Fame.”