African Americans in Medicine
Supporting the theme of this year’s annual multi-city tour, The Power of Creative Arts in Health & Healing, HFAS will recognize the contributions of African Americans in Medicine selected regionally from various medical institutions in a celebration of “African Americans in Medicine.”
The Historic Riverside Church, New York City
Marwah Abdalla, MD
Dr. Abdalla is a cardiologist, cardiac intensive care unit physician, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. She is the Director of Education for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and is a full-time faculty member in the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University. She is also a clinician-scientist and a National Institutes of Health funded investigator with research expertise in hypertension, sleep, and global health. She is committed to developing novel interventions that improve cardiovascular health especially for patients and their communities both locally and internationally.
Dr. Abdalla received her Medical Degree and Masters in Public Health from Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health. She was an Intern, Resident, and Chief Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She completed her training as a cardiology Fellow and Chief Fellow at Columbia University Medical Center.
John M. Fontaine, MD, MBA, FACC, FHRS
Dr. John M. Fontaine received his medical degree from the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, in Piscataway, NJ also named Robert Wood Johnson medical school, and underwent cardiology fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Fontaine is currently Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine and Director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Services. He is also a recipient of an M.B.A. degree in Healthcare management from the Bennett S. Lebow School of Business and is a member of the distinguished international business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma via his Summa Cum Laude status. His clinical activities entail cardiac electrophysiology services including ablation for atrial fibrillation management, implantation of cardiac devices for bradyarrhythmia management and defibrillators, as well as device-based therapy for cardiac resynchronization in select heart failure patients. He has been involved in sudden cardiac death risk assessment utilizing modalities such as the signal-averaged ECG, T wave alternans testing, and heart rate turbulence. He has been a three-time member of the board of directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) and is a lifetime member of that organization. He served as President-Elect of the ABC in 2017 and is currently in his second year as President. He served on the Clinical Trials Review Committee at the National Institutes of Health and on the NIH study section: Electronic Signaling, Ion Transport and Arrhythmias. Dr. Fontaine was the cardiology fellowship program director for 11 years and teaches the highly demanded electrocardiogram elective to 4th year medical students since 2005. Dr. Fontaine is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and clinical cardiac electrophysiology. He is a fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society and of American College of Cardiology as well as a member of the American Heart Association. Dr. Fontaine serves as a manuscript reviewer for several clinical journals and is involved with numerous organizations that focus on outcomes research and disparities in health care delivery. He recently published in the American Journal of Cardiology the first article to discover sinus bradycardia as a sequalae following bariatric surgery and a second article that identified sinus bradycardia as a manifestation of chronic habitual cocaine use. He has focused on cardiac resynchronization therapy and the underutilization of device-based therapy in minority populations. Dr. Fontaine has received top doctor recognition from several organizations including Stuart Connolly and is a recipient of a Teacher of the Year award during his tenure as Program Director of the Cardiology Fellowship training. He is currently leading the ABC’s Collaborative Value Base Care Initiative as an innovative model that addresses disparities in access and treatment outcomes in minority populations, particularly African Americans. This model represents seminal work in the disparity resolution realm and represent the comprehensive approach to the issue that so many professional medical societies have undertaken.
Donna Mendes MD, FACS
Donna Mendes MD, FACS has been a vascular surgeon at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West since completing her fellowship at Englewood Hospital. She was the first Chief of vascular Surgery at St. Luke’s, was also chief of vascular surgery at North General Hospital. Mendes has had privileges at Lenox Hill Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospital. Mendes’ interest in vascular surgery was kindled because she noticed that more African Americans, were losing their limbs than any other racial group. That sparked the desire to be a surgeon who could treat the problem but it also raised the question “why this was happening”. Research has since shown that being black is a risk factor for developing peripheral arterial disease. Mendes is the first African American woman board certified by the American Board of Surgery in Vascular Surgery and was inducted into the Library of Congress because of that distinction. She worked in Bermuda for three years and was part of a team that developed the Vascular Access Program for Bermuda. She has been a Top Doctor in Castle Connolly and New York Magazine nearly every year since starting her practice. She received her BA from Hofstra University and presently there is an acknowledgement of her on the unispan that joins the two sides of Hofstra, over riding the Hempstead Turnpike. In spite of these accomplishments, Mendes perceives being published by peer reviewed journals her greatest professional achievement, and she continues to forge ahead meeting that challenge by encouraging her interns and residents to develop substantive content from their work so that they can use it for research and for publishing.
Dr. Beth Oliver
Dr. Beth Oliver held leadership positions at Lenox Hill Hospital from 1992-1999. From 2000-2010 Beth held several leadership positions at The Mount Sinai Hospital, including Senior Director of Nursing for Mount Sinai Heart where she directed clinical, administrative and operational functions for cardiac services. In 2010, Beth returned to Lenox Hill Hospital as Associate Executive Director of Nursing for Cardiovascular.
In 2012, Dr. Oliver returned to Mount Sinai as VP of Clinical Operations for Mount Sinai Heart and in 2014 was appointed VP of Cardiac Services for the Mount Sinai Health System. In 2015, Beth was promoted to Senior VP of Cardiac Services for the Health System. In this role, Beth leads cardiovascular service line strategy and operations and is responsible for ensuring the delivery of quality patient care to Mount Sinai Heart patients. Beth is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. In July 2018, Beth was appointed President of the American Heart Association’s Board of Directors in New York City, becoming the first nurse to hold the position of Board President. As a clinician, an executive and a nurse, Beth is committed to the cardiovascular health of populations and the current and future role of nurses in achieving this goal.
Dr. Oliver has a long track record of implementing changes to improve cardiovascular health. She is the driving force behind community outreach by Mount Sinai Hospital’s nurses to promote and improve cardiovascular health in New York City. In addition, in her current role and throughout her extensive career, Beth has acquired experience in leading and engaging diverse teams. As a nurse and administrator, Beth has spent her career implementing initiatives dedicated to improving patient care and staff engagement. Dr. Oliver puts her team and her patients first and has dedicated the last three decades to improving New Yorkers’ heart health.
Carlos Jose Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FAHA, FACC
Dr. Rodriguez is a board certified clinical cardiologist, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, Manhattan. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and subsequently obtained both his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees concurrently from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and School of Public Health. He then completed his three-year internal medicine residency and then completed a four-year fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases and Advanced Echocardiography all at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Rodriguez joined the faculty at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003 and held a joint appointment at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and in the Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He was the first Dominican from the surrounding inner-city community of Washington Heights to be a full-time faculty member of the Division of Cardiology. A prolific researcher, Dr. Rodriguez has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts. His research focuses on: cardiovascular epidemiology, cardiovascular health disparities, minority cardiovascular health, hypertensive heart disease and heart failure. His research has been published in a variety of journals including Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American Journal of Cardiology, the American Journal of Medicine, Hypertension, and Stroke. Dr. Rodriguez has been the recipient of the American Heart Association Clinically Applied Research Grant, the Association of Black Cardiologists Hawthorne – Searle Young Investigator Award, and a Career Development Award funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar, a past recipient of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Award and recipient of an Institutional Mid-Career Research Award.
Dr. Rodriguez joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on April 2019, where he is currently Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Population Health (with tenure) and the principal investigator of the ECHO-SOL and ECHO-SOL 2, national multi-center studies of cardiac structure and function in Hispanic/Latinos across the United States. The ECHO-SOL grant application was awarded a perfect score from the National Institutes of Health, a rare accomplishment. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Rodriguez serves as Vice Chair of Academic Affairs for Cardiology, Director of Cardiovascular Research and Director of Cardiovascular Epidemiology.
Dr. Rodriguez is active in various organizations, including as a fellow of the American Heart Association, where he serves on the National Research Committee and has served on the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Board, the Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity Task Force and as past chair of the Genomics, Translational Outcomes & Observational Epidemiology Peer Review Committee. He also serves as a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In addition to all of the above, Dr. Rodriguez continues to see patients and perform cardiovascular procedures on a weekly basis in New York where he lives with his wife and two children.
Howard University, Washington DC
Major General (Ret) George A. Alexander, MD
Major General (Retired) George A. Alexander, M.D. is a senior executive with over 30 years of progressive leadership that have culminated at the highest levels of government in both the military and civilian sectors. He holds the distinction of being the highest ranking military medical officer from the U.S. Army who is a graduate of the Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM).
As the Deputy Surgeon General in the Office of the Army Surgeon General he championed health and medical readiness policies for Army National Guard (ARNG) soldiers. He served as principle advisor to the Army Surgeon General on all aspects of readiness and structure of ARNG assets. He advised on the medical readiness, deployability, and health status of over 350,000 soldiers. His military assignments included service as a medical officer with the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the Green Berets and as commander of medical units at the company, battalion, and brigade levels.
In his civilian experience General Alexander has held a series of prominent positions. As Director for Medical and Public Health Security in the White House, he was responsible for medical and public health policies to safeguard the entire U. S. against terrorism. As Chief, Special Populations Studies Branch at the National Cancer Institute, he provided leadership and oversight of a $50 million cancer intervention research program.
General Alexander completed premedical studies at Columbia University, the M.D. degree from HUCM, postgraduate training as American Cancer Society clinical fellow in radiotherapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, advanced biostatistics training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Currently, as president of GA Alexander Solutions, LLC, he provides clients innovative health care solutions that promote success and growth.
Malika Fair, MD, MPH, FACEP
Malika Fair, MD, MPH is the Senior Director for Health Equity Partnerships and Programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). In this role, Dr. Fair develops programs and initiatives to enhance institutional, faculty, and student learning in diversity & inclusion, equity, and population health. Dr. Fair serves as the Principal Investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement with the AAMC which seeks to strengthen collaboration between the disciplines of academic medicine and public health. She also co-leads the AAMC Accelerating Health Equity, Advancing through Discovery (AHEAD) initiative which seeks to identify, evaluate, and disseminate effective and replicable AAMC-member institution practices that improve community health and reduce health inequities. Dr. Fair oversees the Office of Community Engagement that seeks to develop strategic partnerships with community agencies to improve the health of local residents as well as assist medical schools and teaching hospitals with their community engagement efforts.
Dr. Fair is an Assistant Clinical Professor and practicing physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine of The George Washington University. Prior to her current position, Dr. Fair served as the Clerkship Director of Emergency Medicine and the Co-Director of the Health Policy Track for The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She also served as the Co-Principal Investigator of the Beyond Flexner Study and an investigator for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) in The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Dr. Fair serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Not-For-Profit Hospital Corporation (United Medical Center) and on the Advisory Board of the Griffith Leadership Center within the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Department of Health Management and Policy. In 2019, Dr. Fair was selected to be included in the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum.
Dr. Fair completed her residency training and chief residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. She received her medical and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Science from Stanford University.
DEBRA HOLLY FORD, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.C.R.S.
Dr. Debra Holly Ford is Associate Professor of Surgery and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) in Washington, DC. She is the Head of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the founding Medical Director of the Howard University Health Sciences Simulation and Clinical Skills Center. Dr. Ford, a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was educated through the public-school system and received the Bachelor of Science (Zoology’82) and the Doctor of Medicine degrees from Howard University. After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine in 1986 as the top ranking medical student, she successfully completed a general surgery residency at Howard University Hospital (HUH) in 1991. In addition, she received further training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas and Affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ford is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and is the first African-American woman to obtain board certification in Colon and Rectal Surgery in the United States and the first African-American woman to become a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
Dr. Ford has been a member of the Howard University College of Medicine faculty since September 1994. She is a fellow and active member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. She has served on numerous national committees including the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Diversity Issues and currently serves on the Accreditation Review Committee. She has received many teaching awards and has been named to Black Enterprise’s “American’s Leading Doctors” and The Washingtonian Magazine “Top Doctors in the Washington Metropolitan Area”.
Dr. Ford is actively involved in teaching at every level of undergraduate and graduate medical education. In 2012, she stepped down after 13 years as Program Director of the HUH General Surgery Residency where she guided the surgical training of over 90 resident surgeons. She is an active member of the Association for Surgical Education and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Her research areas of interest are surgical education, simulation in healthcare and diseases of the colon, rectum and anus. Dr. Ford has been instrumental in supporting and developing simulation in healthcare curricula across Howard University Health Sciences.
Dr. Ford is a past Chair of the National Medical Association’s Surgical Section and completed a 7-year stint on its Executive Board in 2015. She is a fellow of the Society for Black Academic Surgery and is a member of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Dr. Ford is a past president of the local ACS chapter and has held every leadership position and committee chair in the local ACS chapter. She is an American Board of Surgery associate examiner for the certifying (oral) exam. In addition, she was a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners/USMLE Surgery Test Writing Committee for five years. In December of 2017, she was appointed to a 3-year term as a member of the ACS’s AEI Accreditation Committee.
Dr. Ford has mentored many undergraduate students, medical students and surgical residents. She is active in the community, an active member of the Prince Georges County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Prince George’s County (MD) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Dr. Ford speaks frequently to educate the public about colorectal cancer and screening. Dr. Ford has a surgical practice at Howard University Hospital. Her clinical areas of interest are the prevention, diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer, diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease, and benign colon and anorectal conditions. She has lived in Prince George’s County Maryland with her husband, Dr. Kevin Ford, Sr. (HUCM, Class of 1987) for over 30 years. She has two children, Kevin, Jr. (Imani) and Courtney.
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick was appointed the seventeenth president of Howard University in 2014. He previously served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer.
A distinguished scholar and administrator, Dr. Frederick has advanced Howard University’s commitment to student opportunity, academic innovation, public service and fiscal stability. Under his leadership, Howard University is now ranked as a Tier 1 national university by U.S. News & World Report. Early in his tenure as president, Dr. Frederick pursued initiatives to streamline and strengthen university operations. He has overseen a series of reform efforts including the expansion of academic offerings, establishing innovative programs to support student success, and the modernization of university facilities.
As an undergraduate, Dr. Frederick was admitted to Howard University’s B.S./M.D. dual degree program. He completed the requirements for both degrees in six years, allowing him to earn his Bachelor of Science degree and his medical degree by the age of 22.
Following his post-doctoral research and surgical oncology fellowships at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Frederick began his academic career as Associate Director of the Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut. Upon his return to Howard University, his academic positions included Associate Dean in the College of Medicine, Division Chief in the Department of Surgery, Director of the Cancer Center and Deputy Provost for Health Sciences. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Howard University’s School of Business in 2011.
Dr. Frederick is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts, and editorials and is a widely recognized expert on disparities in healthcare and medical education. He continues to operate and also gives lectures to second-year medical students and surgical residents of Howard University’s College of Medicine. His medical research focuses on narrowing racial, ethnic and gender disparities in cancer-care outcomes, especially pertaining to gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Frederick also devotes his time writing and speaking on salient topics in higher education – the impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, campus intellectual diversity, the underrepresentation of African American men in medical schools, and gender equality on campus.
Dr. Frederick has received various awards honoring his scholarship and service. In January 2017, the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors elected Dr. Frederick to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Baltimore Branch. He was presented with the Diaspora Public Diplomacy Leadership Award by the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for his contributions to strengthening Trinidad and Tobago-United States bilateral relations through excellence in global educational leadership. In May 2016, President Barack H. Obama appointed Dr. Frederick to the Board of Advisors for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Frederick has also received the National Association of Health Services Executives’ Congressional Black Caucus Distinguished Leadership in Health Care Award, and a Congressional Citation for Distinguished Service, presented by the Honorable Barbara Lee on the Occasion of Caribbean-American Heritage Month. In 2015, Dr. Frederick was also recognized by their excellencies Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Mrs. Reema Carmona, for his appointment as President of Howard University. Dr. Frederick is a member of surgical and medical associations including the American Surgical Association and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Frederick has also been featured as one of “America’s Best Physicians” by Black Enterprise magazine. He was named one of EBONY magazine’s “Power 100,” and recognized as a “Super Doctor” in The Washington Post Magazine. In 2017, he was named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian magazine and in 2015 was named “Male President of the Year” byHBCU Digest and was inducted into the St. Mary’s College, Port of Spain, Trinidad Hall of Fame.
Dr. Frederick resides in Washington D.C. with his wife, Simone, and their two children, Kirie and Wayne II. He is a true son of Howard University—a proud and loyal exemplar of its motto: Truth and Service.
Hazel Harper, DDS
Dr. Harper is a graduate of Howard University College of Dentistry and the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. She maintains a part –time private practice in general dentistry in Washington, DC. She is President and CEO of Hazel J. Harper & Associates, LLC, management consultants and President and Founder of Hear to HEAL, Inc., a non-profit to support inter-professional education, community groups, and student leadership.
She has served her profession in many leadership roles including: a member of President Bill Clinton’s Health Reform Task Force; National Spokesperson for the American Dental Association; Transition Teams of District of Columbia mayors Sharon Pratt Kelly and Marion Barry; and reviewer of the first ever Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in America, under the direction of U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher (2000). She has served on the Board of Directors of Oral Health America, the American Association of Women Dentists, the Ed Shils Entrepreneurial Fund; and the planning committees of the ADEA International Women’s’ Leadership Summits. She was on the Clinical Advisory Boards of Dentsply International, GlaxoSmithKline, Adec and Discus Dental; and the Editorial Board of the Woman Dentist Journal as well as the Editorial Advisory Board of Heart and Soul Magazine.
Dr. Harper is a woman of many firsts- the first woman President of the National Dental Association (1997), Chairman of the NDA Board of Trustees, and President of the Howard University College of Dentistry Alumni Association. She was one of the founders of the Student National Dental Association; longtime editor of National Dental Association (NDA) Journal; and created many NDA programs including: The Women’s’ Health Symposium, NDA-Corporate Roundtable, and the Eddie G. Smith Leadership Institute. She co-founded and directed the Deamonte Driver Dental Project (DDDP), school-based, mobile dental project, in Prince George’s County, MD named in memory of the 12-year old boy who died in 2007 from untreated tooth decay. She is currently the Founding Director of the award-winning NDA-HEALTH NOW® Project and architect of the Inter-Professional Student Leaders Colloquium and Summit. Since Deamonte’s death, Dr. Harper has devoted her energies and creative talents to developing, implementing and supporting inter-professional health education programs and community outreach events in cities across America and the world.
Her reputation for innovation and success has merited awards from several foundations including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Coca Cola Foundation, Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Aetna Foundation, GE’s African American Forum, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DentaQuest Foundation and many others. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Medgar Evans College in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Harper lectures and writes extensively; and in 2019, she was lead author of book chapters in Oral Health in America: Removing the Stain of Disparities, published by the American Public Health Association. She was also selected to be a contributing author for the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health.
She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Links, Incorporated; and enjoys traveling with her husband, Robert S. Johns. They have one daughter and three grandsons.
Michael G. Knight, MD, MSHP, FACP
Michael G. Knight, MD, MSHP, FACP is a physician and the Patient Safety Officer at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Originally from New York City, Dr. Knight completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, and attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He then completed residency training at NewYork Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a Masters in Health Policy Research. In his current role as Patient Safety Officer for the GW Medical Faculty Associates, he is involved with the analysis of medical errors and adverse events, and leads the development of responsive programs to build a culture of safety throughout the organization. Dr. Knight is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine, and practices clinically at the GW Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, DC.
Outside of his clinical practice, Dr. Knight has been instrumental in developing community health education programs throughout the United States. Dr. Knight served as the 48th National President of the Student National Medical Association, and currently serves as the founder and president of the Renewing Health Foundation, a non-profit organization working to empower urban minority communities through health education. He has served on various boards and committees of organizations such as the American Medical Association Residents and Fellows Section and the National Medical Association, where he currently serves as Region II Chairperson. Dr. Knight has received numerous awards including the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award, Top 30 under 30 Alumni of Case Western Reserve University, Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum, and Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40 Award by the National Medical Association.
Dr. Donna Grant-Mills
Dr. Donna Grant-Mills is Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at the Howard University College of Dentistry. She also serves as Project Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at Howard University. Dr. Grant-Mills is responsible for teaching, administration, interprofessional education (IPE), and directing the implementation and operations of the RWJF Projects. Dr. Grant-Mills has over 40 years of progressive experience in health care to include dental assisting, dental hygiene, and general dentistry practice in diverse settings; allied dental and dental education; hospital based oral health care management; and community health program development. In addition, she serves as Board Member for “Be Good To The Children Foundation” in support of school children in Haiti.
In 2005, Dr. Grant-Mills was chosen Humanitarian of the Year by the District of Columbia Dental Society in recognition of her work for the RWJF Pipeline Initiative in support of an oral health program to benefit underserved families in the District of Columbia. In 2006, she was one of three dental faculty members selected from dental schools across the country to receive the National Dental Association Foundation/Colgate Palmolive Outstanding Teacher Award. Also, in 2006, she joined the staff at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) in Washington, DC as a Fellow in the “Enid Neidle Scholar-In-Residence Program” for the advancement of women in dental education. In 2011, the Village of Lincoln Heights, Ohio awarded Dr. Grant-Mills the “Legacy Award” for her contribution in medicine and public service, and in 2014, she received the “Community Spirit Award” from the District of Columbia Dental Society. In 2019, she received the College of Dentistry Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr. Grant-Mills has published and presented scholarly papers in the U.S. and abroad. Her international presentations have been in Chester, United Kingdom; Salvador, Brazil; and Barcelona, Spain.
Dr. Grant-Mills obtained the Certificate in Dental Hygiene and Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from The Ohio State University; the Master Degree of Education from the University of Cincinnati; and the Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Howard University. She is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists. She is also a member of the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society and the American Dental Education Association.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD
Joia Adele Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG – a thought leader around racism as a root cause of health inequities, Speaker, Trainer, Advocate, Policy Expert, and fighter for justice – is the Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative.
Recently, she addressed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge a human rights framework to improve maternal mortality. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Birthing Project, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Jefferson Community Healthcare Center and as the Director of Clinical Services for the City of New Orleans Health Department where she was responsible for four facilities that provided health care for the homeless, pediatric, WIC, and gynecologic services within the New Orleans clinical service area. Dr. Crear-Perry has been celebrated for her work to improve the availability and utilization of affordable health care for New Orleans’ citizens post the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005. Currently, her focus has expanded nationally and internationally as it relates to Maternal and Child Health.
Joia, a proud recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Hero’s award and the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard University Global Visionary Award for Commitment to Advancing Women’s Health, is most known for her work to remove Race as a risk factor for illness like premature birth and replacing it with Racism. She has been asked to train in Maternal and Child Health and is a sought-after speaker as a result of her articles in a number magazines including Essence, Ms. Magazine, as well as her publications around Structural Racism.
Dr. Crear-Perry testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as the Democratic witness in support of the only Maternal Health Bill signed into law since the new Administration came into office. Dr. Crear-Perry has received funding from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to work with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) to develop a Standard for Respectful Maternity Care and serves on the Joint Commission Perinatal Safety Project Technical Advisory Panel. Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Principal at Health Equity Cypher and on the Board of Trustees for Community Catalyst, National Medical Association, and the UCSF PTBi.
After receiving her bachelor’s trainings at Princeton University and Xavier University, Dr. Crear-Perry completed her medical degree at Louisiana State University and her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She was also recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
She is married to Dr. Andre Perry and has three children: Jade, Carlos, and Robeson.
Roselyn E. Epps, M.D., FAAP, FAAD
Roselyn E. Epps, M.D., FAAP, FAAD is a pediatrician and dermatologist at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For over 20 years, Dr. Epps was engaged in pediatric dermatology education and also clinical private practice of dermatology in Silver Spring, MD. She is Associate Clinical Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Child Health and Dermatology at Howard University College of Medicine, and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and of Dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dr. Epps received her B.S., Cum Laude, from Brown University, Providence RI and her M.D., with honors, from Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC. She was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society during her junior year. After graduation, she completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and dermatology residency at The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. She has been certified by three medical specialty boards: pediatrics; dermatology; pediatric dermatology.
For 14 years, Dr. Epps served as Chief of the Dermatology Division, Children’s National Medical Center, where she taught medical students and pediatric and dermatology residents from three area institutions. She conducted institutional and practice-based research, reviewed grants for the FDA, and advised NIH and Federal regulatory bodies.
Dr. Epps has authored scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and a book chapter, Diseases of Black Skin, published in Dermatology, 2nd Edition (Springer Press). She co-edited The Complete Family Health Book (St. Martin’s Press). Dr. Epps has made scientific presentations at local and national conferences.
Recognized as an authoritative source, Dr. Epps has been interviewed by print, radio, and television media. Washingtonian magazine, Washingtonian Mom, and Northern Virginia Magazine listed her as one of their Top Doctors.
Active in professional organizations, Dr. Epps is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was president of the Washington DC Dermatological Society. Dr. Epps is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, the American Dermatological Association, Society for Pediatric Dermatology, National Medical Association, American Medical Association, Medical Society of the District of Columbia, and Washington DC Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Epps is currently president of the Medical Society and Alliance Foundation, Inc. (MSAF), Washington, DC, which promotes public health in Washington, DC. She also serves as president of American Medical Women’s Association local chapter, Branch 1, in the Washington DC area.
The Historic Riverside Church, New York City
Brenda Aiken, MD, FACP
Dr. Brenda Aiken Thompson is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York; board Certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American Board of Internal Medicine She is the Director of Medical Services at Columbia Health, the Student Health Service for the Morningside campus of Columbia University.
Dr. Aiken attended Barnard College of Columbia University and received her M.D. degree from Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons (P&S). She was the first Black woman president of the P&S Alumni Association and received its Gold Medal Award in 2018 for meritorious service to the alumni association.
Upon graduation from medical school in 1981, Dr. Aiken began her residency in Internal Medicine at Harlem Hospital Center in Harlem, New York. Ever since her adolescent years, Dr. Aiken had committed and dedicated herself to the inequities often found in communities of color. With the activism of the Civil Rights engulfing her, she determined as a young teenager that her life’s work, her professional career, whatever that would be, would make a difference in her community. During her youth she tutored elementary school children in her neighborhood. In her college years she was instrumental in instituting a high school health careers conference for Black and Latino children attending public high schools. Emphasizing Yes you are quite capable! AND Here’s how you prepare yourself! As a young physician Dr. Aiken adopted a middle school class in Harlem and held weekly stimulating conversations about her career journey, demonstrating CPR and always, always graciously answering the myriad questions of their inquisitive young minds. Forever the mentor, Dr. Aiken spoke specifically to those interested in careers in health and medicine but more broadly, she spoke to community mission and values, self-determination and self-motivation defining, one’s passion, creating a vision and challenging oneself to have the motivation to fulfill a personal mission.
After her Residency training at Harlem Hospital Center, Dr. Aiken practiced medicine in the Harlem community. Working in the midst of a Harlem public housing complex, Polo Grounds, which was similar to the one that she had grown up in, Dr. Aiken, found herself at the pulse of caring for people of African and Latin descent. The complexity of health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, cancer, gun violence, and their relationships to education, politics, economics and the community at large were self-evident. Dr. Aiken was compelled to advocacy and activism in the National Medical Association (NMA) and its affiliate New York and Harlem organizations. She has held leadership roles in the local affiliates and is currently President of the Susan Smith McKinney Steward Medical Society, the affiliate organization of the NMA of African
MICHAEL L. BOLDEN, DDS
Dr. Michael L. Bolden maintains a private practice limited to the treatment of Periodontics and Implants in Harlem and the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. He has held numerous leadership roles in the National Dental Association; he is a member of the American Dental Association and the American College of Dentists; and he is a consultant to the legal profession on dental issues.
Dr. Bolden is a member of the faculty of the Department of Dentistry at Harlem Hospital, where he is Attending Periodontist, working with the General Practice, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Pediatric Dental residency programs.
After a year performing Biochemical research at Chicago State University, Dr. Bolden entered Howard University College of Dentistry, where he graduated with honors. He joined the General Practice Residency at Harlem Hospital Center, and was then accepted into the post-doctoral program in periodontics at Columbia University School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Bolden is married to Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden, a Manhattan dermatologist, and is the father of 3 children, none who are interested in dentistry.
Dr. Fran Cook-Bolden
Fran E. Cook-Bolden, MD, a top-ranked, board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon is dedicated to providing high-quality, individualized care. She treats patients throughout the tri-state area, across the US and internationally at her New York City office.
She is the Founding Associate Director of the Skin of Color Center and currently is a clinical assistant professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Health Systems and Director of Skin Specialty Dermatology (SSD), now SSD of the Dermatology Group, and the Ethnic Skin Specialty Group where Dr. Cook-Bolden conducts cutting-edge clinical investigations as Principal Investigator directing a highly qualified research team on a wide range of skin, hair and scalp concerns and the use of lasers and other devices in all skin types.
A member of the American Academy of Dermatology, past Board of Directors of the Women’s Dermatologic Society and past Executive Board member of the Greater New York Dermatology Society, Dr. Cook-Bolden has also been a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, National Medical Association, and several other organizations. She serves on many advisory boards and as a consultant for the pharmaceutical, laser, and beauty industry, in addition to being a speaker/lecturer across the United States and abroad for these industries and at medical centers and universities across the country, recently launching new products in Dubai, Greece and Barcelona.
Widely published in medical and lay publications, she is the co-author of Beautiful Skin of Color: A Comprehensive guide to Asian, Olive and Dark Skin. She has been a guest on numerous local and national radio and television news broadcasts and internet media to address a broad range of skin health and beauty concerns including CNN, the Today Show, CBS Morning Show, ABC News Now, Good Day New York, PBS, the Dr. Oz show, BET Centric’s Culture List, Sirius Satellite radio–Martha Stewart show, TheDiscoveryChannel.com and many others. She has been honored as a Castle Connolly Top Doctors, New York, Exceptional Women in Medicine award by Castle Connolly and a New York Times Super Doctor for many years.
Dr. Cook-Bolden offers patients a full spectrum of care, including medical dermatology for all ages, skin cancer screenings and treatment, and dermatologic surgery, as well as cosmetic and antiaging treatments including Botox®, cosmetic fillers, hair removal laser, laser resurfacing, hair rejuvenation and growth including Platelet-Rich Plasma, nonsurgical fat reduction and noninvasive “lifting” procedures with the state-of-the-art NeoSkin(NeoRejuvenation) laser treatments and the Ultherapy® system.
She is the co-developer of Trufora, a clinically proven, science-based, anti-aging skincare line. Now featured on HSN as “Best in Beauty”, Trufora products contain ingredients that are pharmaceutical grade, vegan, cruelty- free, organic, preservative free or using natural preservatives.
Dr. Cook-Bolden confesses that her real passion has been raising her now, 3 adult children, all who have had an interest in the medical field along with her devoted husband of over 25 years who is a Periodontist and Dental Implant Surgeon.
Dr. Terry Grant
Dr. Terry Grant has over 30 years experience as a Cosmetic, General, and Geriatric Dentist. He was awarded “Diplomat in Geriatric Dentistry” by American Board of Special Care Dentistry and The American Society for Geriatric Dentistry. He had served as a Chief Geriatric Dentist at major NYC and Long Island Hospitals, Medical Centers, Nursing Homes and Assistant Living Facilities. He also served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University College of Dentistry. He served as a Geriatric Dentistry Expert in 1994 for the U.S. Government Department of Health and Human Services working to accommodate President Clinton with Health Care Reform. He served on the American Dental Association, Advanced Dentistry Accreditation Committee. He has been acknowledged by the United States 33rd Congress with a Congressional Record Award. He has received Citations for his commitment to community service from New York State Governor, New York State Assembly and the Nassau County Executive.
Dr. Grant, his administrative staff and hygienist have established a new state of the art office in Garden City, Long Island, New York and a traveling dental team that provide dental service to persons whom may be Homebound or they may reside at an Assisted Living Facility, a Senior Center or a Nursing Home or Rehabilitation Facility. Our commitment is to provide the latest technology in dentistry today, with emphasis on cosmetic restoration and preventive dental care that is affordable.
Dr. Brian Harper
Dr. Brian Harper was born in Manhattan, NY and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn New York. After graduating from Bishop Loughlin High School as salutatorian, he obtained an academic scholarship and attended Brown University. At Brown University he received a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies. Dr. Harper received his medical degree from the State University of New York, Health Science Center at Syracuse in 1988. His postgraduate experience started at Harlem Hospital Center, in New York City, where he completed an internship in Internal Medicine. He continued his training at the State University of New York, Health Science Center at Stony Brook, where he completed a combined residency in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health and obtained a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University in 1991. Dr. Harper is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Harper has worked as a physician at the Rikers Island Medical Unit, and served as the first Director of the Bureau of HIV Services at the Nassau County Department of Health. As the “AIDS Czar” for Nassau County, Dr. Harper’s office brought in millions of dollars in federal Ryan White funding for the region, and provided the administrative infrastructure for the Nassau County HIV Commission which was advisory to the County Executive. Dr. Harper served as the first Community Co-Chair for the New York State HIV Prevention Planning Committee which provided oversight and guidance for the use of approximately $80 million in HIV Prevention funding annually from the Centers for Disease Control for N.Y. State. Dr. Harper then served in an executive capacity as the Senior Vice President of Community Affairs and medical director of the Community Health Centers at Nassau University Medical Center. In this role, Dr. Harper provided medical leadership for a network of seven community health centers where he remodeled medical services to conform to hospital standards and successfully passed two JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations) surveys.
Dr. Harper was then appointed as the first African American Commissioner of Health for Suffolk County, New York. During his tenure, he successfully managed a Department of 1500 employees with a budget of approximately $450 million. Dr. Harper also created new innovative programs including an Office of Minority Health to address health inequities, an HIV Commission to focus on methods of curtailing the HIV epidemic, and a Public Health Institute to investigate long-standing public health problems in collaboration with the State University of New York Health Science Center at Stony Brook. Dr. Harper then served as the Chief Operating Officer and Medical Director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention. The Ralph Lauren Center was a partnership between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and North General Hospital designed to provide quality cancer care to the residents of Harlem, New York and surrounding areas, irrespective of a patient’s ability to pay. In this capacity, he led a number of culturally appropriate cancer prevention initiatives.
Dr. Harper now serves as the Chief Medical Officer and an Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) in which he provides medical oversight of two academic health centers and assists with teaching medical students. He also volunteers as the President of the Arthur T. Risbrook Medical Society, a chapter of the National Medical Association.
Dr. Kecia Gaither
Dr Gaither is a double board certified physician in Ob/Gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine , and holds a Masters Degree in Public Health. A perinatal consultant and womens’ health expert, Gaither’s expertise is grounded in both research and her professional experience in caring for women with multiple medical/surgical/fetal conditions in pregnancy. In her current role, Dr Gaither serves as the Director of Perinatal Services/Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine for NYC Health+ Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx.
A Harlem native, Gaither’s mission as a medical professional is to offer exemplary prenatal care to all women, regardless of circumstance. Dr Gaither regularly lends her commentary and expertise on issues pertaining to womens’ health, pregnancy, and environmental/ population health policy, to leading national consumer health and lifestyle outlets across print, radio, TV, film and on-line, including Medscape, Prevention Magazine, Parents Magazine, Womens Health Magazine, Doctor Radio, NBC TV, NY 1, and Fit Pregnancy . With her foray into social media, Dr Gaithers’ combined perspective as a maternal child specialist and public health proponent has allowed her to reach millions via her Twitter feed– @KeciaGaitherMD and her website: www.keciagaither.com. Dr Gaither has co-authored “The Confident Woman”, a must read book for women who desire increased confidence, self-esteem and empowerment.
She is a reviewer for, and has been published by, multiple scientific journals. She additionally serves as a reviewer for WebMD, and as a requested contributor to The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and US News and World Report. Dr Gaither was an appointee of NYC Mayor Bloomberg to the HIV Planning Council of NY. Dr Gaither is on the medical advisory board of NATERA, PWN Health, and serves as a medical expert for The Baby Box Company. Dr Gaither was recently named as a liaison to The Association of Black Cardiologists, addressing cardiac disease in pregnancy.
Dr Gaither received her BA in Biology from Barnard College, and her MD from SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse. She completed her Ob/Gyn residency at Riverside Regional Medical Center, a subsidiary of The Medical College of Virginia and completed her Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at The University of Medicine and Dentistry-Rutgers in Newark NJ. Dr Gaither earned her MPH in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University.
When not caring for her patients or conducting research, Dr Gaither enjoys time spent with her family and traveling
Icilma V. Fergus, MD
Icilma V. Fergus, MD is Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiovascular Disparities at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Prior to that she served as Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Harlem Hospital Center for three years. Her undergraduate and graduate education were at Barnard College, Columbia University and SUNY Downstate. She completed her residency and Chief residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Fergus completed her cardiology fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.
Dr. Fergus has authored numerous articles related to heart disease in peer-reviewed journals including a Diabetes Education Booklet and a chapter in the book entitled “Cardiovascular Disease in Ethnic Minorities”. She is currently working on several written works “ Happy Hearts Cookbook – with a Tropical Twist”, “Delite in Your Heart” and “The ABCs of Community Interventions”. Her current clinical and research interests involve cardiovascular disparities, Hypertension, Heart Failure and heart disease in women. She has been an investigator in several clinical trials.
Dr. Fergus is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Heart Association where she sits on the Founder’s Affiliate board and is president of the Westchester Chapter, the American College of Cardiology and the Association of Black Cardiologists where she is the immediate past president. She also served a number of years on the ABC board including two years as secretary and Chair of Community Programs for six years. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha incorporated, and co chairs the Health Promotions Committee and sits on the board of the Jack and Jill of America Foundation as Vice President. She is a prominent educator in the local community where she works including board member of the Community Advisory board of Touro College.
Dr. Fergus is the founder and director of the series of Healthy Hearts projects – “Harlem Healthy Hearts (HHH), Montserrat Healthy Hearts (MHH) and Programme Ultima Femme ( PUF). These programs focus on addressing lifestyle motivation for cardiac prevention as well as education, demonstration and screening to promote optimal health management of cardiovascular risk factors and chronic conditions that may lead to heart disease. She has embarked on several medical mission visits to the island of Montserrat beginning in 2011 and continues to do so with a growing team every year. The Diabetes Booklet was inspired by her last trip there. Dr. Fergus continues to be very active in communities where health care disparities are present.
Dr Fergus is also Mrs. Rowe, wife to Robert Rowe and mother to three lovely children Orion, Arianne and RJ. She has been featured in several magazines newspapers and shows including Girl Friends Magazine, Heart and Soul, New York Daily News and “Being Black in America: CNN series Part 1”. Her non-medical book is entitled “B.A.D. Moms”. She is the recipient of Luminary Award from the American Heart Association 2016, the Cocovia Award from Women’s Day Magazine at the Red Dress Awards 2018, as well as the recipient of numerous other awards and accolades. You may find her on twitter @icilmafergusrow, Linkedin, instagram or Facebook and visit the website www.healthyheartseries.org
Dr. Ogonna Kenechi Nwawka
Dr. Ogonna Kenechi ‘Kenny’ Nwawka completed her fellowship in musculoskeletal imaging at HSS, after which she joined the Radiology and Imaging Department as an Assistant Attending Radiologist. She also holds an appointment as Assistant Professor of Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. As a fellow, Dr. Nwawka participated in numerous research projects which have gone on to produce multiple publications in the radiology and orthopedic surgery literature. She has and continues to present her research at national and international medical meetings. Trained in all realms of musculoskeletal interventions and imaging including MRI, CT and ultrasound, Dr. Nwawka is particularly interested in nerve imaging and musculoskeletal ultrasound. She is the recipient of several grants from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the National Basketball Association (NBA), GE Healthcare, and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) to study applications of imaging in various aspects of musculoskeletal health.
Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH
Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH currently serves as a Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and is the Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity. The Center’s mission is to bring an explicit focus to health equity in all of the Department’s work by tackling structural barriers, such as racism, ensuring meaningful community engagement, and fostering interagency coordination in neighborhoods with the highest disease burden.
Prior to this role, she was an Assistant Commissioner in the NYC Health Department and served as the Director of the Brooklyn Office, a place-based approach. Dr. Maybank also successfully launched the Office of Minority Health as its Founding Director in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in NY from 2006-2009.
Dr. Maybank serves as Vice President of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association. In the media and on the lecture circuit, she has appeared or been profiled on Disney Jr.’s highly successful Doc McStuffins Animated Series, ESSENCE Facebook live and their Festival’s Empowerment Stage, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show, and various other outlets. She has also advised on the award-winning documentary Soul Food Junkies by Byron Hurt and Black Women in Medicine by Crystal Emery. For her accomplishments, she has won numerous awards.
Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and a MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. A pediatrician board certified in Preventive Medicine/Public Health, she completed her preventive medicine residency at the SUNY Stony Brook University School of Medicine and her pediatrics residency at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine’s Schneider Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Shadidi Beatrice Chase Kinsey
Dr. Shadidi Beatrice Chase Kinsey and the practitioners at P.E.A.C.E. HEALTH CENTER are committed to providing quality healing in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. P.E.A.C.E. Health Center is a Kawaida health institution working under the principle, Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), highlighting our ability to define ourselves, name ourselves, and speak for ourselves, create for ourselves (Community Health and Well-Being).
Since 1989, Dr. Kinsey has provided HIV/AIDS treatment and alcohol/substance detoxification services using acupuncture at community-based organizations.
In 1987, Dr. Kinsey earned her acupuncture diploma from the Harlem-based Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine; in 1988, the International Institute of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine certified her a Doctor of Acupuncture; in 1989, she earned certification from the National Commission for Certification of Acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine; that same year she earned certification as an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist.
In 1992, “Mama Bea,” as she is known in the community, was the first African American licensed by New York State to practice acupuncture. This certification capped her decade-long quest for the knowledge and tools that would enable her to make a positive contribution to the health care available to her community. This quest was pursued while working full-time inside and outside her home. She is a widow, mother of six, and grandmother of eight.
Dr. Kinsey is the Vice-Chair of the N.Y. chapter of the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO).
Among her numerous awards include: 1993 Keeper of the Dream Award presented by Johnson Preparatory School, Brooklyn, NY; 1994 Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Nia and Healing Hands presented by the Howard Houses Tenants Council; 1998 Dr. Mutulu Shakur Health Activist Award presented by Family and Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur; 1999 Keepers of the Flame Award presented by Kwanzaa Collective of Brooklyn, NY; 2002 Founders Award presented by Malcolm X Day Parade and Celebration Committee; in 2011, Dr. Kinsey was acknowledged as one of New York’s Top Doctors and given a feature story by The Network Journal.
Ousseiny Coulibaly, MD, FACOG
Ousseiny Coulibaly, MD, FACOG, is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist Attending at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, New York, New York. He is board certified and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is also hold the title of Clinical Instructor with Columbia University Medical Center, NYC Health +Hospitals/Harlem’s academic affiliate.
After obtaining his high school diploma in Southern France, he embarked on a career in medicine in the United States. He received his undergraduate degree from Howard University, medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. He went on to complete his residency training at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, a Cornell University‘s affiliate, in the Bronx, New York.
Born in Mali, West Africa, Dr. Coulibaly heard of Female Genital Cutting during his adolescence years when it had been practiced on some of his closest relatives. Practicing at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem department of Ob/Gyn, “a little Mecca” of West African patients, he has become more sensitive to their needs. He has written numerous medical attestations of Female Genital Cutting for patients needing them for immigration purposes. Dr. Coulibaly’s research project is to establish a prevalence of Female Genital Cutting at Harlem, thus establishing a need for a comprehensive care and cultural competency for this patient population.
Diana E. Lake MD
Dr. Diana E. Lake is a medical oncologist with a practice that is devoted solely to the care of breast cancer patients. Dr. Lake’s research interests involve all areas of breast cancer but focus mainly on the development of new therapies, prevention of cancer recurrence following surgery, and treatment of recurrent disease.
Working in conjunction with her colleagues on the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at MSKCC and as the liaison in breast medicine to Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (a national clinical trials cooperative research group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute), she is involved in clinical trials to develop better hormonal therapies and improved approaches to treatment before surgery.
Dr. Lake is a past member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific Review Committee, and has previously served on the NIH Cooperative Group Review and its Cancer Education committees and has received the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center fellowship. She is a member of the NYS Health Research Science Board.
Dr. Lake holds a Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Hofstra University and her MD from Chicago Medical School.
LeWanza Harris, MD
Dr. LeWanza Harris is the Associate Chief Quality Officer of New York-Presbyterian/Ambulatory Care Network and Liaison to the Weill Cornell Physician Organization and Columbia Doctors Faculty Practice Organization. In this role, she is responsible for leadership, alignment, and direction for quality and patient safety.
Prior to this role, Dr. Harris served as the Associate Chief Quality Officer of New York-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital. In this role she held several key leadership roles in team training, clinical risk management, regulatory compliance, infection prevention and control, cultural of safety and procedural safety.
Dr. Harris joined the Center for Community and Family Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 2007 where she is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine.
A board-certified family medicine physician, Dr. Harris received her Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at University of Rochester/Highland Family Medicine. She completed the Greater New York Hospital Association/United Hospital Fund Clinical Quality Fellowship. Dr. Harris was also a Ruth L. Kirchstein AHRQ Health Services Research & Policy Fellow.
Dr. Harris currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association in New York City. As a board member, Dr. Harris serves as the campaign leader for Children’s Heart Health Campaign. She is committed to improving the lives of our communities. She has been an advocate and activist to increase awareness for improving healthy food access in NYC; promoting the now approved and enacted policy that increases awareness of daily salt consumption on restaurant menus; and promoting policy for healthy beverage options for kids when their families dine at city restaurants.
Olutoyin Alabi, MD, MPH, FWACP, FACP
Olutoyin Alabi, MD, MPH, FWACP, FACP is a Primary Care Physician and Assistant Clinical Professor with the Adult Medicine Clinic Ambulatory Care, Harlem Hospital with affiliation to Columbia University.
A native of Nigeria and Citizen of the USA, Dr. Alabi had her first Residency and Fellowship training at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Cardiology. She was appointed in LUTH as Attending Physician / Head of Adult Emergency Medicine Department for some years before her relocation to the USA with her family.
She joined the Harlem Staff in 2010 and moved through the Quality Management and Health Information Management Departments, as Assistant Director prior her Residency training in Internal Medicine, also at Harlem Hospital. On completion of the Residency Program, she joined the Primary Care Team and served as Interim Chief of the Adult Medicine Clinic of the Harlem Ambulatory Care. A period that put the Harlem Ambulatory Care on the NYC H+H map with top range control metrics for Chronic diseases (Hypertension, Diabetes) and Press gurney Patient satisfaction rate in the 90s.
Dr Alabi along with some colleagues, in recognition of and concern for adequate care and clinical outcome of their Homeless patient population, wrote and published in December 2018, an article in NYMJ- titled the Challenges Faced by the Homeless population, an analysis of Health Care Delivery and Utilization of Care. They suggested solutions-ways to improve care and reduce length of hospital stay.
She works closely with the Residents to develop the Peer to Peer guide for Interns (Nationally recognized with awards) and the Good Catch Program that promotes prevention of medication errors and patient safety.
She serves as Mentor to many Residents, Nurses, Clerical / Administrative staffs and Colleagues.
Dr Alabi was in October 2018, elected to Fellowship of the American College of Physicians for her notable commitment and accomplishments within the Internal Medicine Community.
She has great passion for patient care, with special focus on Preventive Medicine. She continues to play pivotal roles in committees focused on Patient Experience, Patient Safety, Performance Improvements and Improved Patient Clinical outcomes.
Amongst others, Dr Alabi is a Team player, a Servant Leader with Management and Administrative skills, Communication, Counselling, Teaching and Marketing skills.
Dr. Alabi enjoys traveling and she has gone on several medical missions around the world, including to Cambodia, Armenia, South Africa and Sri Lanka following the Tsunami, where she led the American Mission Team. At the local level, she has given health talks around the 5 boroughs of NYC, including Harlem, to improve health awareness.
Dr Alabi says her mantra is to positively impact each Life she encounters, leaving them feeling more Confident and Empowered to achieve their set goals.