Keynote Speakers + Presenters

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Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett, MD, MPH
Commissioner of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Dr. Mary Travis Bassett was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in January 2014. With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity.
After Dr. Bassett completed her medical training, she moved to Harare, Zimbabwe, where she served on the medical faculty at the University of Zimbabwe for 17 years. In that role, she developed a range of AIDS prevention interventions to address one of the world’s worst AIDS epidemics. She later served as the associate director of Health Equity at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Southern Africa Office, overseeing it Africa AIDS portfolio.

In 2002, Dr. Bassett was appointed deputy commissioner of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she directed key initiatives, including bans on smoking and trans fats in restaurants and the requirement at chain restaurants to post calorie counts. She also established the department’s District Public Health Offices (DPHOs) in East and Central Harlem, the South Bronx and North and Central Brooklyn to lead targeted health and communication strategies in these communities that experience an excess burden of disease. Each office advances community health through home visiting programs, free exercise programs, efforts to increase access to healthy food, meetings with area doctors and coordination with local coalitions.

Most recently, since 2009, Dr. Bassett served at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as program director for the African Health Initiative and more recently has led the Child Well-being Program. Both portfolios have focused on strengthening systems to support health improvement.

Dr. Bassett grew up in New York City, received her B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University, her M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center and has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington. She served for many years as an associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, MD
Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University

Fitzhugh Mullan is Professor of Health Policy in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, Professor of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Co-Director of the George Washington University Health Workforce Institute. From the challenges of meeting the needs of the uninsured in the District of Columbia’s inner city to the struggle against HIV/AIDS in Africa, Professor Mullan’s work has concentrated on community health delivery, health workforce policy, and health professions education. In recent years, he has focused on health disparities in the global health workforce including medical brain drain, medical education scale-up in Africa, Teaching Health Centers, and graduate medical education reform in the United States. He is the Director of the GW Health Workforce Equity Initiative which includes the Leaders in Health Equity Fellowship funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

“Health equity at home and abroad is the principle that unifies my work,” he says.

A pediatrician whose far-reaching career has included clinical, administrative and editorial responsibilities in both the public and the private sector, Dr. Mullan is also a cancer survivor and the Founding President of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Cognizant of the importance of communicating with both lay and professional audiences, Dr. Mullan is a contributing editor to the journal Health Affairs and the founding editor of that journal’s “Narrative Matters” section, and author of a number of general-interest books, including White Coat, Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician and Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care.

Prior to joining the George Washington faculty in 1998, Dr. Mullan served 23 years in the US Public Health Service starting as a National Health Service Corps physician, subsequently serving as director of the NHSC, working as an advisor to Surgeon General Koop, directing the Bureau of Health Professions and earning the rank of Assistant Surgeon General. Dr. Mullan is the founding Board Chair of Seed Global Health and a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

W. Michael Byrd, MD, MPH.
Author of Pulitzer Prize Nominated “American Health Dilemma” & Associate Professor

W. Michael Byrd, MD, MPH is a gynecologist and obstetrician whose career has been concentrated in academic medicine and health policy. He is currently Senior Research Scientist and instructor in the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health, and serves as Clinical Instructor and Consultant Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School. He serves on the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. Dr. Byrd and Dr. Clayton are married to each other and live in Boston, Massachusetts.

Linda A. Clayton, MD, MPH
Author of Pulitzer Prize Nominated “American Health Dilemma”

Linda A. Clayton, MD, MPH is a gynecologic oncologist and obstetrician-gynecologist whose career has been concentrated in academic medicine and health policy and management. She is currently Associate Medical Director for the Division of Medical Assistance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Senior Research Scientist and Instructor in the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health and serves as Clinical Instructor and Consultant Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard Medical School. She serves on the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. Dr. Byrd and Dr. Clayton are married to each other and live in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Armen Henderson, Resident
Jackson Memorial Hospital

Armen Henderson is a 3rd-year internal medicine resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital and a local community organizer in Miami-Dade with the Dream Defenders. Armen was pulled into the movement early on in his medical career when he noticed the disparities in health care among minorities and their relationship to the tumultuous history of racial injustice in the US. Since moving to Miami, Armen has been involved in organizing around gentrification, economic inequality and police brutality, all central to the social determinants of health. He combines policy work, advocacy and grassroots organizing with practicing medicine and hopes to continue this work after residency.


Jasmen Rogers, Community Organizer
Jasmen Rogers is a community organizer in Dade and Broward counties, working with the Dream Defenders, the Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, and a national labor union. Jasmen developed a zeal for social justice after the 2006 tragic death of Martin Lee Anderson at the hands of boot camp staff in Panama City, Florida. Since that time, Jasmen has continued the spirit of grassroots organizing as a part of various organizations in South Florida. Jasmen was crucial in organizing the campaign seeking justice against police brutality in the case of Lavall Hall, Jermaine McBean, and others who have been victimized by the system of law enforcement. She has appealed to the UN regarding human rights violations present in policing, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Broward Chapter of the ACLU, and is currently working with others on a campaign demanding that the Department of Justice investigate local law enforcement for their predatory police practices.

Dr. Lamercie Saint-Hilaire, MD
Chief Resident, UCSF Family and Community Residency Program

Born in New York and raised in South Florida, Lamercie studied micro and molecular biology and women’s studies at the University of Central Florida. She was drawn to Meharry Medical College for their mission toward serving underserved where she studied social determinants of health and health policy while mentoring, teaching and developing curriculum. She chose to continue her training at UCSF Family and Community Residency (FCM) Program at SFGH in order to provide primary care to the whole family while addressing healthcare disparities of marginalized populations. Outside of providing care to her amazing patients, she is dedicated to efforts around diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias and allyship training, as well as pipeline and mentorship. Currently, Lamercie is serving as Chief Resident in the Family Medicine department and on the UCSF Differences Matter Dean’s Diversity Action Group.

Dr. Diana Wu, MD
Diversity Curriculum Liaison, UCSF Family and Community Residency Program

Diana was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She left Texas to attend college at Northwestern University, where she became immersed in ethnic studies, student organizing, and social justice. After studying global health abroad in South Africa, Diana deferred her acceptance to medical school to volunteer for Peace Corps. She spent over two years in rural Zambia promoting community health, living in a hut, and analyzing controversies in international development work. She returned to the United States to study medicine in Los Angeles and then went on to train at the UCSF/SFGH Family and Community Medicine (FCM) Program. During residency, Diana served as a CIR delegate and Northern California regional vice-president. Since graduating from residency, she has been serving as UCSF Family and Community Medicine Department’s Diversity Curriculum Liaison, as well as working at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, CA and Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, TX.Diana spends most of her free time climbing outdoors, learning Spanish, and working on ways to incorporate her social justice work into medicine.[/vc_wp_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar-17″][/vc_column][/vc_row]