Episode 3: COVID-19 Special Discussion
Updated: May 28
Our third episode will feature an expert panel discussing data released from multiple news sources illustrating a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Black and Brown communities.
Featured on Episode 3 of Black Fam...
Dr. Melody Goodman, P.H.D, M.S, M.A, BA
Associate Dean for Research
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
School of Global Public Health, New York University
Dr. Melody Goodman received her B.S. summa cum laude in applied mathematics-statistics and economics (double major) from Stony Brook University. She received her M.S. in biostatistics from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and her Ph.D. from the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University with minors in theoretical statistics and the social determinants of health disparities. She is the Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor of Biostatistics, in the School of Global Public Health at New York University. The National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Verizon Foundation, Long Island Community Foundation, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure have funded her work. She has over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books (2018 Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group); 1) Public Health Research Methods for Partnerships and Practice and 2) Biostatistics for Clinical and Public Health Research. Dr. Goodman is a biostatistician and research methodologist with a large statistical toolbox. Her research interest is on identifying origins of health disparities and developing, as necessary, evidence-based primary prevention strategies to reduce these health disparities.
Georges C. Benjamin, MD, MACP, FACEP (E), FNAPA, Hon FRSPH, Hon FFPH Executive Director, American Public Health Association. Georges Benjamin is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his first hand experience as a physician, he knows what happens whenpreventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As executive director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation. He came to APHA from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program.
Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Md., is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a Master of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a Fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He holds honorary fellowships in two British societies; the Royal Society of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health as well as an honorary doctorate of science from the Meharry Medical College.
An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Wash., where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief ofthe Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center and was an attending physician within the Department of Emergency Medicine. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of emergency medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to acting commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as interim director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.
At APHA, Benjamin also serves as publisher of the nonprofit's monthly publication, The Nation's Health, the association's official newspaper, and the American Journal of Public Health, the profession’s premier scientific publication. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. His recent book The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History is an exposé of the nearly 100-year quest to ensure quality affordable health coverage for all through the use of political cartoons.Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Formally the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and also serves on the boards for many organizations including Research!America, the Reagan-Udall Foundation Environmental Defense Fund and eco America. In 2008, 2014 and 2016 he was named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care by Modern Healthcare Magazine, in addition to being voted among the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007-2018. In April 2016 President Obama appointed Dr. Benjamin, to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the President on how best to assure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD
Dr. Camara Jones is the 2019-2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Past President of the American Public Health Association (2015-2016).
She is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation and the world. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).
Dr. Jones is a public health leader valued for her creativity and intellectual agility:
As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions.
As a social epidemiologist, her work on "race"-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond simply documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences.
As a teacher, her allegories on "race" and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She aims through her work to catalyze a National Campaign Against Racism that will mobilize and engage all Americans.
Dr. Jones was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (1994 to 2000) before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000 to 2014), where she served as a Medical Officer and Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity. Most recently, she was a Senior Fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine (2013 to 2019).
She has been elected to service on many professional boards, including her current service on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb County (Georgia) Board of Health and the National Board of Public Health Examiners.
She is also actively sought as a contributor to national efforts to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity, including as a faculty member for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Pursuing Excellence in the Clinical Learning Environment collaborative addressing Health Care Disparities; as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine; and as a Project Advisor and on-screen expert for the groundbreaking film series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Highly valued as a mentor and teacher, she is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Her many honors include the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award (Wellesley College’s highest alumnae honor, 2018), the John Snow Award (given in recognition of “enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice” by the American Public Health Association’s Epidemiology Section, 2011), and awards named after luminaries David Satcher (2003), Hildrus A. Poindexter (2009), Paul Cornely (2016), Shirley Nathan Pulliam (2016), Louis Stokes (2018), Frances Borden-Hubbard (2018), and Cato T. Laurencin (2018).
Dr. Jones earned her BA in Molecular Biology from Wellesley College, her MD from the Stanford University School of Medicine, and both her Master of Public Health and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also completed residency training in General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins and in Family Practice at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.