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COMMISSIONERS

AMHC Commissioners are highly respected thought leaders in their respective fields. The Commissioners meet regularly to provide oversight and feedback on matters that impact staff, leaderships, and the individuals and families that AMHC serves.

Sederick Rice, PhD

Chair
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Sederick Charles Rice is a tenured associate professor of biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), with experience in skills development, research, teaching, and mentoring on the secondary and post-secondary levels, which includes broad skillsets in developing STEM career pathways using evidence-based frameworks and managing early pipeline STEM workforce initiatives. He has worked to build coalitions with industry, educational and workforce development agencies, in the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County area, to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students for productive employment in local, regional, and national STEM industries. He is a Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) Fellow, site director for the HBCU Med-Track Program (UAPB), Commissioner of the Pine Bluff Wastewater Commission, and is the former director of the Math & Science Pre-College STEM Center (UAPB).




Jack Crumbly, BS, MA, EdS

Parliamentarian
Widener, Arkansas

Mr. Crumbly is a retired superintendent of the Earle School District and a former Arkansas State Senator.




Larry Bishop

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Larry D. Bishop was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Watson Chapel High School in 1982, he enlisted into the United States Army and served for over twenty years before retiring. He and his family currently reside in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He received an associate’s degree from Central Texas College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Southern University and has completed work towards a master’s in the same major. He is currently a contractor for Project Enhancement Corporation of Georgetown, Maryland, and works at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). He also serves as minister with the 9th & S Street Church of Christ in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and operates a small business. He and Nesa, his wife of 36 years, have two daughters.




Gerald Canada

Bryant, Arkansas

A Monticello native, Mr. Canada experienced the importance of having access to quality healthcare for people of color. Losing his mother, father, and both maternal grandparents at an early age, Mr. Canada’s remembers frequent hospital visits, sitting with family members only to experience sadness as its outcome.

Mr. Canada graduate from the U of A - Monticello with a dual major in Sociology and Psychology and spent 31 years as an administrator in state government working in the developmental disabilities and behavioral health field.  Mr. Canada also worked extensively with at risk youth as a Manager at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment Treatment Center.

Mr. Canada has served on various boards and community organizations including Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, 100 Black Men of Greater Little, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, to name a few.

In April, 2017, Mr. Canada experienced his own need for quality healthcare stemming from the side-effects of a heart attack, stroke, kidney transplant, Covid-19 and most recently a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg.

Mr. Canada and his wife Hilda, share 3 children and 5 grandchildren.




Mattie Collins

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Mattie P. Collins is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She graduated from AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, with a bachelor's degree in history/political science. She earned a master's degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in Educational Administration. She is a retired teacher with 39 years of dedicated service. Presently, she serves as President of the Ivy Center for Education, Inc., a nonprofit college readiness/youth mentoring program. The main goal of the nonprofit is to get Jefferson County youth prepared for college, which is also her personal passion.  




Markeith Cook

El Dorado, Arkansas

Markeith Cook is currently the project manager/consultant for BL Breggs and Associates, a growing insurance firm located in El Dorado, Arkansas. He is contracted through his consulting firm, SOAR Strategies, which focuses on minority small business development. He recently started an organization called “Coalition Of Black Professionals,”contrived to recognize, promote, and support minority small businesses. He is also the Founder of the Respect Coalition. 




Rita Hamilton

Little Rock, Arkansas

Rita Stitt Hamilton joined the AMHC June 7, 2021. She received a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Relations and Master of Science Degree in Home Economics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Rita was employed with the Mississippi County Cooperative Extension Service before serving 38 years as a Program Advisor at the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit. Rita retired from there June 2017.




Layza Lopez-Love

Springdale, Arkansas

Lopez-Love is the community outreach and development director at Community Clinic in Springdale. She is co-chair of the Washington County Hometown Health Coalition, a board director for Continuum of Care NWA and Project Right Choice, and a coalition member in the NWA Tobacco and Drug Free Coalition, Engage NWA, GAPS in services to the Marshallese, and Springdale Coordinated School Health. She is a native of Los Angeles and prior to Community Clinic, she worked for Youth Policy Institute in Los Angeles as director of an inner city after school program.




Dr. Rhonda Mattox

Dr. Rhonda Mattox is a board-certified physician with more than 15 years experience in direct patient care. She serves as an integrative behavioral health psychiatrist consultant to primary care providers in rural outpatient settings. Prior to that, she was an associate professor with dual appointments in the Family Medicine and Psychiatry Departments at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences where she served as an integrative behavioral health psychiatrist consultant.  




Rickey McCauley

West Memphis, Arkansas

Rickey McCauley obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has spent over 10 years working in the healthcare industry. During college he worked at a healthcare agency in Memphis, Tennessee.  He later retuned to Arkansas and worked at a community healthcare center as the Chief Information Officer. He has spent over ten years in rural Arkansas addressing dwelling disparities that innately impact health.




Kris Ikenna Nwokeji, M.D.

Newport, Arkansas

Dr. Kris Ikenna Nwokeji was born in Austin, Texas, and raised in Nigeria. He returned to New York where he completed his pediatric residency at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons at Harlem Hospital Center. In 2009, Dr. Nwokeji was led to Jonesboro, Ark., to practice as a pediatrician in an underserved area. Since then, he has served as the medical director of Pediatrics at Unity Health Harris Medical Center and has been active as a medical chair person of the Patient Safety Committee. He is now the founder of KION Pediatrics where he serves as the pediatrician. He supports a health-centered community through numerous volunteer activities in the local school system and child care centers.




Louis Portlock

Little Rock, Arkansas

A native of Chicago, Ill., Portlock earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in counseling from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., and a masters in counseling and guidance from Roosevelt University in Chicago. The majority of his professional career was with the Chicago Police Department, where he specialized in investigations of senior abuse, commercial fraud and was a Chicago Police Academy instructor. He taught in the Chicago Public School system, and provided counseling services with Volunteers of America, Inc.  In Little Rock, he worked in the Department of Human Services.  Community service activities include 100 Black Men of Greater Little Rock, Inc., the City of Little Rock OK Program, and membership on the Board of Directors, Little Rock Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS).