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Deep and Wide: The Voyage to Discover Local and Global Health Equity

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker

Lisa A. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Health and Healthcare Equity
James F. Fries Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Cooper is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Health and Healthcare Equity, and the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University. Born in Liberia, she witnessed the effects of social deprivation on the health of many of her fellow citizens and developed a passion for a career in medicine and public health. Dr. Cooper’s research program examines the effectiveness of multilevel strategies for advancing health equity in the United States and Sub Saharan Africa. She has conducted observational studies to describe attitudinal barriers to equitable health status and health care among patients from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and to elucidate mechanisms, such as the quality of social relationships, for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health status and healthcare. She has also led several clinical trials, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), testing innovative interventions targeting physicians’ communication skills, patients’ self-management skills, and healthcare organizations’ ability to address patients’ needs. Currently, she directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity where she and her team work with stakeholders from healthcare and communities in the US and Africa to implement rigorous clinical trials, identifying interventions that alleviate racial and income disparities in social determinants and health outcomes. The Center also provides training to a new generation of scholars.

Summary

Dr. Cooper's research at Johns Hopkins University has focused on the crisis of inequity in medical care. Dr. Cooper was one of the first scientists to document disparities in the quality of relationships between physicians and patients from socially at-risk groups. A recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Award, she has designed innovative interventions targeting physicians' communication skills, patients' self-management skills, and healthcare organizations' ability to address needs of populations experiencing health disparities. Dr. Cooper is now applying these techniques in real time during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionally affecting marginalized communities, including African American and Hispanic communities in her adopted hometown of Baltimore. Such local outreach will be a focus of her WALS lecture.


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