Board of Directors
Dr. Smith is professor emeritus of family medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He retired in 2007 as associate dean. Dr. Smith earned an international reputation for innovation in medical education. He was the architect of the competency-based curriculum at Brown that has been replicated at many medical schools around the world. Since his retirement, he has been working part-time in the community health center in his hometown of New London, Connecticut, volunteering for the National Physicians Alliance (NPA) at the state and national level, serving on the Board of Directors of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and Eastern AHEC in Connecticut. He served as the principal investigator of an NPA project funded by the ABIM Foundation to promote good stewardship in primary care that has since evolved into the Choosing Wisely campaign. He earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1972 and his master of public health degree from the University of Rochester in 1977. He resides in New London with his wife, Diane.
Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts after spending several years in the Midwest, Bob, his wife Mary, and two children relocated back to Preston Connecticut in 1988. He has lived in New London for the past 5 years.Bob graduated from Nichols College with a BSBA degree, cum laude. His career started with a big-eight accounting firm, and he held several positions with both nationally recognized, conglomerates and small to mid-sized, entrepreneurial companies. Bob has 45 years’ experience in Financial / Operations Management, Sales & Marketing, Strategic Planning, and TQM/Lean Manufacturing. He owns a successful financial consulting practice.Bob is an avid golfer, wine / cooking enthusiast, and enjoys adventure seeking in a recently purchased Class A Motor Home. He is involved in numerous volunteer and community activities serving as Treasurer of Eastern AHEC, a member of the N L Foreign Trade Zone Commission, and is President of his Homeowner Association.
Matthew Pearson is a proud member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Media & Communications from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA as well as a certificate from the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute. Matthew also sits on the Board of Directors for MPTN’s Business Development Company, LLC and is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Good Medicine Project which addresses suicide and substance abuse. After several years of working for the tribal government Matthew ascended to Director of the High Five Project, a federal grant funded initiative designed to improve the physical, social, emotional, and cultural well-being for tribal adolescents. Matthew was immediately drawn to Eastern AHEC’s mission as it mirrored his own belief that quality healthcare and education are not only for the privileged. In his rare free time Matthew enjoys cooking, reading mystery novels, and spoiling his canine comrade, Bartlet.
Laurie Herring has developed a passion for working with people with disabilities and supporting their fight for the right to have a voice in their lives more than three decades ago.Laurie’s 33-year career in social services covers all areas of supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a passion for person-centered supports and fully advocating for the people with whom she has had the privilege of working with. As Chief Operations and Quality Officer for The Arc New London County, Laurie oversees all aspects of quality control and programmatic operations.Laurie joins the Eastern AHEC board hoping to support a community that serves all people equally in health care and health care education. She hopes her skills as an advocate as well as her administrative skills will enhance and support the program as it seeks to carry out its mission.
Kathryn Strother Ratcliff has been on the board of Eastern AHEC for nearly nine years and served recently as its president. She is a professor of sociology at UConn-Storrs where her primary teaching and research interest is the sociology of health. Her particular focus has been on poverty and the social determinants of health. Her newest Polity Press book on these issues is titled The Social Determinants of Health: Looking Upstream. Environmental health, occupational health, and economic health, as well as access to culturally appropriate and competent health care providers, are topics which connect her academic interests with the important programs offered by Eastern AHEC.
A longtime New London resident with strong community connections and backgrounds in public health/community engagement, Stephanye is a member of the New England Racial Justice Collaborative, Connecticut Public Health Association, Community Alliance for Health Equity, Health Improvement Collaborative of Southeastern Connecticut, is Vice Chair of the City of New London Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. She is also a founding member of the African American Health Council of Southeastern Connecticut, and chairs the New London Branch N.A.A.C.P. Health Committee.
Stephanye graduated from the Connecticut Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Fellows Program in 2010 and is certified by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health as an HIV Prevention Educator. A graduate of Three Rivers Community College, Stephanye is currently finishing undergraduate studies at Eastern Connecticut State University.