News » Kofi Essel, MD, MPH, Among 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health

Kofi Essel, MD, MPH, Among 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health

Kofi EsselWhen Kofi Essel, MD ’11, MPH ’17, began his medical career, he decided to dedicate it to working alongside marginalized populations. His work is now being recognized by the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) which has named him among the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health for 2019.

NMQF is a research and education organization dedicated to eliminating health disparities and building robust, sustainable communities of health. The individuals selected for 40 Under 40 represent the next generation of thought leaders in working to establish health equity.

“To be recognized for a national award by this phenomenal organization is truly an honor and blessing,” Essel said. “In addition, being aligned with some of the dynamic and transformational leaders, friends, colleagues, and mentors selected over the last few years makes me pause in great appreciation.”

Essel is a community pediatrician at Children’s National Health System and serves as the director of the Community/Urban Health Scholarly Concentration for students at SMHS. He also is a contributor on the Clinical Public Health Leadership Team. His advocacy and research revolves around health care training, health disparities, and community engagement. He has been nationally recognized in the areas of obesity and food insecurity.

“I really enjoy the work I do,” said Essel. “This award not only recognizes the hard work we have put in toward advocating for the communities we serve, but gives us a platform to continue to promote and disseminate work that can make an impact in other populations.”

The 2019 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health awardees will be recognized at the 2019 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities, held April 8–9 in Washington, D.C. For more information, please see the full press release at

Other members of the SMHS community also are being recognized this year by NMQF. You can view an announcement about Maranda Ward, EdD ’17, MPH, here; an announcement about Ankoor Shah, MD, MBA, MPH, here; and an announcement about Malika Fair, MD, MPH, here.