Confronting Racism and Structural Inequities using Health Equity Research

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Speakers

Cheryl R.  Clark, MD, ScD

Monik C. Jiménez , ScD, SM, FAHA

Michelle Keenan

Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH

Gezzer Ortega, MD, MPH

SARI REISNER, Scd

Wendy williams

Speakers

Cheryl R.  Clark, MD, ScD

Director, Health Equity Research & Intervention, Center for Community Health and Health Equity; Hospitalist, Brigham Health Hospital Medicine Unit, Division of General Internal Medicine & Primary Care, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Cheryl R. Clark MD, ScD, is a Hospitalist and researcher in Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, and Director of Health Equity Research & Intervention in the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at the BWH. 

Dr. Clark’s research focuses on social determinants of healthy aging and eliminating social disparities in health care utilization in aging populations.

Monik C. Jiménez , ScD, SM, FAHA

Monik C. Jiménez, ScD, SM, FAHA, is an Associate Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine at BWH and Assistant Professor of Medicine.As a 2019 H. Richard Nesson Fellow, she has been funded to examine factors that impact the cardiovascular health of patients who have experienced incarceration, identify ways to support respectful patient-clinician communication about such experiences and inform future policy to support health care equity. In partnership with community advocacy groups, she is the PI of the Individuals Speak: Incarcerated during the COVID-19 Epidemic (INSIDE) study to examine the lived experience of conditions of confinement experienced by those incarcerated or detained during COVID-19. Moreover, she isa contributing investigator of the COVID Prison Project to track cases of COVID-19 in US carceral facilities. Monik is also the newly appointed Faculty Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital(BWH) Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS) program.

Michelle Keenan

Michelle Keenan is Senior Director, Health Equity and Social Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston. Michelle is based in Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE), a department that works collaboratively with BWH staff and community organizations and residents to advance health equity and eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in health outcomes. Michelle also oversees the community health assets and needs assessment (CHNA) process for the hospital and leads the development of community health improvement initiatives (CHI). She developed the Health Equity grants for community organizations awarded by BWH and led recent efforts by the hospital to improve housing stability in local communities. Michelle also oversees the Center’s youth programs that offer educational enrichment, employment and mentoring opportunities in the health career and science field to over 500 young people in Boston. During the COVID surge, Michelle played a key role in supporting the hospital’s COVID equity response.  Over her career, Michelle has worked in management roles in hospitals and community health centers, City government and for non-profits with a health and social and economic justice mission in the Boston area and Melbourne, Australia.

Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH

Department of Medicine, Division of Global Health Equity and Infectious Disease Divisions

Bisola Ojikutu MD MPH is an infectious disease physician who has dedicated her career to overcoming racial and ethnic inequity. Dr. Ojikutu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician within the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also a faculty member within the Infectious Disease Divisions at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. Her research explores the impact of structural factors on infectious disease transmission and prevention. Much of her work has focused on collaborative engagement of marginalized communities in research. To that end, she is the Director of the Community Engaged Research Program and the Associate Director of the Bio-Behavioral and Community Science Core within the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Ojikutu is co-editor of two comprehensive textbooks addressing inequity domestically, HIV in US Communities of Color (2009 and 2020 editions). Internationally, as a Senior Advisor at John Snow Research and Training Institute, she has led numerous USAID-funded implementation projects. At HMS, she is co-Principal Investigator of the Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship for Medical Students and is the former Director of the Office of International Programs. 

Gezzer Ortega, MD, MPH

Lead Faculty for Research and Innovation for Equitable Surgical Care, Center for Surgery and Public Health

Instructor, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Gezzer Ortega, MD, MPH, a Brooklyn native, born to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, is the Lead Faculty for Research and Innovation for Equitable Surgical Care at the Center for Surgery and Public Health, and Instructor in the Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ortega is a health services researcher with a focus on developing and implementing solutions to address surgical inequities.

Dr. Ortega is a Co-Founder of the Latino Surgical Society, which aims to cultivate, nurture, and support the advancement of Latino surgeons. Currently, he is the Project Director for the Provider Awareness and Cultural dexterity Toolkit for Surgeons Trial, which evaluates a curriculum for surgical residents to improve communication and engagement during cross-cultural encounters. Dr. Ortega is also committed to diversifying the academic physician workforce through his work with the organizations, Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians and Tour for Diversity in Medicine. Dr. Ortega’s commitment to service extends to the global community as he has conducted and planned surgical education courses to the Dominican Republic, Ghana, and Liberia. Promoting education and health through research, innovation, and service at multiple levels is ingrained in Dr. Ortega’s core. As a physician-scientist, his focus is to contribute to the field of surgery and eliminate health inequities through research and humanitarian efforts.

SARI REISNER, Scd

Director of Transgender Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Reisner leads a community-engaged research program on health disparities in sexual and gender minority populations (LGBTQ+), funded by NIH, PCORI, and others. He has contributed to more than 200 peer review publications and was profiled in The Lancet in 2016 as a global leader in transgender health.

Wendy williams

Sr. Project Manager, Global Surgery Programs
Communications Specialist
Center for Surgery and Public Health

Wendy Williams, JD, is the Sr. Project Manager for Global Surgery programs and Communications Specialist at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Wendy has worked in the field of global surgery since 2012 and served as Brigham and Women’s Hospital coordinator for the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program from 2017-2020. Her focus is on building collaborative networks and advancing equitable access to safe, affordable, quality surgical care both globally and domestically. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.