Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs & Director of the Center for Bioethics, University of Mississippi Medical Center Dr. Didlake is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He trained in general surgery at UMMC and practiced transplant, general and vascular surgery for 23 years. He pursued an interest in the human context of modern medical and surgical care and completed a master’s degree in bioethics and health policy from the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at Loyola University, Chicago. In 2008, he was appointed director of the UMMC’s newly established Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities.
Chair of Computer Science, University of Mississippi Dr. Dawn Wilkins is Professor and Chair in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Mississippi. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science (now Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Dr. Wilkins’ current research is generally in Machine Learning, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics and Database Systems. As part of the Mississippi EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), she is building a data provenance system called PARS (Provenance Archive and Retrieval System). PARS can be used by researchers in the state to archive, share and store provenance information about their research data and processes.
Director for the Center for Population Studies, University of Mississippi Dr. Cafer, assistant professor of sociology, is the Director for the State Data Center for Mississippi, in addition to her role as UM Director for the Center for Population Studies. She holds a BS in both molecular biology and sociology, an MA in anthropology, and a PhD in Rural Sociology. Dr. Cafer works primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mississippi Delta. Her research uses a systems approach to examine community resilience and systems integration, with a particular emphasis on food and health systems. She is a 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, the first UM faculty member – and the first faculty member from a Mississippi university – to receive the fellowship.
Alumni and Private Industry
Chief Medical Officer, Main Street Health, Southeast Dr. Lancaster is a graduate of Millsaps and the medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Early in his career he worked in Tennessee as a primary care (internal medicine) physician and held both group and hospital leadership positions. After departing practice, he worked as an executive with Cigna in several roles, including his most recent position as the Regional Medical Executive (Southeast) with Cigna Medicare. Other areas of focus included both the commercial and ACA “exchange” segments where he served as lead for value based agreements and provider relationships. Community involvement and leadership involvement include being a current participant in Leadership Tennessee (Class VIII) in 2022 and serving as Board Chair of the American Cancer Society’s TN Chapter for 2021. He has served as Main Street Health’s Chief Medical Officer for the Southeast (MainStreetRuralHealth.com) since January of 2022. His current role focuses on developing partnerships with rural primary care practices through a model of reliable revenue and in office resources, focusing on the Medicare and Medicare Advantage populations.
Vice President of PRMA Strategic and New Initiatives, Indegene Kevin Patterson holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi. In his role as Vice President, he has led many of Indegene’s provider-based technology projects for the past several years. His client base focuses on specialty products in the orphan and oncology/hematology markets providing strategic pricing, reimbursement, and market access consulting for large and small companies. With his practical experience in the hospital and community practice settings, Mr. Patterson helps his clients navigate through the complex world of healthcare institutions and physician practice issues.
Chief Operations Officer, Relias Healthcare Blake Jeter is a graduate of Mississippi State University and leads the corporate operations of Relias Healthcare. Relias Healthcare is the leading regional provider of healthcare solutions in the Southeast and provides provider management, staffing, and technology solutions for hospitals to provide high quality care for patients. His responsibility is to create the best environment in the country for the company’s providers and hospital partners as they continue to grow. Mr. Jeter is passionate about building high-performing organizations at the intersection of organizational transformation, technology, and health care.
Academics and Officials
Associate Vice President of Research and Innovation and Director of the Division of Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance, Virginia Tech Dr. Lee earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and holds an M.A. in educational psychology and an M.S. in bioethics. She served as the inaugural Chief of Bioethics at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. During the Obama administration, she served as Executive Director of the Presidential Bioethics Commission. For over 25 years, Lee has worked in public health and ethics at the local, state, and federal levels, including 14 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An epidemiologist, bioethicist, and ethics educator, she is the Board Chair for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.
The Self Family
University Lecture Series
The work of The Center for Practical Ethics is generously supported by
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant.
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