Janine E. Payne, MPH

Over 30 years of


Yes. We Know Something About Women's Health

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Janine E. Payne, MPH

Janine Payne, a co-executive director, leads the Institute’s efforts promoting and cultivating strategic partnerships to advance women’s health. Janine believes that the Institute is distinctively positioned to affect women’s health and wellness through a focus on relationship building, research, listening, and leadership. She says that “Communities across our nation seek strong public health efforts to help prevent disease and promote and prolong life, and the Institute aims to make a difference in how health information is shared among women and their families – and to make calls to action clear and easy to achieve.”

Distinct from her personal role as Co-Founder of the Institute, Janine provides strategic guidance on stakeholder engagement initiatives for the Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the areas of opioid use/abuse, and the integration of behavioral health and primary care, and building a social media presence for the agency. During her 10 years at the agency, she has led health care knowledge transfer projects that include 11-state multimedia initiatives to help reduce stroke in southern regions of the U.S., which also gained $2.2M in added value over the campaign year. Janine also co-led a 20-hospital patient safety improvement project in the areas of fall prevention and pressure ulcer reduction project and managed the marketing strategy, dissemination and evaluation of outreach for this effort.

Prior to this work, Janine led a national substance abuse community coalition-based workforce development and leadership program for young adults in underrepresented communities and served as program director for cervical cancer awareness and education project that involved eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to become agents of change in a comprehensive women's health program. Janine says, “Health starts at home and then spreads to our communities and workplace, and that’s why our work at the Institute is necessary – and our coalition of women will help us lead.”

Born in Cleveland, OH, Janine earned her MPH from Walden University, and a BA in Business Administration at Strayer College, Alexandria, VA. She enjoys performing live music, and during the spring and summer months, her vegetable garden becomes her mind and body therapy and workout. Janine has traveled throughout Europe, and parts of Africa. She shares 37 years of marriage to her Air Force retired husband Don, and has two grown children who work and live in Virginia.

Cheryl J. Thompson, M.S.P.H.

Cheryl J. Thompson is currently a Senior Public Health Analyst at the U.S. HHS Health Resource Services Administration. Prior to her current position she served as a Public Health Advisor in the U.S. HHS Office on Women’s Health working on health topics as varied as Opioid misuse and addiction, overweight and obesity, intimate partner violence, trauma-informed care, heart health, HIV/AIDS, and female genital cutting. Her public health interests and experience extends as far as sub Saharan Africa, where in the early 2000’s she studied the early impact of HIV/AIDS on the nuclear family and the responsibility of faith-based institutions and organizations for developing networks of support. 


Cheryl worked for nearly 10 years for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research. In an earlier iteration of her life, Cheryl served as Communications Director and Press Secretary to a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She enjoys learning about Civil War history, reading, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery, cycling and is a three time century rider. Right now she enjoys riding via Peloton while on lockdown during COVID-19.

Image by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Board of Directors

Meet The Board


Priscilla Novak 

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Thomas Porter

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Ethel Randall

Priscilla Novak, Ph.D., MPH

Priscilla Novak is a researcher focused on racial and ethnic health disparities. Her areas of focus include mental health, opioid use disorder in women, and health insurance. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland where she teaches program planning and evaluation. Her research examines access to care and the uneven burden of mental and physical health problems among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Priscilla’s interests include women’s health and under-utilization of evidence-based treatments in low-income groups, even when insured. She is driven by action- oriented research with clear implications for social and health policy. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Health from George Mason University (VA).

Thomas J. Porter, M.A.T., ABD

Tom Porter was born in Montgomery, Alabama, raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, enlisted in the United Stated Navy at age 17, and has been a citizen of the world for over 60 years. He has served as an academician and educator in the areas of psychology, political economy, history, and culture, holding administrative and teaching positions at Ohio University, Antioch College, Howard University, and Federal City College (now UDC). He also served as Dean of African American Studies at Ohio University.

Other positions Porter has held include, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, Foreign Policy Advisor to the 1984 Jackson Presidential Campaign, Director of the Antioch Graduate School of Education, Executive Director, National Jazz Service Organization, Executive Director, National Association of Blacks in Public Broadcasting, General Manager, WPFW Pacifica Radio, and was even a Democratic Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 2nd District of Ohio.

Porter is a graduate of the prestigious Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, the University of Cincinnati, and the Antioch Graduate School of Education. He continued his studies at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and Howard University in Washington, DC. Today, Porter is retired, living in Washington, DC and is Founder and CEO of SonBoy Records.

Ethel Randall, MBA


Ethel Randall joined Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA,  as Regional Vice President of Oncology and focuses in the areas of strategic planning and operational efficiency. 

Previously, Ethel led a diverse portfolio of clinical and strategic initiatives, performance and quality improvement projects for Baylor Scott and White Healthcare in Dallas, Texas.  Her clinical background as a licensed radiology professional, coupled with her operations and strategic business acumen provides her with a unique perspective.  For example, Ethel was fortunate to partner with industry leaders to design and implement a system-wide strategic road map for Cancer Registry that earned the National Cancer Registrars Association poster presentation award.

Driven by her own personal dedication to educate and improve cancer diagnosis awareness, Ethel focuses her personal time around building and fostering learning platforms to empower others to become self-advocates during their cancer journey.

A native of Ohio, Ethel graduated from Hiram College in Ohio with a degree in Healthcare Management.  She earned her master’s from Tiffin University in 2009 and participated in the Baylor Executive Development Growth Experience program at Southern Methodist University in 2011.