Translational Research Community Advisory Board (TR-CAB)

The MUSC Translational Research Community Advisory Board had been providing essential input to the South Carolina Clinical & Translational (SCTR) Institute and the SCTR Community Engagement Program since May 2014. TR-CAB members are a diverse group of leaders in a range of sectors committed to improving health and Health care in South Carolina.

The TR-CAB vision is to improve health outcomes and quality of life for the population of South Carolina by facilitating the translation of research discoveries into improved health outcomes and healthcare practices. Its members help engage communities in bidirectional communication with MUSC to inform research design based on community needs and to explore options or using their organizational resources to help implement best practices as quickly as possible.

Board Members

Russell Cook

Director of SC Academic Innovations, South Carolina Research Authority

Russell Cook 

Russell Cook serves as South Carolina Research Authority’s (SCRA) Director of Academic Innovations. The Academic Innovations Program advances use-inspired research and supports academic startup companies. Previously, Russell served as Managing Director of Comporium Ventures based in Rock Hill, SC.

A graduate of Wofford College, Russell has broad experience in investment banking, real estate development, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization and economic development.

Russell serves as a director for Boys Farm, Inc., based in Newberry, SC. He served for fourteen years as a trustee for South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc., serving as board chair for two years. He is a member of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association and has earned the designation of South Carolina Certified Economic Developer.  Having graduated from Furman’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, Russell has been designated a Riley Fellow.

Russell and his wife, Gloria, live in Chapin, SC. They have two grown sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and one very energetic grandson.

Katie Gaul, MA

Director, SC Office for Healthcare Workforce at the SC Area Health Education Consortium

Katie Gaul 

Katie Gaul directs the South Carolina Office for Healthcare Workforce, or SCOHW, a division of the South Carolina AHEC Program Office. The SCOHW team has a broad scope of work that includes assessing the supply and characteristics of health professionals in South Carolina, measuring educational capacity, describing demand, and identifying other health workforce issues.

Katie oversees SCOHW’s research and service portfolio, supports the efforts of South Carolina AHEC, and helps stakeholders across the state with their healthcare workforce data needs. Her areas of expertise focus on educating data consumers on available data and data literacy, communicating health workforce analyses and issues, and connecting stakeholders with the data and information they need to support effective program development and decision making.

Prior to her current role, Katie served as a senior policy analyst at the Center for Best Practices at the National Governors Association, a research associate at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC Chapel Hill, and the deputy director of the HRSA-funded Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center.

Terri Jowers, CCHW

Interim Executive Director, South Carolina Community Health Worker Association

Terri Jowers 

Terri Jowers currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the South Carolina Community Health Worker Association. A native of rural South Carolina, Terri has been an unwavering advocate for social justice, equity, and improved healthcare. Her experience with victims of partner violence, abuse, and neglect has reinforced her belief in local and policy-level interventions. As a founding member of the South Carolina Community Health Worker Association, Terri champions community health workers (CHWs) and their patients daily. Her current focus is on fostering collaboration between CHWs and Peer Support Specialists, recognizing their shared service to many of the same families.

Maya Pack, MS, MPA

Executive Director, South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health

Maya Pack 

Maya Pack has been working to support improved health and health care in South Carolina since 1998. She has distinguished herself through work across the state and at the local level. As Executive Director of the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health, Maya works with the Board of Directors to provide vision and strategic direction to the Institute and oversees the organization’s operations.

Maya joined the IMPH team in 2009 and has a diverse background that includes working in strategic planning in the hospital setting, consulting for various non-profit and health care organizations and developing programs and informing policies to improve the quality of health care provided in South Carolina. Maya is a graduate of Leadership Greenville (2006), Furman University’s Women Leadership Program (2009), the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) (2019) and is a member of the Blue Ridge Institute for Nonprofit Leaders.

Maya earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University, a Master of Science in applied social science research from Clemson University and a master’s degree in public administration through a joint program of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. 

Maya began her career with the United Way of Greenville County performing community needs assessments. In the early 2000s, she worked in planning and market research for the Greenville Health System (now Prisma) and then worked for Bon Secours St. Francis Health System as Director of Planning. She has also consulted for non-profit and health care organizations in the Upstate of South Carolina in the areas of strategic and business planning, needs assessment, outcome measurement and grant writing. Between 2006 and 2008, Maya served as manager of the South Carolina Business Coalition on Health, where she developed and implemented programs and policies to improve the quality of health care while controlling its cost for the business community. 

In her role as Executive Director, Maya leads the organization’s operations, business and financial management, fund development, programs and contracts, serves as the organization’s spokesperson and works with the Board of Directors in setting and implementing the strategic vision for the organization.

LaShandal Pettaway-Brown, MHA, MBA, PCMH-CCE, CRHCP

Practice Transformation Consultant, South Carolina Office of Rural Health

LeShandal Pettaway-Brown 

LaShandal Pettaway-Brown joined the South Carolina Office of Rural Health in 2017, and currently serves as a practice transformation consultant for the Center for Practice Transformation. In this role, she is responsible for facilitating chronic disease management and patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition for rural health clinics, private fee-for-service providers, federally qualified health centers, and hospital systems.

LaShandal is also responsible for coordinating the activities of The Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN) which provides technical assistance, practice assessment, change facilitation, and consultation as rural providers adapt to change. LaShandal is a Patient Centered Medical Home Content Expert and a Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional.

Prior to her role at the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, she served as a Quality Improvement Coordinator at The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence where she focused on The Million Hearts Initiative, Physician Quality Reporting System, Meaningful Use, and Patient-Centered Medical Home.

LaShandal received a Master in Business Administration and a Master in Healthcare Administration from Webster University. She earned her Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Healthcare Administration from Austin Peay State University.

Robert Stevens, Ph.D.

TR-CAB Community Chair, Evaluation Workstream, PCORnet Engagement Core

Bob Stevens

Robert Stevens received his BS from The Citadel, MS from University of Oklahoma and PhD from Florida State University with an emphasis in research statistics and program evaluation. He has 40 years of experience in education as a teacher, coach, principal, college administrator and professor. He has been Vice President at Charleston Southern University as well as Vice President of Marketing and Research at Benefitfocus.com (providing technology solutions to health insurers).

His current initiatives include: Consultant to SC Department of Education’s AWARE initiative; Co-PI of the SC Department of Mental Health’s CoIIN initiative; investigator for PCORnet’s STAR Clinical Research Network; and Co-chair of the Southeastern School Behavioral Health Conference. He is currently participating on the stakeholder advisory teams of three PCORI Awards.

Previous initiatives include: Creation of an At-Risk Alert Reporting System (ARAS) to prevent student dropout and improve evidence-based school interventions; Steering Committee Chair of the SC-DOE School Climate Initiative, and School Mental Health Sub-Committee Chair for the SC Behavioral Health Coalition.

He has recently been the editor of the Journal for Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities in Youth, and has authored and co-edited the book, School Behavioral Health-Interconnecting Comprehensive School Mental Health and Positive Behavior Support.

Dr. Stevens is an avid golfer and pilot, who enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

Darian Taylor, MA

Community Engagement Coordinator, USDA Rural Development

Darian Taylor 

Darian C. Taylor is currently employed as the Community Engagement Coordinator for USDA/Rural Development for the state of South Carolina. She has been an employee of the Rural Development agency since 2013. She began her career as an 1890 USDA Scholar; interning for the agency while obtaining her undergraduates degree. Upon graduation in 2016 she was hired full-time as an Administrative Assistant and has since professionally progressed with hard work, dedication, and the passion to help those rural and underserved communities in South Carolina. 

She values and appreciates any resources and/or programs awarded to these small communities as she herself is a proud citizen of Rural America. Throughout her decade long employment with Rural Development, she has primarily worked within the Single Family Housing Program where she has contributed to helping over 100 people either retain qualification for Single-Family Housing; most of which are first time homebuyers, or ensure adequate living conditions for existing dwellings; most of which are elderly citizens living on fixed income. However, in her a new role, it is her goal to cultivate relationships with rural community governments, organizations, and municipalities to not only establish housing but, community development as a whole.

Darian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Webster University. 

While Darian is proud of all of her professional and educational accomplishments, her biggest accomplishment is being a mother to her young daughter.