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Meet the Mentors from the RBNA

Dr. Yvette Conyers, DNP, MS, RN, FNP-C, CTN-B

Assistant Professor of Community Health Nursing at St. John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Nursing, Rochester, NY and President of the Rochester Black Nurses Association

Dr. Yvette Conyers is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in completing in home risk assessments for Medicare advantage consumers. Dr. Conyers received her Masters in Nursing Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and completed both her Post-Masters Family Nurse Practitioner certificate and Doctorate of Nursing Practice from St. John Fisher College, Wegmans School of Nursing. Dr. Conyers received the Greater Rochester 40 under 40 African American Leaders award in 2011, the 2019 Health Care Achievement Award and 2020 forty under 40 from the Rochester Business Journal and the 2020 National Black Nurses Association Under 40 award. Dr. Conyers is the first and current President of the Rochester Black Nurses Association, founded in 2018.


Dr. Celia McIntosh, Nurse Practitioner

Celia McIntosh is a nurse practitioner and a social justice advocate, who is passionate about leveraging her skills, experience, and expertise to become a voice for policy and social change and reduce healthcare and social disparities. Dr. McIntosh has 17 years of experience in the health sector as an educator, clinician, consultant, and human rights advocate. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice and M.S. in Family Nursing and a post-masters in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from the St. John Fisher College. Currently works at Rochester Regional Health, Neuroscience Center as a neurology Nurse Practitioner. Dr. McIntosh is the current President of the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the Vice-Chair of the Inaugural Police Accountability Board in Rochester, NY, and a founding member of the Rochester Black Nurses Association and the current Vice-President and health policy chair. Dr. McIntosh speaks locally and nationally regarding human trafficking, depression, stroke and police misconduct.


Brandi Henderson, BSN-RN

Hello, I am Brandi Henderson.  I have climbed the nursing ladder from CNA - RN.  I currently hold a Baccalaureate of Science, and have credits towards a Masters of Science. I have worked in various settings throughout my 19 year nursing career from geriatrics to leadership and management, including teaching on both the LPN and RN levels.  I have currently branched off into the entrepreneurial world, however, I am still able to use all of my nursing background and experience.

I am excited and looking forward to working with all of you in the MCH/RBNA mentorship program.  I am always willing to share my knowledge and expertise to our next generation and current generation of Nurses!


Sheila Rogers, MA, BSN-RN, GERO-BC

Sheila Rogers loves being a nurse! December 2020 will make 40 years that Sheila has dedicated her life to care for others. At a very young age, Sheila realized her passion for nursing. She graduated from the Rochester School of Practical Nursing at the age of 18. The actual graduation ceremony was held in the auditorium of Monroe Community Hospital (MCH). Sheila was hired as a graduate practical nurse (GPN) soon thereafter and went on to work at MCH for 15 years. While working at MCH, Sheila furthered her nursing education by attending Monroe Community College, obtaining her Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in nursing. Realizing there was so much more to learn, Sheila later went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from Robert Wesleyan College and a Master’s Degree in Transformational Leadership from Northeastern Seminary. Sheila is a charter member of Beta Chi Chi, Inc., the local chapter of Chi Eta Phi, Inc. , a professional nursing organization, where she serves as student nurse sponsor, as well as chaplain. She is also a Lifetime Member of the National Black Nurses Association, serving in the local chapter.  


Sheila embodies the motto, “Service for Humanity” by her commitment to serve within her community. Juggling various projects is what she does best as it’s often difficult for her to bypass an unmet need. During the early days of the current pandemic, Sheila volunteered with the Monroe County Health Department to care for people placed in various temporary homes, quarantined/isolated from their loved ones. Sheila has appeared as a guest panelist on several virtual broadcasts where she educated the public on how to live safely during the pandemic. As an ordained Elder, she later worked with Mayor Lovely Warren and other local faith leaders, as the only registered nurse to help develop a plan to reopen houses of worship. Sheila can be seen listed in the proposal ultimately accepted by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. With retirement on the horizon, Sheila has dedicated her remaining working years towards inspiring others to be the best nurse they can possibly be. When educating student nurses, she will often remind her students that “If it’s not in your HEART, it won’t be in your HANDS.” Sheila truly believes that caring for patients begins in the heart.


Susie M. Gatewood, MS-RN

My name is Susie M. Gatewood; I have been in healthcare for over thirty years and during my nursing career journey, I was a certified nursing assistant, med/surg. nurse, supervisor and nurse manager in long-term care. I currently work in School Health Services as a Clinical Nurse Leader.


I earned my associates in nursing at Monroe Community College and my bachelor’s degree in nursing at Roberts Wesleyan College.  In 2018, I earned my Master’s Degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Nursing Leadership and Administration and was the class speaker for the Commencement ceremony. I am a Certified John Maxwell Team Member, where we emphasis on leaders changing the world through mentoring, coaching and living an optimistic lifestyle.  I strive on being an Inspirational leader and believe that God provides everyone with a purpose in life. I am committed to being a lifelong leaner and developing myself to motivate others to achieve the same.



Bertha Davis, BSN-RN

School Health Services Clinical Nurse Manager

Hello my name is Bertha Davis, my nursing career started over thirty years ago. I started working as a nursing assistance, when I decided to further my career in nursing. I attended Rochester Education Opportunity Center, in 1992 earning my license as a Licensed Practical Nurse. After working in a Long Term Care Facility for greater than 10 years, the opportunity presented itself to return to school, to obtain my RN degree. I graduated from MCC in December of 2004 with my Associate Degree Registered Nurse. I also attended Roberts Wesleyan College in 2015 earning my Bachelor Science Registered Nurse Degree. Furthering my education advanced my nursing career and took me into different areas of nursing outside of bedside nursing.  I worked in Acute Rehab, Supervisory, Nurse Management, Clinical Resident Coordinator and Nurse Educator.  I changed my nursing career path after 20 years of working in LTC. I’m currently working in School Health Services, where I’m currently employed as a Clinical Nurse Manager. This job allows me the opportunity to work and help the community, which has helped shape who I am. I am a member Rochester Black Nurse Association and National Council of Negro Women (MWN), which has added to my commitment to serving our community. 



Mary Starks, BSN-RN, CNOR

I am currently a family nurse practitioner student in a dual MS-DNP program at the University of Rochester. 

I completed a bachelor's degree in biological anthropology and music history at UCLA. I then worked as a neuroscience researcher for 3 years. I completed the accelerated nursing program at the University of Rochester for my bachelor's degree in nursing. I currently work at Strong in the main operating room. I have been a member of RBNA since its establishment in 2018 and am the immediate past vice president. I am currently the founder and chair of the RBNA/U of R APNN mentoring program where I work with nursing students as they complete their bachelor's in nursing. I am excited to be a part of this RBNA/MCH mentoring program and I look forward to working with the nurses at MCH.



Yachica Johnson, LPN

I started my journey as a home health aide, then a certified nursing assistant. I attended Rochester Educational Opportunity Center, graduated in 1997. I am currently pursing my RN. I have worked in many settings from skilled facilities, mental health, health clinics and currently in homecare at UR Medicine. I am a founding member of the Rochester Black Nurses Association (RBNA), established in 2018. I am on my second term as a historian on the E-Board. The Rochester Black Nurses Association (RBNA) mission is to “represent and provide a forum for black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for people of color”. I exemplify these characteristics in my every day walk as a nurse. I’m delighted to be a part of the new transition of you, as a Monroe Community Hospital (MCH) employee through the collaboration of RBNA/MCH mentoring program. I look forward to building relationships and “bridging the gap”.



Lavern Sleugh-Sharpe, BSN-RN

Lavern has over 25 years of experience as a registered nurse in Occupational Health, Physical Rehabilitation, the OR, and most recently Primary Care with Accountable Health Partners (URMC) where she is a Senior Care Manager for Diversity, Equity and Education.  She began her career on her birth island of Jamaica, and will graduate this May (2021) with a Master’s in Leadership in Health Care Systems from the University of Rochester School of Nursing, with plans to earn a PhD in the near future. She is a founding member of the Rochester Black Nurses Association and has been engaged with the Health Policy Committee since its inception.  Her commitment to improving the patient experience stems from her own interactions with the health system as a patient and she intends to remain engaged in diversity issues as she navigates the path of lifelong learning.

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