Who We Are

TIC-NC was founded by Marcia Herman, Gretchen Witzgall, Amy Brown and Faye Orr in 2005 and is located in Pittsboro, NC.


Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, PA, MPH, DrPH
Marcia Herman-Giddens is an adjunct professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Scientific Advisor for TIC-NC.  She worked in the field of child health and maltreatment for over 20 years both as a medical provider and an advocate, teacher and researcher.  Her research, published in numerous journals, books, and monographs, has revolved around the growth and development of children, child maltreatment, and sexually transmitted infections in children.  Dr. Herman-Giddens received her Physician Associate degree from Duke University Medical Center in 1978 and practiced pediatrics there for many years.  She received her doctorate in public health in 1994, and after three years as the medical director of the State Child Fatality Prevention Team, has been engaged primarily in child advocacy, public health advocacy, teaching and research.  Her interest in tick-borne infections began during her pediatric practice.  Marcia is a founding member of TIC-NC, which was created in 2005.

Kimberly (Kim) A. Brownley, PhD
Kim Brownley received her doctorate degree in Experimental/Biological Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996. Currently, she is an assistant professor of Psychiatry in the UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Brownley has nearly 20 years experience conducting research with a focus in women’s health, obesity, and eating disorders. Her work is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD).  Dr. Brownley is a member of the UNC Institutional Review Board Scientific Review Subcommittee and the Binge Eating Disorder Association Scientific Advisory Board, and she serves as co-chair of the Academy of Eating Disorders Position Paper Committee.  More recently, she has become interested in researching the long-term sequelae of tick-borne infections, and she joined the TIC-NC board in 2010.

Joanie Alexander, MSPH
Joanie Alexander has a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of South Florida.  She was the principle investigator for community health studies with migrant farm workers and other underserved populations, and taught medical interpreting classes.  She has had a broad spectrum of work experiences from teaching sailing/seamanship to women, writing features and photographing for news media, psychiatric casework, tutoring learning disabled teens, and commercial fishing.  Ms. Alexander moved to Hillsborough, NC in 2008, where she has a small pottery studio along the Eno River. She volunteers with the Eno River Association and the NC Mountain to Sea Trail. This has enhanced her interest in how to stay healthy in a tick infested environment. She hails from Massachusetts, where Lyme disease has been endemic for decades.  Joanie joined the TIC-NC board in 2011.

Amy J. Stinnett, MPA
Master of Public Administration – West Virginia University, 1999
Certification in Nonprofit Management – Duke University Continuing Education, 2001
Amy is a nonprofit professional who has worked with local, national and international organizations since 1999, including the Center for Adolescent Health and the Law where she was a founding board member and served as Deputy Director for six years. Amy brings to the Board a wide range of nonprofit management, fundraising, communications and social media expertise.  Amy joined the TIC-NC board in 2013.

McGregor Bell
McGregor Bell lives in Durham with his wife and sons.  He grew up in Raleigh and went to school at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Until recently, Mr. Bell enjoyed walking through woods and wading through swamps until the growing populations of ticks and associated human pathogens caused him to see things differently.  In addition, the number of people he knows who have been affected by tick-borne disease has increased his interest and concern.  McGregor is pleased that being part of the TIC-NC Board allows him to increase his involvement in spreading knowledge about the importance of prevention and prompt treatment of tick-borne infections.  He is an accountant for a local university and enjoys photography. McGregor joined the TIC-NC board in 2016.

Fran McCullough                                                                                                          Fran grew up in the then-tick free zone of Northern California, where poison oak was the main concern – and the very occasional shy rattlesnake. She became interested in tick-borne diseases after meeting several patients with alarming stories and became committed to spreading the word about tickborne diseases. Fran’s concern is especially directed at the population outside the usual information circuits. Fran works with PORCH Orange County director Debbie Horwitz to reach Latino as well as Burmese and Karen refugee families, among others – about 250 families. In New York, Ms. McCullough worked as a book editor for literary books but also general nonfiction and cookbooks.  She was a member of the New York State Council on the Arts, later serving as Chair of the Literature Panel at the National Endowment of the Arts.   Fran is the author of several books, including one on healthful fats (GOOD FAT, Scribner, 2007).  Her past volunteer work was with pediatric AIDS at Harlem Hospital, NYC. Currently, in addition to TIC-NC, she has been involved with the Weaver Street Markets’ Home Delivery program and is currently on the board of Burwell School in Hillsborough. Ms. McCullough joined the TIC-NC board in 2017.