Dr. Maurice Sholas, 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar

Dr. Maurice Sholas is the principal for Sholas Medical Consulting, LLC. In this capacity, he is charged with solving operational challenges for individuals practitioners, hospitals and health care agencies. In addition, he is a subject matter expert on children with special health care needs. He previously served as Senior Medical Director for multiple children’s hospitals, and he founded multiple programs in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Sholas’ work, whether clinical or administrative, is focused on optimizing function and advocating for the marginalized.

Dr. Sholas was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has traveled the country gathering the necessary educational tools for a career that serves children with congenital and acquired physical disabilities as a specialist in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. For college, he returned to Louisiana to attend Southern University; majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Spanish. The skill set acquired through school and research activities during the summers, allowed a smooth transition to the MD-Phd Program at Harvard Medical School. In addition to medical eduation, this program allowed Dr. Sholas to receive a terminal degree in the study of Neuroscience. Next, graduate medical education was completed in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Subspecialty training at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine followed this internship and residency experience. Concurrent with decades of clinical practice, Dr. Sholas founded Sholas Medical Consulting, LLC.

Dr. Sholas’ pursuit of intellectual achievement is matched only by his pursuit of advocacy. He feels strongly that every segment of the population has a contribution to make. Equity and empathy are key. Only through advocacy and inclusion can the many voices be heard, consensus reached, and true democracy flourish. He embodies the belief that being a good citizen is a prerequisite to being a great physician/administrator.

Education and Training

  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (IL) – Rotary/One Clinical Fellowing in Pediatric Rehabilition
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (TX) – Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA – Doctor of Medicine; Ph.D. in Neuroscience
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Bachelor of Science, Biology (emphasis in Spanish), Cum Laude
  •     maurice@empowernolaproject.org

    Dr. Lauren Teverbaugh, 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar

    A professor at Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Lauren Teverbaugh is training future generations in pediatric psychiatry. She is a pediatrician, general psychiatrist and child psychiatrist who sees patients in hospital, community health center and school-based clinical settings. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, she knew her purpose in life was to use education to empower her community. As a leader with her community, Dr. Teverbaugh wishes to be able to clearly articulate a goal and mission to advance mental health care that is both preventative and evidence based in nature; to foster change that come from the ground up – change informed directly by and for the predominantly Black and Brown underserved community that she serves, to continue to research and create an architectural framework tailored to this community; to then, at a broader political level and utilizing local, state, and national networks, reinforce this community driven change. And, finally, Dr. Teverbaugh wishes to translate what she has learned from her patients into meaningful treatment that can be used nationally.


    Education and Training

  • Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA – Resident Physician
  • University of Illinois at Chicago – Doctor of Medicine
  • Columbia University, New York City, NY – Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate Program
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI – Bachelor of Arts, Dual Major in Psychology and African-American Studies, Graduation with Distinction
  •       lauren@empowernolaproject.org

    Dr. Arnold James, 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar

    Dr. Arnold James has been in practice for nearly 30 years in the city of New Orleans. The Columbia, SC native first visited New Orleans in 1989 to complete his doctoral training and jumped at the first opportunity to return, taking a position at Tulane University. Though impressed by the cultural offerings, the Mardi Gras Indians enthusiast was also impacted by the untreated emotional and psychological problems that existed among people in the community. Dr. James is committed to being a change agent in his community and making an impact by addressing these behavioral health issues through individual and community advocacy.

    Education and Training

  • University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC – Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Psychology
  • Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans, LA – Clinical Psychololgy Internship, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC – Master of Public Health, Public Health Education
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC – Bachelor of Science, Psychology, National Dean’s List
  •     arnold@empowernolaproject.org

    Ms. Rhonda Jackson, 2020 Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar

    For the past nine years, Rhonda M. Jackson has worked with schools and non-profits around the state. In this role, her goal is to end childhood hunger by ensuring all kids have access to healthy meals and are, therefore, prepared to learn and able to thrive. Because of her leadership, New Orleans was the first city in the country to reach the benchmark of providing school breakfast to 70 percent of its students, an increase of 28 percent. A New Orleans native, Jackson’s earliest memory as a child is that of Mardi Gras Indian feathers in a park. As an adult, she attends “second lines,” a foot parade led by a brass band, almost every Sunday because she views them as a celebration of freedom and joy. Blending her professional and personal life, she has assisted the Young Men Olympians- the oldest social aid and pleasure club in New Orleans, organized over 136 years ago, with obtaining its 501c3 status and grant writing.  

    Education and Training

  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA – Master of Social Work
  • Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA – Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Minor in Social Work
  •      rhonda@empowernolaproject.org