Chief Executive Officer
Shannon Stephenson is the Chief Executive Officer of Cempa Community Care, formerly Chattanooga CARES, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mrs. Stephenson graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting. In 2008, she received her Master of Business Administration from Lincoln Memorial University. She comes from a background in regulatory compliance, public health and safety, business administration, and emergency management. She has a proven track record as a pioneer in cultivating the values of an organization to lead it to success. As an innovative and strategic leader, she uses her visionary approach to move the agency forward by developing culture, enhancing communication, creating strong alliances, and building high performing teams in a desirable work environment.
Since arriving in October of 2015, Mrs. Stephenson has been instrumental in expanding the programs and services offered by Cempa Community Care. After assessing the community needs, Cempa restructured its mission to include Hepatitis C and Sexually Transmitted Infections. This led to the creation of an STI clinic that offers both Hepatitis C and PrEP services. Additionally, the agency expanded its operations and opened a sister site in partnership with East Tennessee State University Center of Excellence. Further strategic initiatives include introducing the Rapid Antiretroviral Program Initiative for new Diagnosis and Rapid Syphilis Testing; enhancing behavioral health and care coordination programs; launching a rural mobile clinic and syringe services program; rebranding the agency; and expanding access in minority communities.
As an emerging leader in Healthcare Administration, Mrs. Stephenson has engaged as a speaker or panelist concentrating on innovative practices, fiscal oversite, and program compliance. Most recently, she accepted an invitation as a panelist for SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions focused on Sustaining Integrated Care. Nationally, she serves as President of the Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access. Regionally, she serves as the President for the Association of Governmental Accountants. Locally, she serves as a board member or committee member with several community based organizations.
Dr. James Sizemore
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Jay Sizemore, a Chattanooga native and Baylor School graduate, received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University and his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Following medical school, Dr. Sizemore completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His professional education culminated with an Infectious Diseases fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, during which he also earned his Master of Science in Public Health. He joined the faculty at the University of Alabama, both practicing and teaching medicine, before returning to Chattanooga in 2005. Currently, he is a partner in The ID Group, PLLC and is the Infectious Diseases Division Chief at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. Dr. Sizemore is the Medical Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention Programs at Erlanger Health System. In 2016, he was appointed to the Hamilton County Regional Health Council. Dr. Sizemore was elected as the 2018-19 Chief of Medical Staff for Erlanger Health System. Since 2005, he has served as the Chief Medical Officer at Cempa Community Care.
As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sizemore has been integral in spearheading healthy initiates for Cempa’s patient population. With the introduction of new treatments for hepatitis C in 2014, Dr. Sizemore made it a priority to treat patients co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV. As a result, 96% of all HIV positive individuals who receive medical care at Cempa have been cured of their hepatitis C. Another major accomplishment is the expansion of clinical services to not only include primary and infectious disease care to people living with HIV, but also providing Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and hepatitis C treatment to mono-infected individuals. Lastly, through his leadership, the Cempa Community Care clinic currently has a HIV viral load suppression rate of 91%- national viral suppression is 60%.
Chief Operating Officer
Cory Howard is the Chief Operating Officer. Originally from Athens, Tennessee, Mr. Howard graduated from Maryville College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 2011, shortly after moving to Chattanooga, Mr. Howard joined the Tennessee Army National Guard. Upon returning from Basic Combat Training, he started working for Chattanooga CARES as a HIV Testing & Counseling Specialist where he provided rapid HIV testing at the Hamilton County Jail. He was deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1-181 Field Artillery to Jordan in 2012 where he was promoted to Sergeant.
After returning from overseas, Mr. Howard continued to work for Chattanooga CARES becoming a HIV Prevention and Education Specialist. This allowed him to work with a wide range of populations and local organizations performing community educational and prevention programming. In 2014, he was accepted into the Master of Science in Social Work program at the University of Tennessee. Upon acceptance, he became a Medical Case Manager at Chattanooga CARES and provided support and social services to the local HIV population. The following year, Mr. Howard became the Director of Development and Communications. In addition to grant writing, marketing, and overseeing the company’s fundraising events, he formed both a Hispanic Outreach Committee and African-American Outreach Committee to solicit feedback from the community on how to better serve minority populations. He also helped spearhead new projects, such as the rural mobile clinic, syringe exchange program, purchasing and renovation of a new office location, and the rebranding of the organization. In the Spring of 2017, Mr. Howard completed his contract with the National Guard and graduated with his Master of Science in Social Work. Last year, he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer for the newly rebranded Cempa Community Care. His focus includes overseeing the administrative and development needs of the organization.
Director of Clinical Services
Melissa Stuntz is the Director of Clinical Services and is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She graduated from The International University of Nursing and Universidad del Turabo with a dual international Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2008. The majority of her registered nursing career was at Open Arms Care working as a Nurse Supervisor. In 2013, after graduating from Southern Adventist University with her Master of Science in Nursing, she transitioned to the position of Nurse Practitioner.
In 2016, Mrs. Stuntz began working at Cempa Community Care (formerly Chattanooga CARES) as the Director of Clinical Services. She completed her Post-Master HIV/AIDS Specialty Certificate in 2018 from Duke University. She is passionate about the mental health needs in the HIV community and is pursuing her Post Master Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree from Southern Adventist University.
Since her time at Cempa Community Care, Mrs. Stuntz has been integral in increasing linkage and adherence for the HIV population, and implemented a new clinical program called the Rapid Antiretroviral Program Initiative for new Diagnoses—or RAPID. This program has increased early retention and faster viral load suppression in newly diagnosed patients. Since Cempa Community Care is a designated Center of Excellence, she ensures there is a standardized and coordinated delivery system encompassing a comprehensive range of services needed by individuals or families with HIV in order to meet their healthcare and psychological needs throughout all stages of the illness. Mrs. Stuntz oversees Cempa’s federal funding from Ryan White Part C which provides support outpatient ambulatory health service and support services through Early Intervention Services (EIS) program grants. In addition, she manages the Ryan White HIV Core Medical and Support Services funded initiatives from the state of Tennessee. This includes both linkage and retention, as well as medical nutrition therapy.
Director of Support Services
Rachel Inman is the Director of Support Services. She was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but calls Chattanooga home. Mrs. Inman graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Ecology: Child and Family Studies. It was during her internship that her passion for HIV and Infectious Disease was ignited.
Upon graduation, Mrs. Inman became a Prevention Specialist at Chattanooga CARES, where she had the opportunity to serve throughout the Southeast region in offering education, testing and support for almost two years. In 2009, a door opened at the Hamilton County Health Department to continue her work with HIV in a different capacity, as a Medical Case Manager. There she enjoyed the one-on-one client interaction and assisting clients with enrollment for their medication and dental needs. Mrs. Inman was promoted in 2014 to the Administrator of the Medical Case Management department. In 2016, she was offered a position as the Director of Support Services at Cempa Community Care (formerly Chattanooga CARES).
Mrs. Inman oversees Ryan White Part B services for Medical Case Management, transportation coordination, the Cempa Food Market, as well as short-term rental, mortgage, and utility assistance. In addition, she supervises Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) grant funding to devise long-term comprehensive strategies for meeting the housing needs of clients and their families. She also oversees Open Enrollment each year to ensure noninsured or underinsured patients have access to comprehensive affordable health insurance through the state ran Insurance Assistance Program (IAP) for people living with HIV. Lastly, with the help of her team, a wide range of support groups, community events, and client-based activities are coordinated to bring an extra level of care to our patients.
Director of Prevention, Education, & Outreach
Sandra Bojorquez-Stockman is from Carlsbad, New Mexico and the Director of Prevention, Education, and Outreach. Mrs. Stockman is currently attending Belhaven University. She started at Chattanooga CARES as the Clinical Receptionist in 2002 and quickly built a rapport with clients. Furthermore, through her translation skills in Spanish, she was able to meet the needs of the Spanish speaking patients. As an interpreter and liaison for the Hispanic population, Mrs. Stockman’s passion to help the Hispanic community grew.
Mrs. Stockman’s arduous work led her from being the Clinical Receptionist to a year later being promoted to Office Manager. As Office Manager, she oversaw an array of operational responsibilities and clinical administration. In 2016, she became Director of Administrative Operations and was responsible for practice management, medical billing, and clinical reporting. Throughout her time, she remained the interpreter, point of contact, and mediator for the Spanish speaking patients seen in the clinic. In 2018, driven by her passion to educate the community, Mrs. Stockman became the Director of Prevention, Education, and Outreach at Cempa Community Care (formerly Chattanooga CARES). She oversees a variety of grants and programs, such as, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention funding for community HIV testing, condom distribution, and PrEP Navigation.
She also manages Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant funding to provide HIV and hepatitis C testing, education, and linkage to care to those who suffer from substance abuse. In addition, two new programs have recently been created under her department–STEP TN (Syringe Trade and Education Program of Tennessee), a community syringe exchange program and Cempa Talks, a faith-based organizational health disparities initiative.
Director of Finance
Juan Camargo is the Director of Finance. Mr. Camargo graduated from Bryan College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Since becoming Director of Finance in 2017, he has expanded his knowledge in nonprofit taxation issues and accounting procedures, practices and regulations. He has also grown in his ability to determine feasibility of services within budgeted parameters, making recommendations regarding fiscal practices. As Finance Director, Mr. Camargo is responsible for managing the daily financial needs of Cempa Community Care. He analyzes and presents financial information; clearly communicates monthly and annual financial statements, collates financial reporting materials for all donor segments, and oversees all financial projects/programs, and grant accounting. He develops long-term financial model and regularly monitor financial performance of the organization. He also develops the annual budget with agency grant budgets including budget narratives and justifications, providing guidance and support to Directors and other team members where needed. Lastly, he provides strategic guidance regarding the related policies, processes and systems necessary to manage the organization’s financial operation.
Board of Directors
Vice President & Treasurer