Delores Collins, also known as Ms. D is the Founder and Executive Director of A Vision of Change, Inc. (AVOC). Her Mantra is Embrace them where they are, Empower them to move forward, Motivate them to succeed. An African proverb she strongly believes in is “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.
Delores found AVOC due to a situation that caused her to become a single mom and the effects of this situation caused her children to be confused, angry, and depressed. She desperately searched for help for her children, but all she received was negative feedback or no reply at all. After making several visits to the institution where her husband was doing time, she began to notice at the end of the visit how traumatic it was for all the children when it was time to leave. She began to do research on children with incarcerated parents and read that children with a parent in prison are six times more likely than their peers to go to prison. At that moment she had to do something. She decided that society was not going to make that choice for her children.
Since then Delores has been implementing prevention, intervention, and academic services throughout Ohio at libraries, community centers and churches, her longest standing being at Bethany Baptist Church where she oversaw their entire After-School program, Kids Café and the Back pack program. The enrollment started out with 25 youth and expanded to 125 youth with 45 on waiting list. She also knows the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle so during the summer she would implement their All about a Healthy Me program that address types of behaviors such as premature deaths, suicide, violence, alcohol, drugs and tobacco use, poor eating habits and a lack of physical activities.
Delores is an Alumni of Class 19 for successfully completing Neighborhood Leadership Institute Leadership Cleveland Program. She is also a Registered Applicant with Ohio Chemical Dependency Professional Board which prepares her to become an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist 1. In 2011 she received her Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Development from Kaplan University, Community Health Ambassador for Glenville Neighborhood, A member of Creating Greater Destinies, Master Trainer Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, and currently enrolled in Community Health Workers Program at Cleveland State University.
An important aspect of her life is going back to college and obtaining a master degree in Social Work or Public health, her family and helping to building a stronger, healthier, and thriving community.
Joan Thoman, PhD, RN, CNS, CDE
An associate professor/course coordinator, experience includes hospital medical surgical units, charge nurse, public health, home care, and diabetes program coordinator. Has worked in staff development, informatics, and in management. Teaches nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Program of research is diabetes/comorbid conditions, community health, home health/hospice care and problem-based learning using simulation. Is currently a co- principle investigator for three grants initiatives, two federal and one foundation. The two federal grants involve population/community focused endeavors. The first is through the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Community Health Worker (CHW) initiative entitled Improved Health Outcomes through Education (I-HOPE). I-HOPE is an interdisciplinary initiative designed to empower low-income residents with a high prevalence of chronic disease. The second federal grant focuses on starting an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) which represents five counties in the northeast Ohio region. The foundation grant is focused on home care and hospice course and clinical development with the goal of placing in an online environment. As regards teaching I believe that the course belongs to the students as it is their learning experience. I believe in being respectful and fair to my students. I view the teacher role as that of facilitator. I learn from my students just as they learn from me as we explore the teaching/ learning journey together.
Tracy McArthur is founder and Co-Owner of PQRST Center for EKG Training. She is also an Assistant Instructor of the Community Healthcare Workers Program at Cleveland State University. She served and a Paramedic for the City of Cleveland-Division of Emergency Medical Service for 13 years. Tracy learned that heart disease is the number 1 killer for all Americans, but African American are at greater risk of getting heart disease. Tracy understood the disparity of heart health within her community and wanted to make change through education. Tracy believes she can change lives one heartbeat at a time.
Tracy McArthur received a Bachelor’s in History and a Minor in Political Science from Kentucky State University in 1994. She is also Certified EMT-Paramedic and Certified EKG Technician and Certified Telemetry Technician.
Tracy was an Instructor of an EKG Course at MedCert Training Center for 2 years. Tracy then founded PQRST Center for EKG Training provides quality training that gives our students the ability to succeed in the healthcare field as an EKG Technician. This is six-week course upon completion of the course student can earn two certifications, CET (Certified EKG Technician) and CTT (Certified Telemetry Technician).
The purpose of Tracy’s’ work is to be an advocate for the voiceless and to grow understanding of Chronic Disease the plague our community through education.