2017-2019 Executive Committee
Chara stewart abrams
Chara Stewart Abrams, MPH is the Administrative Director for the Department of Psychology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She joined St. Jude in 2011. She has over 15 years of experience in health and public health administration. At St. Jude she serves a department of over 60 (faculty, staff, students, and post docs) with the opportunity to drive engagement, develop and implement strategic planning and continuous improvement to ensure high-performance and appropriate alignment with the mission of St. Jude. She also serves on St. Jude’s Community Benefit Advisory Team.
Chara has a passion for working with communities and healthcare organizations to foster strategic partnerships, define needs and provide solutions and best practices. Before joining St. Jude, she was the Director of the Cancer Control Outreach Center (CCOC) and Program Manager of the Arkansas Cancer Community Network (NCI funded U01) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. In this role, she managed several rural cancer control and prevention programs and provided new direction based on the principles of Community‐based Participatory Research (CBPR) and community engagement. Under her leadership at the Cancer Institute, she designed and implemented a three-phase community development and training program to facilitate greater collaboration with community partners to address health disparities and access to care. The program allowed the institute to provide funding and training for community stakeholders, faculty, and staff. The community development program was provided by a request for applications process which resulted in the Cancer Institute and the two most successful community organizations submitting and awarded a $2.7 million CBPR grant with the NIH National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities for five years.
She has served on several boards and is a member of both the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) and the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE). Chara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. Chara was inducted as a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Beta Delta Chapter in May 2010. She recently received the 2018 ACHE Regent’s Award for excellence in diversity.
Tavarski Hughes is a Federal Lobbyist and Public Policy Liaison for the Division of Government Relations for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST). Tavarski has been with BlueCross since March of 2009 and has been immersed into several provisions of health care reform as well as being engaged in the company’s community relations outreach efforts.
As a Federal Lobbyist for BCBST, Tavarski is deeply familiar with health care policy, politics and business. The role requires him to assist in the development of internal positions and strategies to advance BCBST’s policy positions while also engaging in meetings with the company’s trade associations and other entities relating to healthcare legislation. While juggling those intricacies on a daily basis, the most important aspect of Tavarski’s job involves keeping the companies members, and the communities they serve, first and foremost.
While lobbying for sound regulatory and legislative policies, Tavarski also oversee all aspects of BlueCross’s Federal Political Action Committee (PAC). That includes strategy, fundraising, as well as internal marketing and solicitation campaigns. Delving further into this role requires him to manage the PAC database, maintain records of all PAC receipts and disbursements produce internal PAC reports and analyses as well as filing their Federal Election Commission reports.
A native Memphian, Tavarski is a graduate of Tennessee State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and has received a Graduate Certificate in HealthCare Administration and Planning. He serves as a mentor through the Governor’s Drive to 55 Campaign, volunteers as a basketball coach for several community and church leagues, is a graduate of New Memphis Institute, serves on the board of Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM), the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, National Association for Healthcare Service Executives (NAHSE) Ronald McDonald House of Memphis as well as the Grants and Initiatives committee of The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
Andrea Curry is a native of Memphis, TN. She was first introduced to NAHSE in 2013 by Dr. Jeshenna (Johnson) Watkins and Jonathan Watkins. She was drawn to the benefits of membership and relevancy that the organization would attribute to her professional goals. Since joining NAHSE in 2013, Andrea has completed her Master of Health Administration degree from Walden University. She is expected to complete her Doctor of Philosophy program through Walden University this year. Miss Curry currently is employed by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, and she currently holds the position of Pharmacy Program Coordinator at Methodist University Hospital. Andrea is an extremely motivated individual that is an advocate for community service. Her doctoral research is evaluating the relationship between racial health disparities and the patient provider relationship.
Veronyca Washington is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Health-Tech Institute of Memphis where she is responsible for the quality of academic programs and the success of faculty and students. She has leadership responsibility in the development and implementation of academic initiatives including academic program planning, education policy, and accreditation attainment & compliance. She is devoted to fostering high impact learning experiences and opportunities for careers in healthcare & business through service, innovation, and collaboration. A Memphis native, Veronyca received a M.S. in Public Health from Meharry Medical College and B.S. in Business Administration from Fisk University.
The Parliamentarian shall set and rule on parliamentary procedures to insure proper and expeditious use of the Chapter’s time