Nursing Staff

State Office Staff

Carole Jakeway has served as the Chief Nurse for the Georgia Department of Public Health since 1989. Ms. Jakeway received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Carolina and her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Mercy College of Detroit. She completed the scholars program with the national Public Health Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as Nurse Executive, Advanced. She is a member of Delta Omega, the honorary public health society.

She has over 37 years of public health nursing experience in the states of Washington, South Carolina and Georgia that included staff nursing, school health, home health, supervision, consultation and administration. This experience includes 15 years with local county health departments and the remainder with official state public health agencies.

Carole served as President of the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing (ASTDN), the nursing affiliate of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) during 2001-2002 and currently serves on the ASTDN Committee on Emergency Preparedness.

She chaired the Department’s Quality Assurance and Improvement Task Force and The Public Health Career Track Workgroup. She has received the DHR Leadership Award, the DHR Safety Award, the Dr. James C. Crutcher Public Health Nursing Leadership Award from the Medical Association of Georgia and the ASTDN Award of Merit for her work in population health training.

Carole’s public health work is focused on building interdisciplinary and collaborative partnerships, developing the public health system, measuring health outcomes and influencing policy for the sake of improving the health of individuals, families and communities

Meshell McCloud joined the Georgia Department of Public Health on April 1, 2007 as Assistant Chief Nurse on April 1, 2007. On April 1, 2010, Meshell was promoted to Deputy Chief Nurse. Meshell received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Howard University, her Master of Science degree as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner from Georgia State University and a Post-Master Certificate from Rush University as a High Risk Perinatal Nurse Practitioner. She is currently recognized by the Georgia Board of Nursing as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and is currently certified as a Women’s Health Practitioner. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

She has played a leadership role in collaborating with multi-disciplinary health care leaders in the public and private sectors to improve perinatal HIV services and prevent perinatal HIV transmission. Meshell has also played a lead role in developing policy to assure that all pregnant women are tested for HIV. In 2007, Meshell was awarded the State Office Nursing Excellence Award.

Meshell has over twenty-three years of nursing experience and has held positions as staff nurse, charge nurse, and Practitioner-Teacher. She has also held a faculty appointment with Rush University, College of Nursing, where she taught Maternal and Child Health courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She coordinated and implemented the first High Risk Perinatal Nurse Practitioner Program at Rush University, College of Nursing.

Meshell’s focus areas with the Department of Public Health include Nurse Protocols, PHN Policies/Practice Guidelines,  PHN Council and PHN Strategic Planning. Meshell strives to ensure that public health nursing practice is consistent with Georgia nurse practice acts, rules and regulations and scope of practice; and improves the health status of individuals, communities and populations.

Jennifer Burkholder joined the Georgia Department of Public Health, Division of District and County Operations, Office of Nursing as Assistant Chief Nurse of Emergency Preparedness in June 2013. Jennifer earned her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management degree at the Rollins School of Public Health and is currently completing a Master of Nursing in Public Health Nursing Leadership at the Nell-Hodgson School of Nursing, both at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Pittsburg State University.

Jennifer’s experience in public health includes work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she interned as an Assistant Policy Analyst in the Office of the Associate Director for Health Reform, Policy, and Strategy where she gained experience collaborating with agencies such as the Georgia Health Policy Center in developing and implementing educational supports. Jennifer interned with the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) in 2012 as a health policy assistant, with a focus on state legislation and policy implementation related to nursing practice in Georgia. Jennifer has also served as the Vice President for the non-profit HealthSTAT where she directed programmatic planning and implementation of health advocacy campaigns and childhood obesity prevention.

Prior to pursuing a career in public health, Jennifer worked as a nurse for six years in a variety of settings and roles. She has experience in urban teaching hospitals, cardiology and telemetry units, and as a critical care nurse in the ICU. Jennifer has worked as an emergency crisis responder and part of a rapid response team. Additionally, she has served as a critical care practicum instructor for BSN students. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

Jennifer has worked on the executive steering committee for the Cover Georgia Coalition, as a member of the Georgia Health Advocacy Coalition, as a member of the board of directors of HealthSTAT, as a nurse mentor for ConnectED4Health, and as a nurse educator in an urban youth AIDS prevention program. She also mentors a student at McNair Middle School.

Jennifer has gained extensive experience in writing, presenting, and teaching through her work with Emory University, HealthSTAT, and the CDC. She excels in building collaborative partnerships with various stakeholders and advocating for the nursing profession as well as the populations served by public health.

Sherry D. Coleman has recently assumed the role of School Health Nurse Director at the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of Nursing as of December 3, 2012. She has earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice – Executive Leadership, Master of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama. She is recognized by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.

Sherry retired August 1, 2012 with 25 years of service with the Retirement Systems of Alabama.  Prior to joining Georgia Department of Public Health, she worked as the State School Nurse Consultant for the Alabama State Department of Education, where she was a liaison and resource expert in school nursing practice working with local school districts and school nurses to promote quality nursing services and school health programs that addressed the broad health needs of students, promoted statewide quality standards for school health policies, nursing scope of practice and clinical procedures, documentation, and for initiating and coordinating a quality assurance program for accountability.  Sherry worked in collaboration with the state department of public health and state board of nursing, providing guidance in health program development and planning, and establishing a continuum of professional development.

With over 25 years experience in nursing, Sherry’s has served at different levels throughout her career as staff nurse, charge nurse, school nurse, nurse preceptor, clinical research nurse/coordinator, nurse supervisor, clinical instructor, and nurse administrator.  She has a very diverse background having worked in many areas such as Medical –Surgical (Pulmonary), OB/GYN (labor and delivery, postpartum) Perinatal (well-baby and continuing care nursery), and Clinical Research (Federal and Industry Sponsored).

As a result of her diverse background, Sherry was able to successfully develop and implement a strategic plan for school nursing/health services in the state of Alabama that included standardization of student health care/emergency action plans as well as training and implementation of standardized, state-wide electronic health record system for school nurses in the state of Alabama.

 In 2010 and in collaboration with faculty from the University Of South Alabama College Of Nursing, Sherry received grant funding from The National Association of School Nurses and the American Nurse Foundation to develop an infrastructure for school nursing research, “Building an Infrastructure for School Nurse Research”.  As a result of that grant, the Alabama School Nurse Research Network (ASNRN) was organized and created to provide collaboration in identifying research questions, designs of research and testing of interventions within the school systems of Alabama.  She also received grant funding through the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) in 2010 for the “Alabama Consolidated Health and Wellness Initiative”.

Sherry served as immediate past-president (retired) for the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants and has been very active in the National and State Association of School Nurses.

Sherry recognizes that health and education are interdependent.  She strongly believes that every child deserves a school nurse and that school health services play an integral role in health prevention and promotion by supporting the learning process, student health and wellness.

Contact Us

The Georgia Department of Public Office of Nursing  
2 Peachtree Street NW, 9th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Phone: (404) 463-0801
Fax: (404) 656-4457 fax


Hours of Operation:  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday