Massachusetts Medical Society: Annual Oration Speaker Bios

Annual Oration Speaker Bios

2021 Annual Oration

Responsiveness and Resilience: Leading Through Public Health Crises

Simone Wildes

Simone Wildes, MD, FACP, FIDSA

Dr. Wildes is an infectious disease physician, public health expert, and ABC News medical contributor. She works at South Shore Health in Weymouth MA. Dr. Wildes is actively involved with the Massachusetts Medical Society as an executive board member, chair of the Committee on Diversity, and vice chair of the Committee on Public Health. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Health Equity advisory group.

Dr. Wildes earned her bachelor’s degree from Barry University in Florida and her medical degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. She completed her internship, residency and infectious disease fellowship at Hahnemann University Hospital and is currently a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Tufts Medical Center. She is a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American College of Physicians. She also volunteers at her local church in Boston as its health director and is involved with Boston’s Faith-based Cancer Disparities Network.


Monica Bharel, MD, MPH

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.


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