Introducing Our Featured Speakers
Promising Practices Conference on Community Health
Shelina Davis, MPH, MSW
Chief Executive Officer,
Louisiana Public Health Institute
Opening Talk: "Alone We Can Do So Little; Together We Can Do So Much (Helen Keller)"
Shelina is a public health social worker, community connector, and health equity ambassador. She serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) where she has the honor of leading and working in partnership with a team of 100+ talented public health professionals along with 500+ community partners on over 70 projects in a given year to achieve health and racial equity for all Louisianans. Shelina brings over fifteen years of experience in leadership development, organizational change management, health equity and racial justice, mental health and addictions prevention, treatment and recovery, public health, and health systems development.
Shelina gives back to her local community and to the next generation of leaders as a board member of Albert Schweitzer Fellowship - New Orleans; Emancipet – nonprofit pet clinic organization; GPOA Foundation– a grantmaking, independent foundation which supports programs that serve young people in New Orleans; National Networks of Public Health Institutes – a membership association of 40+ public health institutes across the country; Propeller – a New Orleans-based social entrepreneurship non-profit organization; and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. In April 2020, Shelina was appointed to serve on Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards' COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force as the Louisiana Prisons Sub-Committee Chair and the Louisiana Office of Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Action Collaborative to ensure the safety and well-being of all Louisianans during COVID-19.
Shelina is a proud Louisianan, Historically Black College & University (HBCU) graduate; and lives in New Orleans with her husband, Kenny Lamberti and adopted dog, Odin.
Joe W. Ramos, PhD
Director, Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana Cancer Research Center
Keynote Talk: "Re-Envisioning the Louisiana Cancer Research Center to Better Support Communities Across Louisiana to Reduce the Burden of Cancer and Improve the Health of Louisianans"
Joe W. Ramos, Ph.D. is the new Director and CEO of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC). The LCRC serves as a collaborative hub that advances cancer research, improves prevention, and accelerates innovative treatments. LCRC brings together the collective talent of more than 200 researchers from institutions across Louisiana and our four core partners – LSU Health New Orleans, Tulane School of Medicine, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Ochsner Health – to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer for all Louisianans. Dr. Ramos was previously the Interim Director at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center (an NCI Designated Cancer Center).
Dr. Ramos is an expert on cell adhesion signaling and cancer metastasis who has dedicated his life to reducing the impact of cancer. His lab’s mission is to determine the underlying mechanisms that support cancer progression and to use this knowledge in drug discovery and development. His focus is on brain, kidney and skin cancers and his team is developing drug leads to block growth and invasion of these tumors. He holds two patents in this area and this work has been published in top scientific journals.
Cancer incidence and mortality rates in Louisiana hare among the highest in the United States. At the LCRC Dr. Ramos is proud to lead a team of highly accomplished researchers and physicians that are up for the challenge to measurably reduce that heavy burden of cancer across the state. A core component of this work is to build and expand our partnerships with the community.
Dr. Earl “Nupsius” Benjamin-Robinson
Director of Office of Community Outreach & Engagement, Louisiana Cancer Research Center
Closing Talk: "Community, Healthcare & Services, and Research: Bringing It All Together"
Dr. Earl “Nupsius” Benjamin-Robinson, is the director of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center's Office of Community Outreach & Engagement. This position encompasses him also being the Director of Louisiana Public Health Institute’s Tobacco Prevention & Control and The Louisiana Campaign For Tobacco-Free Living.
Prior to this, Dr. Benjamin-Robinson served as the inaugural director of The Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) health equity office – Office of Community Partnerships & Health Equity. As the leader of this office, he led the development of LDH’s first agency-wide health equity plan. Dr. Benjamin-Robinson is faculty at Xavier University’s Public Health Science Program and has taught as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Tulane University School of Public Health. He has over 20 years of public health experience working in tobacco and cancer prevention control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, and community and population health.
Dr. Benjamin-Robinson is a board-certified public health practitioner - National Board of Public Health Examiners and is alumni of Loyola University, Louisiana Tech, University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences.