Yale SOM welcomes new fellows for the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership

Earlier this month, the three new recipients of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership at Yale University visited Edward P. Evans Hall for the first time, meeting each other as well as program faculty and participating in a two-day immersion that began 22 months focused on disparities in health care access and outcomes that affect marginalized, minority, and medically underserved populations in the United States.

The scholarship includes study in the health field of the Yale SOM Executive MBA program, as well as specialized training and mentorship from national experts on health care disparities. Scholars will return in July for the EMBA Orientation and the first weeks of the MBA Integrated Core Program.

The three fellows in the EMBA Class of 2024 are Dr. Nazleen Bharmal, associate chief of community health and partnerships at Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Amaziah Coleman, physician in the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Dr. Karen Orjuela, neurologist at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Bharmal, an internist with a doctorate in health policy and a master’s degree in public policy, leads health equity and community partnership efforts at the Cleveland Clinic. Before coming to Cleveland, she was director of science and policy in the United States Office of the Surgeon General.

“I was trained in medicine to serve as a healer,” she said. “I care deeply about helping patients, families, and communities thrive and thrive, especially among vulnerable populations and/or those who have traditionally experienced health disparities.”

The Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship will help her expand her impact, she said. “Financial and management skills are additional tools I can bring to the table to address social issues such as structural violence, quality care for underserved populations, and health equity.”

Attending the immersion made it clear to Dr. Bharmal that the fellowship will also provide a crucial network, she added. “I am grateful to be part of an inspiring and engaged group of fellows and colleagues who are equally passionate about promoting health equity. »

Dr. Coleman was a pediatric allergist and immunologist at Children’s National Hospital before joining NIAID and conducts research on health disparities in these areas. But his interest in addressing health disparities has even deeper roots. “I remember the health inequities I experienced as a child,” she said. “Now, as a pediatrician and allergist/immunologist, I deal with patients and families who face these same inequalities. The scholarship is an opportunity to develop and hone the skills I need to ensure that these injustices will not continue for future generations.

She came out of immersion determined to be “thoughtful, bold, open and vocal about how I use my gifts to improve the health of the underprivileged,” she said.

Dr. Orjuela holds a master’s degree in clinical research as well as training as a vascular neurologist and has conducted numerous research studies. She focuses on addressing racial disparities in research as well as in care.

“The field of stroke has grown tremendously over the past 25 years, the development of thrombolysis, neuroimaging and endovascular interventions has led to a reduction in stroke mortality and a pathway to continue to reduce stroke-related morbidity,” she said, but “we are still struggling to provide the best care to all of our communities, especially those that are overrepresented in acute stroke disease but underrepresented in trials clinics and stroke care design systems (such as rural populations and low/middle income countries) I would like to be part of implementing respectful and caring community partnerships to reduce stroke disparities in the national and international level.

During immersion, Dr. Orjuela felt a palpable connection with staff, classmates and faculty members, she said. “The inspiring conversations we had with health equity leaders helped me realize what an incredible privilege it is to walk this health equity journey together.

Pictured above, from left to right: Dr Amaziah Coleman, Dr Karen Orjuela and Dr Nazleen Bharmal

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