Who We Are & Why We Fight
Opioid-related deaths continue to rise in Tennessee. ONE Tennessee exists to bring together all the important players – medical professionals, lawmakers, community leaders, and families – to educate and collaborate for better health systems.
In 2017, over 1,700 Tennessean lives were lost to overdose deaths – more than motor vehicle accidents.
Nearly 1,000 Tennessean newborns required hospitalization for opioid withdrawal symptoms or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) due to intrauterine opioid exposure.
$250,000 was awarded to the Tennessee Department of Health to assist in the launch of what is now ONE Tennessee.
In 2017, the Tennessee Department of Health hosted a summit called “Turning the Tide,” to address the opioid epidemic plaguing the state. It was here, that medical and healthcare professionals gathered as one voice, to strategize on ways to provide safe & effective pain management to our citizens. The outcome of this meeting led to the formation of a nonprofit healthcare collaborative created specifically to serve as a centralized resource for coordinating and connecting efforts to decrease opioid misuse and abuse in Tennessee.
We are ONE Tennessee.
Meet Our Team
As recently-appointed Executive Director of ONE Tennessee, Liesa Jenkins brings deep experience in leading non-profit organizations, a leadership style that emphasizes collaboration and community engagement, and a strong passion for improving the health of individuals and communities through prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders.
Prior to joining ONE Tennessee, Liesa served as Director of the Division of Health Disparities at the Tennessee Department of Health, where she was responsible for oversight of funding to address health disparities for rural, minority and underserved populations. In addition to her service on the Governor’s Rural Task Force as chair of the Health Committee, and as a member of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Task Force and the Rural Hospital Transformation Task Force, Liesa provided technical assistance and coordination to teams and grantees to ensure alignment of funding proposals with the strategic priorities and measurable impact from those activities.
Liesa’s career has included leadership roles as a national consultant for statewide initiatives to support health information exchange and standards for interoperability, executive director for a regional health information exchange in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, executive director for a local non-profit community development organization in Kingsport, Tennessee, program director of an after-school prevention and intervention program for at-risk youth in public housing communities, and as a teacher of foreign language at high school and university levels.
In addition to the Master of Arts in French Literature and Language from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in French from King University in Bristol, Tennessee, Liesa studied applied linguistics at the Université de Franche-Comté in Besançon France as a Rotary International Fellow. Liesa is a native of Washington County Virginia, where she is a 7th-generation farmer on her family farm in the Appalachian region.
Mr. Evans has served in several healthcare organizations as their top IT leader. Most recently he served as the Vice President of Clinical Systems for publicly traded LifePoint Health, leading the organization in implementing EMR technology in LIfepoint hospitals and physician practices.
Ron is known as a trusted Healthcare IT leader known and respected for leading successful complex projects and building credibility with executive teams and staffs. Ron has over thirty years of experience in healthcare information technology with a proven track record in successful IT management, project management and system implementations. He has a reputation for outstanding project management skills delivering desired results while adhering to timeline and budget constraints. Mr. Evans obtained his Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee.
Board of Directors
Brenda Barker, MBA, M.Ed (President)
Executive Director, Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care
Brenda is Chairman of the Board for ONE Tennessee. She serves as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC). She received her Improvement Advisor Certificate in 2010 from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Brenda received a Master’s in Education from the University of North Texas and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare from Lipscomb University in 2016. She also serves on various maternal and infant committees and advisory boards.
Lucy Adkins, PharmD (Treasurer)
Director of Pharmacy Practice Initiatives, Tennessee Pharmacists Association
David Collier, MD (Secretary)
Associate Medical Director, State of Tennessee, Division of TennCare
David Collier is board certified in family medicine and has served as Associate Medical Director at the Division of TennCare, since March 2005. At TennCare he serves on the TennCare Drug Utilization Review Committee, the TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee, and the Stipend Review Committee of the Tennessee Center for Health Workforce Development. Prior to joining TennCare, Dr. Collier served as Director of Primary Care at the Tennessee Department of Health. Dr. Collier completed his undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for medical school. He completed a residency in Family Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to joining the Department of Health, Dr. Collier was in private and group practice in Jacksonville, FL and Nashville, TN.
April N. Kapu, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP
Associate Nursing Officer, VUMC Advanced Practice and Director, Office of Advanced Practice, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Assistant in Critical Care, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine – Tennessee Nurse Association
Dr. April Kapu represents Vanderbilt advanced practice nursing nationally through consultation, publications, presentations and hosted events. She has authored chapters in advanced practice nursing textbooks and published manuscripts in journals such as JONA, Nurse Leader, Critical Care Nurse, The Journal of Trauma, Nursing Management and others. She has presented nationally with specific areas of interest that include, “Adding Nurse Practitioners to Rapid Response Teams,” “Developing ICU NP Models of Care,” and “Quality and Economic Impact of Adding NPs to Inpatient Care Teams.”
Dr. Kapu has been awarded VUMC “Transformational Nurse Leader of the Year” and Tennessee Hospital Association’s “Nurse of Clinical Distinction”.
Dr. Kapu is the Program Director for Vanderbilt’s ACNP/PA Critical Care Boot Camp and was recently appointed by the Tennessee Governor for a special commission focused on pain and addiction treatment education. Dr. Kapu holds both a master’s and doctoral degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.
Robert P. Pack, PhD, MPH
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Professor of Community and Behavioral Health – East Tennessee State University, College of Public Health
Dr. Robert Pack is Professor of Community and Behavioral Health, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University, and Director of the ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment.
In addition to the board of One Tennessee, Pack serves on the board of A Step Ahead Foundation, Tri-Cities, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Overmountain Recovery. He is a frequent peer reviewer for numerous journals and granting agencies, and chairs the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health (ASPPH) Task Force on Public Health Approaches to Control the Epidemic of Opioid Use Disorder.
W. Clay Jackson, MD, DipTh-WCC
Dr. William Clay Jackson is a practicing physician at the Methodist Medical Group in Atoka, Tennessee in addition to serving as the Director of Palliative Care Services at West Cancer Center in Germantown, Tennessee. Dr. Jackson holds faculty appointments as the Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine in Memphis and Associate Medical Director for the University of Tennessee Medicine Fellowship.
Dr. Jackson holds board certifications from the American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Pain Management, and American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Jackson has received multiple awards and honors in his distinguished career including but limited to, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners; AANP Advocate State Award for Excellence, Memphis Healthcare Heroes Nominee, Patients’ Choice Award and Distinguished Service Award from the University of Tennessee, College of Medicine.
Over the years, Dr. Jackson has sat on several committees and has published a multitude of publications and articles. Dr. Jackson received his undergraduate degree from Union University, graduate degree at Oxford University and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
Chris Clarke, RN
Senior Vice President, Clinical Services, Tennessee Center for Patient Safety – Tennessee Hospital Association
Damon Dozier, MD
Tennessee Pain Society
Bio Coming Soon.
Retired Marketing and Communications Executive
Ed Herbert joined the ONE Tennessee Board offering more than 30 years of professional marketing, communications, and public relations to assist in generating greater awareness of the organization and its work. His experience has been in industries from television, healthcare, community service agencies, and the performing arts. Through it all, Ed found bringing people together has always generated results and he believes that will happen here to finally eliminate the opioid epidemic in Tennessee.