• a group of doctors from Morehouse Healthcare
    • Three people posing
      • Panel discussion
        • Group shot
          • People meeting at a table
            • CHAMPS Cohorts
              • Lecture

                Community Health Advanced by Medical Practice Superstars (CHAMPS) Transformational Leadership Fellowship

                Are you a family medicine, internal medicine or pediatric physician or PA who wants to be a healthcare superstar? Are you ready to advance your leadership skills? Are you ready to be a thought-leader? If the answer is yes, then we welcome you to apply for the Morehouse School of Medicine Community Health Advanced by Medical Practice Superstars (CHAMPS) Transformational Leadership Fellowship to gain leadership skills and expertise in transforming your practice and your community.

                CHAMPS is a year-long Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded fellowship that educates and empowers early to mid-career physicians and physician assistants, practicing in medically underserved areas, rural communities, and federally qualified health centers (FQHC’s) who are currently in emerging leadership roles. After completing this program, participants will be ready to lead change and advocate for health equity within their institutions, surrounding communities, and at the local, state, and national levels



                Two people discuss treatment options in a doctor office

                This program strives to strengthen primary care and the healthcare workforce by establishing fellowship programs to train practicing community-based, primary-care physician and/or physician assistant champions to lead health care transformation and enhance teaching in community-based settings. Characteristics of transformed healthcare delivery systems identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services include:

                • Integrated or virtually integrated delivery models across the care continum;
                • Coordinated care across all providers and settings;
                • A high level of patient engagement and quantifiable improvements in patient experiences;
                • Leveraging the use of health information technology to improve quality;
                • Providers performing at the top of their license and board certification;
                • Integration of population health measures into the delivery system: and
                • Data-driven health system processes.

                HRSA also recognizes addressing social determinants of health as a characteristic of transformed healthcare delivery systems.


                • Develop leadership capacity in healthcare transformation for primary-care professionals;
                • Increase integrated and coordinated care services within and between care settings;
                • Improve the quality of care in healthcare organizations; and
                • Increase patient access to care.


                HRSA will provide physicians and physician assistants who have completed Primary Care Transformation Executive (PCTE) fellowships with priority status when applying for National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment (LRP) awards. Participants in the NHSC LRP, NHSC Scholarship Program, and NHSC Students to Service LRP interested in participating in a PCTE primary-care leadership fellowship program may convert to a half-time contract and continue satisfying their service obligation.

                Each fellow will:

                • Earn CME through leadership, integrated health, and quality improvement course instruction
                • Engage in practical leadership and quality improvement instruction through virtual, clinic, and in-person site visits
                • Participate in monthly coaching sessions by MSM faculty and related SMEs
                • Complete a healthcare transformation project with a focus on one of the three HHS priorities — childhood obesity, mental health and opioid abuse — to benefit your practice and community
                • Build leadership skills that strengthen change processes in organizations
                • Receive support in presenting and publishing their Healthcare Transformation Project (HTP)
                • Join a network of CHAMPS fellows to serve as mentors to future CHAMPS superstars

                CHAMPS 2020-2021 Fellow Bios

                • Tameka Byrd, DO

                  Tameka Byrd, DO

                  Dr. Tameka Byrd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician with Navicent Health and currently serves as the Medical Director of a rural health clinic in Peach County, GA. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Benedict College, she obtained her Master of Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia and completed her Family Medicine Residency at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins, Georgia. Dr. Byrd is passionate about healthcare in rural and underserved areas.

                • Rachel Coleman, MD, FAAP

                  Rachel Coleman, MD, FAAP

                  Dr. Rachel M. Coleman is a general pediatrician and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Coleman has a long-term interest in medical-legal partnerships, having been introduced to the concept as a resident and then taking on the role of Medical Director for the MLP as faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. In the fall of 2018, she started a Pediatric MLP between the UF Department of Pediatrics and Southern Legal Counsel as a pilot in the Pediatric Severe Asthma clinic. In the summer of 2020, the UF Healthy Kids MLP expanded to the Pediatric Endocrine clinic. Dr. Coleman received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee and her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA in June 2007. In 2012 she and her family returned to Gainesville where she started as Faculty at UF Health Pediatrics.

                • Kerissa Deese, PA-C

                  Kerissa Deese, PA-C

                  Kerissa M. Deese is a native of Selma, Alabama who has had a lifelong passion for helping others and a deep desire to assist those within her community. Her favorite quote is “You must be the change you want to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi. Kerissa graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with her undergraduate degree in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Kerissa began her Physician Assistant training in 2018 with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has received training in Primary Care, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics, and is a National Board-Certified Physician Assistant licensed to practice in the state of Alabama. She is devoted to providing quality care to her patients. Ms. Deese enjoys spending time with her family, participating in medical mission trips, and staying abreast of innovative, cutting-edge medicine.

                • Stalina Gowdie, MD

                  Stalina Gowdie, MD

                  Dr. Stalina Gowdie is a board-certified Family Medicine physician and has served as Chief Medical Officer with Athens Neighborhood Health Center since June 2018. Prior to joining Athens Neighborhood Health Center, she was a practicing physician and Clinic Director at Lee Medical Arts Center in Leesburg, GA with Albany Area Primary Healthcare. Dr. Gowdie received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida, Tampa and attended Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member with Phoebe Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Gowdie has a passion for preventive care, pediatrics and women’s health and sees patients from newborns to elderly.

                • Linu Joseph, MD

                  Linu Joseph, MD

                  Dr. Linu Joseph was born in India and migrated to the US after completing high school. Dr. Joseph earned a Bachelor’s in Science at University of Georgia in Athens and attended medical school at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Joseph has a strong interest in women’s and adolescent health, mental health, and chronic disease management. The idea of “patient empowerment” is her passion and she desires to develop the leadership skills necessary to serve as an advocate for her patients. Dr. Joseph joined Northeast Georgia Physician’s Group as a provider in 2014 and has been committed to providing compassionate care to her patients in Gainesville, GA. She has been involved in the Quality and Patient Safety Council for NGHS, a member of the Diabetes core committee for the hospital and is currently on faculty at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Dr. Joseph’s mission is to empower patients and a future generation of physicians through servant leadership.

                • Ebony Kerlin, PA-C

                  Ebony Kerlin, PA-C

                  Ebony Kerlin, PA-C is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and received her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 2017. She currently practices primary care in Aiken, SC and is passionate about serving in rural and underserved communities. Ms. Kerlin’s areas of concentration include HIV and addiction medicine and she firmly believes that primary care and preventive medicine are the backbone of healthcare. Ebony subscribes to and supports a system of healthcare that is accessible and affordable for all. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, traveling, and reading.

                • Belise Livingston-Burns, MD, MPH

                  Belise Livingston-Burns, MD, MPH

                  Dr. Belise Livingston-Burns is an Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to her current position, she served as the Pediatric Department Chair and Director of School-Based Health at Albany Area Primary Health Care in Albany, GA. Dr. Livingston-Burns received her B.S. from Spelman College and M.D. from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She is a graduate of the Executive MPH Program at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Livingston-Burns is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and serves as a member of the AAP Council on School Health and the AAP Section on Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion. She is passionate about improving child health disparities through primary care, prevention science, and strong community partnerships.

                • Binh Vu, MD

                  Binh Vu, MD

                  Dr. Binh Vu, a National Health Service Scholar, was born in Vietnam and is a native of Houston, Texas. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Houston and received his medical education at William Carey University. While in medical school, Dr. Vu participated in an internship with the National Medical Fellowships Primary Care Leadership Program and the Scaife Medical Student Fellowship. Those programs introduced Dr. Vu to primary care medicine in the underserved community and thus birthed his love for pediatric medicine in addition to providing him with knowledge of addiction medicine and substance use disorders. Upon completion of his residency training at Advent Health for Children in Orlando, Dr. Vu began his working with a FQHC to provide quality primary medical care to the underserved and uninsured. His philosophy when caring for patients is simple, “empower them with medical knowledge, practice preventative medicine, and give compassionate medical care”.


                Applications are currently being accepted for the 2020-2021 Cohort. Please apply online below.

                Apply Now


                For more information contact Christopher Ervin, M.D. or Danielle Wooden.

                Apply Now

                This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Grant #T13HP31903, Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Training Primary Care Champions for $1,985,744. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.