James Comeaux, LCSW Board Chair
James Comeaux, LCSW is the Vice President of Operations, East Division for Access Health Louisiana (AHL). He graduated from Loyola University, New Orleans in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. He then obtained his Master of Social Work from Tulane University, New Orleans in 1990. Licensure was obtained in 1992. His 14 plus years post master’s work experience in private psychiatric hospitals, not for profit residential settings, out patient mental health services, directing clinical programs, managing a physician practice and providing social work services in a medical surgical hospital makes him uniquely qualified to lead the behavioral health team. Comeaux currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Mobile Health Clinics Association, as well as on the Board of Directors for Luke’s House Clinic in New Orleans.
J. Brent Wallis, MD Medical Director
Dr. Wallis is the vice president of clinical integration for Peoples Health. He is responsible for developing, executing and sustaining provider engagement strategies that support key company initiatives and overall goals. He facilitates a collaborative environment between Peoples Health and its network providers to ensure cost-effective, quality health outcomes for members of the company’s health plans. Previously, he served as Peoples Health's market medical director of the New Orleans Westbank, Southland, and expansion regions, providing clinical oversight for the optimization of medical management and quality-of-care programs, as well as educating providers on company resources. Prior to joining Peoples Health, Dr. Wallis served as market medical director for JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers and as a practicing physician for one of JenCare’s facilities. He has held several academic appointments throughout his career, including assistant professor of clinical medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans and medical director of the resident clinic for the university’s Program of Medicine-Pediatrics.
He earned a medical degree from Medical College of Georgia and completed his residency in the Program of Medicine-Pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans. He is board-eligible in pediatrics and holds a certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is in his third year as Medical Director for Luke's House and has volunteered in the clinic for 10 years.
Susan Berry, MPH MD Board Member
Dr. Berry is a practicing developmental pediatrician and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at LSU Health Sciences Center.. She is also the Director for the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at the Louisiana Office of Public Health. She was the founding medical director of Luke's House and served in that role from November 2007 through December 2014.
Essence Banks, MBA Board Member
Essence Harris Banks, MBA is currently the Director of Six Sigma/Operational Excellence at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (Marriott International) since 2013. Essence earned her Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree from Loyola University New Orleans in 1997 then obtained her Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2010. Essence has been affiliated with Luke’s House Board since 2013 and currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. She has extensive board and leadership experience with several local/national non-profit organizations such as American Heart Association GoRed Executive Leadership Team, WomenHeart Champion & Spokeswoman, Dress for Success New Orleans, and Heart N Hands, Inc.
Kathryn Montgomery, PhD Board Member
Ms. Montgomery is the Julia & David Uihlein Professor Emerita of Medical Humanities & Bioethics andProfessor Emerita of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the author of Doctors’ Stories: The Narrative Structure of Medical Knowledge and How Doctors’ Think: Clinical Judgment and the Practice of Medicine. She began volunteering at Luke’s House in 2008.
Mariana Montero, MBA Board Member
Mariana Montero, the third in a family of seven children, was born in Ecuador and moved to New Orleans in 1992 where most of her family lives. In Ecuador she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Guayaquil, Ecuador and in New Orleans she acquired Masters in Business Administration as well as in Engineering Management in 1999.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of Golden Change, Inc. non-profit organization in Metairie, LA which mainly focuses in Domestic Violence and behavior change prevention. Mariana is certified through the Duluth Curriculum as a facilitator for Duluth classes of non-violence and for 20 years she has worked in the development of Child Prevention.
Mariana has held diverse positions in the corporate and academic arenas, and has extensive experience serving as a volunteer in non-profit organizations in New Orleans as well as in Ecuador. She is part of Board of Directors of Metropolitan Center for Women & Children, Board member of Luke’s House Clinic, Project coordinator of LA Voz de la Comunidad Coalition, Vice-President of the Latin American Civic Association of Louisiana, Inc., member of the National Organization for the advancement of Hispanics, Past President of the Business Professional Women’s Association, Member of Jefferson Lions Club, and volunteer at Make a Wish foundation.
Dielda J Robertson, MPH Board Member
Dielda J Robertson, MPH , is a Public Health Account Manager for Ora Sure Technologies, Inc. and her territories include LA, MS, AR, MO & IL.
She previously worked for the the LA Office of Public Health (OPH), Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDE) Section as an Epidemiologist Specialist and The Louisiana (LA) Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (AVHPC) for. Ms. Robertson has 25 years of experience in public health which includes 12 years in Viral Hepatitis prevention and coordination; 5 years in Women’s Health and Prevention; 5 years in Bioterrorism Emergency Preparedness and Response and several years as a Laboratory Scientist.
She has served as a subject matter expert, community stakeholder liaison and epidemiologist specialist for the Viral Hepatitis Program within OPH/IDE. She provides the technical expertise necessary for the management, coordination and integration of activities directed toward the prevention of viral hepatitis infections. Her expertise includes the integration of HCV clinics within Federally Qualified Health Centers, as well as HIV/AIDS clinical based organizations.
Ms. Robertson also works to identify HCV resources, develop and implement HCV training programs, providing technical assistance to providers, and supporting stakeholder engagement. She has served as a member and Vice Chair of New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council (NORAPC) and is a member of the LA Community Planning Group. She secured one of eight competitive grants from ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officers) to develop an HCV Epidemiologic Profile for Louisiana.
She has served as an expert hepatitis trainer and consultant with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide train the trainer programs for peer inmates and currently works with the Re-Entry staff and inmates at Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) to provide HCV training.
She has severed on several Steering Committees for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), planning committees and been a national speaker at several HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Correctional conferences.
Ms. Robertson also: 1) serves on The White House Drug Policy Workgroup to understand and reduce opioid mortality; 2) serves on the LA State Epidemiology Workgroup tasked with bringing data on substance use, misuse and related behavioral problems to the forefront of the prevention planning process and 3) serves as Co-chair of the Louisiana Hepatitis Coalition.
Prior to her position as the AVHPC, she served as Coroner Surveillance Epidemiologist for the Louisiana Bioterrorism Program where she developed, implemented and maintained Louisiana’s Syndromic Surveillance System for unexplained illnesses and deaths. Her subject areas of expertise include HCV (including HCV/HIV coinfected populations), bioterrorism preparedness and women’s health.
Dielda holds a Chemistry degree with minors in Biology and Mathematics from Southern University in New Orleans. She received her MPH from Walden University in Minneapolis.
Julie Cannon Board Member
Julie Cannon is a retired educator who is now working as a Contracted Class Observer of Toddler classes for Agenda for Children. She is active in her church, Mount Zion United Methodist Church as a youth leader and teacher. Her hobbies include listening to music, reading and travel. She has been on the board of Luke’s House since 2015.
Fernando Sosa Board Member
Fernando Sosa was born, and raised in Quito, Ecuador a very long time ago. The rainbow was still black and white, as he remembers. Upon finishing High School he went straight to work at a Bank, and took English classes at the American-Ecuadorian Center. He was granted a scholarship to come to New Orleans, arriving in America on June 9, 1969 (That was a very good year), and graduated in Petroleum Engineering Technology in December 1972.
Fernando worked for a short period of time in the Oil Fields of Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. He came back to America in 1974, and went to LSU to study Chemical Engineering. He worked for three oil companies, and retired from Murphy Exploration and Production after 25 years of service with Murphy in July 2005. Throughout all those years he resided in New Orleans a City that he promised himself that he would never leave.
August 29, 2005 “Katrina”. Newly retired, Fernando dedicated his time to reconstruct his house. He noticed that there were a great number of Latin American people working in the New Orleans area cleaning, and rebuilding. Fernando thought he could volunteer, assist, and translate for people within the Latin community. Eventually Fernando was hire by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital. That is how a new carrier came to Fernando. He has been working in the community for about 10 years with different agencies including Louisiana BEST, Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, and at present for Tulane University as a Community Health Worker. Fernando still volunteers in different capacities any time he has an opportunity.
Somewhere between all those years he married a beautiful girl from Colombia, and had three wonderful boys of whom Fernando is a very proud. He is the father of three son Fernando, Michael and Javier. Proud Grandfather of two handsome boys Oscar and Nicholas of Chicago, IL, three Grand-dogs, and one Grand-cat. We do not think Fernando is planning a full retirement for at least the next 20 years.
Maureen Davis Vice Chair
Maureen Davis is a business strategist with industry knowledge in healthcare, academia, hospitality and financial services. In her current position, Applications Development Manager for PeoplesHealth, she provides IT project management and support for Electronic Medical Records to 20 clinics across south Louisiana. Maureen has a Business Administration Degree from the University of Georgia, is a Miami Beach native and has worked in the medical industry in new Orleans for the past 9 years. Maureen has been a volunteer at Luke's House since 2015 and is now serving as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.
Tiffany Delcour Secretary
Tiffany is from a small town in Southern Missouri and attended college at Central Methodist University. In 2004 she moved to New Orleans to continue her education at Tulane University School of Public Health. One year into Tiffany’s education at Tulane Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Upon her return to the city Tiffany finished her degree and remained at Tulane as a research assistant and began to work closely with the Recovery School District and the Environmental Protection Agency to better understand how school facilities and the indoor environment impacted the health of students and staff. Today she continues this work as the Recovery School District's Assistant Superintendent of Operations along with many other volunteer interests she has outside of education. Currently Tiffany is the Vice-Chair of the WWNO Executive Council and the Secretary and Fundraising Chair of Luke's House. She also serves as committee member of the Touro Foundation Gala and completed the Rosenblum Health Care Leadership series in Fall 2016.