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Emerging Majority Affairs Committee

Overview

The Emerging Majority Affairs Committee (EMAC) of the Yale Alumni in Public Health (AYAPH) is committed to ensuring the interests and impact of the emerging majority - individuals of African, Latino/Hispanic, American Indian descent, and other under-represented groups - are considered in all matters concerning the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). This includes serving as the liaison between YSPH alumni, YSPH students, and the school on matters such as the student experience, faculty recruitment, financial aid, social and academic support programs, and mentoring. EMAC is currently collaborating with the Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Administrator of DEI programs on ways to continue to create and promote a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at the school. Additionally, EMAC is working with the Emerging Majority Students Association (EMSA) to establish programs that will foster networking and mentorship in the virtual environment.

Objectives

EMAC strives to meet its goal by pursuing the following activities:

  • Addressing YSPH issues that impact the interest, performance and/or impression of underrepresented students of color
  • Raising funds for the Creed/Patton/Steele and Anderson Alumni Scholarship Funds;
  • Participating in YSPH regional recruitment activities
  • Participating in activities geared towards recruiting a diverse student body in consultation with the YSPH Admissions Office
  • Assisting with faculty recruitment by circulating faculty vacancy announcements to the EMAC network
  • Promoting a sense of unity among students, alumni and members of EMAC

The objectives of EMAC will be met through the work of the Executive Committee and separate subcommittees.

Committee Members

  • Elaine Anderson is a 1976 graduate of the Yale School of Public Health. She worked at Yale for over 30 years, serving as Director of Community, Alumni and Special Studies at YSPH until her retirement in 2007. Her office had responsibility for a number of functions including institutional research; the school’s reaccreditation; strategic planning; public health practice; alumni relations; continuing education and workforce development; and special projects. Currently, she is a member of a number of nonprofit and community boards including the Board of the East Shore District Health Department.
  • Dr. Linda Marc-Clerisme received a Doctorate of Science in Social Determinants of Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in Massachusetts, a Master in Public Health from Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. John’s University in New York. She completed post-doctoral training in the Mood Disorders Program and HIV Clinical Trials Unit at the Weill Medical College of Cornell; completed a fellowship at Brown University through the Initiative on HIV/AIDS in Disadvantage Communities; and she was a Fellow in the Program on Ethnic Group Differences in Mental Health at Cambridge Health Alliance & Harvard Medical School.
  • Kevin Nelson is the Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Better Health of New York (ABHNY). He has extensive experience in management, policy and business development for health care and humanitarian organizations serving underserved populations. Kevin’s entrée into healthcare management began with community health centers and public hospitals more than 25 years ago. Prior to joining ABHNY, Kevin was V.P. for Corporate Partnerships for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Kevin also served as Executive V.P. and Chief Operating Officer for Hudson Health Plan, a non-profit managed care organization that provides government health insurance programs and advocates for health policy changes and improvements for all underserved populations.Kevin earned an MPH in Health Policy and Management from Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Kevin is a former member of the Association of Yale Alumni Board of Governor and Past President of the Association of Yale Alumni in Public Health (AYAPH). He is also a founding member of the AYAPH’s Emerging Majority Affairs Committee. Kevin is named one of Westchester County’s Top Male Executives by the Westchester County Business Journal. He also received the American College of Healthcare Executives Young Healthcare Executive Award for Eastern New York State and is the recipient of the YSPH’s Award for Excellence in Public Health.
  • Jenny Ozor (MPH’19, Health Policy) is passionate about fostering mentorship connections between alumni and students and is excited to serve as an EMAC committee member. She is currently based in Washington D.C., working as a Senior Public Policy Analyst. Her public health interests include maternal health, health equity, and access to quality health care. During 2018-2019, she served as the Co-President for the Emerging Majority Students Association (EMSA) and was a part of the team that created the inaugural YSPH Alumni of Color Panel and Networking Reception along with the Emerging Majority Affairs Committee.
  • For the last two decades, Dr. Pilgrim has conducted HIV research among populations vulnerable to HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. She has worked in the academic and non-profit industries prior to her current role, where she is Director of Global Implementation Science at ViiV Healthcare. She is co-founder of Taking It Pro, a small business focused on career development of women of color. Dr. Pilgrim holds a BA and MPH from Yale University and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Lynne Rosenwald-Bannister, '77 M.P.H., Supportive Housing Works, System Coordinator.  Lynne E. Bannister joined Supportive Housing WORKS after a long career in public health and social services in both the Connecticut and Boston, Massachusetts area. She is currently the system coordinator for the Social Innovation Fund grant which pairs supportive housing with improved health outcomes for very vulnerable men and women. Prior to joining the organization, Lynne was a consultant with The Sable Group, Inc., in Weston, CT focusing on issues of diversity, health disparities and access to health care. Lynne attended Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY and Windham College in Putney, VT where she received a B.A. in English Literature, she also earned an M.S. in Education from the University of Bridgeport, CT and an M.P.H. in Health Services Administration from Yale University in New Haven, CT. She has been an active board member of AYAPH since 1983 and has served as a member of the Diversity Committee, Secretary of the Emerging Majority Affairs Committee, Vice President and is presently the Treasurer for the Association. She is also a member of the Housatonic Community College Foundation and is a long-time tutor with Mercy Learning Center for Women in Bridgeport, CT.
  • Dashni  Sathasivam, '19 M.P.H., Health Equity Solutions, Program Manager. Dashni Sathasivam is compelled by the intersection of health policy and advocacy and believes engaging communities and amplifying the voices of those directly impacted by policies as central to achieving structural changes that advance health equity. Originally from Wisconsin, her role as the Latino Outreach Coordinator with the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center's Cancer Health Disparities Initiative and service as a City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps Member informed her community-based participatory approach to health and partnership building. Dashni graduated with a Master’s in Public Health in health policy from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). In recognition of her commitment to social justice within YSPH and the wider New Haven community, she was awarded the inaugural YSPH Student Award for Outstanding Contributions in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Gender & Women's Studies and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Modupeore (Ore) Shenbanjo is a Consultant at GE Healthcare Partners where she focuses on hospital operations and health system transformation. Through her role, she collaborates with frontline staff, surgeons, cardiologists, directors and managers to improve the patient experience, staff and physician satisfaction.Prior to joining GE Healthcare Partners, Ore served as a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. In this role, she collaborated with various clients to improve information sharing, communication, and collaboration across patient-care teams. She concurrently took on the role of project management lead for several efforts aimed at improving the quality of care delivered across the Military Health System.As part of her summer internship, Ore served as a Project Officer at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. Throughout her internship, Ore leveraged her analytic expertise to collaborate with the Director of Operations, Divisional Director of Surgery, and consulting physicians to assess and improve pathways for preoperative outcomes.Ore has also accrued experience in the healthcare setting through her role as an HIV test counselor and her work in Adolescent Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Across Ore’s former roles, she has cultivated a passion for using mentorship and educational instruction to improve departmental communications, department culture, clinical operations, and, ultimately the patient experience.Ore holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Yale School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from Case Western Reserve University.
  • Alicia J. Whittington, PhD, MPH, is a research scientist and assistant director of engagement and health equity research for the Football Players Health Study at Harvard Medical School. She is also the co-lead of a new research initiative, Family Experiences Managing Football Lives, also known as FEM-FL. Alicia is an experienced healthcare consultant and has several years of research experience, including her role as project director of the Longevity Consortium at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco. She attended Wellesley College and created her own public health major, focusing on women’s health and biological sciences. After college, she conducted research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She earned a Master of Public Health in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University.Alicia earned a Doctor of Philosophy in health systems management from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She focused on health disparities, health outcomes, and sports injuries research. She completed her dissertation research on “Concussion Education and Perceptions of Injury Risk among High School Football Players” and graduated with honors. In addition to playing the violin, she enjoys reading, writing, crafting, photography, traveling, serving on multiple boards, mentoring youth, and learning something new every day.

Activities and Accomplishments

EMAC is involved in numerous activities at YSPH that impact students of color. The following are a few of the committee’s major activities and accomplishments.

YSPH Alumni of Color Event: April 2019

The Emerging Majority Students Association (EMSA) at YSPH held the inaugural YSPH Alumni of Color Panel and Networking Reception on Friday, April 5th, 2019. This event was born from the desire to build networks between students and alumni of color and foster a space for open connectivity. The night consisted of a happy hour, speed mentoring with alumni from various sectors (including business/industry, research, NGOs, etc) and a fireside chat. We had 45 students in attendance and 12 alumni participated.

Study on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Faculty: April 2006 - present

The objective of this study is to identify what resources are in place to recruit and retain underrepresented minority (URM) faculty at Yale School of Public Health. The final report from this study will provide a comparison of the Yale findings to those documented in the “best practices” review and will include possible recommendations about how the Yale policies and procedures may be adjusted or improved to increase the recruitment and retention of URM faculty. The findings will also be shared with faculty and administrative decision-makers from higher educational institutions across the nation at a national symposium organized by EMAC in 2008. This is intended to add to the paucity of literature in the area of best practices and will serve as baseline data for future efforts in this area.

Under the mission of EMAC, this type of activity bridges the gap for URM groups who seek support for research into areas that adversely impact URM communities in this country and around the globe. A more diverse faculty may solicit a more diverse student body enabling the School to maintain its top position nationally in the recruitment of URM students. In addition, by increasing the number of URM faculty, the research, teaching and mentorship environment will be more conducive to an ultimately more diverse student population.
The initiative is partially funded by Yale and the Connecticut Health Foundation.

Creed/Patton/Steele Scholarship Fund: January 2003 – Present

EMAC played an active role in establishing YSPH’s first endowed scholarship for under-represented minority students.

Recognizing the importance of diversity in graduate and professional education, the Creed/Patton/Steele Scholarship was established to serve as a visible and lasting tribute to these three men and their efforts as well as the enduring contributions made by all underrepresented minorities to the field of public health. Scholarship candidates must show an interest or experience in issues related to health disparities, service to vulnerable populations, and/or community health. They must also demonstrate outstanding potential for contribution to public health and to social justice.

Welcome Receptions for New and Returning Students of Color: September 1999 – October 2006

Annual receptions were held to welcome new students and welcome back returning students. The reception provided an opportunity for networking among students and alumni. It was also a forum for providing feedback and sharing thoughts about the YSPH program. EMAC members encouraged all students to use them as a resource for information, contacts and overall support.

Alumni Day Program - Separate and Unequal: Confronting Disparities in Health: June 2, 2006

EMAC planned, organized and hosted the annual AYAPH Alumni meeting. The program served as a forum for Yale faculty and other scholars, policy analysts, practitioners and public health professionals to share their knowledge, express their views and offer strategies to address health disparities.