COVID-19: Medical DivideVIEW EVENT DETAILS
With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in its early stages, the possibility of an end to the global pandemic seems finally in sight. However, this positive development has not mitigated an issue that has persisted since the beginning of the pandemic—its disproportionate effect on communities of color. The challenge now is equitably distributing the vaccine and reaching out to those communities to overcome vaccine hesitancy due to historical medical malpractice.
Join Asia Society Southern California with Dean for Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Michelle Ann Williams, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles Connie Chung Joe and CEO of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital Dr. Elaine Batchlor for a discussion on the unequal impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Director of Marketing for MLKCH Eileen Kwan will moderate.
Michelle A. Williams, SM ’88, ScD ’91, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development, a joint faculty appointment at the Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy School. She is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and public health scientist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. Prior to becoming Dean on July 1, 2016, she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Program Leader of the Population Health and Health Disparities Research Programs at Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center (Harvard Catalyst).
Dean Williams joined the Harvard Chan faculty after a distinguished career at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health where she rose through the faculty ranks to become a full professor of epidemiology in 2000. While at the UW, she was very active in the Center for Perinatal Studies at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, becoming co-director from 2000 to 2011, with broad responsibilities for a multidisciplinary research program involving clinical investigators, basic scientists, and epidemiologists. From 1992 to 2010, she was an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and from 2008 to 2011 she held a joint appointment in global health at the UW.
She is a member of several professional and scholarly associations, including the National Academy of Medicine, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the American Epidemiological Society (elected).
Connie Chung Joe, JD, is the Chief Executive Officer of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Prior to joining Advancing Justice-LA in August 2020, Connie served as the Executive Director of the Korean American Family Services (KFAM) for 11 years. Under Connie’s leadership, KFAM nearly quadrupled its budget and staff, with culturally and linguistically responsive services to immigrant families, particularly those struggling with mental health, domestic/family violence, and acculturation stresses. Prior to joining KFAM, Connie was a public interest lawyer for seven years. She worked at the Housing Rights Center in LA representing clients in fair housing cases and the American Civil Liberties Union in Chicago working on immigrant’s rights, reproductive rights, post-9/11 racial profiling, police accountability and First Amendment cases. Connie received her BA in Spanish and International Relations from USC and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Dr. Elaine Batchlor is the chief executive officer of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which opened in 2015. Dr. Batchlor was the driving force behind the effort to open the new, state-of-the-art, community-oriented, safety-net hospital providing compassionate, quality care and improving the health of the South Los Angeles community.
Throughout her career, Dr. Batchlor’s number one priority has been to improve access and quality of care for underserved communities utilizing innovative and collaborative approaches. Her work to increase access for underserved populations has been recognized as an example of leading best practices and adopted throughout California.
Before assuming the helm of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, Dr. Batchlor served on the executive leadership team of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public health plan. As chief medical officer, she was instrumental in developing a care delivery model that expanded access and resources to more than a million individuals throughout the county.
Eileen Kwan is an award-winning healthcare marketing strategist, executive producer, and renowned host for digital series and live events. Kwan has produced shows for media conglomerates such as AT&T and ViacomCBS. She also has hosted and moderated more than 35 events for non-profit organizations, including the Asia Society Southern California's program "Standing Against Racism in the Time of COVID". Reflecting on her personal experiences, Kwan champions ASSC’s vision for raising awareness on race targeting by spotlighting issues that educate and mobilize our communities of Asian descent.
Kwan obtained her Master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California with a primary goal: to connect individuals to a greater purpose. Today, she serves as the Director of Marketing for Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital promoting high-quality, affordable healthcare to our communities of color in South Los Angeles.
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