activities

Community Activities in Mississippi

Are you interested in participating in our study, between the ages of 25-64, and live in Oktibbeha or Panola county, Mississippi? Click here to let us know you’d like to join.


Mississippi Community Activities 2023

MEU Open House in Panola County, Mississippi (August 2023)

In August 2023, the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, the Mississippi Core CAB, Local CECs, Chris Ware, the Panola Medical Center CEO, the honorable Hal Ferrell, and the RURAL Study MEU staff partnered to host a MEU Open House and Ribbon Cutting Event in Batesville, Mississippi.

MS Core Interview on WREG Channel 3 in Memphis (August 2023)

In August 2023, Dr. Ervin Fox, PI of the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, and Dr. Tammy Taylor-Bufford appeared on the Live at 9 Morning Show on WREG Channel 3 in Memphis to promote the RURAL Study as the Mobile Exam Unit (MEU) began in Panola County, MS. Click here to watch the interview.

Memphis Radio

Sardis Juneteenth Celebration (June 2023)

In June 2023, the Mississippi Core participated in the Sardis Juneteenth. Reverend Darrell Dixon and Dr. Tammy Taylor-Bufford, CECs, and Justin Pope, a CAB member, promoted the study and got over 100 attendees to sign up as interested in participating in the RURAL Study.

Starkville Juneteenth Celebration Commencement Ceremonies (June 2023)

In June 2023, Dr. Ervin Fox, PI of the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, and Dr. Sonja Fuqua, a CAB member, attended the Commencement Ceremonies for the Starkville Juneteenth Celebration at Unity Park. The ceremonies were led by Yulanda Haddix with the NAACP.

Starkville Juneteenth

Mississippi Home Maker Volunteers Group Meeting (May 2023)

In May 2023, Dr. Ervin Fox, PI of the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, spoke to the Mississippi Home Maker Volunteers Group about the RURAL Study at their annual meeting held at the MSU Bost Conference Center. Several of the attendees had great interest in the RURAL study and posed great questions regarding the study design and research.

Dr. Ervin Fox

Up in Smoke Festival (May 2023)

In May 2023, Dr. Ervin Fox, PI of the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, CAB members Dr. Tammy Taylor Bufford, Ms. Pat Neal, Reverend Darrell Dixon, Mr. Chris Ware, and Mr. Justin Pope attended the Up in Smoke Festival in Batesville, Mississippi, to inform Panolians about the study coming to Panola County. Approximately 35 community members expressed interest in participating in the study.

Panola County Health Fair (April 2023)

In April 2023, the Panola County Health Fair was hosted by the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study and the Panola County CAB. At the fair, 76 residents registered and an additional 25 local students from Northwest MS Community College Nursing School, Ole Miss Health Profession School, and North Panola Allied Health Profession School. Students from MSU and UMMC also joined. There were approximately 15 exhibitors promoting health care, and local healthcare providers gave talks on high blood pressure and diabetes. A total of 28 residents expressed interest in being part of the Rural Study.

Starkville Rotary Club Meeting (February 2023)

In February 2023, Dr. Ervin Fox, PI of the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, recently spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club to discuss updates on the RURAL Study. Dr. Fox reminded attendees of the mission of the RURAL Study to answer the question, “Why are those living in RURAL areas at higher risk from heart disease and stroke compared to those from urban areas?” He gave attendees information on the exam components in the MEU and the progress on recruitment.


Mississippi Community Activities 2022

 

MEU Open House in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi (December 2022)

In December 2022, the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study, OCH Regional Medical Center, the Mississippi Core Community Advisory Board (CAB), and Mississippi Core Resource Volunteers partnered together to carry out a kickoff program for the RURAL Study in Oktibbeha County. The kickoff program included an open house and tour of the Mobile Exam Unit (MEU) for the local Oktibbeha County community residents. During the event, the Mayor of Starkville and the CEO of OCH Regional Medical Center spoke in support of the RURAL Study. Dr. Ervin Fox was also interviewed by WCBI about the study’s objectives and requirements for participation. Click below to watch the interview.

MS Core Interview on WCBI (October 2022)

In October 2022, Drs. Ervin Fox and Celeste Reese, a member of the community engagement team for the Mississippi Core, were recently interviewed on the Mid-Morning Show with Scott Martin on WCBI. During the interview, Dr. Fox discussed the eligibility criteria, the arrival of the MEU to Oktibbeha County in early December, its location at the OCH Regional Medical Center, and the way residents can let investigators know they are interested in participating. Click below to watch the interview.

Fannie Lou Hamer Event (October 2022)

In October 2022, the Mississippi Core attended the NAACP’s Fannie Lou Hamer Event at JL King Park. Several Oktibbeha County residents attended and heard about the RURAL Study. Dr. Ervin Fox, Ms. Jackie Ellis, and Mississippi State University (MSU) student representatives, Ms. Labreia Robbins and Mr. Clayton Buchanan, were there to inform residents about the study. The residents were taught how to navigate the RURAL Study website to let investigators know they were interested in participating.

Dr. Ervin Fox Presents to the Panola County Board of Supervisors (September 2022)

In September 2022, Dr. Ervin Fox presented and handed out information about the RURAL Study to the Panola County Board of Supervisors and community members attending the meeting. This meeting was also attended by members of the Community Advisory Board (CAB), Darrell Dixon, Jeremy Weldon, and Pat Neal. Dr. Ervin Fox and Darrell Dixon also toured the North Panola Planning and Development District facilities and made several contacts.

Dr. Ervin Fox Presents to the City of Batesville Board of Supervisors (September 2022)

In September 2022, Dr. Ervin Fox presented and handed out information about the RURAL Study to the City of Batesville Mayor, the City of Batesville Board of Supervisors, and community members attending the meeting.

Visit to Nelson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church (September 2022)

In September 2022, Dr. Ervin Fox was invited by Pastor Fred Butts to speak about the RURAL Study at the Sunday morning worship service at Nelson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Pope, Mississippi, located in Panola County. Several Panola County residents attended the worship service and were given information about the study.

Visit to Nelson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church (September 2022)

Artesia Day in Artesia, Mississippi (August 2022)

In August 2022, Jackie Ellis, a Community Engagement Consultant for the Mississippi Core, helped to share about the RURAL Study at Artesia Day in Artesia, Mississippi. Several Oktibbeha County residents attended the event and were given information about the study.

Artesia Day in Artesia, Mississippi (August 2022)

National Night Out Community-Police Awareness (August 2022)

In August 2022, Yulanda Haddix, a Community Advisory Board (CAB) member, helped to promote the RURAL Study at the National Night Out-Back to School event in Oktibbeha County. The MS Core helped to provide school supplies and materials to kids going back to school.

Juneteenth Celebration in Panola County (June 2022)

On June 11, 2022, the Mississippi Core Community Advisory Board (CAB) promoted the study at the Sardis Juneteenth Celebration in Panola County, Mississippi. The CAB members handed out RURAL Study flyers, brochures, and approximately 200 bags, bottles, and other goodies to those visiting the table.

Oktibbeha County Health Fair (June 2022)

On June 11, 2022, the Oktibbeha County Health Fair was hosted by the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study in partnership with the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA). The health fair was held at the Mill Conference Center in Starkville, Mississippi. Everyone was invited to get a health screening, eye screening, health education, COVID-19 vaccination, and CPR awareness. Click below to watch a WCBI news segment covering the Oktibbeha County Health Fair.

 

MEU Site Visit at OCH Regional Medical Center (May 2022)

On May 4, 2022, OCH Regional Medical Center leadership and physical facility staff hosted Dr. Ervin Fox, the Mississippi Core State PI, Dr. Suzanne Judd, a Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI) of the RURAL Study, and David Rhodes, the Director of Clinical Operations for the RURAL Mobile Evaluation Unit (MEU), at the anticipated MEU site at OCH Regional Medical Center.

Mississippi Core and OCH Visit to the MEU in Selma, Alabama (April 2022)

The Mississippi State Core PI, Dr. Ervin Fox, and OCH Regional Medical Center physical facilities staff visited Selma on April 11, 2022 in preparation for the MEU moving to Mississippi later in 2022. David Rhodes, the Director of Clinical Operations for the RURAL Mobile Evaluation Unit (MEU), and Dr. Shauntice Allen, the Alabama State Core PI, were instrumental in describing the MEU setup and its operations for when in Mississippi.

Mississippi Core and OCH Visit to the MEU in Selma, Alabama

Sleep and Lung Disorders and Heart Health (February 2022 Virtual Event)

The Mississippi Core State PI, Dr. Ervin Fox, Mississippi Core Members, and the Oktibbeha and Panola County Community Advisory Boards (CABs) hosted a Go RED virtual event on February 26, 2022 in partnership with the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority (MRHA). The event was titled, “Sleep and Lung Disorders and Heart Health.” There was extraordinary feedback from those who participated. You can watch a recording of the event on Facebook here.

Mississippi Core Members Visit the Starkville Housing Authority (February & May 2022)

In February and May of 2022, Dr. Ervin Fox, the Mississippi State Core PI, and Ms. Eileen Carr-Tabb, an Oktibbeha County Community Consultant, visited the Starkville Housing Authority to discuss the RURAL Study with residents of the complex. The audience was very attentive and took an exceptional interest in the study and its potential contribution to the community. Dr. Fox and Ms. Carr-Tabb will continue to visit several other housing complexes in the Oktibbeha County region as the study nears the recruitment phase in Mississippi.

Mississippi Core Members Visit the Starkville Housing Authority

Mississippi State University invited Dr. Ervin Fox to speak about the RURAL Study (February 2022)

In February of 2022, Dr. Ervin Fox spoke to Mississippi State University (MSU) faculty and students as an invited speaker for the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) Spring Seminar Series. The presentation was titled, “The RURAL Study in Oktibbeha County: Background and Opportunities for Collaboration.” Please click here to view the presentation.

Mississippi State University invited Dr. Ervin Fox to speak about the RURAL Study


Mississippi Community Activities 2021

 

Visit to Hunters Chapel Missionary Baptist Church (August 2021)

The Mississippi State PI, Dr. Ervin Fox, and Community Advisory Board member, Dr. Tammy Taylor-Bufford, visited Hunters Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Como, Mississippi during Sunday Church Service on August 8th, 2021. They spoke to the congregation about the RURAL Study and the plans to visit Panola County in the near future.

Back-to-School Drive for the Crenshaw School District (August 2021)

During August 2021, Dr. Tammy Taylor-Bufford and Mrs. Jeanette Crenshaw worked with the MS Core on a back-to-school drive that brought community members together to help provide school materials to the students in the Crenshaw School District.

National Night Out Community-Police Awareness (August 2021)

Community Advisory Board members, Yulanda Haddix and Eileen Carr-Tabb, participated in National Night Out community-police awareness where the MS Core partnered with the event leaders to hand out back-to-school backpacks to children in the Oktibbeha community. The MS Core contributed several packs of notebooks, notepads, and other school supplies.

Panola County Rotary Club Meeting (July 2021)

Dr. Ervin Fox was invited to speak about the RURAL Study at the Panola County Rotary Club meeting on July 6th, 2021, by host Jeremy Mason, editor of the Panolian news outlet. Other attendees included Pastor Darrell Dixon, Pat Neal from the MSU Extension Office, Dr. Tammy Taylor-Buford and Dr. Eugenia Fox.

Sardis District Baptist Association Meeting (July 2021)

Community Advisory Board member, Reverend Louis Wilson, invited Dr. Ervin Fox to speak about the RURAL Study during the community update session of the Sardis District Baptist Association Meeting on July 6th, 2021. The meeting was held in Sardis, MS located in Panola County. Community Advisory Board members, Dr. Tammy Taylor-Bufford and Pat Neal, who is also with the Panola County Extension Service, assisted Dr. Fox with the talk along with his sister, Dr. Eugenia Fox, who lives in nearby Coahoma County.

Men’s Health Month (June 2021 Virtual Event)

In collaboration with the Community Advisory Boards of Oktibbeha and Panola Counties, the MS Core held a series of short talks in recognition of Men’s Health Month (2021). Click the Facebook weblinks below to view the talks.

Heart Disease and Stroke in Men

Dr. Ervin Fox, UMMC (Introduction by Rev. Maurico Clark, Oktibbeha County)

COVID-19 and Heart Disease

Dr. Brad Deere, UMMC (Introduction by Rev. Darrell Dixon, Panola County)

Cancer Screening in Men

Dr. Amor Royer, UMMC (Introduction by Jeremy Weldon, Editor of The Panolian)
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High Blood Pressure and Stroke Awareness in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond (May 2021 Virtual Event)

In recognition of High Blood Pressure Awareness Month (May 2021), the MS Core hosted a virtual conference, “High Blood Pressure and Stroke Awareness in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond.” The program was a partnership between the Community Advisory Boards (CABs) of Oktibbeha and Panola Counties, the Mississippi State Medical Association, the Mississippi chapter of the American Heart Association, and the Mississippi Rural Health Association. Dr. Sonja Fuqua moderated the program and speakers included the MSMA and AHA, Dr. Eva Ingram (Resident, UT Memphis), Dr. Latonya Washington (Internist, St. Francis Hospital and LeBonneur Hospital, Memphis), and a panel of community physicians. Speakers from the RURAL Study included Dr. Vasan Ramachandran, Dr. Ervin Fox, Dr. Felicia Caples and Dr. Frances Henderson. Click here to view a video of the virtual conference.
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Heart Health in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond (February 2021 Virtual Event)

On Saturday, February 27th, 2021, the Oktibbeha and Panola Community Advisory Boards for the Mississippi Core of the RURAL Study presented its second annual event to bring awareness to heart health during February including a focus on increasing women’s heart health awareness. The planning Committee, comprised of members of both Community Advisory Boards and MS Core staff, decided on a theme that would also include COVID-19: “Heart Health in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond.”

The virtual event began with Welcome Messages from the American Heart Association and Mississippi State Medical Association. Dr. Vasan Ramachandran also welcomed participants and provided a brief overview of RURAL in community-friendly language. Following Dr. Fox’s overview of the activities of the MS Core, two Mayors who are CAB members provided their views of the potential impact of the RURAL Study in their respective communities. Dr. Mercedes Carnethon provided valuable information on COVID-19 and the vaccines; Dr. Kelly Wingerter informed participants about COVID-19 and Women’s Heart Health. Following the presentations by the guest speakers, a panel of local physicians and nurse practitioners joined the guest speakers in responding to audience questions. The event was presented virtually on both Zoom and Facebook Live. Participants were invited to wear red and to post selected pictures on Facebook. According to the last tally there were more than 400 views of the program on Facebook. You can watch a recording of the event on Facebook here.

*Dr. Mercedes Carnethon is the Mary Harris Thompson Professor and Vice Chair of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.

*Dr. Kelly Wingerter is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center.


Mississippi Community Activities 2020

 

Oktibbeha County Juneteenth Celebration (June 2020)

The 2020 Juneteenth Celebration in Oktibbeha County was held at JL King Park in Starkville, MS. The celebration was led by Yulanda Haddix, a member of the Community Advisory Board, and supported by the NAACP. Attendees included community members, Community Advisory Board members from The RURAL Study, the Mayor of Starkville, the Starkville Chief of Police and leadership from Mississippi State University.

Go Red Women’s Heart Health Forum in Oktibbeha and Panola Counties (February 2020)

Coming out of the December 2019 Community Advisory Board meeting in Oktibbeha County, was an idea posed by member Jacqueline Ellis to have a Go Red event in the county to educate the community about women’s heart health and introduce the Community Advisory Board. When presented to Panola County members, they also felt that it was an excellent idea. The Go Red event was a big success in both counties, and we look forward to working with all the Community Advisory Board members in future events.

Go Red Heart Health Forum in Oktibbeha County (February 2020)

The event was held on February 22nd, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church Christian Life Center. Mayor Spruill, Mayor Pruitt and Supervisor Orlando Trainer gave the welcome. Jacqueline Ellis gave the purpose of the event. Ms Yulanda Haddix introduced the speaker and Dr. Ervin Fox spoke on women’s heart health and the Go Red initiative. Dr. Emily Landrum introduced Dr. Frances Henderson and Dr. Felicia Caples. Dr. Frances Henderson gave a background of the RURAL Study, and Dr. Felicia Caples and Dr. Frances Henderson introduced the Community Advisory Board members. Ms. Erica Owens commented on the benefits of the RURAL Study to the county. Ms. Eileen Carr-Tabb and Ms. Ann Sansing guided the question-and-answer session. Finally, the prayer prior to serving lunch was given by Reverend Maurico Clark. Jacqueline Ellis gave closing remarks.

Sponsors for the event:

The Education Association of East Oktibbeha County Schools (EAEOCS), the First United Methodist Church, the OCH Regional Medical Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Mississippi State University Extension Services, University of Mississippi Medical Center/University Heart
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Go Red Heart Health Forum in Panola County (February 2020)

The event was held on February 29, 2020 at the Batesville Lion’s Club. The welcome was given by Mayor Lula Palmer. Dr. Tammy Taylor spoke on women’s heart health and the Go Red initiative. Dr. Kristie Alvarez introduced the Mississippi Core PI, Dr. Ervin Fox. Dr. Fox gave a background of the RURAL Study. Dr. Felicia Caples and Dr. Frances Henderson introduced the community advisory board members. Dr Sonja Fuqua commented on the benefits of the study to the county. Ms. Pat Neal and Ms. Akachi Agor guided the question-and-answer session. Finally, the prayer prior to serving lunch was given by Reverend Darryl Dixon. Tammy Taylor led door prize give-aways.

Sponsors for the event:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Upsilon Iota Omega Chapter, Day by Day Health and Wellness Center, Delta Cardiovascular Center, First Security Bank, Heavvy Hitter Construction, LLC, Jarva’s Jewelry and Fashion Boutique, MSU Extension Services, NAACP Panola County, North Panola County Resource Development Avant, Panola County Juneteenth, Panola Medical Center, Partee’s Barber and Style Shop, Piggly Wiggly, Ms Annie Rice, Mr. Arrece Webb, Mr. Wady Watters


Mississippi Community Activities 2018-2019

 

Panola County Activities

Community engagement activities in Panola County included hosting a focus group in early 2018, holding two county stakeholder meetings, participating in a Juneteenth Celebration in Sardis, MS, visiting the Ministerial Alliance for the Church of God hosted by Brother Raymond, visit to Panola Medical Center (Mr. Quinton Whitwell, CEO and Mr. Chris Ware, COO) as a potential site for the mobile exam unit during the exam phase of the study and formation of the Community Advisory Board and resource support group for Panola County.

Oktibbeha County Activities

Community engagement activities in Oktibbeha County included hosting a focus group in early 2018, holding two county stakeholder meetings, participating in two Juneteenth Celebrations in Starkville, MS, conferencing in with the Baptist Ministerial Alliance hosted by Reverend James Covington, visiting OCH Regional Medical Center (Mr. Joe Jackson, Dr. Todd Smith – CEO and CMO respectively) as a potential site for the mobile exam unit during the exam phase of the study, visiting local physician offices (Dr. Lee Brandon, Dr. Emily Landrum, Dr. Josh Black, Dr. Jack Hollister and Dr. Drew Anthony), and formation of the Community Advisory Board and resource support group for Oktibbeha County.


Mississippi Community Advisory Boards and Resource Support Groups (in alphabetical order)

  • The Panola County community advisory board includes:

    Dr. Kristie Alvarez

    Dr. Kristie Alvarez is a Family Medicine Physician at Panola Family & Specialty Clinic at Panola Medical Center. She is from Tate/Panola County. She graduated from Independence High School and completed her undergraduate education at Delta State University. Dr. Alvarez completed medical school and residency training in family medicine at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, respectively. Dr. Alvarez likes to say she is “home-grown”. She loves caring for her community.

    Mayor Jerry Autrey

    Mayor Jerry Autrey is a native of Batesville, MS. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. As Mayor, he along with the Board of Alderman, works to maintain harmony between agriculture, industry and urban economic growth. He also works with the Board of Alderman to oversee city services, parks and the academic system. Mayor Autrey has shared his strong interest in improving health conditions in the city of Batesville and other communities throughout Panola County.

    Dr. Johnnie Cumming Jr.

    Dr. Johnnie Cummings attended and graduated from Meharry Medical College School Of Medicine in 1986. He has over 34 years of diverse experience in Internal Medicine. He is the Medical Director of the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service, Inc. in Batesville, MS. The mission of the agency is to improve the health of people in the Mississippi Delta and delta hills communities by increasing access to integrated, comprehensive primary and preventive health care. Dr. Cummings is also affiliated with Panola Medical Center and Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center.

    Reverend Darryl Dixon

    Reverend Darrell Dixon Jr. is a native of Clarksdale, MS and serves as Pastor of St. Matthew Church in Lambert, MS. Darrell earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS and a Master’s Degree in Economic and Workforce Development from the University of Southern Mississippi. After working in banking, he served as legislative staff in the United States Senate in Washington, DC before leaving that career for other pursuits. He now uses his talents and skills to develop individuals and organizations as a Program Specialist with North Delta Planning & Development District, Inc.

    Mr. Trey Hamby

    Mr. Thomas G. “Trey” Hamby III, grew up in Batesville, MS, graduating from South Panola High School in 1989. After high school, Mr. Hamby accepted a scholarship to be an athletic trainer at Mississippi State University and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fitness Management. After graduating, he coached high school football, basketball and track. He won 2 North MS Championships and his teams played for 6 State Championships in only 3 years. After a few years in private business, in 1998, Mr. Hamby returned to Panola County and accepted a job as the Nutrition Coordinator for North Delta Planning and Development district. He has worked for North Delta PDD for the last 22 years, the last 10 as the Assistant Executive Director.

    Ms. Pat Neal

    Ms. Pat Neal is a native of Batesville, MS. She attended South Panola High School and completed undergraduate work at Delta State University where she received her bachelor’s degree. She completed her Master’s Degree at Mississippi State University. She has been working at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Services for 22 years. The MSU Extension Service provides research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being. She also works with the 4-H program and the Junior Natural Wellness Volunteers Program.

    Mayor Lula Palmer

    Mayor Lula L. Palmer was born in Noxapater, MS. She is currently residing in Sardis, MS. She attended Alcorn State University then transferred to Mississippi Valley State University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education. In May 2017, she was elected Mayor of Sardis, becoming both the first female and the first African American to hold the position. She was also the first African American female to be elected (2011) to serve on the Sardis Board of Alderman-serving as Alderwoman of Ward Three.

    Dr. Tammy Taylor

    Dr. Tammy T. Taylor, a native of Sardis, MS and a graduate of North Panola High School. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of MS. She begins her healthcare career at Northwest Community College. She received both her Masters of Science as a Nurse Educator and Post Master’s as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Alcorn State University. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Alabama. She is an advocate for change and serves as the Lead Volunteer for the state of MS for the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF). She currently practices at Delta Cardiovascular diagnosing and treating heart conditions that abruptly ended her own father’s life at the age of forty-six.

     

  • Members of the Resource support group include:

    • Dr. Phyllis George
    • Alderman Justin Pope
    • Reverend Louis Wilson

  • The Oktibbeha County community advisory board includes:

    Dr. David Buys

    Dr. David Buys graduated from Mississippi College’s Department of Sociology and Social Work in 2004. After that he earned a Master’s degree in sociology from Auburn University and the PhD in Medical Sociology, a graduate certificate in gerontology, a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Services and Outcomes Research, and the Master of Science in Public Health all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Buys served on faculty in the UAB School of Medicine and is now a member of the faculty at Mississippi State University where he is State Health Specialist for the MSU Extension Service.

    Ms. Eileen Carr-Tabb

    Ms. Eileen Carr-Tabb received her Masters of Arts degree in Communications and her Master of Science degree in Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. After receiving her education, Ms Carr-Tabb worked as a Disease Intervention Specialist, Senior to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Later, Ms. Carr-Tabb returned to Starkville, MS to a career as a Community Health Educator for the Mississippi State Department of Health. Eileen currently serves as health committee chair of the Oktibbeha County branch of the NAACP, executive board member of the Starkville Lion’s Club and Vice-Chair of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership Minority Task Force and Ms. Carr-Tabb is on the Community Advisory Board of the OCH Regional Medical Center. Ms. Carr-Tabb is a member of the Mississippi State University Black Alumni Council and works as an advocate and leader with early childhood education.

    Reverend Maurico Clark

    Reverend Maurico Clark, Sr. is the Pastor of Blackjack Missionary Baptist Church where he has served for 4 years. Reverend Clark is also employed with the Institute of Community Service as the Technology Manager for the 4 County areas which houses Head Start Centers in the Golden Triangle. Reverend Clark is a native of Starkville where he was born, raised, and educated and now serves with the intent of helping to make his community better.

    Ms. Jacqueline Ellis

    Ms. Jacqueline Ellis grew up west of Oktoc Rd in Bethel, Pine Grove, Bethel, and Mt. Olivet Church Communities. Educated in Starkville Public School and Oktibbeha County Schools District, Mississippi State University, and Troy State University. Ms Ellis currently presides over a 501C 3 Community Education group (EAEOCS), and strives to enhance the educational perspectives on community history and culture, health, fitness, and community education.

    Dr. Placid Eze

    Dr. Placid Eze is an experienced and accomplished family physician and primary care doctor practicing in the community of Starkville, MS. Dr. Eze attended the Morehouse School of Medicine, where he received his medical degree. He also holds his doctorate in pharmacy from Mercer University. He believes in listening to each patient and creating a partnership to maintain and improve lifelong health.

    Ms. Yulanda Haddix

    Ms. Yulanda Haddix is a native of Starkville Mississippi. A graduate of Rutgers University Camden, New Jersey. Along with educating incarcerated and disadvantaged youth, she also served on numerous committees in her free time. As Vice-President of the Philadelphia Eagles Wives Association, New Jersey Mayor Youth Council, New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Coordinator, New Jersey Judicial Board for Rutgers University in Camden and The National Coalition for 100 Black Women, she continues to serve on Starkville Mayor Youth Council, Board Member of the Golden Triangle Boys and Girls Club, currently works at EMCC as a WIOA Youth Career Navigator and a State of Mississippi Certified Workforce Trainer.

    Dr. Emily Landrum

    Dr. Emily Brandon Landrum is a native of Starkville, MS. She graduated from Starkville High School in 2007. She went on to Millsaps College where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. During her junior year of college she applied for and was awarded the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship, a scholarship to promote return to practice in rural Mississippi. She is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and is an active member of the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians and Mississippi State Medical Association.

    Mayor Larry Pruitt

    Mayor Larry Pruitt is the Mayor of Maben, Mississippi

     

  • Members of the Resource support group include:

    • Ms Cherri Lightsey
    • Dr. Brianna Kendricks
    • Ms Erica Owens
    • Ms. Jossie Redmond
    • Supervisor Orlando Trainer

Interesting Fact: Dr. Fox’s mother, Eva Mae Fox (maiden name Rice), was a native of Oktibbeha County He has an aunt Martha (at age 95 years) living in the county. Several of his cousins continue to live in that area as well. He and his siblings attended Mississippi State University and go back to Starkville often for family reunions. Also interestingly, Dr. Fox and his family grew up in the Mississippi Delta region (Clarksdale, MS/ Coahoma County). Clarksdale lies very near to Batesville, MS/Panola County. He traveled through Batesville as he and his family went to Oxford (Ole Miss Campus) throughout the 80’s. Dr. Fox often visits Batesville on his visit to his childhood home in Clarksdale and to visit family in Memphis, TN. Dr. Fox’s sister (Dr. Eugenia Fox), brother (Dr. Edwin Fox) and niece (Dr. Eva Ingram) have assisted on community activities in Panola County.


Additional Information

The RURAL Study will kick-off in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi in 2022. The Study will next visit Panola County.

Click here to learn more about the RURAL Study’s Mississippi Team!

Check out the RURAL Study in Mississippi’s Facebook page.

To learn more about the participant experience in the RURAL Study, visit the Study Participants webpage.

If you have any questions or comments, please call the RURAL Study – Mississippi State Core at (601) 815-5697 or email fcaples@umc.edu

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