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Clinical Public Health Faculty and Clinical Public Health Mentors

GW’s Clinical Public Health curriculum includes student access to and leadership by faculty members who are clinicians who are also expert and experienced in public health, population health, health policy, health systems, health advocacy or related practice and health professional education. 

GW SMHS Clinical Public Health faculty lead various courses, degree programs and activities related to the GW SMHS Clinical Public Health curriculum and efforts including the course, “Patients, Populations and Systems,” Clinical Public Health Summits, the Culinary Medicine Program, the Criminal Justice Health Program and Community Service Learning. 

Clinical Public Health Mentors facilitate student case discussions that are part of the “Patients, Populations and Systems” course, provide mentorship and guidance for students, give expert lectures as part of the Clinical Public Health curriculum and also work with basic and clinical faculty to support curricular development around Clinical Public Health topics.   

The Clinical Public Health Mentors, along with faculty from the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health (MISPH), also serve as advisors for GW medical students who participate in the GW SMHS/MISPH Combined Degree Program (MD/MPH and MD/Certificate in Public Health).

The GW SMHS faculty members who lead these Clinical Public Health efforts each have exceptional clinical experience and collectively provide GW students and faculty with deep and wide knowledge and experience in public health, population health, health policy, leadership and advocacy. 

The Clinical Public Health Faculty and Mentors are:

Hana AskelrodHana Akselrod, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Medicine

 

Hana Akselrod, MD, MPH, is an infectious disease physician and assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW). Her areas of interest include travel medicine, LGBTQ health, and HIV across the lifespan. She conducts research on HIV and aging as part of the DC Center for AIDS Research, and serves as the GW site principal investigator for the DC Cohort, a city-wide longitudinal cohort that follows over 10,000 people in care for HIV across 15 clinical sites. 

Prior to medical training, Dr. Akselrod worked for the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, supporting research on tuberculosis in Russia. She then attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she was a leader in the American Medical Student Association and received the Physicians for Human Rights 2011 National Emerging Leaders Award for her work on a human rights curriculum. She completed her MPH and the Climate Change and Health program at the Yale School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine residency training at the Maine Medical Center, and her ID fellowship at GW. 

Dr. Akselrod is passionate about interdisciplinary work and physician leadership on issues affecting the health of marginalized patients and communities. She has served on the American Medical Association (AMA) Resident and Fellow Section Public Health Committee, is a reviewer and occasional contributor for the AMA Journal of Ethics, and has been a member of several Capitol Hill delegations with the Infectious Disease Society of America. She is actively involved in medical education at GW, serving as a faculty mentor in the Quality Improvement Curriculum and as course co-director for the IM-EM Residency Global Health Elective. 

Dr. Kaylan  BabanKaylan Baban, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Director, Clinical Pubic Health Summit #4
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Founding Director, GW Wellness Center 

 

Kaylan A. Baban, MD MPH is Chief Wellness Officer and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Director of the Lifestyle Medicine program at the GW Medical Faculty Associates. She is board-certified in Preventive Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine with a focus on holistic care and patient empowerment.

Dr. Baban earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University as an I. I. Rabi Science Scholar. She received her MD and MPH from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a George James Epidemiology awardee with Distinction in Research. She completed residency and a chief year in Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society inductee, Harvard Macy Future Academic Clinician Educator, and Mount Sinai Beth Israel Integrative Medicine interdisciplinary fellow.

As a clinician and educator, Dr. Baban believes that a holistic approach personalized to the individual is the key to success, and she enjoys working with her patients and students to find the path right for them. Dr. Baban’s research and curricular efforts address mindful provision of healthcare and digital health for prevention, patient empowerment, and optimized health outcomes. She currently leads a mixed methods evaluation of individualized lifestyle management for primary and secondary prevention of non-communicable conditions.

Dr. Baban is an active member of both the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, serving as core faculty for the colleges’ joint Lifestyle Medicine Core Curriculum course, and serving as an active member of the ACLM Provider Wellness committee.

Jodi BalisJodi Balis, RD

Culinary Medicine Program
Chef-Instructor in Medicine
 

Jodi Balis RD has worked in public health nutrition as a culinary instructor and dietitian for 18 years, working within the nonprofit sector to develop and manage cooking and nutrition programs for underserved communities. Jodi developed hundreds of low budget healthy recipes that were distributed throughout Giant Foods in the mid-Atlantic and co-authored a cookbook highlighting healthy budget friendly meals, for the management and prevention of chronic diet related diseases. She is currently a wellness consultant, a personal chef, and a writer.

Asad Bandealy, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Asad Bandealy is a board-certified community pediatrician at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC. In his clinical and community work, Dr. Bandealy endeavors to incorporate the tenets of community-oriented primary care (COPC), engaging with patients, families, and the community beyond the four walls of the clinic to address the social determinants of health that impact the wellness of our communities. As this can improve patient care and provider satisfaction, Dr. Bandealy envisions a world where COPC is a standard part of medical education.

Dr. Bandealy has a passion for firearm injury prevention. During his pediatric residency training, he worked with the Chicago Police Department and the State’s Attorney’s office on a gun violence education program for middle school students. Dr. Bandealy has also worked with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to develop a training module for primary care clinicians to discuss firearm injury prevention and safe storage with families in clinic. He has conducted research into lethal means restriction as a strategy for suicide prevention and served on the planning committee for the AAP’s recent national summit on gun injury prevention: Mobilizing for Action to Protect Children & Youth. Most recently Dr. Bandealy is serving as the co-Chair for Advocacy at Children’s National’s SAFER firearms injury reduction working group.

Aside from his deep commitment to firearm injury prevention, Dr. Bandealy engages in various projects around reducing health disparities, including work with the DC Pediatric Oral Health Coalition and early childhood caries reduction efforts at Children’s National, as well as DC Mayor Bowser’s Every Day Counts Taskforce to reduce chronic school absenteeism.

In his spare time, Dr. Bandealy enjoys basketball, astronomy, and, most importantly, fatherhood!

 

 

April BarbourApril Barbour, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Professor of Medicine

April Barbour, MD, MPH, is an internist with The GW Medical Faculty Associates and an associate professor of medicine with The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She completed her undergraduate degree at University of Virginia and graduated from medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. After completing her internal medicine residency at Emory University, she joined the Division of General Medicine at the Emory Clinic.

During her stint at Emory, she received her Master’s in Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health. In 2003, she relocated to D.C. and joined the Medical Faculty Associates. In 2005, she became the Program Director for the Primary Care residency program, and has been very involved in medical-student and resident education ever since. Her approach to patient care is holistic and patient-centered.

Dr. Barbour has several clinical and scholarly interests including preventative care, consultative medicine, patient safety, medical education, transitions in care and cancer survivorship care.

 

George Washington illustrationKarla Bartholomew, PhD, JD, MPH, PA

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems course
Director, Medicine/Public Health Degree Programs
Assistant Clinical Professor, Physician Assistant Studies Program


 

Sonal BatraSonal Batra, MD, MST

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Medicine

 

Sonal Batra, MD, MST, FACEP is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  She holds a secondary appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Milken Institute School of Public Health and is a lead researcher in the Fitzhugh Mullan Institue for Health Workforce Equity.  Dr. Batra practices clinically at GW University Hospital and United Medical Center, the only public hospital in the nation’s capital. 

Dr. Batra serves as associate residency director for The George Washington University Emergency Medicine Residency and is primarily responsible for overseeing the educational curriculum of the residency. Dr. Batra was also a founding board member of the Beyond Flexner Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing social mission in health professions education.  Her current research projects include serving as co-PI of the Social Mission Metrics Initiative, a project aimed at developing a framework for measuring the social mission of health professions schools.  She is particularly interested in diversifying the healthcare workforce and has worked on several pipeline programs for high school students across Washington, D.C. who are interested in entering the health professions.

Dr. Batra also has interests in global health and volunteers with the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network, conducting forensic medical exams to corroborate asylum seekers’ claims of persecution and torture. She also works as global health faculty for the department’s post-graduate training programs across India. 

Dr. Batra received her bachelor of arts in psychology and medical degree from Northwestern University. She completed residency in emergency medicine at The George Washington University, serving as chief resident in her final year. Between undergraduate and medical school, Dr. Batra spent two years teaching middle school science with Teach for America. During that time, she earned a Master’s of Science in Teaching (MST) from Pace University in New York City.

Dr. Lee BeersLee Beers, MD

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director for Municipal and Regional Affairs, Child Health Advocacy Institute

Lee Ann Savio Beers, MD, is associate professor of pediatrics and the medical director for Municipal and Regional Affairs within Children’s National’s Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health and Child Health Advocacy Institute. She is also the director of the DC Mental Health Access in Pediatrics (DC MAP) program and co-director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network. She oversees the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care, a public-private coalition that serves as a catalyst to elevate the standard of mental health care for every young person in the city by increasing primary care provider capacity and achieving systemic policy change.

She earned her medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed a pediatric residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Prior to joining Children’s National, she was a general pediatrician at the Naval Hospital in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Beers has held numerous leadership positions in the American Academy of Pediatrics, and serves in a wide variety of leadership and advisory positions within the Washington, D.C. community, including the Mayor’s State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council.  Her clinical and research interests include adolescent pregnancy and parenting, the integration of mental health and pediatric primary care, the impact of adversity and stress on child well-being and advocacy education.

Binny ChokshiBinny Chokshi, MD

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

 

Binny Chokshi completed her pediatric residency and chief residency at Children’s National Medical Center, with a focus on community health.  Binny Chokshi's research and clinical interests are focused on adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed care, specifically how to transform physician education and patient care to meet the unique needs of our vulnerable patients.  She has a passion for education and completed the Master Teacher and Leadership Program in 2018.  

 

Dr. Lawrence DeytonLawrence Deyton, MSPH, MD

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health
Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy
 

Dr. Deyton is Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health and the Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

As Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health, Dr. Deyton is creating new curriculum and pedagogy for medical education to teach medical students the principles of public health, population health, and leadership in medical care and health systems decision-making. These are the tools that are required of clinicians who practice in 21st Century health care systems.      

Dr. Deyton returned to GW in March 2013 after 31 years in national leadership research and clinical positions in several Federal health and public health agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health and the HHS Office of the Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health and as a Congressional aide.  

From 2009-2013, Dr. Deyton oversaw the implementation and enforcement of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act signed into law by President Obama on March 22, 2009. Described by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as “the rare combination of public health expert, administrative leader, scientist, and clinician,” Dr. Deyton became the Center for Tobacco Product’s first director on August 19, 2009 and rapidly established and enforced FDA’s new authorities to regulate tobacco products.

Prior to joining FDA, Dr. Deyton was Chief Public Health and Environmental Hazards Officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His responsibilities there included oversight of all public health programs for the National VA health care system.

Dr. Deyton served for 11 years in clinical research and leadership positions in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he was Chief of the Antiretroviral Treatment Branch during which he oversaw the development and approval of drug treatment strategies including the first trials of combination therapies which are the cornerstone of current HIV treatments.

Dr. Deyton was a founder in 1978 of Washington DC’s Whitman Walker Clinic, a community based service organization specializing in LGBT and now HIV care in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of University of Kansas, the Harvard School of Public Health and the George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Deyton’s post-doctorate medical training in medicine was at the University of Southern California/Los Angeles County Medical Center and in infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He has published over 60 scientific articles in the peer-reviewed literature. Dr. Deyton continues to care for patients on a regular basis at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center.

In 2011, Dr. Deyton was a finalist for the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal for his career of government service and outstanding contributions to the health, safety and well-being of Americans – 20 finalists are chosen from 4.8 million Federal employees nation-wide.  And in 2014, Dr. Deyton received the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.  In 2019, Dr. Deyton was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received the James D. Bruce Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine from the American College of Physicians.

Luis DominguezLuis Dominguez, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor Assistant Professor 
Department of Emergency Medicine

 

Dr. Dominguez grew up in the DC area and attended Dartmouth College. He then matriculated at SGU, earning a dual MD/MPH degree with distinction. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Jersey City Medical Center - RWJ Barnabas Health. While there, he served as the House-Staff Representative, liaising between residents and the administration, and negotiating the contracts for all training programs.

He also established multiple Quality Improvement projects, including a resident-run bedside IV access/mid-line program, and improved transfusion protocols based on thromboelastography. He also sat on the Graduate Medical Education Committee, and helped restructure residency schedules to alleviate inpatient burden, and enhanced outpatient training, graduating with multiple publications and awards for scholarship. He then entered the GW Health Policy Fellowship, working part time as a clinician, and part time on the Energy and Commerce, Healthcare Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives.

His work focused mainly on drug pricing, Medicare and Medicaid. He is currently the Associate Medical Director and Clinical Quality Officer for the GW-MFA Immediate and Primary Care ambulatory services, and is faculty at the GW School of Medicine.   

 

Dr. Danielle  DooleyDanielle Dooley, MD, MPhil

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems course
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director, Community Affairs and Population Health, Child Health Advocacy Institute

Danielle G. Dooley, MD, MPhil, FAAP, is medical director of Community Affairs and Population Health in the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., and an assistant professor of pediatrics at George Washington University. She develops collaborations and strategies to improve population health for children, provides advocacy education for pediatric residents, and engages faculty in advocacy work. Her interests include health care for children and families who have immigrated, teenage pregnancy prevention, and school health. She has extensive community experience, having served in a federally qualified health center, Unity Health Care, for a decade. At Unity, she was the medical director of adolescent health services and five school-based health centers.

She received a BS degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MPhil degree in community health from the University of Edinburgh as a British Marshall Scholar, and an MD degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons as a National Health Service Corps Scholar. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Children’s Center. She received the Community Champion Award from the U.S. Surgeon General in 2008 for her work on obesity prevention in the school setting. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Nominating Committee, which identifies and selects candidates for national leadership in the AAP. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing and the Milbank Memorial Fund.

Dr. Kofi EsselKofi Essel, MD, MPH

Director, Clinical Public Health Summit on Obesity

Clinical Public Health Mentor 
Director, Community Health/Urban Health Scholarly Concentration
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 

Kofi D. Essel, MD ’11, MPH ‘17, FAAP, is a board-certified community pediatrician at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. with over 10 years of experience in nutrition and obesity education. As an alumnus of the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), Dr. Essel initially trained in the community/urban health track. Since then, he has spent the last several years working closely with a variety of community organizations throughout Washington, D.C., on a diverse set of health initiatives. He has dedicated his career to advocacy and research around healthcare training, health disparities, and community engagement, with a special interest and national recognition in the areas of obesity and food insecurity in families. 

Dr. Essel is a key participant in the GW School of Medicine and Health Science’s Clinical Public Health Team and serves as a leader in the Clinical Public Health Summit for second- and third-year medical students, “How Physicians Can Turn the Tide of Obesity in Washington, D.C.” He was nationally recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for helping to create an innovative curriculum to enhance pediatric resident trainee skills on obesity management.  He also assisted with developing a national toolkit for pediatric providers to better identify and screen for food insecurity in their clinical settings while serving as an anti-hunger advocate at D.C. Hunger Solutions and the Food Research & Action Center. He is actively engaged in population health initiatives that strengthen community-clinical ties to improve the prevention, management, and treatment of obesity in underserved areas in Washington, D.C.  

Dr. Essel serves on several local and national committees and is actively engaged in improving the pipeline for the recruitment and maintenance of underrepresented minorities into varying fields of medicine.

Dr. Essel grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and attended the infamous Little Rock Central High School. He earned a BS from Emory University with a focus on human biology/anthropology. While there he was named to the College Hall of Fame, received the Universities Humanitarian Award, and later was recognized as one of the top 20 champions of health promotion in the last two decades. Dr. Essel earned his MD and MPH in epidemiology from the GW SMHS and was inducted into the Golden Humanism Honor Society, and bestowed with the Benjamin Manchester Humanitarian Award and Leonard Humanism in Medicine Award. He completed pediatric residency training in a select community advocacy track and further academic training in a specialized General Academic Pediatric fellowship at Children’s National.

Dr. Essel is invested in improving the scope of medical education to include upstream factors involving the social determinants of health. In his free time, you can find Dr. Essel with his family and friends, cooking flavorful meals, playing on the basketball court, or volunteering and mentoring in his church and community.

Twitter: @DrKofiEssel

Lisa FitzpatrickLisa Fitzpatrick, MD, MPH, MPA

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Clinical Professor of Medicine

 

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is an infectious diseases physician and CDC-trained medical epidemiologist. Her career has spanned research, clinical medicine, global health, community health education and patient advocacy. Most recently she served as the medical director for Washington DC’s Medicaid program. 

Dr. Fitzpatrick is a professorial lecturer for the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and an adjunct clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine. She is an Aspen Institute Health Innovator fellow and member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network.  

She has a Masters in Public Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health and Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

In addition to public health and infectious diseases, Dr. Fitzpatrick's areas of professional interest include health literacy, patient engagement and health innovation for underserved communities, specifically digital health solutions.

 

 

Dr. Lanre FalusiOlanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi, MD

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Medical Director of Municipal and Regional Affairs, Child Health Advocacy Institute

Olanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi, MD, FAAP, is an assistant professor of pediatrics and the associate medical director of Municipal and Regional Affairs at the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Falusi is also the assistant program director for the Community Health Track of Children’s National’s Pediatric Residency Program, a track that trains residents to become leaders in policy, advocacy, and community health care delivery. She is the principal investigator of a 5-year HRSA-funded project to create and evaluate a curriculum on the care of children living in poverty for medical students, residents, and other health professions trainees. She is a graduate of the Master Teacher Leadership Development Program in Medical Education at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Children’s National, Dr. Falusi was the director of Pediatrics and Educational Programs at CCI Health and Wellness Services, a federally-qualified health system that serves over 50,000 individuals in Maryland. Her role at CCI included precepting students and residents in the largely Spanish-speaking health center. Dr. Falusi is the past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (DC AAP) and is a member of national AAP’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion and the Task Force on Policy Development Process Improvement.

Dr. Falusi has spoken at national conferences on the topics of urban poverty and social determinants of health, and she regularly provides legislative testimony on local and federal levels to promote child health and well-being. She is a Spokesperson for the AAP and has television, radio, blog, and print media experience.

Dr. Falusi attended medical school at the University of Virginia and completed residency and chief residency at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Falusi’s professional interests and activities include child health advocacy, immigrant and minority health, early childhood development, toxic stress and resilience, and education across the continuum from medical students through faculty.

Dora Hughes, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Research Professor of Health Policy & Management
GW School of Public Health

Dora Hughes, MD, MPH, is Associate Research Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, where her work focuses on the intersection of clinical and community health, social determinants of health, health equity, healthcare quality and workforce. Previously, Dr. Hughes was a Senior Policy Advisor at Sidley Austin, where she advised on regulatory and legislative matters in the life science industry. Prior to that, she served for nearly four years in the Obama Administration as Counselor for Science & Public Health to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at HHS. Her areas of responsibility included implementation of the ACA, as well as signature legislation for tobacco, Alzheimer’s and FDA reform. She served in leadership roles for several White House initiatives, including the Childhood Obesity Task Force, President’s Food Safety Working Group, Committee on STEM Education and Let’s Move. 

Dr. Hughes began her career in health policy as Senior Program Officer at the Commonwealth Fund, and subsequently as Deputy Director for the HELP Committee under Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She then served as the Health Policy Advisor to former Senator Barack Obama. Dr. Hughes received a BS from Washington University, MD from Vanderbilt and MPH from Harvard. She completed internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

 

Seema Kakar Seema Kakar, MD

Director, Culinary Medicine Program
Co-Director, Community Service Learning
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

 

Seema Kakar, MD, is an internist and medical educator. She was born in New Zealand and attended Auckland Medical School before moving to the United States where she completed a research internship at Johns Hopkins and an Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). She remained on faculty at SMHS where she has had varied teaching and curriculum design roles and currently serves as the director of Culinary Medicine and co-director of the Community Service Learning Program. She has particular interests in urgent care, teaching about the role of nutrition in preventing and treating diseases with cooking skills for patients, and understanding food insecurity in Washington, D.C. 

Dr. Newton KendigNewton Kendig, MD

Director, Criminal Justice Health Program
Clinical Professor of Medicine
 

 

Dr. Newton E. Kendig was appointed clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2017 to spearhead a criminal justice health initiative for the university. He received his subspecialty training in infectious diseases from Johns Hopkins University and subsequently served as the medical director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons from 1999 to 2015. Dr. Kendig believes that addressing the health needs of justice-involved patients will help reduce health care disparities and result in healthier and safer communities. Furthermore, he believes the academic community can make valuable contributions toward this goal through educational programming, meaningful research, and health care delivery to justice-involved patients. “I am excited to forge new justice-health initiatives for GW students from on-line training, to public policy discussions, to clinical care opportunities managing incarcerated patients and those justice-involved patients under community supervision.” 

Dr. Natalie KirlichinNatalie Kirilichin, MD, MHP

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Health Policy Scholarly Concentration

 

Natalie Kirilichin, MD, MPH, is a board-certified attending emergency medicine physician and assistant professor with the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Department of Emergency Medicine. As faculty, she works at GW and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center clinically caring for patients and teaching/training medical students and residents. Her education leadership roles include co-directing the GWU MFA Health Policy Fellowship and the Health Policy Scholarly Concentration Program at SMHS. Dr. Kirilichin is also Co-Director for the Residency Fellowship in Health Policy.

Dr. Kirilichin developed an interest in behavioral health while working for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) as a health policy fellow. There, her portfolio included mental health and substance abuse policy, and her work supported Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act passage and the opioid funding provisions of 21st Century Cures. Dr. Kirilichin went on to join National Safety Council, a nonprofit that eliminates preventable deaths through leadership, research, education, and advocacy. She serves as a medical advisor and member of the Physician Speaker’s Bureau for this organization, working with colleagues in multiple disciplines across the country on constructive interventions to combat the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Kirilichin received her undergraduate degree (BS, Biology) from Georgetown University, and remained at Georgetown’s School of Medicine to complete her MD. She earned her MPH from the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. During her residency at University of Chicago Hospitals, she worked with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in an advocacy capacity. She currently serves as President of the DC Chapter of this organization and as a member of the Pain Management and Addiction Medicine Section. Finally, Dr. Kirilichin serves on the Advisory Committee for DC Health’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

Dr. Michael KnightMichael Knight, MD, MSHP

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Chief Patient Safety Officer
 

Michael G. Knight, MD, MSHP, is a physician and the Patient Safety Officer at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates, and assistant professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Originally from New York City, Dr. Knight completed undergraduate studies at Oakwood University, and attended the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He then completed residency training at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed a Masters in Health Policy Research. In his current role as Patient Safety Officer for the GW Medical Faculty Associates, he is involved with the analysis of medical errors and adverse events, and leads the development of responsive programs to build a culture of safety throughout the organization. Dr. Knight is board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine, and practices clinically at the GW Medical Faculty Associates in Washington, D.C.

Outside of his clinical practice, Dr. Knight has been instrumental in developing community health education programs throughout the United States. Dr. Knight served as the 48th National President of the Student National Medical Association, and currently serves as the founder and president of the Renewing Health Foundation, a non-profit organization working to empower urban minority communities through health education. He served on various boards and committees of organizations such as the American Medical Association Residents and Fellows Section and the National Medical Association, where he currently serves as Region II chairperson. Dr. Knight has received numerous awards including the American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award, Top 30 under 30 Alumni of Case Western Reserve University, Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum, and Top Healthcare Professionals Under 40 Award by the National Medical Association.

Jennifer LeonJennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LD

Clinical Instruction and Program Development, Culinary Medicine Program
Dietician, GW Cancer Center
 

 

Jennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LN, is the dietitian for the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center. Ms. Leon provides nutrition education and counseling for patients treated at the GW Cancer Center. She also leads the Nutrition Club support group - a monthly meeting open to patients, caregivers, providers, and community members, where nutrition topics are presented and good food is enjoyed. Ms. Leon focuses on mindfulness, enjoys healthy cooking, works within each patient’s health history and current environment, and works to use nutrition as prevention, treatment, and support. 

Ms. Leon is the dietitian teacher for the GW Culinary Medicine elective. She is also working to develop the GW Culinary Medicine Program. 

Ms. Leon earned Bachelor of Science degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington and the University of the District of Columbia. She completed a dietetic internship through Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Campus. 

Before becoming a dietitian, Ms. Leon was a management consultant, focusing on higher education institutions and government organizations. She brings years of professionalism and attention to detail, along with a passion for healthful living, to her patient care.  

Dr. Aisha LiferidgeAisha Liferidge, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
 

 

Dr. Aisha T. Liferidge was born and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina. She was elected as president of her high school class and graduated with honors from Duke University with a bachelor of science degree in biology, and minors in chemistry and Spanish. In 1999, she began her medical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine on a 4-year full scholarship. While in Chapel Hill, she reaped the benefits of mentorship from great icons in the field of emergency medicine, which led to her completing key, nationally-recognized research in neurological emergencies as a medical student. Dr. Liferidge then joined the ranks of the reputable emergency medicine residency program at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Maryland in June 2003. Here, she sharpened her clinical acumen and was groomed for leadership in academics and organized medicine.

During residency in the fall of 2005, Dr. Liferidge was elected president of the national Emergency Medicine Residents' Association (EMRA). Under her leadership, EMRA’s budget reached an all-time high of $1 million and she spearheaded the implementation of the ACEP/EMRA Mini-Health Policy Fellowship in Washington, DC, which successfully continues today. As she completed her three-year presidential term in 2008, she was honored with the American College of Emergency Physician's (ACEP) Heroes in Emergency Medicine Award for commitment to and achievement within the specialty.

In 2011, she completed her Executive Master of Public Health degree with a focus on health policy and hospital management, from the esteemed Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, New York. Her areas of public health and health policy interests include access to care, disparities, and quality in health care.  

At present, Dr. Liferidge serves at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in Washington, DC, where she fulfills her true passion for clinical practice, teaching, and mentoring as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at SMHS and health policy at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. Since joining GW in 2012, she has served as director of the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Health Policy Fellowship, which trains physicians to be future public health and health policy leaders. In this capacity, she provides didactic teaching, fosters professional development, and facilitates fellows’ office placements in Congressional offices, government agencies, and/or think tanks. She has directly supervised 10+ emergency medicine health policy fellows who have gone on to leadership positions in departments of health, in health policy educational programs for medical students and residents, and in innovative public health/health policy education programs related to social media. Additionally, Dr. Liferidge currently serves as co-director of the GW SMHS Clinical Skills and Reasoning Theme Curriculum for medical students wherein she develops and executes curricula for all 4 classes of GW medical students. She also serves as a Professional Development Mentor and Group Leader in the School of Medicine, wherein she teaches professionalism skills to medical students through small group sessions focused personal reflection and team-building exercises, and additionally conducts faculty development sessions.

Dr. Liferidge has always been very active in her national specialty organization, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Most recently, she was elected to the ACEP Board of Directors which advocates for emergency physicians and patients worldwide. She also currently chairs ACEP’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force which seeks to increase awareness on the topic, identify barriers and solutions to diversifying the physician workforce, and linking patient outcomes with workforce diversity.  Additionally, she serves as a voting ACEP Councilor and is a member of its Public Health and Injury Prevention committee. In the past, she has additionally chaired ACEP’s Disparities in Emergency Medicine Subcommittee, Sobering Centers Subcommittee, and Associate Membership Task Force.

At the state level, Dr. Liferidge is a past president and current board member of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.  Under her presidential leadership from 2013 to 2016, the Chapter’s activity soared and its revenue more than doubled. Other state level service includes having served two terms on the Maryland College of Emergency Physicians Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012, and having been a member of its public policy committee from 2005 to 2012.

She is the chief executive officer of the Dr. Aisha Liferidge Minority Women in Science Foundation (MWSF), a non-profit organization that empowers the dreams of future leaders with interest in science careers. The MWSF provides mentorship, tangible resources, networking opportunities, and career-long support to its beneficiaries. In 2013, the Foundation provided 13 scholarships ($8,000) to aspiring youth, followed by giving a block grant of $7,000 to Sister Mentors through the EduSeed organization, which funded SAT preparatory courses for 10 high school juniors in 2015. In 2016, the MWSF provided academic and merit based scholarships to another 10 rising college freshmen totaling approximately $25,000. Each year, the Foundation seeks to double its giving.

Dr. Liferidge is a published author who most recently co-authored peer reviewed journal articles about subarachnoid hemorrhage management, national first-time seizure guidelines, and sobering centers.  She has given numerous local, state, national, and international lectures and speeches on topics such as the triage of emergency department patients to a medical home, sustained growth formula (SGR) reform, coordinated and integrated health care, physician reimbursement, innovative health policy training for physicians, and racial inequity in health care and public health. Dr. Liferidge has also led health policy and stroke research efforts, partially through grant funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH).  

George Washington illustrationLalit Narayan, MBBS, MA

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Co-Director, Community Service Leaning
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Lalit Narayan MBBA, MA is a primary care internist, medical educator and health workforce researcher. He currently is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington DC.

Dr. Narayan received his medical degree from St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India in 2007. He subsequently worked as a general practitioner in rural India for two years before moving to the US to pursue further education. He earned a Master’s Degree in Anthropology at Syracuse University, New York in 2013, completed his Residency in Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, New York in 2016 and completed an Academic Fellowship in Medical Education at George Washington University in 2017.

Dr. Narayan is a Course Director for Patients, Populations and Systems, the core clinical public health course taught to all first and second year medical students at GW SMHS. He also co-directs the Academic Community Service Learning Program and teaches clinical skills and reasoning, adult primary care and global health to medical students and internal medicine residents. His research interests center on the design of medical education systems in low and middle income countries and the design of policies and programs that allow students from marginalized communities to access and succeed in health professional education. His current projects focus on how medical trainees in India and the United States can be better equipped to practice in multi-lingual clinical and educational settings through the improvement of methods of language training and assessment.

Dr. David  PopielDavid Popiel, MD, MPH

Director, Clinical Public Health Summit on HIV
Assistant Professor of Medicine
 

David Popiel, MD, MPH, is board-certified in internal medicine and an assistant professor at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). He holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Popiel earned his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and subsequently came to the GW Medical Center for his resident medical training. Prior to joining the SMHS faculty, he was chosen to serve as chief medical resident and elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society at GW. Dr. Popiel has been repeatedly honored as a Washingtonian Top Doctor, a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and by OutCare Health for his dedication to LGBTQ healthcare.

Dr. Popiel is a general internist with clinical expertise in men's health. He practices experience-driven and patient-centered care focusing on wellness and disease prevention.  

Dr. Maria Portela-MartinezMaria Portela-Martinez, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Chief, Family Medicine Section, Department of Emergency Medicine
 

Dr. Portela is the chief of the Family Medicine Section within the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical Faculty Associates at George Washington University (GW). She is also the medical director of the George Washington Immediate Primary Care Clinics. Through these roles, she works towards expanding GW’s footprint of primary care and family medicine. At the Medical Faculty Associates, she seeks to improve access and quality of care in the community as well as increase family medicine exposure and mentorship opportunities for students. Dr. Portela is an assistant professor at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where she serves as a Professional Development Mentor and a Public Health Mentor for medical students.

Prior to GW, Dr. Portela worked in HHS at the Health Resources Services Administration leading efforts to re-envision primary care training focused on transforming health care delivery systems aimed at improving access, quality of care, and cost-effectiveness. Dr. Portela previously provided volunteer clinical services at Unity Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington, D.C. and in 2017 was an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at GW.

Previously, while pursuing medical school training in her native Puerto Rico, she shared in the development of an assessment on the health and education sectors for President Obama's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Economic Development. Subsequently, she pursued residency training at Duke, and completed the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard, where she obtained her master's degree with concentrations in Public Health Leadership and Health Policy and Management.

Dr. Portela has taken diverse leadership roles and has served in local, state and national health equity boards and committees. She is passionate about increasing access and quality of health care services to vulnerable populations, and about teaching, mentorship, diversity, and inclusion.

Nathalie Quion, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

 

Dr. Ankoor ShahAnkoor Shah, MD, MBA, MPH

Director, Clinical Public Health Summit on Childhood Asthma
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
 

Ankoor Y. Shah, MD MBA MPH is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director for IMPACT DC (Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia). IMPACT DC is a pediatric asthma program that treats underserved children with poorly controlled asthma by education, clinical management, and by addressing social & environmental determinants of asthma health. Dr. Shah is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. His clinical work is primarily based at the Children’s Health Center at THEARC (Town Hall Arts and Recreation Center) in Southeast D.C. As a community-based patient centered medical home, the clinic aims to provide wrap around services for at-risk families including social work, WIC services, mental health, dental health, and mobile services.

He is currently the president of the D.C. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization aimed to improve child health and wellbeing in the District. He has frequently appeared before the D.C. City Council to testify on child health issues as well as written opinion pieces for The Washington Post and The Hill.

Dr. Shah graduated magna cum laude from Emory University; afterwards he continued to complete his medical and public health training at Emory School of Medicine and Emory Rollins School of Public Health. He received his MBA from the George Washington University School of Business. He finished his pediatric residency and chief residency at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.