Our Board of Directors

Executive & Advisory

Yenny James


As the founder and CEO of Paradigm Doulas, Yenny’s mission is to improve birth outcomes and access to high-quality maternal/perinatal healthcare for marginalized families and communities experiencing high maternal and infant mortality rates. Yenny has dedicated more than 10 years of her career serving her community through various roles, from hospital corpsman to medical assistant, birth and postpartum doula, and community health worker. Her passion to help those in underserved communities stems from the obstacles that she has overcome as an immigrant, Navy Veteran, wife, and mother of 2.
Her life journey has driven her to become a passionate maternal and child health advocate, pushing to dismantle institutional racism. Through teaching, advocacy, and doula work, Yenny will continue to be a voice for families in her community and throughout the country.

Smitha Caroline Dante


Smitha Dante is a healthcare attorney and a Director of Legal Services at a Dallas-based Accountable Care Organization health plan. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Smitha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Princeton University, a Masters in Chemistry from UC Santa Barbara, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. A recent transplant from Seattle, Washington, Smitha is a passionate believer in healthcare as a human right and strives to actualize a future where healthcare equity is a given, and people of color, especially women of color, receive high quality care and treatment regardless of income level or ability to pay. In addition to her work with Abide, Smitha is also involved with the Junior League of Dallas, and serves on the Board of the Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research. She is excited to be a member of the Abide Board and work to improve maternal and infant outcomes in Dallas.

Savohna Brown


Savohna Brown is a Senior Accountant at Texas Women’s Foundation and is a proud graduate of Austin College (Go Roos!) with a BS in International Economics and Finance and a minor in Spanish. While there, she studied abroad in Guatemala and Peru which ignited her love to travel and desire to learn about the world. She is currently taking extra upper level accounting classes to increase her knowledge and to earn credit to qualify for the CPA exam. She brings over four years of non-profit accounting experience as she previously worked for The Dallas Foundation. Savohna’s passion for numbers and community service is what makes working at a non-profit the perfect match. She brings high energy and a positive attitude wherever she goes.
Savohna fulfills her passion for giving back by volunteering with nonprofits through The Junior League of Dallas, gathering her friends together to volunteer with various organizations in Dallas, and now as a part of the Social Venture Partners Dana Juett Residency 2021-22 Cohort.
Although not a native of Dallas, Savohna has fallen in love with the city and looks forward to continue to be involved in the community.

Dr. Quantrilla Ard


Dr. Ard is a passionate behavioral scientist and public health professional. Currently she uses her social media platforms to engage, educate, and inform others on her doctoral research. Dr. Ard is a champion of reproductive justice and health disparities and is involved as a women’s health CBO board member and patient family partner. She has been a guest on several podcasts and writes on the topics of Black maternal and infant health and mortality. In addition, she also provides expert opinion on these topics in various print and online media outlets. You can follow her and the work she is involved in at her website.

Trissi Gray


Trissi Gray is the Senior Director of Healthcare Compliance Operations for one of the largest physician networks of gastrointestinal care. Over the past 16 years, she has served in senior leadership roles within the healthcare industry for academic medical centers and Accountable Care Organizations. Trissi is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., the Healthcare Compliance Association (HCCA), the National Association of Black Compliance and Risk Management Professionals (NABCRMP), where she serves as Chair of the Compliance and Ethics Workgroup. Trissi is actively pursuing her doctoral degree from the University of Southern California with a research focus on her passion to reduce health disparities and poorer individual patient outcomes by increasing care access and the utilization of healthcare services for black, indigenous, people of color. She is married, has two children, and resides in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Advisory Board

Advisory board Member

Cherilyn Holloway

Advisory Board Member

Amber Webb Sims

Advisory Board Member

Bennet Yousuf

Today is North Texas Giving Day!