Practice Gratitude Take Breaks Nurture Relationships  Nature Music
OWN Your Health Advisory Board
Dr. Maysa Akbar, PhD American Psychological Association's Chief Diversity Officer
Maysa Akbar, PhD
Scientist-Practitioner, Chief Diversity Officer – APA

Maysa Akbar, PhD, is a respected scientist-practitioner, best-selling author, and serves as the chief diversity officer at the American Psychological Association. Her expertise in racial trauma combined with her sustained commitment to dismantle systemic racism within various sectors such healthcare, education, and the criminal justice system, demonstrate her relentless pursuit of racial justice and accessible and equitable mental health care.

In April 2021, Dr. Akbar and APA's Chief Executive Officer advised the Biden-Harris Administration's Health Equity Task Force on the criticality of integrating psychological science into their equity strategies to inform the COVID-19 response and recovery among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. As part of the recommendations put forth, Dr. Akbar addressed acts of ongoing discrimination in the U.S healthcare system and its role in exacerbating disparities in maternal health during COVID-19, particularly for Black and Indigenous women.

Dr. Akbar's research and written publications illuminate racial trauma approaches as a mechanism by which clinicians and other health professionals can humanize the experiences of people of color. Dr. Akbar advances racial justice work through the creation of her Ally Identity Model, which details the stages of allyship in dismantling systemic oppression.

Dr. Akbar is a board-certified clinical psychologist and held a faculty appointment from 2004 - 2021 at the Yale School of Medicine, Child Study Center as an assistant clinical professor. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University, a MS in community psychology from Florida A&M University, and a BA in psychology and woman's studies from State University of New York at Albany. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Jack and Jill of America. She is the CEO and founder of Integrated Wellness Group, psychotherapy practice specializing in treating race-based trauma since 2008.


Michelle A. Albert, MD MPH President, American Heart Association

Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Endowed Chair in Cardiology and Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH FACC FAHA
President, American Heart Association
Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Endowed Chair in Cardiology and Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
President, Association of University Cardiologists

Dr. Michelle A. Albert, MD MPH is the Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Endowed Chair in Cardiology and Professor in Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), Admissions Dean for UCSF Medical School and Director of the CeNter for the StUdy of AdveRsiTy and CardiovascUlaR DiseasE (NURTURE Center). Dr. Albert is a graduate of Haverford College, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health. She completed Internal Medicine Residency and was a Chief Medical Resident at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Dr. Albert then completed Cardiovascular Clinical and Research Fellowship at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she rose in the ranks to an Associate Professor in Medicine. She was previously the Vivian Beaumont Allen Endowed Professor/Chair and Chief of Cardiology at Howard University.

Dr. Albert maintains an active clinical practice. Her clinical expertise involves both taking care of the most critically ill heart disease patients and preventive cardiology at UCSF. As a physician-scientist-epidemiologist, Dr. Albert is engaged in cutting-edge research that innovatively seeks to incorporate "biology" with social determinants of health to transform CVD science and healthcare of global populations, i.e "the biology of adversity". Her research has followed a bold, non-traditional path for cardiovascular disease research. A central component of her current work focuses on developing innovative implementation strategies to curb adversity related CVD risk, particularly in women and racial/ethnic minorities with a focus on health disparities and cumulative toxic stress. She is recipient of multiple research awards including NIH R01 funding, as well as funding from RWJ (Harold Amos Scholar), Kellogg and Doris Duke Foundations. Dr. Albert is a recipient of the American Heart Association (AHA) COVID-19 Rapid Track Grant. Additionally, she is one of two recipients nationally of the prestigious 2018 AHA Merit award for visionary research and is the first woman and under-represented minority person to receive this award. Recently, Dr. Albert also received the distinguished 2020 AHA Population Science Award.

Dr. Albert is currently the 60th President of the Association of University Cardiologists. She is also an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI). She is an Associate Editor at Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology (ATVB), serves on the Editorial Board of Circulation, where she serves as a Section Editor for their Disparities issue; she is also a Section Editor for Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports.

Albert currently serves as a member of the NHLBI Board of External Experts (BEE), 2019 ACC/AHA Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines committee and as a standing committee member of NIH study section - Mechanisms, Emotion, Sleep & Health (MESH). She also served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Qualification of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease.

She is the 2022-2024 President of the American Heart Association (AHA). Prior to this appointment, she served as President to both the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., and the AHA San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley Board of Directors. Dr. Albert has also served/serves on multiple national AHA and American College of Cardiology (ACC) committees as well as currently on the Sarnoff Medical Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Dr. Albert enjoys mentoring trainees at all levels across the United States. She was a nominee/finalist for the competitive 2011-2012 Excellence in Mentoring Award at Harvard Medical School and the recipient of the Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award from the AHA (2016). She received the ACC Heart of Women's Health Credo Award (2012), Woman's Day Magazine's Red Dress Award (2014), the 2018 Daniel D. Savage Science Award (ABC's highest honor) and the Haverford College Alumni Award (2015) — given to an alumnus whose "work typifies the values of the college and is of outstanding service to humanity".


Reverend Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, MDiv Co-Founder, Health Equity Cypher
Reverend Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, MDiv
Founding Principal - R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC
Co-Founder - Health Equity Cypher

Shavon Arline-Bradley is the Founding Principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC ( a public health, policy/advocacy, faith and executive leadership firm designed to expand the capacity of government, corporation, foundation and non-profit partners based in Maryland (Washington DC metro area). She is also a Co-Founder of The Health Equity Cypher Group, a collaborative of nationally recognized health equity experts designed to expand the work of health, equity and diversity & inclusion in all sectors. Shavon personally has over 19 years of public health experience. Shavon served the Office of the 19th United States Surgeon General (OSG) as the Director of External Engagement and senior advisor. Prior to her tenure in the Office of the US Surgeon General, Mrs. Arline Bradley served as the Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning & Partnerships and senior director of health programs for the national NAACP where she served for 6 years.

The Southern New Jersey native is a public health & social justice advocate and former track & field athlete who earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Arline-Bradley graduated in May 2016 from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Master of Divinity. In May 2019, Shavon completed the Executive Certificate of Executive Leadership, Business Development and Business Management from Howard University School of Business with a concentration in strategic planning and project management. In July 2020, she completed the Executive Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University.

Shavon is the co-chair of the National Social Action Commission serving on the national board of directors of Delta Sigma Theta and serves as the current president and chair of Delta for Women in Action. Shavon is a member of the Columbia MD chapter of the Links and is currently the chair of Health & Human Services for the Eastern Area. She also serves as the vice-chair of the NAACP Board Health Committee and a member of the UNCF DMV Leadership Council. Shavon is also a member of Jack & Jill of America and the American Public Health Association. She is a co-author of "The Queen': Legacy", a journey of the trials and triumphs of phenomenal women. Shavon is an ordained Baptist preacher and serves as an associate minister of the Alfred Street Baptist Church. She is a wife and mother of 2.


Dr. Pamela Oliver, MD, FACOG OBGYN and Executive Vice President of Novant Health, President of Novant Health Physician Network
Pamela Oliver, MD, FACOG
OBGYN and Executive Vice President of Novant Health, President of Novant Health Physician Network

Pamela Oliver, MD, is executive vice president of Novant Health and president of the Novant Health Physician Network. In addition to Novant Health Medical Group operations, Oliver leads Novant Health's Clinical Institutes: heart and vascular, neurosciences and psychiatry, orthopedics and sports medicine, women's and children's, cancer, surgical, community health and wellness, and hospital-based medicine. She is also responsible for leading the diabetes center of excellence, Clinically Integrated Network (CIN), AXIA Physician Solutions, Care Connections, value-based and population health strategies, as well as provider education, enrollment and engagement efforts.

Dr. Oliver is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and has been practicing at Novant Health WomanCare since 2005. She has served Novant Health in various leadership roles, including as submarket leader for specialty practices in the greater Winston-Salem market, physician service line leader of women's services for the greater Winston-Salem market and senior physician executive for Novant Health Physician Network, supporting both clinical and business strategy across the system.

She received her undergraduate degree in biology and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar and Board of Governors' scholarship recipient. She also earned her Master of Science in Public Health (maternal and child health concentration) from the UNC School of Public Health while enrolled in medical school.

Dr. Oliver currently serves as chair for the Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition. She serves on the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Fund board and has served on the Summit School board of trustees since 2015. She was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the State Health Coordinating Council and serves on the Boston-Thurmond Community Network board, a community board engaged in community revitalization for the oldest African American neighborhood in Winston-Salem.


Reverend Tawana Thomas Johnson Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, American Cancer Society
Reverend Tawana Thomas Johnson
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer — American Cancer Society

Tawana Thomas Johnson serves as the Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer for the American Cancer Society. In this mission-critical role, she is responsible for leading efforts to design and implement strategies that drive diversity, equity and inclusion on an enterprise-wide basis. She has more than twenty years of experience in public health, community development, advocacy, and diversity and inclusion.

Since joining the American Cancer Society in 2006 as the Director of Health Disparities, she has led the development of outreach tools, programs and resources to increase awareness of the unequal burden of cancer in diverse communities resulting in the significant increase of diverse constituents utilizing the Society's program and services. Among these tools is the "More Than Conquerors" documentary, which features testimonies and interviews with cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians and renown clergy for which she served as executive producer. The documentary received national acclaim and premiered at the National Black Film Festival.

She has successfully led the American Cancer Society in increasing workforce diversity at all levels of the organization, addressing pay parity and significantly improving employee engagement. Under her leadership, the Society joined the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, joining more than 1600 organizations committed to driving diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Her role also includes engaging corporate executives, high-level donors and leadership volunteers in furthering the fight against cancer through revenue generation and mission engagement.

Additionally, Thomas Johnson has served in leadership capacities with several national organizations including the African Heritage Studies Association, the Links Incorporated, and the NAACP. Currently, she is the national chair of the Health Equity Ambassador Links committee for the Links, Incorporated. A native New Yorker, she received her undergraduate and graduate education at the City University of New York, Queens College. She is also an alumnus of the executive leadership program at Columbia University.

Thomas Johnson is an ordained Baptist minister and serves as an associate minister at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Flushing, NY. She is a highly sought-after speaker who has ministered throughout the nation and presented at myriad conferences including the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, HR Management Institute Conference, Leading Women Defined, Hampton Ministers Conference, National Baptist Convention, BET Women's Health Symposium and the Essence Music Festival.
Dr. Melicia Whitt-Glover, PhD Executive Director, Council on Black Health
Melicia Whitt-Glover, PhD
Executive Director, Council on Black Health, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
President and CEO, Gramercy Research Group, Winston-Salem, NC

Dr. Melicia Whitt-Glover is Executive Director for the Council on Black Health, which is housed in the Dornsife School of Public at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. CBH's mission is to develop and promote solutions that achieve health in Black communities. She is also President and CEO of Gramercy Research Group in Winston Salem, NC. Gramercy Research Group's mission is to positively impact and improve the lives of individuals and communities by addressing health and related issues.

For over 20 years, Dr. Whitt-Glover has been engaged in research and evaluation projects designed to identify effective strategies to promote adherence to national recommendations for physical activity, diet, and healthy weight gain to address disparities in chronic disease morbidity and mortality. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, national and local foundations, and local government organizations. She was a member of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, which was a group of the country's most accomplished physical activity and health experts who will play a critical role in a comprehensive process, culminating with the publication of the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Dr. Whitt-Glover received her BA (Exercise Physiology, 1993) and MA (Exercise Physiology, 1996) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. (Epidemiology, 1999) from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Whitt-Glover completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2000 – 2002).


Dr. Rachel M. Bond MD, FACC Co-Chair, Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Children Committee, Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc
Dr. Rachel M. Bond MD, FACC
Co-Chair, Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Children Committee, Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc

Rachel M. Bond, MD, FACC is a board-certified attending cardiologist in Arizona who has devoted her career to the treatment of heart disease through early detection, education, and prevention. She is a women's heart health & prevention specialist and the author of several review papers referencing maternal health, sex and gender differences and cardiovascular conditions that predominantly affect women, along with opinion pieces aimed at addressing health equity, reducing health disparities, and promoting the professional development of women and minorities in the health-science profession. She has a passion for advocacy of education and mentorship and has advised as an expert source through news and media outlets. Her clinical interests include heart health prevention and maternal health. Dr. Bond is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology where she most recently has been appointed as a member of the national diversity and inclusion committee, a member of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology where she sits on the editorial board, a board member and co-chair of the cardiovascular disease in women and children's committee at the Association of Black Cardiologists where she is leading efforts surrounding the Black maternal health crisis, and the American Heart Association, where she is a national spokesperson for the "Go Red for Women" campaign and sits on the board of directors. Dr. Bond received the coveted Nanette Wenger award for her work and advocacy in women's heart health, along with being named one of the most influential women in Arizona in 2022.
It's time to OWN your health