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.
Ola Akinboboye MD, MPH, MBA, FACP FACC, FAHA, FASNC, FSCCT, FASH DABSM
Dr. Akinboboye completed his medical education at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan in 1984. He obtained a Master of Public Health Degree from the School of Public health at Columbia University in 1998. He also received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia University Business School in 2001.
He completed his cardiology fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1994 and served on teaching faculty at Columbia University as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine from 1995 to 2000. He also served on the teaching faculty of Stony Brook University from 2000 to 2006 as Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU.
He was the Director of Nuclear Cardiology at St Francis Heart Center in Roslyn, NY
He was also Director of Cardiac Imaging and Research at New York Hospital, Queens. NY
He is currently the Medical Director, at Laurelton Heart Specialist PC in Rosedale NY
He is also the Medical Director of Strong Health Medical PC. In Laurelton, Queens, NY.
He is board certified in Cardiology, Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiac CT and Sleep medicine.
He currently serves as the Chairman of the Cardiovascular Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He also served on the International Board of Governors of the American College of Cardiology (Liaison for Africa) and the Hypertension Leadership Council of The American Heart Association.
He was a member of the Board and Co-Chair of the examination drafting committee of the Certifying Board of Nuclear Cardiology from 2005-2011.
He is a Past-President of the National Association of Black Cardiologists, USA.
He is a Past-President of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association in The USA.
He was a Board member of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in North America.
Dr. Akinboboye is widely published in the fields of hypertension, congestive heart failure nuclear imaging, cardiac CT and cardiac MRI.
Dr. Ola Akinboboye has received numerous awards. He was selected by Castle Connolly as one of America’s Top Doctors in the New York Metro area from 2005 to 2016. He was recognized by New York Magazine as one of New York’s best heart doctors 2006-2008 and 2013-2016, and on the cover of the Network Journal 2/2008, as one of the Best Black Doctors in the New York tri-state area. He was also recognized by US News and World reports as one of the best cardiologists in the United States.
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.
Kathie-Ann Joseph, MD, MPH, FACS
Kathie-Ann Joseph, MD, MPH, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery and Population Health at NYU Langone Health, Chief of Breast Services at Bellevue Hospital, and Co-Director of the Beatrice W. Welters Breast Health Outreach and Navigation Program
Kathie-Ann Joseph, MD, MPH is Associate Professor of Surgery and Population Health at NYU Langone Health and Chief of Breast Services at Bellevue Hospital, and Co-Director of the Beatrice W. Welters Breast Health Outreach and Navigation Program. She is a graduate of Harvard College and received her medical degree and master’s in public health degree from Columbia University. She completed her general surgery residency training at NYU Medical Center and her breast surgical oncology fellowship at Columbia University.
Dr. Joseph sits on several local and national committees including leading the NRG Oncology Health Disparities Group Education/Training/Mentorship Working Group, American Society of Breast Surgeons and is Past-President of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons Alumni Association and recently elected to the Society of University Surgeons. She is dedicated to improving the care of underserved women and eliminating health care disparities. She was recently named H+H/Bellevue Physician of the Year and is the recipient of the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC Gay Clark Stoddard Compassionate Care Award, the American Cancer Society Healthcare Leadership Award in 2012 and the American Cancer Society Eastern Division Leader in Cancer Care Award in 2016 and one of the top 10 Caribbean born female doctors in the US.
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.
Beth Oliver, DNP
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.
Thomas J. Price, Jr. MD
Dr. Thomas J. Price, Jr. is from Burlington, Ohio. He attended South Point High School where he played three sports and was a high school All-American in football. He graduated from Dartmouth College where he majored in biology, played on two Ivy League championship football teams and was a member of the lacrosse team. After Dartmouth, he returned home to Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His medical internship and residency were completed at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City. His fellowship in cardiology was at Harlem Hospital and Columbia University. Following the fellowship, he joined the faculty and remained as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine for 17 years. Dr. Price has been a faculty member in the Nurse Anesthetist Program at the City University of New York. He was an assistant professor in the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, NJ. He was the team medical physician for the New York Knights of the World League of American Football. He was President of the Medical Staff at The Mount Vernon Hospital, now Montefiore- Mt Vernon Hospital in Mt. Vernon, NY. He is attending cardiologist at Montefiore-New Rochelle Hospital in New Rochelle, NY and at NY Presbyterian-Lawrence Hospital, Bronxville, NY. He has been a consultant to the pharmaceutical firms AstraZeneca, Gilead Sciences and Novartis. He has been a medical consultant for the law firms of Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein & Deutch; Bartlett, McDonough, Bastone & Monaghan; the City of New York Law Department; New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; Shook, Hardy & Bacon and for the Department of Corrections for the State of NY and Westchester County. He was a member of the American Heart Association Northeast Affiliate Board of Directors and the National Board of Directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists. He was a member of the Westchester County Blue-Ribbon Panel on Healthcare Disparities. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. For several years, he has been named to the Castle Connolly list of Best Doctors in Metro New York and Westchester Magazine’s Top Doctors in Westchester. Beginning in1985, Dr. Price has had a cardiology practice in Mt. Vernon, NY. providing care to patients from Westchester County and New York City. He recently transitioned from private practice to Montefiore Cardiology where he is the Chief of Cardiology at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mt Vernon, NY. He is married to Patricia Hayling-Price and has three children. He attends Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, NY and is frequently a participant in the Medical Ministry presentations. Before the onset of arthritic knees, Dr Price was an avid skier in the winter and runner on Orchard Beach in the Bronx year-round. Now he is a road bike cyclist and encourages his patients to keep doing something even if they can’t do what they used to do.
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.
The Historic Riverside Church, New York City
Dr. Angela Diaz
Angela Diaz, MD, PhD, MPH is the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. After earning her medical degreeat Columbia University College of Physiciansand Surgeons, she completed a Master in Public Health from Harvard University and a PhD in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Dr. Diaz is the Director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, a unique program that provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary, integrated, medical care, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, dental and optical services to young people. Under her leadership the Center has become one of the largest adolescent-specific health center in the U.S., serving more than 10,000 young people every year – for free. The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is a major training site in the field of adolescent health and medicine, with research funded by NIH. Dr. Diaz is active in public policy and advocacy in the U.S. and hasconducted many international health projects in Asia, Central and South America, Europe and Africa. She isa frequent speaker at conferencesthroughout the country and around the world.
Dr Daphne Scott
Dr. Daphne Scott is an Assistant Attending Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in the Primary Care Sports Medicine department and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a medical degree from the University of Nevada. Dr. Scott completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Washington, where she received the Lisa Yao Memorial Scholarship in Family Medicine. She then did a fellowship in primary care sports medicine at the University of Arizona, where she was presented with the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Leadership Award.
Throughout her education, Dr. Scott was also recognized with the Leonard Tow Humanism Award, the Professionalism in Medicine Award from University of Nevada, the AAFP National Conference Minority Student Scholarship Award and the Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.
Dr. Scott specializes in the non-surgical treatment of acute, overuse and chronic injuries in patients of all ages. She currently sees patients in both Stamford, CT at HSS Stamford and at the main campus in Manhattan. In her three years here, she has helped countless residents with their various aches and pains.
As a four year varsity athlete in high school, Dr. Scott has a passion for sports medicine and serves as a consultant for the UFC and a volunteer physician with USA Track and Field, with whom she recently traveled to London for the 2017 World Championships.
She is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine as well as the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She is also currently a mentor in the Women in Medicine program at Weill Cornell and sits on the HSS Stamford Community Service Advisory Committee.
Dennis A. Mitchell, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Dr. Mitchell serves as the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion for Columbia University in the City of New York and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity for the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM). In his role as Vice Provost, he is responsible for leading the University’s ongoing commitment to attract, advance, and retain a diverse faculty. Dr. Mitchell implements the program elements of the University’s ongoing $100 million financial commitment to enhance the diversity of the faculty, and works with the leaders of each of Columbia’s Schools to evaluate and strengthen their diversity initiatives, in addition to chairing the Provost’s Advisory Council for the Enhancement of Faculty Diversity. In his role as Senior Associate Dean for CDM, Dr. Mitchell is responsible for the dental college’s diversity programs targeted for underrepresented minority student enrollment and development, including serving as the Co-Principal Investigator for Columbia’s Summer Health Professions Education Program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Co-Principal Investigator for the Summer Public Health Scholars Program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together, these two pipeline programs bring over 125 young scholars from underrepresented groups to the Columbia campus each summer. Dr. Mitchell has a joint appointment as an Associate Professor of Dental Medicine in the Division of Community Health, Section of Population Oral Health, and the Division of Periodontics, Section of Oral and Diagnostic Sciences.
Dr. Mitchell previously served as the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs for CDM for fifteen years, including six years as the Institutional Project Director for the American Dental Education Association’s Minority Dental Faculty Development Program at CDM, a collaboration of the five New York State academic dental centers funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, Dr. Mitchell served as the Director of the Harlem component of the Community DentCare Network for Columbia, and the Director of Research and Community Dentistry at the Harlem Hospital Center Department of Dentistry for nine years. In this role, he was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of Columbia’s offsite dental service programs in Harlem, now responsible for over 20,000 patient visits annually.
Dr. Mitchell began his research career at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine as a clinical investigator studying the Oral Manifestations of HIV Disease in Different Risk Groups. He then studied the Effects of Periodontal Therapy Intervention on Preterm Birth, and served as the Co-Principal Investigator for the enrollment site at Columbia University for the NIH/NIDCR-funded Obstetrics and Periodontal Therapy (OPT) multi-center randomized clinical trial. His current research interests include the Oral Health Status of Minority Children and Adults in Northern Manhattan and the elimination of oral health disparities in underserved communities.
Dr. Mitchell’s wide-ranging professional activities have led to his selection for numerous awards and speaking engagements, including acknowledgement for his Outstanding Contributions to Health Professions Education at a meeting of the National Association of Minority Medical Educators’ Northeast Region, and the OPT research team was selected to receive the American Academy of Periodontology’s Clinical Research Award.
Dr. Mitchell received his B.A. degree in Neurobiology and Behavior from the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences in 1986. He received his D.D.S. degree from the Howard University College of Dentistry in 1989, and his M.P.H. degree in Executive Health Services Management from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 1996.
Dr Edward James
Vice-Chairman, Department of Pediatrics
Lawrence and Memorial Hospital
New London, Connecticut
Associate Medical Director
Yale, Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Lawrence and Memorial Hospital
Neonatal Intensive care Unit
New London, Connecticut
Dr. Karen Young
Dr. Karen Young, a New Jersey native, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Maplewood Family Medicine.
As a physician who has dedicated her career to strengthening families and communities, she is committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive medical care to whole families, including infants, adults and senior patients, frequently across generations in many of the families for whom she cares.
She began her education as an honors graduate of Brown University. She went on to study medicine at the University of Virginia, where she was president of her chapter of the Student National Medical Association. Completing her residency in Family Medicine at Overlook Hospital in Summit NJ, she then moved to central Virginia, where she organized and was actively involved in health education programs with her church and local community organizations, and grew in her understanding and appreciation of health education in the community setting.
She returned to New Jersey and continued to provide care for families. Additionally, she served as adjunct clinical faculty for University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where she taught medical students to care for patients and families in the community, and later taught residents at Mountainside Family Medicine as well. She was active on the Board of the New Jersey Primary Care Research Network for several years as a Community Physician Representative – this organization provided the forum for participating practices in urban, suburban and semi-rural settings in New Jersey to produce numerous research presentations and publications that have influenced primary care practice across the country.
In 2009, she established Maplewood Family Medicine with Atlantic Health Systems using state of the art communication and data collection technology and continues to grow this as a medical home for patients and their families in Maplewood and the surrounding diverse communities. She is a member of the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association and remains active in her church and community activities and organizations. She counts her most rewarding role, however, as being that of wife and mother.
Dr. Kevin Holcomb
Dr. Holcomb is the Director of gynecologic oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center as wells an Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. He serves as the Director of minimally-invasive surgery for the Ob/Gyn department and is a pioneer in the use of robotic-assisted surgery in gynecologic oncology. Dr Holcomb has contributed over 70 peer-reviewed articles in the gynecology literature including studies of novel biomarkers for the detection of ovarian cancer and the surgical management of uterine cancer. He is past president of the Metropolitan Gynecologic Cancer Society as well as a past president of the American Cancer Society Upper Manhattan Office board of advisors. Dr Holcomb has been names a Top Doctor in the New York Metropolitan Area by Castle-Connelly, Ltd. since 2010.
Dr. Michele C. Reed
Dr. Michele C. Reed is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, public speaker and best-selling author. She serves as the owner/medical director of MS Family Medicine Health Care, P.C., a holistic practice that serves diverse communities through two office locations in New York.
Dr. Michele has been featured on the Rachael Ray Show with Dr. Ian Smith and Sunny Anderson of the Food Network, Government Technology Today Magazine, Newsday, Verizon Fios News 1 ͞Push Pause͟, The New York Daily News, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine, Heart and Soul Magazine, and BlackDoctors.org. Additionally, she is a weekly contributor to Late Night Parents with Ted Hicks. Her debut book ͞Mentally Fit, Physically Strong: The Fit Doc’s Guide to Real Life, Real Fitness, Real Health͟was released May 2017 and became a bestseller on Amazon in June 2017.
Dr. Michele has an unyielding passion for living her best life and motivating her patients and peers to join her on the journey. She is deeply rooted in the fabric of the community where she spearheads health initiatives for numerous organizations where she serves, including: National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Long Island Chapter. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, NAACP- Lakeview Chapter (Life Member), Black Girls Run (Long Island), board member of the Queens Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at New York Medical College and New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, an Executive Board member of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumni Association, a Fellow of the American Board of Family Medicine. In the spring of 2014, Dr. Michele was appointed Fellow to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT under the Department of Health and Human Services. Most recently, she and her husband, Scott Kershaw, Esq. entered a joint venture managing NX Generation Athletics in Westbury, NY. The synergy of medicine and fitness allows Dr. Michele to provide a holistic experience for patients allowing them to incorporate training and exercise into their wellness program.
The NAACP awarded Dr. Michele with the 2017 Dr. W. Montague Cobb Award for outstanding work in her local community. Her grassroots efforts have helped shape the lives of thousands in the Long Island community. Preventative healthcare and lifestyle change are the tenets of her work. Her practice provides free classes in: Zumba, P90X, dancing and belly dancing to encourage fusing fun with health and wellness for all. Dr. Michele’s annual JFK Runway on the Runway event brings out hundreds of people to combat the likes of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Dr. Michele received her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also serves as the School District Physician for the Malverne and Roosevelt School Districts in Nassau County, NY. Dr. Michele remains committed to serving her community and also serves as the community Medical Director for The Congregational Church of South Hempstead. One of her greatest accomplishments was completing The NYC Marathon in the fall of 2015. Since then, she has completed the Chicago Marathon (Oct 2016) and has challenged herself to run half-marathons in all 50 states. Dr. Michele is a Long Island native where she lives with her husband and twin sons.
Dr. Monique Collier Nickles
Monique Collier Nickles, MD, a board-certified adolescent medicine specialist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College, is the Chief of the Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Care Practice at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in Bronx, NY.
Dr. Collier-Nickles is a native of West Chester, PA. After completing high school, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in General Business from University of Maryland at College Park. Here, she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. After working for a brief period at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Health Care Information Technology Management Consultant, Dr. Collier-Nickles decided to apply to medical school. She subsequently pursued and earned her medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson (Rutgers) Medical School, then completed her pediatric residency training at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York /Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Here she was selected for the enhanced Anne E. Dyson Community Resident track of the residency program and was selected as an Ambulatory Pediatric Association New Century Scholar. Dr. Collier-Nickles concluded her clinical training with a fellowship in adolescent medicine at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Upon graduation from fellowship, Dr. Collier-Nickles joined the pediatric faculty at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln as the Chief of Adolescent Medicine and Director of Adolescent Health Services, providing adolescents with reproductive, primary care, and consultative services. In 2014, she was promoted to her current position overseeing both the pediatric and adolescent ambulatory care practices. In addition to her responsibilities as a clinician and administrator, Dr. Collier-Nickles has also become actively involved in various local outreach initiatives like the Bronx Teen Connection, the Reach Out and Read Program of Greater New York, the Bronx Regional Asthma Coalition, and the NYC Youth Health Initiative which links local adolescents to health care.
In addition to being active on multiple committees at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, and a variety of NYC Health + Hospitals Corporate councils and committees, Dr. Collier-Nickles is an active member on committees within both the North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, and the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine, the premier national organization of medical professionals promoting adolescent health.
Dr. Collier-Nickles’s academic interests center on patient-physician relationships, adolescent pregnancy prevention, immunizations, quality improvement in the delivery of comprehensive pediatric and adolescent health care, and innovative health and wellness technology. Her membership and leadership within the aforementioned organizations, committees, local initiatives, and experiences as a clinician have allowed her to pursue these academic interests.
Dr. Collier-Nickles’s leadership and commitment to improving pediatric and adolescenthealth care has been acknowledged and recognized with various awards by a number of organizations including, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, the Bronx Medical Society, Bronx Teen Connection, and the City of New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Bureau of Immunization.
In her private life, Dr. Collier-Nickles is married and the proud mother of three children. She enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Dr. Suzette Oyeku
Suzette Oyeku, MD, MPH is Chief of the Division of Academic General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). She is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Oyeku manages the clinical, research, advocacy and educational missions of the division in addition to being responsible for faculty and staff development. Dr. Oyeku is a general pediatrician with expertise in health services research, implementation science and the use of quality improvement methods to disseminate effective care strategies and improve care and patient outcomes for children with chronic diseases such as sickle cell disease. Dr. Oyeku’ s research activities are focused on understanding health services utilization patterns and improving the quality of care for children and adolescents with sickle cell disease. She recently completed her three year term as the Treasurer for the Academic Pediatrics Association, a professional society representing 2,000 child health providers in the US.
Dr. Oyeku holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biomedicine from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York. Dr. Oyeku received her medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency training at the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. Dr. Oyeku also completed fellowship training at the Harvard Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She received her Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in clinical effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is a recent graduate of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicineprogram of Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Oyeku is also actively engaged in community education activities and serves as an ordained deacon at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY.
Dr. Van H. Dunn
Dr. Dunn is currently the Chief Medical Officer at 1199 SEIUNational Benefit Funds. The 1199SEIU Funds are among the strongest and largest labor-management funds in the nation, providing a range of comprehensive benefits to more than 400,000 working and retired healthcare industry workers and their families.
Prior to joining 1199 SEIU National Benefit Funds, Dr. Dunn served as the Chief Medical Officer of MetroPlus Health Plan, a subsidiary of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) since 2007. MetroPlus provides health insurance and access to health care services to over 475,000members in multiple lines of business (Medicaid, Medicare, HIV Special Needs Plan, FIDA, MLTC, Health Exchange and Commercial) in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. He was responsible for Utilization Management, Case Management, Quality Management, Credentialing, Provider Contracting and Network Development, Provider Relations, Pharmacy, HIV SNP, Behavioral Health Services, Managed Long-term Care Program, and FIDA. MetroPlus has been rated the number one Medicaid Managed Care health plan in New York City for 7 out of the past 10 years based on quality indicators chosen by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and published in the NYSDOH Consumer’s Guide to Medicaid Managed Care in New York City.
For ten years, Dr. Dunn served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of HHC, the largest public hospital system in the country that provides quality health care to 1.3 millionNew Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay. Dr. Dunn received his BS from M.I.T; his MDdegree from Cornell University Medical College; and the MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed an internal medicine residency and chief residency at Boston City Hospital. In addition, he completed a National Library of Medicine Fellowship in Clinical Decision Making and Computer Sciences at the New England Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. He is currently Assistant Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Dunn is a primary care physician. Throughout his career he has held clinical and administrative positions at the state, federal and local levels where he has worked to ensure access to quality health care services for all regardless oftheir ability to pay. Early in his career, heserved as Medical Director of a Community Health Center in Boston; Director of Community Health Programs for Boston Health & Hospitals; Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Senior Health Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Dr. Dunn has a long-standing commitment to improving access to health care, ensuring the provision of quality health care and reducing health disparities in communities of color. He is frequently asked to speak or serve on advisory boards and task forces related to minority health and health care disparities. Dr. Dunn has testified before the Institute of Medicine; Congressional Black Caucus; U.S. Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services Council on Public Health and the Council of New York City. Dr. Dunn has served as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Division of Diabetes Translation, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Medical Society of the State of New York, Task Force to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities; American Cancer Society, Eastern Division, Diversity & Disparities Council; American Stroke Association, Heritage Affiliate, Stroke Executive Advisory Council; and the New York City Regional Board of Directors for the American Heart Association.
Dr. Dunn has received numerous community awards including the National Association of Community Health Centers Special Recognition Award, Harvard School of Public Health Minority Students Alumni Award; Concerned Women of Brooklyn 20thAnniversary -Special Recognition Award for Commitment to Quality Health Care for the Underserved; Jesse Banks Foundation Outstanding Life Achievement Award; the American Diabetes Association New York City Chapter Distinguished Community Service Award; New York City HHC President’s Award; Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.
Dr. Yvonne Thornton
Dr. Thornton is a double Board-certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine. She is presently a consultant in perinatology and Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College in Westchester County, New York. Dr. Thornton is the first black woman in the United States to be Board-certified in High-Risk Obstetrics. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She is also the author of the national bestselling family biography, “The Ditchdigger’s Daughters”, which was adapted into an award-winning movie and has been translated into 19 languages.
Malcolm X College, Chicago
Dr. Akua Afriyie-Gray
Loyola University Medical Center
Medical Director, Outpatient Center for Women’s Health
Dr. Akua Afriyie-Gray (a-KOO-a a-FREE-a gray), a first generation American, born in Ghana, West Africa and raised in Chicagoland, is an obstetrician gynecologist who subspecializes in pediatric and adolescent gynecology. This unique field focuses on the preserving and treating reproductive problems of girls and adolescents. She began her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She went on to study medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. While there, she served at the president of her chapter of the Student National Medical Association and chaired the National High School forum at the National Conference in Chicago. She did her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., where she was honored with the string of pearls award for teaching and recognized for her commitment to patient care.
After residency her commitment to patient centered care took her to rural Southern Illinois where she cared for the underserved for seven years. There she developed a love for teaching and helped to develop the ob/gyn curriculum for the family practice residents at her hospital. She was adjunct clinical faculty, teaching the students of the MedPrep program at Southern Illinois University Medical School. She also became interested in taking care of young patients who frequently and preferentially came to her for care. Realizing that she wanted to become more adept in the field, she returned to Washington, D.C. where she did additional training in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and joined as faculty at both Washington Hospital Center and Children’s National Medical Center. She became active in the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and after training, she returned home to the Chicago area and developed a pediatric and adolescent gynecology clinic and training program for the resident trainees at Loyola University Medical Center where she is now faculty with the title of assistant professor. She is active in student education and is the Clerkship director (head of student education) in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
She remains active in her community, and through her church and community organizations, mentors young people who have an interest in medicine. When counting her many accomplishments and roles, of which have been named only a few, she counts her greatest as being a wife and mother to two wonderful boys.
Dr. Anngell Jones
Sinai Health System
Associate Chief Medical Officer and Division Chief of General Surgery
Dr. Anngell Jones is a leader as a clinician, a teacher, a researcher, a community activist and an administrator. A graduate of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Jones serves as the Associate Chief Medical Officer and Division Chief of General Surgery for Sinai Health System, one of the largest safety net providers of health care in Illinois serving the west and southwest sides of Chicago.
She serves as the lead surgeon for the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Clinic and Enhanced Recovery in Colon Surgery at Sinai. She is committed to training the next generation of surgeons and is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has received numerous awards for her teaching including the Golden Scalpel Teaching award from University of Illinois at Chicago and the Golden Apple Award in teaching from Chicago Medical School. Dr. Jones has also conducted research in disparities in racial disparities in mastectomies as well as surgical procedures. Dr. Jones is deeply committed to bringing education on women’s health and breast health into the African-American community through community churches and other forums. She also trains navigators for the Sinai Urban Health Institute Helping Her Live Breast Cancer Community Program, a community outreach program that is helping to address racial disparities in breast cancer detection and treatment.
Dr. Billie Wright Adams
Mercy Hospital and Medical Center
FORMER Assistant Program Director of Mercy Hospital & Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics
Medical professor and pediatrician Dr. Billie Wright Adams was born in Bluefield, West Virginia. Her father, William Morris Wright, was a country doctor who accepted chickens and potatoes in lieu of cash for his services. Adams received her B. S. degree from Fisk University in 1950. The following year, she received her M. S. degree in zoology from the University of Indiana in Bloomington. Intending to begin a career in research, but not wanting to be isolated in the laboratory, Adams enrolled in medical school at Howard University. After receiving her M.D. degree in 1960, she focused her efforts on pediatric medicine, completing her residency at Cook County Children’s Hospital. She then completed a fellowship in hematology at Cook Country Hospital from 1963 to 1964.
From 1964 to 1967, Adams served as a research associate in the Department of Hematology at the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research. She began teach as a clinical instructor at the Chicago Medical School in 1967. Adams served as an attending at Michael Reese Hospital in the pediatrics department in 1970 and then was appointed chief of the Pediatric Hematology Clinic at Mercy Hospital. Two years later, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in the Department of Pediatrics as a clinical assistant instructor. In 1976, she was promoted to clinical associate professor. Adams became the project director in 1980 of a United States Department of Health and Human Services funded grant for a Pediatric Primary Care Residency Program at Mercy Hopsital. From 1981 to 1987, Adams served as the Assistant Program Director of Mercy Hospital & Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics. Her professional responsibilities over the years have also included acting bureau chief of the Chicago Department of Health, Bureau of Community and Comprehensive Personal Health; former president of the Chicago Pediatrics Society and coordinator of a medical student training program at Cook County Hospital.
Adams was recognized many times for her dedication to pediatric care. In 1997, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics named her Pediatrician of the Year. She received the 1999 Chicago Medical Society Public Service Award and the 2012 Timuel Black Community Service Award from the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Adams served on the board of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Adams is the widow of Frank Adams and the mother of Chicago attorney Frank Adams, Jr.
Dr. Billie Wright-Adams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 17, 2002.
Dr. Clyde W. Yancy
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Chief of Cardiology, Vice Dean of Diversity & Inclusion; Professor of Medicine
Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc is Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He holds the Magerstadt Endowed Professor of Medicine Chair and also holds an appointment as Professor of Medical Social Sciences. He concurrently serves as Vice-Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Yancy is a native of Louisiana and earned a B.S. degree, (Honors), from Southern University; an M.D. degree, (Alpha Omega Alpha), from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and an MSc degree from the University of Texas – Dallas School of Business and Management (Beta Gamma Sigma). He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He completed his fellowship in cardiology at the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has held professional appointments at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Professor of Medicine, Medical Director- Heart Failure & Heart Transplantation and Carl Westcott Chair in Cardiovascular Research) and Baylor University Medical Center (Chief of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Director, Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute).
He is a former president of the American Heart Association and has held several volunteer leadership positions with the American College of Cardiology. He has also served in various positions with the NIH, NHLBI, PCORI and the FDA. He has over 400 peer-reviewed publications, has been named as one of the most highly cited investigators and is a Deputy Editor for JAMA Cardiology. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Ms. Debra G. Wesley
Sinai Health Systems
Executive Vice President for Community Outreach
Debra G. Wesley is a social entrepreneur, leader and community builder, as well as founder of Sinai Community Institute (SCI), where she serves as president. SCI is a health system-based social services organization with 25 programs and over 25,000 clients per year. She is also Sinai Health System’s executive vice president for community outreach.
Ms. Wesley, a masters-trained social worker (Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago) understands “community” at micro- and macro-levels. Debra has developed innovative, community-based programs that have received national recognition. She facilitated the incubation of the North Lawndale Employment Network and served as its first Board Chair for five years, established Sinai Parenting Institute and other innovative human programs and services. She is the Chair of the I AM ABLE Board of Directors. She is also the chair of the Latino Alzheimer’s Memory Disorder Alliance; a member of the board for the Deal Foundation; a member of the CineCares Foundation and Michele Foods Advisory Board. She completed 20 years as a member Board of Directors for the Westside Association for Community Action, ten years as a member of the Legacy Charter School Board of Directors as well as 4 years as a member of the Board of Directors for Young Women’s Leadership Charter School. She is also a Denali Initiative Class II Harvard University/Babson College Social Entrepreneurial Fellow.
Dr. Derek J. Robinson
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
Vice President Enterprise Quality and Accreditation
Dr. Derek J. Robinson is Vice President – Enterprise Quality and Accreditation at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the nation’s largest non-investor owned health insurer, serving more than 15 million members. HCSC operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in IL, TX, OK, NM, and MT. Dr. Robinson, a practicing emergency medicine physician, is charged with leading HCSC’s clinical quality improvement, quality reporting, and accreditation strategies. He is also responsible for the development and implementation of HCSC’s health equity agenda.
Nationally, Dr. Robinson is recognized for his commitment to improving the quality of health care for all Americans. Dr. Robinson is a member of the Quality Rating System (QRS) Technical Expert Panel, the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Core Clinical Quality Measures Collaborative Workgroup steering committee, National Quality Forum (NQF) Standing Committee on All-Cause Admissions and Readmissions. He was recently appointed to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Diversity Leadership Committee. Prior to HCSC, Dr. Robinson was the first physician member of the executive leadership team at the Illinois Hospital Association where he led efforts to improve health care quality and safety for patients across IL. Dr. Robinson is the former Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Chicago Regional Office.
Dr. Robinson is board certified in Emergency Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a diplomat of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. He holds degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana, Howard University College of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Following medical school, he completed his residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Robinson is an adjunct faculty member at the Feinberg School of Medicine – Northwestern University and the Indiana University School of Medicine – Northwest. A Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago, Dr. Robinson is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and has been the recipient of numerous awards such as Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40, 40 Game Changers Under 40 – Ariel Investments, and Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders List.
He is a married father of two sons and resides in Chicago. During his free time, he enjoys swimming, cycling, and fishing. He is also passionate about mentoring young people.
Dr. Howard T. Strassner
Rush University Medical Center
MD, Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Howard T. Strassner, M.D. received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago followed by his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Strassner completed his four-year postdoctoral clinical residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center, The Sloane Hospital for Women in New York, NY. Dr. Strassner then went on to complete a two-year fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Southern California/Los Angeles County Medical Center. Dr. Strassner is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. He currently serves as the John M. Simpson Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rush University Medical Center and as the Director of the Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Strassner serves as the Co-Director of the Rush Perinatal Center and the Rush Regional Perinatal Network.
Dr. Strassner has served as the Chair of the Perinatal Advisory Committee of the Illinois Department of Public Health. He was the Secretary of District IV of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the former chair of Illinois Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He has received gubernational appointments to statewide bodies, including the Infant Mortality Reduction Advisory Board and the Governor’s Task Force on AIDS in Healthcare. In 2001, Dr. Strassner was featured in Chicago Magazine’s “Chicago’s Top Doctor” issue , and he continues to be recognized annually as one of Chicago’s leading physicians. He is a member of many local and national organizations, some of which include; Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Chicago Medical Society. Dr. Strassner is a fellow in both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Dr. Strassner’ s practice and clinical interests are dedicated to Maternal-Fetal Medicine with expertise in high-risk pregnancies, cervical ripening, premature rupture of membrane, obstetric ultrasound, and preconception counseling. In his role as Perinatal Center Co-Director, Dr. Strassner is a key stakeholder in coordinating the efforts to maintain Level III Perinatal Center designation at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Strassner is the author of several peer review publications and book chapters and frequently gives presentations at local and national conferences. He has been principal investigator for numerous clinical studies and has securedremarkable research funding during his tenure at Rush.Dr. Strassner is a longstanding member of the faculty at Rush Medical College and has served as Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1998.
Dr. Kalisha Hill
Presence St. Marys Hospital, Kankakee Chief Medical Officer
Kalisha Hill, MD, MBA, FCAP, FASCP is the Chief Medical Officer for Presence St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, IL. In this role, she also serves as the Patient Safety Officer. Dr. Hill chairs several hospital committees including Hospital Quality and Safety and Utilization Management. She has served as a Physician Advisor and Medical Director of Pathology and Laboratory Services for multiple hospital facilities. Dr. Hill is a practicing pathologist and has served as vice-chair for the College of American Pathologists’ (CAP) cancer committee. Currently, she is a member of the CAP Council on Membership and Professional Development, PathPac Board, Pathology Electronic Reporting, and a Cancer Protocol author (breast cancer and colorectal cancer). Dr. Hill also serves as Treasurer for the Illinois Society of Pathologists.
Dr. Hill is also an independent business owner. As President of Mediexperts, LLC, she provides medical guidance on a variety of issues affecting the health of patients. Case reviews are also offered to give patients coordinated care and guidance in the next steps of treatment. Personalized lifestyle changes are provided to maximize response to therapy.
Throughout her medical career, Dr. Hill has been actively engaged in community health related activities. She has sponsored various community events including Cancer Support Center, Speaking of Women’s Health Conference, and American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Further, Dr. Hill has used her roles in public relation activities such as physician panelist for nursing education, speaker for student career events, judge for the Chicago Public Schools student science fairs at the Museum of Science and Industry, annual speaker for the National Youth Leadership Forum, and created the “ask the pathologist” group forums for Cancer Support Center patients.
Dr. Hill is a wife (Allen Hill) and mother of twin girls (Khari and Alannah). She is a member of the Parent Circle of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Hill and her family have consistently volunteered for the local homeless shelter PADS and community fundraising events.
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital’s mission to treat all patients regardless of socioeconomic status is near to Dr. Hill’s heart. She believes in the equality of human life and that all are valuable and deserving of excellent and compassionate medical care.
Dr. Mark A. Grevious
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Cook County Hospital; Health & Renewal Plastic Surgery
Chairman of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Cook County Hospital and Owner of Health & Renewal Plastic Surgery
Dr. Grevious is a leading double board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon serving patients throughout Chicagoland for more than a decade. He is the Chairman of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Cook County Hospital and Owner of Health & Renewal Plastic Surgery Associates.
Combining his expert skill with a caring, conscientious touch, he performs breast augmentations and reductions, tummy tucks, liposuctions and corrective surgeries for men and women seeking a renewed approach to life- -long health. Dr. Grevious has operated on notable national TV personalities such as Courtney Crozier of the NBC series, Biggest Loser (Season 11), and specializes in helping women to enhance their natural beauty and reclaim their vitality through Mommy Makeovers.
Beyond the O.R., he is regarded as a pioneer in his field, holding two U.S. patents for sternal closure devices and is a highly sought after speaker on health disparities in underserved communities.
In 2008, he began a thriving private practice, Health & Renewal Plastic Surgery Associates which provided the perfect backdrop.
Dr. Michael Davenport
Mercy Hospital & Medical Center
Chief Medical Officer
Michael Davenport, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago and leads the overall clinical strategic vision for the hospital. Dr Davenport has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry as a clinician, medical administrator and hospital executive.
Prior to his role at Mercy he served as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at The Methodist Hospitals, a two-hospital system in Gary and Merrillville, Indiana. Dr Davenport has made many contributions to the educational, clinical and administrative aspects of the hospitals development. He also had the opportunity to serve as President and Interim CEO for fifteen months.
Prior to his career at The Methodist Hospitals, Dr. Davenport served in the Advocate Health System as Medical Director of the Advocate Trinity Hospital PHO for one year, and then as Vice President of Medical Management for the Hospital for nine years.
He also served as medical director of several different medical groups in Chicago over the years including Medical Director, Clinical Director and Staff Physician in internal medicine for the Michael Reese Health Plan. Dr. Davenport was also previously a member of the medical staff at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center from 1984 to 1997.
Dr. Davenport is a native Chicagoan and a product of the CPS as a graduate from Lindblom Technical HS. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, followed by his residency in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital. He is also trained in Lean Healthcare from the University of Michigan and is a Certified Patient Safety Educator. Dr Davenport is a long time member of the Cook County Physicians Association and the American Association of Physician Leaders. Dr Davenport lives in the Morgan Park neighborhood with his wife Loretta and enjoys their grandson, Kingston and playing golf.
Dr. Monica E. Peek
University of Chicago Medical Center
Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine Associate Director, Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, Director of Research, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; Executive Medical Director, Community Health Innovation
Dr. Monica E. Peek is an Associate Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, where she provides clinical care, teaches and does health services research in the area of health disparities. Dr. Peek is the Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, where she heads the Health Disparities and Community-Based Participatory Research Core. She is an inaugural faculty fellow of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, whose goal is to promote positive patient/physician relationships. Dr. Peek is the Director of Research at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and the Executive Medical Director of Community Health Innovation for the University of Chicago Medicine. As a 2015 Greenwall Faculty Scholar, Dr. Peek is exploring shared decision-making between African-Americans and their healthcare providers. Dr. Peek received her MD and MPH from The Johns Hopkins University and her MSc from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Peek has authored over 65 peer-reviewed research papers and publications, and has served as the principal investigator of grants from NIH/NIDDK, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Merck Foundation to improve patient/provider communication, shared decision-making, diabetes care and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations. Dr. Peek was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” in Chicago by Crain’s Business Magazine and was ranked among Chicago’s Top Female Physicians in 2005. Her work has been featured in national media outlets such as TIME magazine, ESSENCE magazine, JET magazine, CNN, the Melissa Harris Perry show, and The Huffington Post. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award by the national Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr.Peek has served as an American Cancer Society medical ambassador and as board member of A Silver Lining Foundation, the Chicago Black Women’s Health Alliance, Project HOOD, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. She is currently a member of the editorial board for the journal Health Services Research, a national Council Member for the Society of General Internal Medicine, and is a National Advisory Council (NAC) member for the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).
Dr. Norman James
University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital
FORMER Associate Clinical Professor and attending Physician, Department of Medicine
From 2008 – 2015, Dr. James was an Associate Clinical Professor and attending Physician, Department of Medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital.
On a personal note Dr. James has been married to Dr. Marsha Brazley for over 40 years, father of 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. He has lived and worked in Chicago for the past 42 years. His nonprofessional avocation is duplicatet bridge and he has competed in national tournaments of duplicate bridge in the American Bridge Association for 15 years and has been instructor of bridge at the Midwest Bridge Unit in Chicago for the past 7 years.
Dr. Ebony N. Johnson
Little Company of Mary Medical Group
Ebony N. Johnson MD, MHA is a Board Certified Family Physician with the Little Company of Mary Medical Group, located in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicago. Dr. Johnson completed her Medical Degree and Masters of Health Administration at The Ohio State University. Dr. Johnson completed her Family Medicine Residency at Cook County-Loyola-Provident Residency Program in Chicago, where she also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Johnson focuses on preventive health and chronic disease management, ranging from Asthma to Weight Management. Her practice consists of patients of all ages and a variety cultures. She is an active member of the Medical Leadership and Quality Improvement teams of her Medical Group.
Dr. Johnson is also an Assistant Clinical Instruction for the Department of Family Medicine at The University of Chicago, where she precepts and mentors medical students. Dr. Johnson is a proud alumnus of Morgan State University, an HBCU located in Baltimore, MD. She serves on the leadership of the local alumni chapter, that provides scholarships and mentoring on the importance of advancing education with local area youth. Dr. Johnson also serves as the secretary for the Cook County Physicians Association, the local chapter of the National Medical Association. As a member of the Executive Committee, she is an integral part of ensuring the chapter succeeds in fulfilling the vision of mentorship, education & advocacy.
Dr. Paul A. Jones
Director of Cardiovascular Services
Dr. Jones is a native of East St. Louis, Illinois. He completed his undergraduate studies at St. Louis University followed by his arrival to Chicago in 1982 and subsequent graduation from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. He went on to complete his general and lnterventional Cardiovascular Medicine fellowship training at Loyola University Medical center in Maywood, Illinois, where he excelled and was awarded the position as chief fellow of the cardiovascular training program. Upon graduation, he served two years as a member of the faculty at Loyola and received a nomination for the most outstanding clinical professor award.
In 1995 Dr. Jones was asked to return to Mercy Hospital, an inner city” safety-net” hospital on the south side of Chicago to lead their troubled cardiovascular program, He quickly developed quality-based clinical programs that has gamered national acclaim and recognition for excellent clinical outcomes. These include, but not limited to, the following:
Dr. Jones has developed a national reputation in interventional cardiovascular medicine and for over 15 years, physicians from around the country have attended his “hands-on” endovascular training courses to leam various techniques in peripheral vascular interventions. Dr. Jones has lectured nationally as well as internationally which includes countries like Germany, Australia, Serbia, Croatia, Mexico, etc. Dr. Jones specializes in the non-surgical management of carotid artery disease, aortic aneurysm disease and complex cardiac as well as peripheral vascular disease. He was a pioneer in the development/adoption of percutaneous carotid stenting and the first cardiologist in Chicago to perform percutaneous, non-surgical, repair of several vascular disorders. This includes trans-radial coronary artery interventions, endovascular repair of thoracic as well as abdominal aortic aneurysms. He has received numerous citations and awards, which includes being featured in the Chicago magazine as one of the top 20 doctors in Chicago. He also has received the “Top Doctors Award” in cardiovascular diseases by The Castle and Connelly group for the past consecutive 10 years. In addition he has published several scientific articles, including a book addressing issues surrounding Hypertension and Heart Disease in the African American population.
Dr. Jones is presently Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Services at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He is the founder and President of the Chicago Heart and Vascular Specialists, a group of physicians specializing in comprehensive cardiovascular care. Dr. Jones is also founder of “The Jones Endovascular Institute”, a not-for-profit organization committed to efforts toward “bridging the gap” in cardiovascular care as it pertains to access, education and clinical research to underserved and underrepresented populations. He is board certified in internal medicine, general cardiology and interventional cardiovascular medicine.
Dr. Robert A. Winn
Associate Vice Chancellor, Director UI Cancer Center,
University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System; Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Robert A. Winn, MD is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community-Based Practice and Director of the UI Cancer Center at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health). He is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and a pulmonary and critical care specialist at the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
A dedicated and prolific physician-scientist, Dr. Winn has conducted basic science research in lung cancer for over 15 years. His work, which has been supported by multiple NIH and VA Merit awards, focuses on the development of novel in vitro and in vivo models to study the translational aspects of the role the Wnt pathway plays in lung cancer. He recently identified a novel role of a Wnt signaling mechanism in which lung cancer cells are permanently placed in suspended animation called “senescence,” a defense mechanism activated in response to carcinogenic insults to prevent lung cancer progression. In addition to his original research on the Wnt pathway, Dr. Winn has identified several new molecular targets to be evaluated as potential drug targets in the treatment of lung cancer.
As Director of the UI Cancer Center, Dr. Winn champions the “bench to community” model to research and healthcare. He works tirelessly to bridge the gap between basic science and community-based health care in order to ensure equal access to cutting-edge research and treatments and to eliminate health inequities in Illinois and beyond. He is a principal investigator on several community-based NIH- and NCI-funded projects including U54 ChicagoCHEC, the P20 GUIDE Project, and the UG3 All of Us Precision Medicine Initiative.
As the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community-Based Practice, Dr. Winn oversees management of the UI Health Mile Square Health Center, a 13-site Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) network. His vision for Mile Square is to build a 21st Century model of community-based health care providers that reflects the mission of the academic health center and develops meaningful research programs that, if adopted, can enhance the overall well-being of the community.
Prior to joining UI Health, Dr. Winn was an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He also served as Associate Dean of Admissions at the School of Medicine, Vice Chair of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Senior Medical Director for the University of Colorado Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Clinic.
Dr. Winn received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed his medical residency in Internal Medicine at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, where he served as a chief resident. His fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine was completed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, National Jewish Health.
Dr. Winn has authored over 50 publications and is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship, leadership, diversity, and service. He has led, served on, and contributed to a multitude of diverse committees to help develop the next generation of physician-scientists. He is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research Minorities in Cancer Research Council (MICR), the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative (All of Us) Scientific Vision Committee, the Project Echo Board of Directors, and the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Perpetua Goodall, MD
University of Chicago Medicine Obstetrician-gynecologist
Dr. Perpetua Goodall is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist currently in practice at the University of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Professor and has held leadership positions including Division Chief of General OB/GYN and Associate Residency Program Director. Dr. Goodall obtained her undergraduate education at Northwestern University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. She later attended Meharry Medical College and completed residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago. In her clinical practice, she is committed to providing comprehensive quality care for women throughout their reproductive lifespan from adolescence through menopause. She specializes in minimally invasive surgical techniques including robotic and laparoscopic surgery. Her clinical research interests have focused on alternative therapies for management of uterine fibroids and she has been an invited speaker for several professional and community outreach organizations. As a respected clinical educator, Dr. Goodall is actively involved in both resident and medical student training at the University of Chicago and has received numerous teaching awards and accolades.
Dr. Selwyn Rogers
Community Health Engagement at the University of Chicago Medicine; Chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and Executive Vice President
Dr. Rogers is an acclaimed critical care surgeon and public health expert who has served in leadership capacities at health centers across the country, including most recently as vice president and chief medical officer for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Rogers has also served as the chairman of surgery at Temple University School of Medicine and as the division chief of Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care at Harvard Medical School. While at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), he helped launch the Center for Surgery and Public Health to understand the nature, quality and utilization of surgical care nationally and internationally. Dr. Rogers earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed both his surgery residency and an NIH research fellowship in surgical oncology at BWH in Boston. He completed a surgical critical care fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and BWH. Additionally, Dr. Rogers has a master’s degree in public health from Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Terry Mason
Cook County Department of Public Health
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Mason was appointed the Chief Operating Officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health by the Honorable Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in 2013 after serving more than three years as the Chief Medical Officer and six months as interim Chief Executive Officer for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. The Cook County Department of Public Health is a state-certified local public health department serving suburban Cook County including 125 local municipalities, covering a 700 square mile area, with a large urban population of approximately 2.3 million residents. As the COO, Dr. Mason provides leadership, fiscal responsibility, and performance based accountability in management. He is responsible for public health programs and services for one of the nation’s largest metropolitan health departments, ranging from disease prevention, control and epidemiology; health statistics; health promotion; STD/HIV screening; emergency preparedness; and environmental licensing, inspections and complaints. Before joining the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Cook County Department of Public Health, he served as the Commissioner of Chicago Department of Public Health.
Dr. Mason received his BS in Biology from Loyola University and his MD from Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine at the University of Illinois Chicago. He devoted 25 years of his life in private practice as a board certified Urologist. During that period, his focus was on male erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer.
He is a nationally recognized health educator and inspirational speaker who champions holistic approaches to health management . It is Dr. Mason’s continued vision to transform healthcare delivery through the integration of public health and public medicine to create a population based strategy to manage chronic disease.
Dr. Tonja Austin
Franciscan Health Olympia Fields/Chicago Heights
Medical Staff President and Family Medicine Attending
Dr. Tonja Austin truly has a heart for people and has always wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to her. She chose to do so by pursuing a career as a Family Medicine Physician, which allows her to care for patients throughout the life cycle — or as she puts it, “from the womb to the tomb.”
Dr. Austin obtained her Bachelor of Science from Xavier University of Louisiana, in New Orleans, majoring in Biology Pre-Med and graduating summa cum laude. She obtained her medical degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and completed her residency training at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Austin began her career at a community health clinic on the Southside of Chicago, and quickly became a site medical director. In 2009, Dr. Austin and a partner formed their own health center, South Suburban Family Health S.C., which they successfully operated for seven years. In January 2017, Dr. Austin became an employed physician with Franciscan Physician Network.
In her nearly 20 years as a physician, Dr. Austin has received numerous recognitions. From 2007-2010, the Consumer Research Council of America recognized Dr. Austin as one of “America’s Top Family Doctors.” In 2008, Dr. Austin was awarded the degree of Fellow from the American Academy of Family Physicians for providing high-quality healthcare. In 2016, Dr. Austin was elected to a two-year term as the Medical Staff President at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields, Illinois (now Franciscan Health). Dr. Austin is the first African-Amercian female to hold this position in the organization’s 100 years of existence.
Dr. Austin’s care for her community reaches beyond the walls of the hospital. In 2003, as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Dr. Austin helped to establish a “Stork’s Nest” at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, Illinois. This program is a national initiative between the March of Dimes and Zeta Phi Beta that provides women with prenatal care and aims to prevent premature births and infant deaths. Since 2006, Dr. Austin has co-chaired the medical arm of “A Taste of Victory,” which is an outreach ministry that provides free health screenings to the public and school supplies to children. In 2016, Dr. Austin became a founding member of the TAU Society, a charitable initiative funded by physicians at Franciscan Health that provides financial assistance to patients and scholarships to clinical staff to help further their education.
Dr. Austin is married to Attorney Ron Austin, and they have two daughters, Dominique and Gabrielle.