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APHE Members


John Ruffin, Ph.D.John Ruffin, Ph.D.

Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Dr. John Ruffin is the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) federal official for minority health disparities research, Dr. Ruffin has planned and brought to fruition , through multi-faceted collaborations, the largest biomedical research program in the nation to promote minority health and other health disparities research and training.

He is a well-respected leader and visionary in the field of minority health and health disparities. As an academician and a scientist, he has devoted his professional career to improving the health status of racial and ethnic minorities and other medically underserved populations in the United States. He is committed to conceptualizing, developing and implementing innovative programs that create new learning opportunities and exposure for individuals, communities, and academic institutions interested in eliminating health disparities, impacting local, regional, national and international communities. He has established and continues to expand a growing portfolio of research, training, and capacity building programs to train health professionals and scientists from health disparity populations; conduct cutting-edge health disparities research; build the capacity at academic institutions and within the community to support a promising health disparities research enterprise.

Dr. Ruffin received a B.S. in Biology from Dillard University, a M.S. in Biology from Atlanta University, a Ph.D. in Systematic and Developmental Biology from Kansas State University, and completed post-doctoral studies in biology at Harvard University.


Anne Beal, M.D., Ph.D.Anne C. Beal, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer, PCORI

Anne C. Beal, M.D., M.P.H., is chief operating officer of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. A pediatrician and public health specialist, she has devoted her career to providing access to high-quality health care through the delivery of health care services, teaching, research, public health, and philanthropy. As PCORI’s first COO, Beal is responsible for ensuring PCORI develops the structure and capacity needed to carry out its mission as the nation’s largest research institute focused on patient-centered outcomes research.

Dr. Beal has served in a variety of roles within the medical community throughout her career. She has worked to study and improve healthcare for underserved communities as a healthcare foundation leader at Aetna and The Commonwealth Fund, a researcher and staff member at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a faculty member at Harvard University Medical School and School of Public Health.

Dr. Beal holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and an M.P.H. from Columbia University. She completed her internship, residency, and National Research Service Award fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D.Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D.

President, NY Academy of Medicine

Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., is President of The New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Boufford is Professor of Public Service, Health Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine. She has also served as Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from November 1993 to January 1997, and as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 1997 to May 1997. While at HHS, she served as the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1994–1997.

She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1992 and is a member of its Executive Council, Board on Global Health and Board on African Science Academy Development. She was elected to serve a second four year term as the Foreign Secretary of the IOM beginning July 1, 2010. She has been a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine since 1988 and a Trustee since 2004.

Dr. Boufford attended Wellesley College for two years and received her B.A. (Psychology) magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, and her M.D., with distinction, from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Board Certified in pediatrics.

Daniel Dawes, J.D.Daniel E. Dawes, J.D.

Executive Director, Government Relations, Policy and External Affairs
Morehouse School of Medicine

Daniel E. Dawes, Esq. is a healthcare attorney, and was appointed Executive Director for Government Relations, Policy and External Affairs for Morehouse School of Medicine in February 2012. During health reform negotiations, he worked closely with the White House and Congress, and founded and chaired the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform – a group comprising over 250 national organizations and coalitions – to ensure that health reform legislation included health equity provisions to reduce disparities in health status and health care among vulnerable populations.

Daniel was previously the manager of federal affairs and grassroots network at Premier Healthcare Alliance, and a Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer at the American Psychological Association (APA). Daniel also served the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee under the leadership of Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Daniel holds a J.D. from the University of Nebraska - College of Law and a B.S. in business administration and psychology from Nova Southeastern University.

Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, M.D.

Leader, Cardiovascular Medicine Scientific Research Group (SRG)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Division of Heart and Vascular Disease, NIH

Patrice H. Desvigne-Nickens, M.D., is a program director in the Heart Failure and Arrhythmias Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is responsible for the scientific development and fiscal management of research programs focused on prevention, recognition, and treatment in cardiovascular medicine. Among her various responsibilities, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens is particularly interested in disparities in the practice of medicine and cardiovascular health and the effect on women and minorities.

Prior to joining the NHLBI in 1991, Dr. Desvigne-Nickens was a primary care physician at the Johns Hopkins Health Plan in Baltimore. In that position, she treated patients of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds who were afflicted with various complex chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and began her residency in internal medicine at the Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center in Philadelphia, and completed it as an NHLBI Medical Staff Fellow at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Harvey Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.

President, Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Harvey V. Fineberg is President of the Institute of Medicine. He served as Provost of Harvard University from 1997 to 2001, following thirteen years as Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. He has devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision making. His past research has focused on the process of policy development and implementation, assessment of medical technology, evaluation and use of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations.

Dr. Fineberg helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization. At the Institute of Medicine, he has chaired and served on a number of panels dealing with health policy issues, ranging from AIDS to new medical technology. Dr. Fineberg is the recipient of several honorary degrees and the Stephen Smith Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine.

He earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.

Katherine Flores, M.D.Katherine Flores, M.D.

Director, UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research

Katherine A. Flores, M.D., is a family physician in private practice who also directs multiple large institutional medical education programs, including the California Border Health Education and Training Center (HETC) program, The Health Opportunities Program (HCOP) and the Hispanic Centers of Excellence (HCOE). She enjoys a statewide reputation for leadership in education of Latino health professionals. Her vision, experience and knowledge are major assets to the project. A bilingual/bicultural valley native from a migrant farm worker family, she has firsthand experience with the obstacles that disadvantaged students face, particularly in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her MD from University of California, Davis School of Medicine.

J. Lloyd Michener, M.D.J. Lloyd Michener, M.D.

Professor and Chairman, Department of Community and Family Medicine
Director, Duke Center for Community Research
Duke University School of Medicine

J. Lloyd Michener, M.D., is Professor and Chairman of the Duke Department of Community and Family Medicine, Director of the Duke Center for Community Research, and Clinical Professor in the Duke School of Nursing. He is actively engaged with multiple national groups about health care redesign that improves outcomes for diverse communities and controls costs, including Co-Chair of the NIH’s Community Engagement Steering Committee for the CTSA awards, and the CDC Foundation.

Dr. Michener has focused on finding ways of making health care work better through teams, community engagement and practice redesign. He has overseen the Obesity/Chronic Disease Prevention Programs of the Kate B. Reynolds Trust, a program designed to lower chronic disease rates in low-income areas across North Carolina, and the obesity prevention programs of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

Dr. Michener earned his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1974, and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1978. He came to Duke as a resident in 1978. He went on to become a Kellogg Fellow after which he joined the Duke faculty in 1982.

Wayne Riley, M.D., M.B.A.Wayne J. Riley, M.D., M.B.A.

President & Chief Executive Officer
Professor of Internal Medicine
Meharry Medical College

Wayne Joseph Riley is the 10th President and Chief Executive Officer of historic Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee, the nation’s largest, private, independent, historically black academic health center dedicated to educating health professionals. Previously, he served as Vice-president and Vice Dean for Health Affairs and Governmental Relations and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas. He joined the faculty there after completing residency training at Baylor’s internal medicine residency training program.

During his tenure at Baylor, Dr. Riley was appointed to the newly-created position of vice president and vice dean for health affairs and governmental relations. As leader of the Office of Health Affairs and Governmental Relations, Dr. Riley oversaw external affairs; coordinated the college’s local, state and federal governmental relations and initiatives; of BCM’s M.D./J.D. joint degree program with the University of Houston Law Center; and established a new Office of Diversity. He was the first African-American corporate officer in the college’s 100 plus year history.

Dr. Riley earned a B.A. in anthropology (concentration in Medical Anthropology) from Yale University, an M.P.H. in health systems management from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and an M.D. from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He also earned an M.B.A. from Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management’s MBA for Executives program.

Carlos Santiago, Ph.D.Carlos E. Santiago, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer
Hispanic College Fund

Dr. Carlos E. Santiago joined the Hispanic College Fund in October 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer.

The first Puerto Rican president of a major U.S. research university, Dr. Santiago previously served as the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and brings over 30 years of experience in public higher education.

Previously, Santiago served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) and served as the chief operating officer of the campus. He was instrumental in obtaining the necessary support and approvals for the establishment of the nation’s first graduate school of nanosciences in 2001. The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany is the first college in the world dedicated to research, development, education, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics.

Santiago also brings a wealth of expertise in economics with emphasis in labor economics. He was a professor of economics at UWM and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

Martin Sepulveda, M.D., FACPMartin J. Sepulveda, M.D., FACP

IBM Fellow and Vice President
Integrated Health Services

Martin J. Sepulveda, M.D., FACP, is an IBM Fellow and Vice President of Integrated Health Services for the IBM Corporation. He leads a global team with responsibility for healthcare policy, strategy and design, as well as the management system and services supporting the health and well-being of IBM’s workforce and work environments.

He was recently appointed to the highest level of technical achievement in the IBM Corporation, an IBM Fellow, by the Chairman and CEO of the IBM Corporation. He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and the American College of Preventive Medicine. He serves on the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine’s Population Health and Public Health Practice Board, the Board of Directors of the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the Board of Advisors to the School of Public Health at the University of Iowa, the Board of the National Business Group on Health, and chairs the Global Health Benefits Institute.

He received his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Harvard University, completed internal medicine residency at the University of California San Francisco Hospitals & Clinics, internal medicine fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, occupational medicine residency at NIOSH, CDC, and Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

George Tibault, M.D.George E. Thibault, M.D.

President, Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation

George E. Thibault, M.D. became the seventh president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation in January 2008. Immediately prior to that, he served as Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Partners Healthcare System in Boston and Director of the Academy at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He was the first Daniel D. Federman Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at HMS and is now the Federman Professor, Emeritus.

For nearly four decades at HMS, Dr. Thibault played leadership roles in many aspects of undergraduate and graduate medical education. He has been recognized for his roles in teaching and mentoring medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty. In addition to his teaching, his research has focused on the evaluation of practices and outcomes of medical intensive care and variations in the use of cardiac technologies.

Dr. Thibault graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University in 1965 and magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1969. He completed his internship and residency in Medicine and fellowship in Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He also trained in Cardiology at the National Heart and Lung Institute in Bethesda and at Guys Hospital in London, and served as Chief Resident in Medicine at MGH.

Eric Whitaker, M.D., M.P.H.Eric Whitaker, M.D., M.P.H.

Executive Vice President for Strategic Affiliations
Associate Dean, Community-Based Research
University of Chicago Medical Center

Eric E. Whitaker, M.D., M.P.H., a nationally recognized public health authority and expert on minority health issues is the Executive Vice President for Strategic Affiliations and Associate Dean for Community-Based Research, a new position at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Whitaker previously served as Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), overseeing 3 state labs, 7 regional offices, 200 programs, and 1,200 employees. Prior to that Whitaker was a senior attending physician at Cook County Hospital and founder and director of Project Brotherhood, an innovative, award-winning barbershop-based program designed to improve the often-neglected health of African-American men.

A graduate of Grinnell College and the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, Whitaker also earned a masters degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and studied health services management at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and corporate strategy at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. While in medical school, he served as president of the American Medical Student Association, and helped found a similar organization for European medical students during his tenure. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and served a two-year fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Chicago.

Donald Wilson, M.D., MACPDonald E. Wilson, M.D., MACP

Dean Emeritus, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Donald E. Wilson, M.D., MACP is former Dean, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Wilson has dedicated his life to the advancement of medical science, education and the principals of diversity and equity in health care. When Dr. Wilson came to the University of Maryland in 1991, he became the nation's first African-American dean at a predominantly white medical school. Under Dr. Wilson's leadership, the student body became more diverse and the number of full time African-American faculty quadrupled. At the same time, research funding soared, and the School of Medicine is now ranked as one of the top medical schools in the country.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wilson has made a special effort to assist minority students and increase the number of underrepresented minorities attending medical schools. He is a founding member of the Association of Academic Minority Physicians (AAMP), a professional organization for minority physicians and scientists. The AAMP offers minority summer research fellowships to motivate interest in research and academic careers among minority youth.

Dr. Wilson has received numerous awards and holds membership in numerous prestigious medical/research societies, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society, and is a Master of the American College of Physicians, an honor bestowed on less than one percent of members. Dr. Wilson is a recipient of the AAMC's prestigious Abraham Flexner Award recognizing outstanding national service in medical education.

Laurie Zephyrin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., FACOGLaurie C. Zephyrin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., FACOG

Director, Reproductive Health
Women Veterans Health Strategic Healthcare Group
Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office

Dr. Laurie Zephyrin is the VA’s first ever National Director for Reproductive Health. Dr. Zephyrin is involved in making sure women with abnormal mammograms receive prompt follow-up attention, closely following cervical cancer trends among women Veterans, educating providers and staff regarding various maternity issues, and tracking birth outcomes in women Veterans. She’s also developing training for emergency room providers so they can effectively triage and treat urgent problems in women — problems like abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain and problems in early pregnancy.

Dr. Zephyrin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from City College of New York; an M.D. from New York University School of Medicine, and two masters’ degrees — one in public health and another in business administration, both from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her residency work at Harvard’s Integrated Residency Training Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ad hoc Members Representing Constituent Groups

David Acosta, M.D., FAAFPDavid Acosta, M.D., FAAFP

Chair, AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion
Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs
Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Acosta is the Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM), and Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. He has been a Board-Certified Family Practice physician for 29 years. He completed his medical school training at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine in 1979, and completed his residency in 1982 in Family Medicine at the Community Hospital of Sonoma County (an affiliate of the University of California, San Francisco) where he served as Chief Resident. After residency, he developed and practiced in a rural community health center, Northeastern Rural Health Clinics, in Susanville, CA for 8 years where he provided care for a large underserved, rural and migrant farm worker population. He served on the clinical faculty as a rural preceptor for the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and Physicians Assistant Program. He then spent 14 years on the faculty at Tacoma Family Medicine Residency Program (affiliate of the University of Washington) where he served as Associate Director, and subsequently Residency Director. There he was responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of the rural health, maternal health, procedural and health promotion/disease prevention curriculum. In addition, he served as the Director of the Rural Health Fellowship Program. He completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the UW SOM in 1991.

Dr. Acosta was voted by his peers as the Chair for the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) in November 2011. The GDI national priorities include diversity and inclusion in faculty, graduate medical education, and professional development/institutional climate.

Karen A. Lewis, M.S.Karen A. Lewis, M.S.

Chair, AAMC Group on Student Affairs Committee on Diversity Affairs
Associate Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management
Meharry Medical College

Karen A. Lewis is the Associate Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is responsible for providing leadership to the Offices of Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid and Student Life. Meharry Medical College is comprised of the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Graduate Studies and Research. Prior to coming to Meharry Medical College in 2007, she served at Morehouse School of Medicine for fourteen years as Student Activities Coordinator, Director of Admissions, and Registrar and Director of Student Information Systems.

Mrs. Lewis graduated from Clayton College & State University with her BA degree in Integrative Studies, an interdisciplinary curriculum that included Management, Psychology and Education coursework. She went on to receive her Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University where she specialized in the effects of stereotype threat on African American applicants to medical school.

Mrs. Lewis has served a variety of roles within the Group on Student Affairs, including Minority Affairs Section (GSA-MAS) Liaison to the Committee on Student Records (GSA-COSR), Chair of the Southern Region MAS, Chair of the GSA-COSR. She also served on the Criminal Background Check Implementation Advisory Committee. In 2009, Mrs. Lewis was named the inaugural Chair of the newly developed GSA Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA) and serves on the steering committee for the Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI).

APHE Meetings

Past Meetings

Dec. 6-7, 2011
AAMC Leadership Forum
Diversity 3.0: A Systems Upgrade
Park Hyatt Hotel
Washington, D.C.

June 27, 2011
Inaugural Meeting
AAMC Headquarters
Washington, D.C.