CLS is a national 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization centered on health equity and social justice whose mission is to promote healthy communities through collaborations and partnerships. CLS provided the initial concept, submission, management, direction, and secured funding to design the OHNI project for years 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 from the DentaQuest Foundation.
CLS, under the direction of Cherry Houston, who has over 37 years of experience in leading, managing, and facilitating programs and projects at the local, state, regional, national, and international level. CLS will function in the role of providing creative project direction, securing partners/collaborators, sustainability, administrative management, and support for the OHNI project. CLS has experience in coordination/development of the Region IV Research Integrity Conference (Al, MS, GA, FL, TN, NC, SC, and KY). This effort included working with the DHHS Office of Research Integrity, the Region IV Minority Health Consultant/U.S. Public Health Service, Meharry Medical College/Vanderbilt Alliance, and NPA/National Partnership for Action, Meharry/ Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core, Nashville Health Disparity Coalition, and an array of community partners.
CLS was a subcontractor under Community Sciences, Inc. for DHHS/OMH for the development, evaluation, enrollment and outreach of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) strategy targeted at minority populations in the United States for years 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.
CLS works with all Regional Health Equity Councils (RHECs) by moderating the All RHEC co-chair/chair calls and all membership calls. Dr. Houston, one of the founding members of the Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC)-RHEC IV, is on the Leadership/Executive Board, Co-Chair Governance/Operations Committee, established the Expert Stakeholders group, was a contributor to the SHEC Report Card and organized the National Oral Health Townhall meetings. CLS coordinated the McCain/Obama 2008 Health Policy Debate in partnership with Meharry Medical College, the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies, and the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus. CLS has developed international projects such as the Rwanda Education Project in collaboration with the 23-California State Universities, Rwandan/U.S. Economic and Educational roundtables, and Sister Cities International.