Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Dr. Nunez-Smith is Associate Dean for Health Equity Research; C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management; and Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) in the Office for Health Equity Research at Yale School of Medicine. ERIC’s research focuses on promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on centering community engagement, supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development, developing patient reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases.
Dr. Nunez-Smith currently serves as Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force at the Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, she served as co-chair of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board and community committee chair for the ReOpen Connecticut Advisory Group on behalf of Connecticut Governor Lamont. She is the principal investigator on several NIH and foundation-funded grants. Dr. Nunez-Smith is also Director of the Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the Yale Cancer Center; Chief Health Equity Officer at Smilow Cancer Hospital; Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Core Faculty in the National Clinician Scholars Program; Director of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership; and Co-Director of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship. Dr. Nunez-Smith is board certified in internal medicine, having completed residency training at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowship at the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, where she also received a Masters in Health Sciences. Originally from the US Virgin Islands, she attended Jefferson Medical College, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society; she earned a BA in Biological Anthropology and Psychology at Swarthmore College.
Methods Session Speakers
Andrew Beck, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and an attending physician in the Divisions of General and Community Pediatrics and Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He received his BA in Anthropology from Yale University, his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and his MPH from Harvard University. He completed residency and fellowship training at Cincinnati Children’s. Dr. Beck’s research aims to equitably improve child health outcomes by addressing key social determinants of health. Specifically, he pursues quantitative and quality improvement studies that focus on population-level health disparities and clinical-community collaborations. Dr. Beck has a lead role in the hospital’s Community Health Initiative which strives to, together with families and the community, help Cincinnati’s kids to be the healthiest in the nation. He is also involved in supporting the regional response to COVID-19.
Regina Cannon serves as the Chief Equity and Impact Officer and Vice President of Housing Solutions at C4 Innovations and as the Director of the national Race/ing Home Initiative. She has dedicated her career to being a vocal, active leader fighting for equitable policies, systems, and institutions and addressing marginalization of people of color. She has more than 19 years of experience leading anti-poverty initiatives addressing homelessness, supportive housing, criminal justice reform, community capacity building, and youth leadership development. Regina leads teams at C4 Innovations and for HUD (Housing and Urban Development) to embed racial equity principles in funding guidelines, housing policies, practices, and services. Regina and her teams also work one on one with organizations and community coalitions across the country to develop strategic goals centered in equity and accountability policies to ensure those goals are met. She delivers keynotes and racial equity workshops in communities across the country and is the host of the mini-podcast, Morning Cup of Equity. Previously, Regina was Southeast Director for Corporation for Supportive Housing where she worked with communities to transform systems of care into data-informed and performance driven systems that provide safe, sustainable housing to those experiencing homelessness. She managed a large portfolio of initiatives across multiple sectors addressing Frequent User Service Enhancement (FUSE) with health care and criminal justice partners, Moving On with public housing authorities, and Supportive Housing Development with non-profit organizations and local developers. Regina has developed and managed Mental Health and Drug Court programs as well as Restorative Justice Board programs for young adults engaged with the criminal justice system. Her work with youth and young adults is extensive. Regina created youth internships and trained youth in Kingian Nonviolence and Community Organizing across the United States and on the African continent. She was also an Assistant Professor at Bennett College and Adjunct professor at North Carolina A&T University.
Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG is a physician, policy expert, thought leader and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities. She is a highly sought-after birth equity and racial health disparities expert and speaker who has both been featured in numerous publications including NPR, Forbes, Washington Post, Glamour, Essence, Ms. Magazine, Bloomberg, etc. to name just a few. Dr. Crear-Perry has received numerous awards for her work as a health advocate exploring racial disparities in the industry including from the National Organization of Women (NOW), USA Today's Women of the Century, USA Families, Balm in Gilead, etc. Dr. Crear-Perry has addressed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights multiple times to elevate the cause of gender diversity and urge a human rights framework toward addressing 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. Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves as a Principal at Health Equity Cypher and on the Board of Trustees for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Community Catalyst, National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning and the UCSF PTBi. She is an Adjunct Professor at Tulane School of Public Health. After completing undergraduate studies at Princeton University and Xavier University, Dr. Crear-Perry received her M.D. from Louisiana State University and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. She is married to Dr. Andre Perry and has three children: Jade, Carlos, and Robeson. Her love is her family; health equity is her passion; maternal and child health are her callings.
E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH is a Professor of Medicine and Critical Care at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and serves as Co-Director of the Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center. He is the Associate Director of aging research for the Veteran’s Affairs Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC) in Nashville TN. Dr. Ely is the author of
Every Deep-Drawn Breath, from which he’s donating 100% net proceeds to help COVID survivors and family members rebuild their lives. He can be found @WesElyMD.
Aras Jizan is the Head of Data and Technology for the Built for Zero initiative at Community Solutions. In this role, he leads a team that develops and deploys metrics, tools, and trainings that empower communities to leverage data analytics in their work to end homelessness. Prior to joining Community Solutions, Aras worked as a consultant specializing in measurement/evaluation of food security projects in the developing world. Aras holds degrees from the University of Toronto and UCLA, served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team, and is the Board Chair of Our Minds Matter, a nonprofit organization working toward the day when no teenager turns to suicide.