Massachusetts Medical Society: Annual Education Program Speaker Bios

Annual Education Program Speaker Bios

2022 MMS Annual Education Program — Prioritizing and Preserving Psychological Health

Friday, May 20, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Monica Bharel

Monica Bharel, MD, MPH

As Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Dr. Monica Bharel served as the Commonwealth’s chief physician from 2015-2021. She helped lead the state’s aggressive response to the opioid crisis and is dedicated to reducing health disparities and developing data-driven, evidence-based solutions for keeping people healthy. Most recently, Dr. Bharel led the Massachusetts public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Commissioner, Dr. Bharel oversaw a public health workforce of nearly 3000 and an expansive department addressing issues, from environmental health to injury prevention to infectious diseases. Under her leadership, Massachusetts ranked nationally as among the healthiest states in the nation.

Dr. Bharel is a board-certified internist who has practiced general internal medicine for more than 20 years, including at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Medical Center, neighborhood health centers, the Veterans Administration and nonprofit organizations. She has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, and has been recognized for her dedication to underserved and vulnerable populations. Prior to becoming Commissioner, she was Chief Medical Officer of Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

She holds a Master of Public Health degree through the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy. She holds a medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital/Boston Medical Center.

Elsie M. Taveras

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH

Elsie Taveras is the inaugural Chief Community Health Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham and Executive Director of the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. She leads system-wide strategies to improve health equity and the health of the communities served by Mass General Brigham. She is a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Conrad Taff Professor of Pediatrics in the Field of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Taveras is a leading expert in community health equity, childhood obesity, maternal-child health, and health disparities. Her research and community health leadership have influenced the development of national programs to improve health outcomes and eliminate inequities for socially at-risk populations. She is a recipient of the Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award from the Massachusetts Association of Public Health for her work improving health and health care in community-based settings.

Dr. Taveras received her Bachelor of Science and medical degrees from New York University and completed her internship, residency, and chief residency at the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital and holds an MPH from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Julian Cyr

Senator Julian Cyr

Julian Cyr (pronouns he/him/his) serves in the Massachusetts Senate representing Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. First elected to the State Senate on November 8, 2016, Senator Cyr is now serving in his third term and is among the youngest senators in the 40-member body. He is the Senate Assistant Majority Whip; Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion; Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs; and serves on committees with oversight of health care policy, public health, telecommunications and energy, COVID-19 emergency management, and redistricting.

Senator Cyr has experience in public policy, health advocacy, organizing, and social justice. Prior to his election, he served as director of policy and regulatory affairs for environmental health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Previously, under Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, he worked closely with members of the Legislature as deputy director for government affairs at the Department of Public Health. From 2011-2017, he also served on the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth, including a highly productive tenure as chair in 2013 and 2014.

Vicker DiGravio

Vicker V. DiGravio, III, MPA

Vicker DiGravio is President of Riverside Community Care where he is responsible for strategic direction, organizational planning in response to funding opportunities and community needs, and advising on service delivery and overall strategy, mission, and marketing. Well-versed in the behavioral health marketplace and legislative affairs, Mr. DiGravio served for 12 years as President and CEO of the Association for Behavioral Healthcare of Massachusetts. Immediately prior to joining Riverside, he served as Vice President for Strategy at eHana, a health information technology company. Earlier Mr. DiGravio served as Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.

Michelle Durham

Michelle P. Durham, MD, MPH, FAPA, DFAACAP

Michelle Durham is the Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)/Boston Medical Center (BMC). She is a board certified physician specializing in pediatric and adult psychiatry with additional board certification in addiction medicine. Dr. Durham practices clinically at BMC and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at BUSM. Her public health and clinical roles have always been in marginalized communities. She is dedicated to health equity and advocacy for equitable mental health treatment globally and locally. Her research focuses on workforce development that reflects groups historically excluded from medicine, training and education for both the pediatric workforce and mental health professionals. She is the Director of Clinical Training for the BMC Transforming and Expanding Access to Mental Health in Urban Pediatrics (TEAM UP) grant funded initiative to bring mental health care into the pediatric primary care setting in federally qualified community health centers. Through the TEAM UP initiative she developed an e-course for the pediatric care team to build foundational skills in working with children and adolescents with behavioral health concerns. She is the Principal Investigator for three federally funded grants: HRSA Maternal and Child Health Collaborative Office Rounds, HRSA Achieving Culturally Competent and Equitable Substance use Services (ACCESS) Training Program and SAMHSA STAR (Services for Trauma and Resources) for families.

Dr. Durham received her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, completed her residency training at BMC and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the Emory Rollins School of Public Health. She is involved at the state and national level in the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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