2020 Conference Speakers


Dr. Carla Cheatham, MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT

Rev. Dr. Carla Cheatham began her career in social services with an MA in Psychology, certification in trauma counseling and experience working in counseling and treatment centers. She taught and researched on the interaction between spirituality and health at Texas A&M while receiving her PhD in Health & Kinesiology and earned her M.Div. at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. She is now the Principal and Lead Trainer for Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, LLC and serves as a national keynote speaker and educator teaching in the areas of clinical presence and attunement, compassion fatigue and resilience, ethical spiritual and existential care, grief support, ethical boundaries and healthy teams, and more. Carla is the Section Leader for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Spiritual Caregivers Section, Chair of NHPCO’s Ethics Advisory Council, an Adjunct Professor at the Seminary of the Southwest, and Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland where she is co-developing and teaching courses for their new Masters of Science in Palliative Care degree. She is also the author of Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life and its companion piece, Sharing Our Stories: A Hospice Whispers Grief Support Workbook.


Dr. Jacqueline M. Champlain, MD

Dr. Champlain grew up in California, completed her medical education in Illinois, and currently sees patients at Austin Regional Clinic in Manor.  She is a member of the Travis County Medical Society and American Academy of Family Physicians.   In 2014, she was named “Resident of the Year” by the Hinsdale Hospital Nursing in 2014, and received the Dr. Donald R. Bennett Research Award for excellence in resident research from Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.  Dr. Champlain says “I chose a career in medicine because I wanted to combine my love of science with direct patient care, patient education, and have a relationship with each and every one of my patients.”  When she is not at work, Dr. Champlain enjoys playing with her two children, walking her Great Dane, or gardening.


Shannon Jones

Shannon Jones recently retired as Director of Austin Public Health, a position he’d held since 2015.  He’d previously served as Deputy Director since 2011. In addition, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appointed Jones to a four-year term as Chair of the National Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He also served as a Member of the CDC’s National Study of Determinants of Early Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) in the African American Community.

Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Woodrow Wilson Administrative Fellow and an Associate in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Jones is also known as founder and host of the local radio talk show “Health Talk” on KAZI FM 88.7, which focuses on mental health.  He currently serves on the Board of Managers for Central Health.


Dr. Michele A. Rountree, Ph.D

Michele A. Rountree, Ph.D, is an associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin and the associate director of the Institute for Urban Policy and Research Analysis (IUPRA). She has created an interconnected body of research, teaching, leadership, and service that focuses on health promotion, health prevention, and health equity. The focus of her research is on the health and wellness of marginalized communities, particularly of Black women, at the nexus of experiences related to co-occurring and the independent complexities of disparities including maternal mortality and morbidity, substance use, intimate partner violence (IPV), and HIV/AIDS health outcomes. Dr. Rountree seeks to address and redress health disparities by developing and testing prevention interventions to understand and impact those structural determinants that contribute to health and mental health outcomes.  The research she conducts is contextually and culturally centered. She often employs a community-based participatory research approach to ensure the translation of research findings to practice and policy.  Her professional interests include health disparities, intimate partner violence and heightened risk for HIV/AIDS, evidence-based HIV/AIDS interventions, and prevention strategies tailored to women and communities of color. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University, and her M.S.W. from Boston University.


Charles Thibodeaux

Charles Thibodeaux, LCDC, BAAS, is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) since 1992 and has worked in the addictions field for more than 29 years. During that time, he worked in residential treatment settings for adults as well as adolescents. For twelve years he worked at a community based MHMR, where he supervised an HIV prevention street outreach program that followed a harm reduction philosophy whose target population was active IV drug users and sex industry workers. Charles worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for 10 years, where he worked for the HIV division for one year and the remaining 9 years in the substance abuse/mental health division.  He is one of the pioneers who helped establish the first underground syringe service program in Texas.   He has also presented on harm reduction topics including overdose awareness and prevention for several years at the statewide DSHS HIV Street Outreach Conference, as well as at the DSHS Behavioral Health Institute Conference. He has worked as a Patient Navigator/Consultant with Linkage to Care for Hepatitis C, getting individuals tested, treated, and cured of Hepatitis C. Charles co-founded the Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative (TONI), which brings overdose awareness and trainings throughout the state of Texas, and is partner with the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance.



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