September Hopkins Health Equity Discussion

Health Equity Image

Sponsored by the Society of Black Alumni 

Join the Hopkins Health Equity Discussion Group virtually on the second Thursday of September for their first session for the 2022-23 year, a moderated conversation featuring, Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City’s first African American female Public Health Commissioner, and Dr. Joshua Scharfstein, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement Professor of the Practice. 

Mission: The Johns Hopkins Health Equity Group is a solutions-driven group that works to create healthier communities through advocacy, policy review and reform, and community empowerment to create more equitable health outcomes in underserved communities.
Vision: Our collective efforts empower underserved communities through education and provide resources to create equity in health and wellbeing. We are committed to addressing social determinants of health through:
o   Health advocacy;
o   Community engagement and empowerment;
o   Policy review and reform; and
o   Achieving equitable health outcomes.

Going forward, the Hopkins Health Equity Group will resume meetings at noon on the first Thursday of each month. We look forward to you joining the conversation!

ABOUT Dr. Letitia Dzirasa
Baltimore City Commissioner of Health

Dr. Letitia Dzirasa joined Baltimore City government as the Commissioner of Health in March 2019. Dr. Dzirasa, a Hopkins trained pediatrician, believes that equitable care is basic right for all and will tirelessly advocate for programs that support the overall health and wellbeing of all Baltimore city residents.  Dr. Dzirasa’s special interests include obesity management and prevention, trauma informed care in children and adolescents, and expanded use of technology to improve health outcomes.  

Prior to joining the Health Department, Dr. Dzirasa worked at Fearless Solutions (Fearless), a Baltimore based digital services firm that builds custom software solutions for local and federal government clients. In her role at Fearless as Health Innovation Officer, Dr. Dzirasa was responsible for managing the Healthcare IT portfolio for the company and provided clinical subject matter expertise to HIT projects. Dr. Dzirasa also has close clinical ties to the Baltimore community, having trained at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in pediatrics and having worked as medical director for school based health and quality at Baltimore Medical System from 2013-2016.  

In addition to holding a B.S. from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in biological sciences, Dr. Dzirasa graduated from Meharry Medical College, Summa Cum Laude, in 2007.  She lives in downtown Baltimore with her husband and son.  

Dr. Dzirasa was recently featured in the Baltimore Sun speaking about the monkeypox vaccine. You can view the article via the link here


ABOUT Dr. Joshua Scharfstein
Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement Director, Bloomberg American Health Initiative, Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management

Joshua Sharfstein is vice dean for public health practice and community engagement and director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He previously served as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner from 2005 to 2009, as principal deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2009 to 2011, and as Maryland Health Secretary from 2011 to 2015. He serves on the board of the Family League of Baltimore City and is actively involved in multiple projects to improve health in the city.

ABOUT Deidre Defoe
MD, Public Health '95

Health Equity Discussion Group Founder 

ABOUT Nfr KaRaa (Karen Drakeford)
Arts & Sciences '79

Health Equity Group Founder 

ABOUT Alisha McDowell
Arts & Sciences '16

Health Equity Discussion Group Founder 

 Event Date
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Start Time: 12:00pm EDT
End Time: 1:00pm EDT

Office of Alumni Relations

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