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dr.sharon-791x1024Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CAARE, Inc. She was a native of Durham who has worked tirelessly to improve her community, building on her passion for and commitment to her career in nursing. She was a trailblazing public health advocate who believed in comprehensively addressing the social determinants of health to effectively improve the lives of underserved and underrepresented individuals. Dr. Bynum had a long history of attracting students, volunteers, healthcare providers, and professionals from other diverse sectors to join in her mission to help people in need. She received post-secondary education in Nursing, Counseling and Theology including degrees in nursing from Durham Technical Institute, Watts School of Nursing, and North Carolina Central University. She also received a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and a PhD degree in Theology from Victory International College.

Over the years CAARE, Inc., was supportive of CFAR researchers who sought to carry out research projects with the potential to improve the health of the Durham Community. While her focus was on service and empowerment, Dr. Bynum’s visionary approach included an appreciation of research to improve health and health care, when done with a deep respect for communities.

CFAR Director Dr. Ron Swanstrom and Deputy Surgeon General Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams celebrate the work of Dr. Sharon Elliot-Bynum and CAARE, Inc. at the Washington Duke Inn Gala

In 1995, Dr. Elliott-Bynum and her sister, the late Pat Amaechi co-founded Healing with CAARE, Inc. Together this sister team worked progressively to expand the physical facilities for CAARE and to develop a broad range of healthcare services. Although CAARE, Inc. began as a non-profit community based organization that provided support, education, and empowerment to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their affected families, it expanded to much more. Over the years, the goals of CAARE, Inc. broadened in response to the needs of the community through a holistic program targeting a broad range of health disparities including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and HIV/AIDS. For the past twenty years, CAARE has provided free health care, public health education, and human services to thousands of uninsured and underserved individuals. Currently, the agency serves more than 1,100 individuals every month.

Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum, age 58, passed on January 3, 2016, peacefully at her home. She leaves to cherish her memories her daughter, Ebony Elliott-Covington; son, Damien Elliott-Bynum; brother, Joe L. Elliott, Jr.; sisters, Carolyn E. Hinton, Addie L. Mann and grandchild, Ahmad Richardson.

Click here to watch Congressman Butterfield honor the life of Dr. Sharon Elliott-Bynum on the House Floor.