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Martin J. Walsh,
Mayor of Boston, a lifelong champion of working people and a proud product of the City of Boston, is the City’s 54th mayor.  Mayor Walsh’s vision is of a thriving, healthy, and innovative Boston — a City with equality and opportunity for all, where a revolutionary history inspires creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.

The Walsh Administration has addressed the tremendous need for housing in the City with an ambitious plan, setting records for new affordable and middle-class homes. In addition, it has built a state-of- the-art homeless shelter and gotten the City on a path to effectively ending chronic homelessness. Before taking office, Mayor Walsh served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he was a leader on job creation and worker protections; substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness; K-12 education; and civil rights.

Born and raised in the neighborhood of Dorchester by immigrant parents, Mayor Walsh is driven to make sure Boston is a City where anyone can overcome their challenges and fulfill their dreams. As a child, Mayor Walsh survived a serious bout of Burkitt lymphoma, thanks to the extraordinary care he received at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. His recovery from alcoholism as a young adult led to his lifelong commitment to the prevention and treatment of addiction.

 

George Q. Daley, MD, PhD, is the 22nd Dean of Harvard Medical School. A world-renowned physician-scientist, educator, and academic leader, Daley’s work spans basic science, translational research and clinical medicine. Daley is at the forefront of stem cell science and cancer biology, on a quest to unravel the mechanisms that give rise to cancer and blood disorders.

His laboratory is working to define the mechanisms by which stem cells aid tissue regeneration and to improve drug development and transplantation therapies for patients with bone marrow diseases.Daley’s research paved the way for the development of the drug Gleevec for chronic myeloid leukemia and generated stem cell models for more than a dozen human diseases. He played a pivotal role in the development of ethical guidelines for the conduct of stem cell research worldwide. Daley is a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

 

Joan Y. Reede, MD, MPH, MS, MBA, is the Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Dr. Reede also holds appointments as Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, and is an Assistant in Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Reede is responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive program that provides leadership, guidance, and support to promote the increased recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented minority, women, LGBT, and faculty with disabilities at HMS. This charge includes oversight of all diversity activities at HMS as they relate to faculty, trainees, students, and staff. Dr. Reede also serves as the director of the Minority Faculty Development Program, and program director of the Faculty Diversity Program of the Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. Dr. Reede also chairs the HMS Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

 

Wendy Jill McRae-Owoeyeis Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Wendy joined the Harvard Chan School in October 2018, bringing a depth of expertise and experience in higher education, health care, human resources, and other service industries. Wendy leads the efforts of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), including vision development, strategic planning, reporting, and policy and practice development; prioritization around recruitment, retention, and staff, faculty, and student development; and the expanding and deepening of discussions about diversity, inclusion, and related issues in the curriculum. She also oversees the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

Wendy previously served in several roles at Brown University, most recently as its senior director of diversity and inclusion. Before joining Brown, Wendy served as regional human resources manager for Unilever BestFoods North America and divisional human resources manager for Coca Cola Enterprises. Wendy holds a BA from Rutgers University and a JD from Roger Williams University School of Law. She is certified in Diversity Management by Cornell University; as a mediator by the Community Dispute Settlement Center; and as a professional development trainer by Development Dimensions International.


Keynote Speaker
Dr. Shereef Elnahal is New Jersey’s 21st Health Commissioner 
is New Jersey’s 21st Health Commissioner. Dr. Elnahal joined the Department on January 25, 2018 and quickly established a new vision for the Department with specific goals: Eradicating the opioid epidemic; decreasing maternal mortality and improving access to women’s health care; reducing disparities in public health outcomes, increasing access to health coverage and mental health care; expanding the medicinal marijuana program; and expanding telehealth and interoperability.

Women’s health is a key priority for Dr. Elnahal. Early in the Murphy Administration, the Governor signed legislation and had the Department restore $7.5 million for family planning. Dr. Elnahal also directed the re-alignment of funding for a new Healthy Women-Healthy Families Initiative, focused on increasing healthy births and decreasing black infant mortality in communities with the highest black infant mortality rates. He was appointed to the VA by former President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow in 2015. During his time there, he spearheaded unprecedented efforts around transparency in access and performance, as well as standardizing best practices that prevent opioid dependency, improve women’s healthcare, and enhance access to care for veterans. He grew up in Atlantic County and is the son of Egyptian doctors who immigrated to New Jersey. He graduated summa cum laude from Johns Hopkins and earned both his medical degree and MBA with distinction from Harvard University.

AMHP Community Service Awardee
Dr. Bill Slaughter, MD MA
works with allies on wellness-inclusion opportunities, in the US primarily, particularly interested in root Palestine-Israel advancement. In the US, this is via diversity-respect development initiatives and presentations spanning civil sectors: cross-Abrahamic, community, government, and health/human service settings, with some clinical practice in Boston.  In the Levant/Bilad alSham, this is primarily via the United States Gaza Mental Health Foundation, with some United Nations Refugee and Works Agency for Palestine, American University of Beirut, Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, PsychoActive, and other training/support contributions.

He’s participated at Harvard variously since 2003 (Arab Weekend Avincenna Healthcare/Science Reception Featured Guest, Center for Government and International Studies, Center for Middle East Studies, Medical School, School of Public Health [‘Gaza 2010: Human Security Needs’; Boston post-Marathon bombing community evaluation, etc.]).

Graduate education: cross-cultural/Buddhist psychology (Naropa University); Medicine (University of Washington; Seattle Indian Health Board); analytical psychology (Jung Institute-Boston); finishing with psychiatry, then international relations/security (Harvard University).  Undergraduate: Reed College/Portland State University/University of Washington Comparative History of Ideas/Political Acience and Arabic/Middle East studies.

 

Dr. Tahirah Abdullah
received her B.A. in Psychology and Africana Studies from the University of Miami in 2006, and obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2013 from the University of Kentucky. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Abdullah’s research focuses on mental health and mental health treatment among Black Americans. Specifically, she is interested in the impact of racism and discrimination on mental health, barriers to help-seeking for mental health problems, mental illness and mental health treatment stigma, and understanding Black Americans’ mental health treatment experiences.

She aims to use the knowledge gained from her research to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services for Black Americans, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and mental health treatment. In addition to her research, Dr. Abdullah teaches and mentors students at UMass Boston.

Jose Aguilar,
a Mexican native, is a global marketing and commercial executive with extensive global experience conducting business in more than 60 countries, including ex-pat assignments. He started his professional work at The Gallup Organization conducting market research for multiple clients in Latin America and the United States.

After completing his MBA at Emory University, Jose has led on a global basis well-recognized brands both in the consumer and OTC markets for Fortune 500 companies such as General Mills, Bausch + Lomb, Abbott Labs and Nestle. In this capacity, he has drafted global strategies campaigns to support current and new product launches for the Medical, HCP market and Consumer markets.

 

Lama A. Al-Aswad, is an ophthalmologist with subspecialty in glaucoma and cataract with a strong interest in disease prevention and population health. She is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia University, Glaucoma fellowship director, Chair of quality assurance of the Eye Institute and the Director of the Tele-ophthalmology initiative. Dr. Al-Aswad received her MD from Damascus University Medical School and a Glaucoma research fellowship from MEEI Harvard Medical School, residency in ophthalmology at SUNY Downstate and her Glaucoma fellowship at UT Memphis. She is the past president of the NY Glaucoma Society and president for the WIO. In 2015, she conferred the degree MPH from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public.

Dr. Al-Aswad’s dedication to science is evident from her list of scientific publications, book chapters, invited articles and a large number of scientific presentations at national and international meetings. Dr. Al-Aswad is a believer in blindness prevention as evident from her large-scale glaucoma screening  in NYC where more than 8500 individuals screened for glaucoma.  She recently launched the teleophthalmology screening project for the leading cause of blindness using a mobile tele-ophthalmology unit equipped with state of the art devices and linked in real-time to a reading center. She is currently working on validating artificial intelligence systems in eye disease as a tool in
blindness prevention.

María R. González Albuixech, was born and raised in Valencia, Spain. She earned degrees in Communications and German studies at the University of Valencia, Spain and Bremen University, Germany. Maria also completed a degree in Journalism at Carlos III University in Madrid and worked later on as the editor of several specialized publications in that region. In 2005, she graduated in Political Science and International Relations at Suffolk University in Boston, MA. Upon graduation, she worked as the Associate Editor for “El Mundo” newspaper and was later hired as a news reporter for Univision New England where she also became a news anchor and producer for the morning show “Despierta Boston”.

In 2011, Maria transitioned to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she worked as the Community Education Manager in the Communications office. In 2012, Health Care For All (HCFA) recruited her to become their Director of Communications and Marketing where she supervised outreach and public education activities, community organizing and enrollment services offered through the HelpLine. Currently, she holds the positions of Director of Strategy and Communications and Director of the Immigrant Health Care Access Project.

Nikki Webber Allen is a 2-Time Emmy Award winner with over 15 years of experience producing content for media outlets including Warner Bros., HBO, ABC, 21st Century Fox, MTV and BET.  In 2013, while working as the Vice President of Casting & Talent Relations for the cable network TV One, Nikki lost her 22-year old nephew, Paul, to suicide.  In his honor, she launched the nonprofit i LIVE FOR… FOUNDATION, INC. to end mental health stigma in communities of color.

Her work with i LIVE FOR… has been featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, NPR and NBC News. She’s the host of Slate Magazine’s podcast “Life Effects” and she’s currently producing and directing a documentary film that features inspiring stories about millennials of color living with, and thriving despite, their mental health diagnosis. In Spring 2017, she was chosen for the highly-coveted TED Residency program. She delivered an impassioned TED Talk entitled, “Don’t suffer from your depression in silence,” which has garnered more than 1.9M views. She has an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School University in New York, NY and a B.A. in Communications from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Currently, she’s living in Washington DC with her husband musician Jeffrey Allen of the Grammy nominated R&B band Mint Condition.

Rania Awaad, M.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Muslim Mental Health Lab and Wellness Program and Co-Director of the Diversity Clinic. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. Her courses at Stanford range from instructing medical students and residents on implicit bias and integrating culture and religion into medical care to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia. Her most recent academic publications include works on Islamic Psychology, Islamophobia, and the historical roots of mental health from the Islamic Golden Era.

Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Dr. Awaad is also a Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA where she teaches courses on Shafi’i Fiqh and Women’s Fiqh . In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women
and girls.

Faisal Basar is a successful technology entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the industry. He has worked in various technical roles from startups, to large Fortune 500 companies. As an entrepreneur, he has expertise in building companies from the ground-up, putting together a highly motivated team, and expanding the company to have a global footprint.

Faisal is an expert in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning and has led a team to build an AI chatbot to help people detect and manage their skin problems. He is a software engineer at heart and loves coding. Faisal’s passion is to build enduring companies which has a direct, positive, social impact. He is also excited about applying latest technologies to solve healthcare challenges. He is a firm believer in making healthcare accessible to all, irrespective of the financial means of an individual. In his personal life, Faisal is a busy Dad, learning the parenting strategy to balance the needs of teenage boy and girl with a kindergartener.

Peter Bergethon M.D. is Vice President and Head of Quantitative Medicine and Clinical Technologies (QMCT) at Biogen. He leads the identification of technologies and methodologies that transform drug development. QMCT creates value by leading the transition of clinical practice in Biogen’s core and emerging growth areas from a qualitative to a quantitative discipline, and connecting the Clinical with the Research enterprise, to advance therapeutics and personalized medicine.

Peter came to Biogen in 2017 from Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development where he was Vice President and Head of the Pfizer Innovation Research Lab within the Early Clinical Development group.  At Pfizer, Peter led both the Quantitative Medicine group and the Innovation Research Labs where he pioneered mobile and digital clinical assessment technology, human neurophenotyping, and multi-modal data analytics to accelerate clinical development in neuroscience, immunology, rare diseases, and cardiometabolic disease. He is an accomplished clinical neurologist and neuroscientist who, prior to joining Pfizer, was a Professor at Boston University and Tufts University in the Departments of Biochemistry, Neurology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, and Biomedical Engineering.

Natasha Bowman, has labored for nearly 20 years to transform the American workplace from the inside out. As a champion for employees, she’s worked with a broad range of organizations as a c-suite Healthcare HR executive to create an engaging environment in which employees are respected, genuine leaders are cultivated, and top performance is achieved. Natasha is an award winning, modern day pioneer of workplace equality, inspiring organizations to not just pay lip service to workplace rights but craft highly-engaged cultures where every employee is truly dignified and valued for their contribution.

She is an international keynote speaker and has shared her passion for creating positive and engaging workplaces by speaking at the NYPD, The City of Detroit, Ford Motor Company, The Employers’ Association, Temple University , and Microsoft, just to name a few. Her expertise is frequently quoted in national publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, U.S. News and World Reports, Bloomberg BNA and HR Magazine.

Dr. Qaali Hussein is a double board certified trauma/acute care surgeon and surgical intensivist who practices in Florida. She graduated from the University of Texas with honors in human biology before attending medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Dr. Hussein then went on to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where she completed her residency in General Surgery and fellowship in Surgical Critical Care. After completion of her training, she relocated to Florida in 2015 to practice at a level 2 trauma center. She also provides trauma/acute care surgery/critical care coverage for understaffed hospitals throughout the country.

In addition to her busy professional schedule, Dr. Hussein is the mother of six children, all of which she had during her intense training years in general surgery and critical care fellowship. She writes and speaks about her experiences of overcoming numerous obstacles to inspire and motivate professional women to pursue their passions while staying true to their values.

Frederick Isasi was selected to be Families USA’s second-ever Executive Director in January 2017 because of his life-long commitment to achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all. He also brings to his position deep expertise in Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance, health equity, and payment and delivery reform. In addition, he has a proven track record of working effectively in a bipartisan manner with policymakers at the national and state levels. Mr. Isasi’s skills and experiences made him the ideal choice to lead Families USA into the future as the premier voice for all families and health care consumers in America.

As Executive Director, Mr. Isasi leads the expert staff at Families USA as the organization focuses on four key challenges: Creating a value-based health system that ensures higher-quality, lower cost health care; Helping people overcome barriers to health and health care based on race, ethnicity, income, gender, demography, or sexual orientation; Making comprehensive and affordable health insurance available to all; and Empowering health care consumers to ensure that their voices are heard in their state and local communities as well as in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lara Jirmanus is a family physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Fellow at the FXB Center at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. In February 2017, she founded the Health and Law Immigrant Solidarity Network (www.hlisn.org), a group of healthcare and legal professionals and community organizations supporting immigrants in Eastern Massachusetts. Jirmanus has been involved in grassroots organizing, advocacy and research for many years, addressing worker and immigrant rights in the US, infectious diseases in Brazil and the impacts of conflict and displacement in the Middle East. Her current research focuses on impact of immigration enforcement on immigrant health in the Massachusetts, and the health of Syrian refugees and host populations in Lebanon.

After graduating from University of Massachusetts Medical School, she completed family medicine residency at Boston University Medical Center, a fellowship in Global Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an MPH at HSPH. Dr. Jirmanus served as chief resident in Family Medicine at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. She taught a global health and social medicine course at AUB Medical School and an interdisciplinary seminar on the Syrian refugee crisis at Harvard University.


Paul F. Levy
, author, speaker, and corporate advisor — served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from January 2002 to January 2011.  BIDMC is one of the world’s preeminent academic health centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School.  Licensed for over 600 beds, BIDMC annual revenues were over $1.4 billion.  Before that position, he was the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School, where he was responsible for administrative, budgetary, and facility issues, as well as community and governmental relations.

Mr. Levy has also served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (MDPU), and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy.  At the MWRA, he had primary responsibility for the “Boston Harbor Cleanup,” one of the largest pollution control projects in the world.  In operating the water transmission system for 46 communities at the MWRA, Mr. Levy carried out an aggressive demand management program which decreased water consumption by 15% over a three-year period.  At the MDPU, he regulated the electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, and water utilities in Massachusetts.  In Arkansas, Mr. Levy directed energy programs, planning, policy and advocacy, including such areas as energy conservation, renewable and fossil energy resource development, and regulatory and legislative matters.

Dr. Jawad Shah is a board certified Neurosurgeon who is the President of Insight Institute of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience. He studied at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Manitoba prior to completing medical school at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada where he was also raised.  He began Ph.D. work in Psychoneuroimmunology prior to embarking on specialty training in Neurosurgery. He completed a subspecialty fellowship training in skull base neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas. His areas of specialty include brainstem surgery, vascular neurosurgery, brain tumors, complex spine, and neuromodulation.

He is involved in extensive research projects including clinical, patent work, biological/mechanical and electrical product development, industry-sponsored studies, theoretical philosophy among other areas. He is a faculty member at the Michigan State University Medical School. He also is Co-Director of the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics jointly administered by the University of Michigan
and IINN.

 

Janae Sharp has been involved in startups and healthcare innovation for several years.  Janae is actively involved in Healthcare informatics media as a tool to bridge gaps in progress. She currently serves several startups and Utah HIMSS. She has advised early stage investors and taken early stage investments through their first round of funding. Her specialty is startups that want to work with health records and medicaid. It’s a complex stakeholder process and she creates products that use technology to increase health equity.

In 2018 Janae founded a nonprofit that uses data analytics to reduce physician suicide and transform healthcare systems. This was founded in memory of her former husband, John Madsen, who died by suicide before completing his medical training.

 

Khan M. Siddiqui is a serial Entrepreneur, Founder and Chief Medical/Chief Technology Officer of higi and brings over 22 years of experience as a practicing clinician and technology professional. Dr. Siddiqui leads the development of higi’s products and technologies and is responsible for the strategic direction of the company. His primary goal is to improve patient engagement and positively impact health outcomes through artificial intelligence and behavior change principles.

Dr. Siddiqui holds 12 patents for technology in areas of deep learning, AI, image processing, data visualization, as well as securing patient information handling and health records. His current research includes large scale population studies on the impact of ubiquitous access to health in combination with persuasive technologies to improve healthcare outcomes. Dr. Siddiqui particularly focuses on how to use social competition and social recognition to drive repeat engagement.

Prior to founding higi in 2012, Dr. Siddiqui was a Physician Executive and Principal Program Manager at Microsoft where he was responsible for platform engineering and machine learning for the health solutions group.

 

Zohray Moolani Talib is Associate Dean for Medical Education and Global Health at the California University of Science and Medicine. Dr. Talib is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Global Forum for Innovations in Health Professions Education and also holds academic appointments at the Aga Khan University in Kenya as well as Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. Dr. Talib’s work focuses on bringing best practice and innovation into medical education for under-served communities.

Dr. Talib has worked with medical schools and training programs throughout Africa and the United States. She brings to the field of global health and medical education the unique perspective of being a primary care clinician, educator and researcher.  Dr. Talib is also an advocate for gender parity in global health leadership. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and her Doctor of Medicine from University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Dr. Talib completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the George Washington University Hospital. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.