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Health Equity Matters Newsletter

Summer 2017 Newsletter

A quarterly e-newsletter in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) shares news, perspectives and progress in the science and practice of health equity.

Leandris C. Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA

Leandris C. Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity, CDC/ATSDR

Welcome to Health Equity Matters, an electronic newsletter intended to promote awareness of minority health and health equity work at CDC and in the broader public health community, support the achievement of our goal to eliminate health disparities, improve women’s health, support diversity and inclusion in the public health workforce, and foster ongoing communication and collaboration with our partners and the public.

Greetings from the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE)! We hope the summer has provided some time to rejuvenate, read, and reflect on what is needed to accelerate your efforts to achieve health equity. In this issue of Health Equity Matters, we introduce our new CDC director, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, and share useful tools, resources and other timely information. We also shine a spotlight on a few “rising stars” who represent the next generation of public health leaders, scholars, practitioners, and scientists.

Featured in this issue are alumni of the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars Program (CUPS) and the James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Graduate Fellowship. We invited former students to share their stories about how these programs ignited their interest in pursuing graduate education in public health or medicine and launched their public health practice or research careers. As signature programs of OMHHE, they are central to our efforts to ensure a diverse and “culturally competent” public health workforce that is prepared to address health disparities. We also highlight a relatively new employee organization at CDC, the Young Professionals Network. This group effectively creates systems of support for early career professionals.

In the spring, I was invited to serve as a judge for the inaugural Pitch Black event created by three then graduate students in the Harvard Business School. Benjamin Cole, one of the organizers, described Pitch Black as “a day-long hackathon styled competition focused on creating actionable solutions for issues facing the African American community.”  After participating, I was beyond impressed and inspired by Pitch Black and the brilliance of its creators, participants, and sponsors!

The young professionals we highlight in this edition Health Equity Matters add to my confidence that we have the capacity and foresight in this generation of multi-disciplinary professionals to reduce health disparities, improve women’s health, and achieve health equity.

As always, we hope you find Health Equity Matters helpful in your work to improve health outcomes in communities that experience largely preventable injury, disease, and premature mortality.  Enjoy Labor Day, and take some time to celebrate the great work you do every day to protect the public’s health.

“Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.”  Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Leandris C. Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA
Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity, CDC/ATSDR
Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE)