MEET THE HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Noha Aboelata, MD
Family practice physician. Dr. Aboelata founded the Roots Community Health Center in Oakland, CA to uplift communities impacted by systemic inequity and poverty.
Florence Awosika, DNP, CRNP
An established and highly skilled Endocrinology Nurse Practitioner in the Washington DC area. She is a graduate of Howard University, Washington DC. She obtained her doctorate of nursing practice degree at the George Washington University, Washington DC. She has over ten years experience as a nurse practitioner with special interest in diabetes care management.
Shaquita Bell, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician and Medical Director, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle, WA. Dr. Bell is also a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington in the division of General Pediatrics. She is the first Native American Chief resident at Seattle Children’s. Dr. Bell is of Cherokee descent on her mother’s side and African-American on her father’s.
Janice Blanchard, MD, PhD
Emergency medicine physician and professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Dr. Blanchard is also Chief of the Health Policy Section in the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Blanchard has written extensively on racial disparities and social determinants of health, and has been featured in academic medical journals as well as mainstream media outlets.
“I got my vaccine, and I’m telling my friends.” Op-ed in CNN, Dec. 21, 2020
Rhea Boyd, MD, MPH
Pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Rhea is also Director of Equity and Justice at The California Children’s Trust, an initiative to advance mental health access for children and youth across California. Rhea co-developed THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, Black Coalition Against COVID, and Unidos US.
“Black People Need Better Vaccines Access, Not Better Vaccine Attitudes,” Op-ed in the New York Times, Mar. 5, 2021
Edith Bracho-Sanchez, MD
Pediatrician and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Dr. Bracho-Sanchez frequently appears on CNN and other media as a medical expert and hosts Las Doctoras Recomiendan podcast distributed by Univision.
Ana G. Cepin, MD
Obstetrician-gynecologist and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She also serves as Director of Community Women’s Health and Co-Director of the Ob/Gyn Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Marielena Chacon, Promotora
Community health worker within the Center for Community Health Navigation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Ms. Chacon is based at the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save babies and help women take charge of their reproductive, social, and economic lives. As a community health worker, she works closely with clinical and community colleagues throughout New York City to bridge gaps in care for patients and their loved ones and to empower them with the information, tools, and resources they need to improve their – and their family’s – health and well-being.
Joia Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG
Founder and former President of National Birth Equity Collaborative, an organization focused on Black maternal and infant health. Dr. Crear-Perry is a respected thought leader and advocate around racism as a root cause of health inequities.
Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD, MPH
A CDC-trained medical epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist, and founder of Grapevine Health – an organization committed to improving health literacy and patient engagement. Dr. Fitzpatrick is also a clinical professor and professorial lecturer for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Milken Institute School of Public Health.
Hector Flores, MD
Family practice physician and long-time advocate for the medically underserved, Dr. Flores co-founded and continues to serve as the medical director of the Family Care Specialists Medical Group in East Los Angeles. In addition, he is the chairman of White Medical Center’s (WMMC) Department of Family Medicine and a founding member of the WMMC Family Medicine Residency Program.
Damon Francis, MD
Medical Director at Alameda Health System’s Homeless Health Center, Chief Clinical Officer with Health Leads and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Francis is a respected leader in whole person health care.
Lupe Gonzalez, Promotora
Ms. Gonzalez has been a promotora for twenty-five years. She coordinates community outreach and education for Visión y Compromiso, a nationally respected organization based in Los Angeles dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underrepresented communities.
Eva Goodfriend-Reaño, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife providing midwifery services to her local community for over 14 years and practicing in the Alameda Health System at Highland Hospital. She helped to develop an anti-racism training for preceptors of midwives and other health care professionals and is deeply committed providing high quality and compassionate midwifery care.
Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA
Senior Fellow and Editor-at-Large for Public Health, is the creator and host of American Diagnosis, a podcast on health and social justice, and Epidemic, a podcast about infectious diseases, now produced by KHN. An internist, infectious disease specialist, epidemiologist, she volunteers on the wards at NYC Health + Hospitals’ Bellevue Hospital, which is affiliated with NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
Gina Gregory-Burns, MD
Internal medicine physician and Director of the Center of Excellence in Linguistic and Cultural Services and Chair of the African American Health Initiative at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Gregory-Burns also created and leads Salud en Español, Kaiser Permanente’s first Spanish bilingual clinic.
Orlando Harris, PhD, FNP, MPH
Family nurse practitioner and Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Nursing. Dr. Harris is a leading public health researcher focused on improving care for sexual and gender minorities.
Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH, FACEP
Professor and Associate Dean – Community Engagement, Equity and Inclusion at Emory University’s School of Medicine. Dr. Heron’s extensive work focuses on equity, diversity and inclusion, wellness and wellbeing and injury prevention.
Carlina Lantigua, Promotora
Promotora/community health worker for New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in partnership with CAMBA Inc., a Brooklyn-based non-profit social service organization that serves a large immigrant and refugee population. Ms. Lantigua also does community outreach for the CHW Adult Program at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS
Infectious disease epidemiologist and science communicator. She earned her MS in Emerging Infectious Diseases from the Georgetown School of Medicine and has dedicated the last 15 years of her career to disease surveillance research, public health policy, and vaccine advocacy. Throughout the pandemic, she served as the Science Communication Lead for The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital Innovation & Digital Health Accelerator, an Infection Preventionist at Netflix, a Senior Advisor to the Pandemic Prevention Institute at the Rockefeller Foundation, and an expert contributor news outlets across the world.
Yvonne Maldonado, MD, FAAP
Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Stanford Children’s Health in Palo Alto, CA. Dr. Maldonado is also Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity; Taube Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases; and Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. She serves as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases and the Academy’s liaison to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
David Malebranche, MD, MPH
Internal medicine physician and sexual health/HIV clinical expert with clinical and research expertise in the prevention and treatment of HIV and other STIs in diverse Black communities.
Monica R. McLemore PhD, MPH, RN
Professor, Department of Child, Family and Population Health Nursing and Interim Director, Center for Anti-Racism in Nursing at the University of Washington. Prior to joining UW, Dr. Mclemore was the Thelma Shobe Endowed Chari and Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. McLemore is a preeminent scholar of antiracist birth equity research, community-informed methods, and policy translation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from The College of New Jersey, a master’s in public health from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in oncology genomics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG
President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine, the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution. Dr. Montgomery Rice is also a renowned infertility specialist and researcher.
Susana Morales, MD
A primary care doctor and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Dr. Morales joined the Weill Cornell Medicine/NY Presbyterian faculty in 1998 and is Vice Chair for Diversity of the Department of Medicine. She is the Director of the Diversity Center of Excellence of the Cornell Center for Health Equity. She is a board member of the United Hospital Fund and the Latino Commission on AIDS.
Ilan Shapiro, MD, FAAP, FACHE
Pediatrician and Medical Director of Health Education & Wellness for AltaMed Health Services, a federally-qualified health center in Southern California. He is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and regularly appears on national and international media discussing medical issues. Dr. Shapiro is a founding member of This Is Our Shot and Vacunate Ya, a grassroots campaign to elevate physicians’ voices around the COVID vaccines.
Pamela Simms-Mackey, MD, FAAP
Chair of Pediatrics and Chief of Graduate Medical Education at Alameda Health Systems. Dr. Simms-Mackey has dedicated her career to reducing health disparities among underserved populations.
Yolanda Tinajero, MD
OB/GYN and University of California, San Francisco resident physician at San Francisco General Hospital, Mission Bay Hospital and Mount Zion Hospital. Her research and clinical interests include reducing health disparities in medically underserved areas and minority groups, reproductive rights and medical education.
Sonia Valdez, DNP, APRN
Sonia is the current Executive Secretary and President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Los Angeles Chapter. She was also formerly a nurse practitioner managing post-acute programs at UC Irvine Medical Center. Her career has focused on helping patients, nursing students, and serving the Hispanic community.
Jason Villarreal, MSN, RN, NP-BC
Nurse practitioner at New York Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center. Mr. Villarreal specializes in treatment and prevention of HIV, Hepatitis B and C. His clinical interests include addressing the unique clinical and cultural needs affecting provision of care to members of the GLBTQ communities, Latinx individuals, active substance users, homeless persons, and other historically underserved individuals.
Stephaun Wallace, PhD, MS
Research epidemiologist and Clinical Assistant Professor, Global Health at the University of Washington. Dr. Wallace was expert in developing, implementing and evaluating major public health and human service programs in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases globally. He was the director of external relations of both the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.
“Meet an epidemiologist fighting to make vaccines work for communities of color,” Article in GatesNotes, Apr 6, 2021
Sara Whetstone, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor and Associate Residency Program Director in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF. Additionally, Dr. Whetstone is one of the Associate Directors for the Black Women’s Health and Livelihood Initiative and was recently appointed as the Interim Vice Chair of Equity, Inclusion, and Structural Change for her department.