Senior Program Coordinator, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Leila Aruri is Senior Program Coordinator of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Leila joins the CDI from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Sciences with a focus on social barriers to health and reproductive justice. Her passion is to cultivate and advance equitable, accessible and inclusive spaces for aspiring and current health care professionals. At the CDI, she manages the Center’s two Pathway Programs for students who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM), the Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS) Program and the Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP).
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R);
Attending Physician, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Service; BH COVID Equity Response Team
Cheri Blauwet, MD is an Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She serves as Director of the Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute at Spaulding. Dr. Blauwet is also a former Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, competing for the United States Team in three Paralypmic Games (Sydney ’00, Athens ’04, Beijing ’08) and bringing home a total of seven Paralympic medals. She is also a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons.
Translating her background as an athlete to the clinic setting, Dr. Blauwet now serves as a Member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Medical Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) as well as numerous other leadership roles throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Harvard Medical School Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award and was named one Boston’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders” by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2019 she was named by the Boston Business Journal as one of the “40 under 40” community leaders. She has become a global advocate for the use of sport and physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles for all individuals with disabilities. She was a guest at the White House as well as the keynote speaker at the Boston celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Junior Program Coordinator, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Anna Curnan-LaCava is Junior Program Coordinator of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Anna joins the CDI from Brandeis University and is a candidate for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health: Science, Society, & Policy with a minor in Education Studies. Her passions are educating youth, increasing accessibility in healthcare, and advancing health equity for all. At the CDI, she manages web design and social media, assists with data analysis, and develops recruitment and marketing tools for residency and pathway programs.
Alexandra is the Creative Designer at the Brigham Research Institute. She has been at the Brigham for twelve years, in a variety of creative, design and web roles since 2008.
Her work at the BRI focuses on science communication and design, providing web and graphic design services to members of the Brigham research community, creative direction for events like Discover Brigham, Shark Tank, and the Brigham presence at the Cambridge Science Festival.
Prior to working at the Brigham, she studied Criminology at Northeastern University, focusing on race, gender and justice, including working as a research assistant at the Center for Criminal Justice Policy Research and the Institute on Race & Justice. Her work there involved information design and web design for a database on racial profiling by law enforcement and assisted with research and data collection in that space as well.
Outside of the Brigham, she is an artist, illustrator and cartoonist whose work explores nature, science and pop culture. Her artwork has appeared in multiple issues of the Bob’s Burgers comic as well as on an episode of the TV show. She has been part of group shows in Los Angeles for Monty Python, Focus Features and the How Did This Get Made? podcast art shows.
Director of Administration and Programs, Division of Global Health Equity
Director of Health Equity Strategy and Implementation, Department of Medicine
Jennifer has worked in the Division of Global Health Equity since 2014 while supporting health equity efforts within the Department of Medicine. Among her responsibilities is facilitating the DOM’s Health Equity Innovation Program, a matching grant program that has funded 18 projects to-date. This effort advances research and improves care addressing structural inequities while creating a connected community with a shared commitment to health equity and racial justice .
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.
Tom Kieffer has served as Executive Director of Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center since 2001. He worked in Boston health centers since 1977, first as a clinician for 15 years, then in administrative roles at Whittier Street, Mattapan, and Southern Jamaica Plain Health Centers. Under his leadership Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center has expanded its community programming and partnerships, especially in the area of youth and senior programs; and has become a leading voice and model for promoting health equity and racial justice in health care systems. Tom also has extensive experience with housing issues as a community organizer and board member of City Life/Vida Urbana and has had a focus on health of public housing residents.
Director, Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Tina Gelsomino is the Director of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at Brigham Health. She works to advance the Brigham’s diversity and inclusion strategy to support all faculty, trainees and medical students by focusing resources and support on a robust set of recruiting, retention and engagement initiatives, and in close alignment with the priorities of the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
Most recently, Tina served as assistant vice president of Administration for the Division of Development at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she oversaw operations and talent management for 270 staff members.
Prior to that, she was the administrative director of the Center for Faculty Development & Diversity at the Brigham, supporting faculty career development and diversity, with a special focus on advancing opportunities for women, underrepresented in medicine and research faculty.
In addition to being a certified business coach, Tina is a trained negotiator and completed the Harvard Law School Negotiation Certificate Program. She holds a master’s in social work from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University
Founder & Director of the C.A.R.E Clinic @ Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Associate Scientist- Department of Women’s Health in the Division of Medicine;
Co-Chair, Mass General Brigham Trauma-Informed Steering Committee; Clinical Scholar 2018-2021 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Annie Lewis-O’Connor is a dually Board Certified Pediatric and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She is the Founder and Director of the C.A.R.E Clinic (Coordinated Approach to Resilience & Empowerment) and is Co-Chair of the Mass General Brigham Trauma-informed Care Initiative. The clinic is committed to providing patient centered and trauma-informed health care to people who have experienced individual, interpersonal and or collective trauma. Dr. Lewis-O’Connor addresses violence from four pillars: Research, Policy, Education, and Clinical practice. Dr. Lewis-O’Connor is published in peer-reviewed journals and academic books on the topic of violence against women and children, trauma-informed care, and the effects of trauma, violence and abuse on health. Her current research is focused on measuring Trauma-Informed Care models of care in adult health care settings and exploration of best ‘screening’ (inquiry) methods for trauma, violence and abuse. She is currently funded by the Department of Justice and is eeking to improve health care services for people impacted by violence and abuse. Annie is a Clinical Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2018-2021) focusing on health care leadership using a health equity lens. Her current funding is exploring the return on investment when TIC models are utilized, trauma inquiry and use of trauma-informed care plans. She served as Chair of the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse advancing policy and clinical practice for survivors of violence and abuse. Since 2010 she has served on the Executive Board of Casa Myrna Vasquez, the oldest and longest standing shelter in Mass for women and children. She received her Master’s in Nursing from Simmons College in Boston, a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and her PhD from Boston College.
SSJP College Intern, Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Khanh Ngo is a Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP) College intern, currently working at the Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE). She is a 4th year Northeastern University majoring in Health Sciences and plans on continuing on to get a Masters in Public Health. Passionate about health education, accessibility, and health literacy, she spent the majority of her time at the CCHHE coordinating and facilitating for Summer Youth Programs on Public Health, Health Equity, and the COVID-19 Response at Brigham Health. She has also helped aid in administrative tasks for the planning and implementation of the Health Equity Summit and BH COVID 19 Equity, Diversity and Community Health Response Team meetings.
Program Coordinator, Division of Global Health Equity
Brianna Palmer received her BS in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University in 2019. She joined the Division of Global Health Equity in January 2020 with a passion for public policy, and advocacy for at risk-populations and decreasing health disparities and inequities. She enjoys spending time with her two cats and dog, cooking, reading and nature walks
Program Manager, Health Equity
Center for Community Health and Health Equity
Ronasia Rouse is the Program Manager, Health Equity in the Center for Community Health and Health Equity. RonAsia currently over sees the project management needs of multiple health equity initiatives and committees within Brigham Health that all have the goal of advancing equity throughout the hospital and system. Previous to this role, she worked on the Youth Programs team in the Center for Community Health and Health Equity as the Education and College Success Coordinator. Throughout her career, RonAsia has led various projects and presentations aimed at providing participants with health education and resources that allow them to access their full potential, in healthcare, education and life. RonAsia has a passion for public health and education and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from George Washington University.
Dr. Valerie Stone is Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion of the Department of Medicine (DOM) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and she is Co-Chair of the DOM Health Equity Committee. Dr. Stone is an academic general internist as well as an HIV/AIDS focused infectious disease specialist and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Stone is a nationally recognized expert on HIV/AIDS and is the author of numerous publications on HIV/AIDS care and policy, including the book, HIV/AIDS in U.S. Communities of Color; published in its second edition in September 2020.Her research focuses on disparities in HIV/AIDS care by race/ethnicity and gender, and strategies for optimizing the care of the diverse patients living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Stone’s scholarship has also examined diversity in healthcare, racial justice, healthcare leadership and innovations in residency training. In 2020, Dr. Stone’s work has increasingly focused on COVID-19: she serves as Senior Advisor to the BWH COVID Equity Response Team and has published research on COVID-19 racial/ethnic disparities, and she is part of the BWH team developing a Post-COVID Clinical Care Program. Dr. Stone has received many awards for her contributions, including the 2020 W. Lester Henry Award from the American College of Physicians (ACP) for advancing diversity in medicine and access to care, and the Massachusetts Medical Society’s LGBTQ Health Award for advancing LGBTQ health
Director of Clinical and Academic Programs, Patient Safety, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Ulbricht received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Connecticut, Doctorate of Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, and Master in Business Administration from Northeastern University. Kate has served as a Senior Attending Clinical Pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at multiple universities since 1996. She founded an international research collaboration providing evidence-based decision support tools promoting patient safety. Her publications include hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and texts. Kate helps propel Brigham and Women’s Hospital Joint Commission/National Patient Safety Goals, transparency, and related educational efforts forward.
Normella has actively managed, facilitated and advised diverse groups for over 20 years, and specializes in business operations, organizational performance, leadership development, team building, conflict transformation, mediation, change management, and cultural intelligence.
She has specific and comprehensive training in diversity competencies and coursework, not just generalized skills applied to diversity issues, and has counseled individuals and groups at all organizational levels. She has a B.A. in Organizational Performance & Leadership, an M.A. in Psychology with a Specialization in Diversity Management and several diversity certifications.
She is a dynamic and authentic person who understands the obstacles, anxieties, apprehensions and frustrations that people often encounter as they attempt to navigate difference and change. She is able to provide clarity and a sense of safety and support as she engages individuals and groups in learning how to break down barriers, challenge perceptions, examine cognitive dissonance and disrupt entrenched patterns of thinking.
Normella is a skilled presenter, communicator, and trainer with success targeting large and small audiences, and an expert in the identification, analysis, and resolution of diverse operational and behavioral issues. She has served as an independent coach and consultant and through her work has supported business entities, government agencies, law enforcement, community groups, healthcare organizations, students, schools, and nonprofits. Her operational expertise, coupled with her strategic managerial sensibilities provide her with insight into how to pragmatically integrate, leverage, and rapidly apply the principles associated with diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Sr. Project Manager, Global Surgery Programs
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.