Clinical Public Health Faculty and 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:

Ashley Alker

Ashely Alker, MD, M.Sc. Public Health

Clinical Public Health Mentor



Ashely Alker, M.D., M.Sc., is a nationally published speaker and writer, with a focus on patient education and healthcare policy. Dr. Alker studied at Harvard School of Public Health’s International Institute in Cyprus, where she lived near the United Nations’ Green Zone and worked at the Unit for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture. After attending George Washington University School of Medicine, Ashely worked as a healthcare advisor for a U.S. Congressman. She completed her medical residency at The University of California, San Diego, where she gave a TEDx talk on end-of-life care. She is currently the Chief Medical Media Officer of Doctorpedia, a patient education organization, and produced and co-hosted the “COVID Frontlines” public health education webcast. Ashely also works as a medical technical consultant for network television and major motion pictures. She currently is under contract for a new HBO series. Dr. Alker is a nationally published writer on topics including gun violence prevention, equity in medicine, and narrative medicine. She has been a featured writer in USA Today, TEDMED, KevinMD, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and has published a children’s book on understanding death.

Hana Akselrod

Hana Akselrod, MD, MPH

Director, HIV Summit



Read Dr. Hana Akselrod's Bio

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

April Barbour

April Barbour, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Professor of Medicine


Read Dr. April Barbour's Bio

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.

Charles Baron

Charles Baron, MD, MPH

Theme Director, Evidence-Based Medicine



Read Dr. Charles Baron's Bio

Charles Baron, MD, MPH, is a primary care provider and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates and GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

He obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Wesleyan University and his medical degree at Thomas Jefferson University. He went on to complete his residency in the primary care internal medicine program at GW and is excited to join the GW faculty as a primary care physician.

Dr. Baron has focused much of his education on promoting health equity and practicing harm reduction. During medical school, he obtained a Master of Public Health degree, focusing on population health and the importance of involving local communities in health program design.

He understands and focuses on patient-centered care and shared decision-making, appreciating that every patient has their own goals with regard to optimizing their health. He is passionate about teaching and is excited to continue working at the GW MFA in both a primary care and educational role for medical students and resident physicians. He is well placed to capitalize on his experience within the GW system to help his patients navigate the complexities of health care and to serve as a capable primary care physician as well as care coordinator.

George Washington headshot

Karla Bartholomew, PhD, JD, MPH, PA

Assistant Dean for Clinical Public Health
Director, Medicine/Public Health Degree Programs
Assistant Clinical Professor, Physician Assistant Studies Program


Read Dr. Bartholomew's Bio

Dr. Bartholomew's education background:

  • BS, University of Maryland, College Park, 1985
  • BMS Physician Associate, Emory University, 1987
  • MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1993
  • JD, Vanderbilt University School of Law, 2002
  • PhD, Vanderbilt University, 2010

Sonal Batra

Sonal Batra, MD, MST

Director, Population Health Summit
Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Read Dr. Sonal Batra's Bio

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.

Janice Blanchard

Janice Blanchard, PhD, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor



Read Dr. Janice Blanchard's Bio

Janice Blanchard MD PhD is a Professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and an Adjunct Affiliate Researcher at the RAND Corporation. Dr. Blanchard is Chief of the Health Policy Section in the George Washington Department of Emergency Medicine. She obtained her B.S. at Stanford University and her M.D and M.P.H degrees at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. After completing residency in emergency medicine at George Washington University, she completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship at UCLA and RAND during which time she obtained her PhD in health policy at the RAND Graduate School.

Her research interests include access to health care populations and the impact of policy changes on health and health care access. Dr. Blanchard is a mixed-methods researcher who has worked with a number of large data sets including hospital and emergency department discharge data. Her particular projects have focused on racial disparities in health and behavioral health issues.

In addition to her research and policy work, she continues to be an actively practicing emergency medicine physician at the George Washington Department of Emergency Medicine. She has written extensively in mainstream and academic publications including CNN, The Hill, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and Academic Emergency Medicine.

Nia Bodrick

Nia Bodrick, MD, MPH, FAAP

Clinical Public Health Mentor



Read Dr. Nia Bodrick's Bio

Dr. Bodrick is a general pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. Dr. Bodrick’s areas of interest include equity and resilience in communities, obesity prevention and global health advocacy and policy. She has leadership roles in the Early Childhood Innovation Network and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

She holds her Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, Master of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta, GA and Bachelor of Science from Hampton University in Hampton, VA. She completed her pediatric residency training at the University of Florida at Orlando Health in Orlando, Florida.

Maureen Byrnes

Maureen Byrnes, MPA

Co-Director, Health Policy GME Track



Read Maureen Byrnes' Bio

For over 30 years Maureen Byrnes served in leadership positions in the
federal government, philanthropy and the non-profit sector. As Executive
Director of Human Rights First, Maureen traveled to Russia and Pakistan, and worked to end the use of torture as an interrogation technique. She is a former member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

From 1997 to 2005, Maureen served as Director of the Health and Human
Services program at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she designed and
implemented a wide variety of strategies and initiatives to address challenges in the fields of public health, foster care, and science policy, among others.

In the 1980’s, Maureen worked with Senator Lowell Weicker as the Staff
Director of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,
Education and Related Agencies to provide early government funding to
address the HIV epidemic. Later she served as Executive Director of the
National Commission on AIDS, the first Congressionally-mandated
independent commission to address the challenges associated with the HIV
epidemic. Maureen has also served as Vice President of the Association of
American Universities.

Currently, Maureen is a Teaching Instructor in the Department of Health
Policy and Management in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the
George Washington University where she received an Excellence in Teaching Award in the Spring of 2022. Maureen also serves as Co-Director of the Health Policy Track in the Clinical Public Health GME program in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Maureen graduated magna cum laude from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York and has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Maureen came to Washington DC as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Dr. Jillian Catalanotti

Jillian S. Catalanotti, MD, MPH, FACP

Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health & Population Health Practice
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Department of Medicine
Director, Underserved Medicine & Public Health Track, IM Residency Program
Professor of Medicine and of Health Policy & Management

Read Dr. Jillian Catalanotti's Bio

Dr. Jillian Catalanotti received her B.S. and M.D. degrees from Yale University and her M.P.H. from Harvard University before completing residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She is an internal medicine primary care physician who has been on the faculty of GW SMHS since 2008.  She currently serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health & Population Health Practice for SMHS as well as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs for the Department of Medicine, and co-Chair of the GW SMHS Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Dr. Catalanotti's clinical interest includes providing primary care for patients with low health literacy and social barriers to care. She developed and regularly staffs the Opioid Use Disorder Support Line for clinicians with questions regarding the care of inpatients with Opioid Use Disorder at GWUH.  Dr. Catalanotti's academic interests lie at the intersection of public health and medicine, and in how to better provide physicians with adequate public health knowledge to effectively deliver high-quality, equitable, evidence-based medical care to all patients. She co-developed and directs the Underserved Medicine & Public Health (UMPH) track of GW's Internal Medicine residency program.

Dr. Catalanotti is currently co-PI on a grant studying interventions to decrease hospital readmission among patients hospitalized with infections caused by injection of drugs.

Lawrence Deyton

Lawrence Deyton, MSPH, MD

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



Read Dr. Lawrence Deyton's Bio

Dr. Deyton returned to GW in March 2013 after 31 years in 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. During that career, Dr. Deyton had extensive experience establishing and overseeing high profile health and public health research, education and clinical programs, particularly working with front line providers, administrators and researchers.

From 2009-2013, Dr. Deyton oversaw the implementation and enforcement of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 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. Previously, 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. 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 130 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 at GW, in 2014 Dr. Deyton received the GW Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, in 2017 he was installed as the Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy and in 2019 received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. In 2019, the American College of Physicians awarded Dr. Deyton the James D. Bruce Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine.

Luis Dominguez

Luis Dominguez, MD, MPH

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine


Read Dr. Luis Dominguez' Bio

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.

Kofi Essel

Kofi Essel, MD, MPH

Director, Clinical Public Health Summit on Obesity



Read Dr. Kofi Essel's Bio

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

Olanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi, MD

Olanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi, MD

Co-Director, Community Health & Advocacy GME Track
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Program Director, Children's National Pediatric Residency Program
Medical Director of Advocacy Education, Child Health Advocacy Institute

Read Dr. Olanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi's Bio

Olanrewaju (Lanre) Falusi, MD, MEd is a primary care pediatrician and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences focused on the intersection of health equity, advocacy, and education. As Medical Director of Advocacy Education in the Child Health Advocacy Institute of Children’s National Hospital, Dr. Falusi develops community-based curricula for trainees and faculty and researches the health outcomes of governmental policies. She is an Associate Program Director in the Children's National Residency Program, directing the LAUnCH Track, which trains pediatric residents to become leaders in advocacy and community healthcare delivery.  She has spoken at conferences, in Congress, and in the media on topics including poverty, immigrant health, and antiracism. She is a current Macy Faculty Scholar (Cohort 2023-2025).
Dr. Falusi's interests are focused on medical education, social determinants of health (including immigrant health), and advocacy.  She leads the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the TEACH (Trainee Education in Advocacy and Community Health) curriculum on child poverty for trainees, including pediatric residents, medical students, and nursing students.  The TEACH curriculum, along with the other advocacy curricula she directs, was co-created with community organizations to include innovative ways to teach about social determinants of health with interactive modules and simulations.  Dr. Falusi's contributions to the field of immigrant health are focused on utilizing research and clinical experience for legislative advocacy and cross-sector education.  She has conducted mixed-methods community-based research on the effect of immigration policy on adolescent mental health, providing evidence of increased anxiety and depressive symptoms related to restrictive immigration policies and discrimination.  
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 health center that served a largely Spanish-speaking population. Dr. Falusi is the past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is a member of national AAP’s Council on Immigrant Child and Family Health. She is a Spokesperson for the AAP, and she co-hosts a podcast on health and parenting.  Dr. Falusi attended medical school at the University of Virginia and completed residency and chief residency at Children’s National.  

Farnaz Farhi

Farnaz Farhi, MD, MSc

Clinical Public Health Mentor



Read Dr. Farnaz Farhi's Bio

Farnaz Farhi, MD, MSc (she/her) is an obstetrician and gynecologist with The GW Medical Faculty Associates.

Dr. Farhi is committed to providing evidence-based care and cultivating relationships founded on compassion and respect. An advocate for social justice and health equity, she uses her training in global and public health to care for individuals of all backgrounds.

Dr. Farhi studied Biology and Women's Studies along with Civic and Community Engagement as an undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University. She completed graduate studies in Global Health at the University of Oxford prior to medical school. She graduated from the Boston University School of Medicine and completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Dr. Farhi speaks Persian. Outside of the hospital and clinic settings, she enjoys long-distance running, backpacking, and cooking plant-based meals.

Maya Fiellin

Maya Fiellin, MPH

Director of Operations, Culinary Medicine Programs



Read Maya Fiellin's Bio

Maya Fiellin is a Public Health Researcher and Educator, based in Washington, DC. Her areas of focus include nutrition, health education & promotion and operations management. As a hands-on senior leader, her background combines 10+ years in public health, community outreach as well as hospitality management.

Additionally, Maya is fluent in Spanish and has spent time in translation and interpretation. Working in a variety of settings from start-up environments to well established programs, Maya is a self-directed leader and an advocate for her team and community.

Tamara Gayle

Tamara Gayle, MD, MEd

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor



Read Dr. Tamara Gayle's Bio

Tamara Gayle, MD, MEd is a board-certified pediatric attending at Children's National Hospital (CNH). Prior to medical school her passion for education lead her to complete theTeach for America program, serving as a high school biology teacher in the Bronx. She completed her Master’s in Education at Pace University in New York City, NY. Following hertime in the Bronx, she completed her MD at the University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, FL. Dr. Gayle stayed in Miami for her residency training completing her training at Jackson Memorial Hospital. During her residency Dr. Gayle was awarded the honor of being a New Century Scholar by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA).

After her residency Dr. Gayle went on to pursue a Hospital Medicine Fellowship at CNH. During her fellowship training she was awarded a grant as a RAPID Scholar to research food insecurity and asthma in disadvantaged African American children. She was also part of a team awarded the AAP International Community Access to Child Health (ICATCH) award. She stayed on after fellowship to become faculty at CNH. Dr. Gayle is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health at GWU. Her current research is focused around developing a protocol and instituting screening for social determinants of health in the inpatient setting.

Dr. Gayle is active in a Senior Residents’ teaching skills program, an integral part of the MSSP – Minority Senior Scholarship Program, an affiliate faculty member of the Children's Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), and is the co-chair for the Intern Advocacy Day.

Dr. Gayle is an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Academic Pediatric Association (APA). She lives with her husband in Northeast DC and enjoys cooking, traveling, and volunteering in her community.

Timothy Harlan, MD

Timothy Harlan, MD, FACP

Director, GWU Culinary Medicine Program Associate Professor of Medicine



Read Dr. Timothy Harlan's Bio

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Executive Director, GWU Culinary Medicine Program.

Dr. Harlan practiced Internal Medicine in New Orleans. His love of food began as a teenager working in the restaurant business. Starting as a dishwasher, he worked his way up to managing his first restaurant by the age of eighteen and owning his first restaurant at twenty-two. After operating Le Petit Café as a chef/owner he closed the restaurant to return to school. Dr. Harlan originally intended to pursue a degree in hotel and restaurant management but events led him toward medicine and the decision to become a physician.

After finishing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology Dr. Harlan went on to study medicine at Emory University. Working as a caterer throughout school, he continued to be involved with food and cooking but noticed a lack of knowledge in the medical field around food, eating healthy and eating well. Neither patients nor health care providers understood much about a healthy diet. Patients, it seemed, were usually told not what they could eat but, rather, what they could not eat.

In medical school, Dr. Harlan wrote It's Heartly Fare a food manual for patients with cardiovascular disease. Since then he has published numerous books focusing on translating evidence based diet and nutrition information for the lay public. He is publisher of the popular Web site where information from the Mediterranean diet literature is translated in a practical way for the American kitchen.

He served as Associate Dean for Clinical Services at Tulane University School of Medicine is the Executive Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first of its kind teaching kitchen operated by a medical school. The center offers an innovative program teaching medical students about diet and lifestyle that bridges the gap between the basic sciences, clinical medicine, the community and culinary education. Medical students work side-by-side in the kitchen with culinary students to teach each other and, most importantly, teach the community and patients how to return to their kitchens and transform their health.

Newton Kendig

Newton Kendig, MD

Director, Criminal Justice Health Program
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Clinical Professor of Medicine

Read Dr. Newton Kendig's Bio

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.”

Natalie Kirilichin

Natalie Kirilichin, MD, MHP

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

Read Dr. Natalie Kirilichin's Bio

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).

Michael Knight

Michael Knight, MD, MSHP

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor Emeritus
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Chief Patient Safety Officer

Read Dr. Michael Knight's Bio

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 Leon

Jennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LD

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


Read Ms. Jennifer Leon's Bio

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. Lia Losonczy

Lia Losonczy, MD MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor



Read Dr. Lia Losonczy's Bio

Dr. Losonczy's educational background:

  • BA, Columbia College, Columbia University, 2006
  • MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2011
  • MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2012
Matthew Magyar

Matthew Magyar, MD MPH

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Read Dr. Matthew Magyar's Bio

Matt Magyar, MD is an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children’s National Hospital. Originally growing up near Cleveland, he attended undergrad at The Ohio State University and then medical school at the University of Toledo. Residency was completed at the University of Illinois – Chicago where he participated in a community health and advocacy track. He then moved to Washington, DC to complete a fellowship in Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children's National. After graduating he was subsequently hired on as faculty at Children's and now splits time between the DC campus and a community site in Fredericksburg, VA. Outside of work he is completing his Master of Public Health with a health policy concentration at GWU and is currently enrolled in a health policy scholar program through the Academic Pediatric Association.

His research interests broadly include health policy, advocacy and global health. During fellowship he completed a medical elective in Lesotho, Africa and has continued to give lectures online to international trainees. He is a member of both the local and national chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is active in the Section on Early Career Physicians. Current research includes projects in health services research and immigrant health.

Dr. Kathryn Marko

Dr. Kathryn Marko, MD, FACOG, NCMP

Co-Director, Quality Improvement & Patient Safety GME Track
Residency Program Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Read Dr. Kathryn Marko's Bio

Dr. Marko is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and actively practices at George Washington University Hospital.  Dr. Marko has been a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner since 2011. She is recognized as a local expert in perimenopause and menopause care. Additionally, she chairs the Clinical Learning Environment for Residents (CLER) Executive Committee (a sub-committee of the GME Committee) and works closely with program directors, faculty, residents and hospital administration in QI education and improvements in the clinical learning environment. She has published and presented in the areas of quality improvement education, cesarean prevention, breech vaginal birth, menopause, and telehealth.

Dr. Courtney Paul

Courtney Paul, MD

Co-Director, Quality Improvement & Patient Safety GME Track
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Read Dr. Courtney Paul's Bio

Courtney Paul, MD, FACP is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at The GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He received his Medical Degree from Temple University School of Medicine. In 2012 Dr Paul started his Internal Medicine Residency at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In March of 2015 he embarked on a Residency Fellowship in the Health Policy Program at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, here at The George Washington University. Dr Paul served as Chief Medical Resident at The George Washington University Hospital from July 2016 – June 2017. He is currently the Associate Program Director for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and an Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine.  His research and educational interests include quality improvement, patient safety, care delivery and hospital capacity management.

Dr. Adrienne Poon

Adrienne Poon, MD, MPH, FACP

Co-Director, Community Health & Advocacy GME Track
Associate Professor of Medicine


Read Dr. Adrienne Poon's Bio

Adrienne Poon, MD, MPH, FACP is an academic hospitalist and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine. She is Co-Director of the GME Clinical Public Health Community Health & Advocacy Track and Course Director of the medical student elective Using Media to Share Health Information. She is an Honorary Fellow with the University of Edinburgh as part of an academic global health research collaboration with Peking University to study global chronic disease, global epidemiology, and China’s health transitions, disparities, system, and reform. Dr. Poon also serves on the Internal Medicine Curriculum Development Committee and as Visiting Faculty for the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda.

Dr. Poon has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Tufts University and a Master of Public Health from Drexel University with a concentration in Health Management and Policy focused on systemic racial and ethnic health disparities and Asian American health. As an Association of Schools of Public Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rosenfield Global Health Fellow, she spent two years in Beijing helping manage the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) China program. She earned her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and completed Internal Medicine Residency training at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences where she participated in the Underserved Medicine & Public Health track.

Dr. Poon has several peer-reviewed publications in journals that include Health Affairs, PLoS One, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and AIDS Care. Her research interests include social and structural determinants of health, global health, and Asian American health.


Maria Portela-Martinez

Maria Portela-Martinez, MD, MPH

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


Read Dr. Maria Portela-Martinez' Bio

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

Nathalie Quion, MD, MPH

Co-Director, Patients, Populations and Systems Course
Clinical Public Health Mentor
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Read Dr. Nathalie Quion's Bio

Nathalie Bernabe Quion has been a practicing pediatrician for the past 25 years. The focus of her practice has been on medically underserved communities particularly in Springfield Massachusetts, Arlington Virginia and for the past 15 years in Washington DC. During her time in DC, she has been active in medical student and pediatric residency education as a member of the faculty of Children’s National Health Systems. She currently serves as Medical Director of the Children’s Health Center at Adams Morgan and Shaw. The core of her work has been on the health of immigrant communities. She is currently co Chair of the Committee on Immigrant Child Health of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics . She is also in the Executive Committee of the Children’s National Health System Global Health Initiative.

Jamar Slocum

Jamar Slocum, MD, MBA, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Hospital Medicine


Read Dr. Jamar Slocum's Bio

Jamar Slocum, MD MBA MPH is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW). He practices hospital medicine and serves as faculty for the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity and Beyond Flexner Alliance.

During the course of his career, he has combined his skills and experience in clinical medicine and public health to build a healthcare system that is based on equity and prevention. He is a former board member of the Tennessee Health Campaign, one of the leading non-profit advocacy organizations working to ensure affordable and high quality health care for all Tennesseans. Jamar completed his residency training in internal medicine at Brown University in Providence, RI and fellowship training in general preventive medicine at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

Aisha Terry

Aisha Terry, MD, MPH

Clinical Public Health Mentor
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine


Read Dr. Aisha Terry's Bio

Dr. Aisha T. Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry 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 Terry 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. Terry 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. Terry has also led health policy and stroke research efforts, partially through grant funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Dr. Alicia Tucker

Alicia Tucker, M.D., FAAP, ABOM

Director of Culinary Medicine Programs
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics


Read Dr. Alicia Tucker's Bio

Dr. Alicia Tucker is a pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. She works clinically in child and adolescent obesity medicine with the Children’s National IDEAL Clinic, a multidisciplinary tertiary care weight management program. Over the past decade Dr. Tucker has worked with students, residents, and faculty to support education around pediatric obesity and diet related chronic disease. Her advocacy work centers around how social determinants of health and food insecurity impact access to quality nutrition that is an integral part of disease management.