Massachusetts Medical Society: Dr. Joan Reede honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with Reducing Health Disparities Award

Dr. Joan Reede honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with Reducing Health Disparities Award

Joan Y Reede

WALTHAM – Dr. Joan Y. Reede, dean for diversity and community partnership and faculty director of community outreach at Harvard Medical School, has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society as the recipient of its 2022 Reducing Health Disparities Award, an honor recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to reducing health disparities due to race, socioeconomic status, age, education, or sexual orientation.

Reede, who brought her expertise as a speaker during the Medical Society’s inaugural Black Women in Medicine Conference last year, oversees efforts to promote the increased recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented and diverse faculty at Harvard Medical School. In 1991, Reede founded the Biomedical Science Careers Program, which strives to identify, inform, support, and provide mentoring for academically outstanding students/fellows, particularly African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals.

“The pipeline for investigators and scientists coming from the ranks of people of color has been restricted for many reasons,” said Dr. Ronald Dunlap, past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “Lack of funding and resources limits young Blacks from entering the research arena, as most have to rely on grants rather than salaries. This is a consequence of the lack of people of color as mentors at most medical schools. (Reede’s) program identifies talented students early in their careers and nurtures them along the way. Her Biomedical Science Careers Program is a “prototype” for what can be done to achieve equitable access to careers in biologic sciences.”

“Dr. Reede is truly the embodiment of servant leadership,” said Dr. Samantha Rosman, director of global health equity at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Every decision, every effort, every ounce of her energy, is devoted to improving the lives of the patients and communities we serve. Dr. Reede is one of those rare people who sees obstacles not as barriers but as opportunities for change. She does not waste her time on false assurances, on self-promotion, or on tinkering around the edges but instead possesses an almost uncanny ability to cut to the heart of a problem and speak truth to power.”

Reede, a graduate of Brown University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, served on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health and the Secretary’s Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members. We are dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally. A leadership voice in health care, the MMS contributes physician and patient perspectives to influence health-related legislation at the state and federal levels, works in support of public health, provides expert advice on physician practice management, and addresses issues of physician well-being. Under the auspices of the NEJM Group, the MMS extends our mission globally by advancing medical knowledge from research to patient care through the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Catalyst, and the NEJM Journal Watch family of specialty publications, and through our education products for health care professionals: NEJM Knowledge+, NEJM Resident 360, and our accredited and comprehensive continuing medical education programs.

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