Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care: Historical and Contemporary Issues

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
670 Albany Street
Auditorium

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Live-Streaming Available During Event
#BUSPHdiversity

Speakers

W. Michael Byrd, Director, Institute for Optimizing Health and Health Care Inc.; Health Policy Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health; Health Policy Instructor, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical College

Linda A. Clayton, Co-Director, Institute for Optimizing Health and Health Care Inc.; Health Policy Researcher, Harvard School of Public Health; Health Policy Instructor, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meharry Medical College

W. Michael Byrd and Linda Clayton are both physicians. After earning their master’s of public health in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in 1992, they have both maintained continuous appointments at HSPH and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) for 23 years.

Byrd is director of the Institute for Optimizing Health and Health Care (IOHHC), and Clayton is co-director of IOHHC as well as an independent health policy consultant. They are both public health practitioners, health policy researchers, and internationally recognized scholars. A few highlights from their CVs and biographical sketches follow.

Byrd is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and has practiced medicine for more than two decades in both private practice and academic medicine. He served as a battalion surgeon in the US Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Byrd started his research on the health of African American and disadvantaged populations in 1968, with a focus on health disparities. Clayton joined him as his health disparities co-investigator in 1988.

Clayton is a board -certified obstetrician and gynecologist and is the first African American woman to be sub-specialty trained in surgical gynecologic oncology. She has provided more than two decades of direct patient care through radical pelvic surgery and other oncologic therapeutic interventions for women with pelvic malignancies. She has extensive experience in enrolling patients onto cancer clinical trials and has conducted biomedical research in laboratory and clinical settings since the early 1980s.

Byrd and Clayton are nationally and internationally recognized authorities on African American and disadvantaged populations; racial and ethnic disparities; health reform; health equity; and diversity issues. They are well published and recipients of numerous awards. They have been called upon as consultants by presidential administrations, the Institute of Medicine, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and many other national and international forums. They both hold honorary doctorate degrees in humanities and education.

Their many decades of medical, public health, and health policy work, allied with their academic discourse, scholarship, and research are documented in findings from their nationally and internationally authoritative two-volume Pulitzer Prize-nominated book series, An American Health Dilemma. Their evidence-based findings are also shared through ongoing lectures, seminars, and publications and through the highly rated course they created, developed, and taught with colleagues at HSPH for five years. They are currently working on the second edition and third volume of An America Health Dilemma.

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