Massachusetts Medical Society: Annual Education Program Speakers

Annual Education Program Speakers


Joan Y. Reede

Joan Y. Reede, MD, MS, MPH, MBA
Dean, Diversity and Community Partnership, Harvard Medical School

Appointed as the first Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership in January 2002, Joan Y. Reede is responsible for the development and management of a comprehensive program that provides leadership, guidance, and support to promote the increased recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented minority faculty at Harvard Medical School (HMS). This charge includes oversight of all diversity activities at HMS as they relate to faculty, trainees, students, and staff.

In 1990, Dr. Reede founded the HMS Minority Faculty Development Program and also currently serves as Faculty Director of the Community Outreach programs. In 2008, she became the Director of the Harvard Catalyst Program for Faculty Development and Diversity. In addition, Dr. Reede holds appointments of Professor of Medicine at HMS, Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Assistant in Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 1989, prior to coming to HMS, Dr. Reede served as the medical director of a Boston community health center, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Youth Services. She has also worked as a pediatrician in community and academic health centers, juvenile prisons, and public schools.

The impact of Reede’s work is reflected in the numerous programs she has created to benefit minority students, residents, scientists, and physicians. Dr. Reede created and developed more than 20 programs at HMS that aim to address pipeline and leadership issues for minorities and women who are interested in careers in medicine, academic and scientific research, and the healthcare professions. Supported by a dedicated staff, she has developed mentoring programs for underrepresented minority students from the middle school through the graduate and medical school levels. She has also designed a training program for middle and high school teachers, developed science curricula for public schools, implemented research and exchange clerkship programs at HMS, and designed and implemented innovative fellowships in minority health policy for physicians, dentists, and doctoral-level mental health professionals.

In collaboration with the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Board of Higher Education, Dr. Reede founded the Biomedical Careers Program (BSCP). A collaborative, community-based organization, BSCP’s scope of involvement includes academia, private industry, medical centers, public education, and professional societies. BSCP’s goal is to identify, support, and provide mentoring for underrepresented minority students, trainees, and professionals pursuing careers in the biomedical and health sciences.

Dr. Reede has received many awards. The diversity of these honors is a reflection of her far-reaching and varied accomplishments. A few of the awards included in these recognitions of her achievements are: the Boston NAACP Health Award for her contributions to the health of the Boston minority community; the Community Service Award from the Epilepsy Association of Massachusetts for her work on a five-part satellite series on neuroscience for New England high school teachers; the American Association of University Administrators Exemplary Models of Administrative Leadership Award; the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine; the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Academic Leadership in Primary Care Award from Morehouse School of Medicine. In 2007, she was awarded the Riland Medal for Public Service from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the New York Institute of Technology.

At the national level, Dr. Reede was appointed to the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health by Donna E. Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and she served on the Board of Governors for the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center; the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Council; the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and as a Commissioner of The Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce. Dr. Reede formerly served on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH; the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions; the Education Board of the American Public Health Association; the National Hispanic Medical Association; the Health Research & Trust Board of Directors of the American Hospital Association, and the National Children’s Study Advisory Committee of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In 2009, Dr. Reede was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Reede is the past chair of NAM’s Interest Group (IG) 08 on Health of Populations/Health. Some of Dr. Reede’s current affiliations include the Steering Committee and Task Force for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS); co-chair of the Bias Review Committee of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director’s Working Group on Diversity; the National Advisory Board of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute of Morehouse School of Medicine; chair of the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI), HMS representative to the GDI Diversity Strategic Planning Working Group; CTSA Women in CTR Interest Group of the NIH, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) STEM Education Review Committee.

Locally, former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift appointed Dr. Reede to the Board of Directors of the John Adams Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Also in 2007, Dr. Reede was invited to join the Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative Task Force, one of several task forces charged with developing a state-wide life sciences strategy.

Dr. Reede graduated from Brown University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed a pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and a fellowship in child psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. She holds an MPH and an MS in Health Policy Management from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and an MBA from Boston University.


Rochelle P. Walensky

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH
Director, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.

Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.

Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings.

She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Patrice A. Harris

Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA
Immediate Past President, American Medical Association

Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was the 174th president of the American Medical Association, and the organization’s first African-American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, county public health director, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist.

Dr. Harris currently spearheads the AMA’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic and has been chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since its inception in 2014. Dr. Harris continues to lead the task force as it works across every state to eliminate barriers to treatment, provide patients with access to affordable, non-opioid pain care, and fight the stigma faced by those with substance use-disorders.

Having served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2011, and as chair from 2016 to 2017, she has long been a mentor, a role model and an advocate. Prior to serving on the board, Dr. Harris honed her broad knowledge and deep understanding of health care issues through various leadership roles. At the AMA these included having served for many years on the AMA Council on Legislation, including a term as chair, and on multiple AMA task forces on topics such as health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting. Beyond the AMA she has held positions of leadership with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and The Big Cities Health Coalition, where she chaired this forum composed of leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments.

Growing up in Bluefield, W. Va., Dr. Harris dreamt of entering medicine at a time when few women of color were encouraged to become physicians. Dr. Harris spent her formative years at West Virginia University, earning a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and, ultimately, a medical degree in 1992.

It was during this time that her passion for helping children emerged, and she completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Two themes that govern Dr. Harris’s professional life are a passion to improve the lives of children and service to others. A recognized expert in children’s mental health and childhood trauma, Dr. Harris has led efforts on both local and national levels to integrate public health, behavioral health and primary care services with supports for employment, housing and education.

A fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Harris continues in private practice and currently consults with both public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and an adjunct clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Michael Curry

Michael A. Curry, Esq.
President & CEO, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

Michael Curry, Esq. is the President & CEO at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (the “Mass League”), which represents 52 health centers, serving over 1 million patients out of over 314 practice sites throughout the state. He previously served as Senior Vice President of the Government Affairs and Public Policy Division for the Mass League. Prior to joining the League in 2008, Michael had a 16-year career at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, most of that time as Senior Policy Advisor in the Corporate Affairs Division, which included government, public, internal and community affairs. He has served on the health care transition teams for Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, as well as the transition team for Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti, and was involved in the passage of Massachusetts Health Reform and the Affordable Care Act. He also serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and formerly on the Board of Trustees for Roxbury Community College, as well as in the role of Adjunct Professor for the Suffolk University Moakley Center for Public Management. He has received numerous local and national awards for leadership and advocacy.

Curry was also past President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP (2011-2016), and has over twenty years of dedicated service to the NAACP on the city, state-area conference and national levels. He was elected nationally to the NAACP’s Board of Directors in 2014, and reelected twice in 2017 and 2020, and now serves as Chair the National NAACP’s Advocacy & Policy Committee and Vice-Chair of the Political Action and Legislation Committee.

Mr. Curry earned a Bachelor’s of Arts from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from New England Law Boston, and graduated from the inaugural class of the Executive Leadership Council’s Pipeline to Leadership Program.

He is a frequent Political Commentator on WBUR’s Radio Boston, Morning Edition and Week in Review, Boston Public Radio WGBH with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, WGBH’s Greater Boston, and New England Cable News/NBC Boston, as well as frequently requested to provide reactions to breaking news, presidential and mayoral debates, and state of the union/city addresses.

Based on his close to 30 years of experience in health care and insurance, combined with his advocacy on the issues of health equity and racial disparities, Michael is working on various aspects of the COVID19 pandemic. He serves on both the City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force and the Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA)’s Health Equity Task Force, and coordinating the community health center response to the public health crisis with the state’s Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), various municipalities, and Partners in Health on testing, tracking, contact tracing and treatment.

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