Caring Voice Coalition’s board guides the national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization’s health programs and services.
CVC’s staff, under the direction of CEO and President Greg Smiley, is committed to improving the lives of patients with chronic illnesses.
Board of directors
James Rock, Chair of the Board
As a caregiver to his wife, Sandra, who was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in 2001, chronic illness is never far from James Rock’s mind.
A 35-year career as the founder and owner of Rock & Associates, a consumer products broker, did nothing to prepare James for the struggle he and his wife would face following her diagnosis and a given prognosis of three to five years. The challenges were many, the knowledge of the disease was limited and support was nearly nonexistent.
As Sandra started a support group for those with IPF, James launched his own advocacy work to educate policymakers on IPF and its impacts. While more must be done to build awareness of IPF, after five years of outreach to members in Congress, a House Resolution was passed that identified IPF as a terminal disease.
James knows that not everyone who faces diagnosis of a chronic illness is in a position to navigate their own needs. In reaction to CVC’s emphasis on personalized care, he says, “It’s a wonderful, compassionate resource for many people who are very sick, and very scared. To be a small part of that as a Board member is priceless. It’s just tremendous.”
James has served on CVC’s Board of Directors since early 2015.
Cheryl Sullivan Staveley, Treasurer
Cheryl has dedicated her life to Huntington’s disease (HD) awareness and care, having been a caregiver to her first husband and younger daughter, both of whom she lost to HD.
Cheryl’s first exposure to HD was through a technical lens in nursing school. She wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll it would take on her when her husband and daughter were diagnosed with the condition. As a result of her experience with the disease, Cheryl created a support network for other families. She travels across the world to attend health conferences and appeal to law makers, sharing her family’s story.
She appreciates the opportunity to help other families with the caretaking process through her role at CVC. “Organizations like CVC help families understand that they are not alone in their fight against chronic illness. I joined the board because I want to continue spreading the word about HD and help other families receive the resources they need to live with chronic illnesses,” said Cheryl.
Cheryl has served on CVC’s Board of Directors since July 2015.
Tracy Downing, Secretary
Tracy Downing’s experience as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has helped him become intimately familiar with the complex nature of the health care industry and the challenges those with chronic illness face when trying to navigate it. While in this role he worked on federal government contract issues dealing primarily with health care construction, services (including home oxygen and transplants), and supplies (including pharmaceuticals).
Tracy first heard about CVC while in graduate school and after learning about the critical support they provide chronically ill patients, he knew he needed to get involved.
“Serving on the Board is the least I can do to help people with chronic illnesses find assistance and resources for their serious health conditions. My work with CVC gives me pride and joy knowing that I’ve helped someone’s family navigate their way through a difficult time,” said Tracy.
Tracy has served on CVC’s Board of Directors since January 2006.
Bruce Packett, Director
Bruce Packett was first touched by chronic illness while he was in high school when his grandfather, who was a close mentor, passed away from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.
Bruce has since dedicated his life to helping people and families directly impacted by chronic illnesses. His goals are to ensure that patients receive resources and to fix the holes in the health care system that leave patients without access to treatment.
He joined the Board of CVC after serving as the executive director at the American Academy of HIV Medicine where he saw firsthand the problems that chronically ill patients face when interacting with our health care system.
When discussing CVC and chronic illness, Bruce says, “I have a firm conviction that no one, especially the most vulnerable patients with chronic and difficult conditions and diseases, should lack access to quality health care and general well-being. I believe there is power in people coming together to share their stories, working side by side and helping one another navigate through life’s challenges. And I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of an organization that does just that.”
Bruce has served on CVC’s Board of Directors since December 2014.
Gregory Smiley, Director
Gregory Smiley is the president, CEO of Caring Voice Coalition.
After a life-changing accident four years ago that required multiple reconstructive surgeries, Greg Smiley knows the incredible complexities of accessing, navigating and paying for health care, in addition to the impact illness can have on independence, identity and support systems. That’s why Greg was excited to take the helm of Caring Voice Coalition (CVC) in April 2017.
As CEO of CVC, Greg’s priority has been to strengthen the organization’s impact through the delivery of quality services, building coalitions, giving patients a bigger voice, and better serving people with chronic illness through comprehensive support.
Greg’s 20-year career expanding access to quality health care has taken him as far as South Africa and Geneva, Switzerland. In positions with nonprofits, the U.S. government and the United Nations, he has worked closely with people living with rare diseases, cancer and HIV/AIDS and has developed expertise in patient advocacy and U.S. domestic and global health policy.
Greg is a graduate of both Duke University in Durham, N.C., and George Washington University’s School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.
Gregory Smiley has served on the board of CVC since February 2005.