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Forum Participants

Leaders

 

President Havidan Rodríguez

Havidán Rodríguez

President
University at Albany
State University of New York

About

Dr. Havidán Rodríguez was appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees as the 20th president of the University at Albany in June 2017. He took office in September 2017 after more than 25 years as a leader in higher education.

Before coming to UAlbany, Dr. Rodríguez was the founding provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Rodríguez was instrumental in creating UTRGV, a new public research university, and building the university’s new medical school from the ground up. Rodríguez had previously served as interim president and provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Pan- American, which merged with The University of Texas at Brownsville to become UTRGV.

Prior to his leadership positions in Texas, Rodríguez spent seven years at the University of Delaware as deputy provost, vice provost for academic affairs and international programs, and professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He also directed UD’s acclaimed Disaster Research Center, the world’s first research center devoted to the studying the complex social problems that result from natural and technological disasters and other community-scale crises.

Rodríguez has also held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, and served as Director of the Minority Affairs Program for the American Sociological Association (1995-1998). A respected scholar, he studies the socioeconomic impacts of disasters and the economic well-being of minority populations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Rodríguez received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He and his wife, Rosy Lopez, have three grown children.

Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas

Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas

Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Executive Council

About

Dr. Kesavadas was the founding director of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC), the largest endowed center in the University of Illinois system. In the center he managed research, IP and commercialization, data warehouse management (HIPAA), regulatory affairs, IRB and human subject protocols, student exchange, graduate programs, external partnerships, government relations, etc. HCESC has 186 members and affiliates. The Center collaborated and funded research in engineering, social and behavioral sciences, education, applied health sciences, medicine, and veterinary medicine. Twenty research laboratories and institutes, and affiliated hospitals, including Mayo Clinic, are supported through the program. A professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the inaugural faculty of the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Kesavadas was named a distinguished University Presidential Executive Leadership Fellow in 2019.

Dr. Kesavadas previously served as a faculty member at the University at Buffalo, where he advanced his research interests in medical robotics, virtual reality/augmented reality in healthcare, manufacturing automation and design of systems.

Dr. Kesavadas received his B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calicut, India in 1985, his M.Tech degree in Aircraft Production Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1987, and his PhD in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 1995.

Annis Golden

Annis Golden

Interim Director, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
Associate Professor
Communication
University at Albany
State University of New York

About

Dr. Golden is Associate Professor of Communication and Interim Director of the University at Albany’s Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities. She joined the University at Albany in 2002 and has been affiliated with the CEMHD since 2005. Her research focuses on how individuals navigate their relationships with organizations, in the context of particular community settings, with an emphasis on how these relationships impact individual health and well-being. For the past several years (beginning with formative research supported by the CEMHD’s Export Center, and progressing on to a major 5-year study funded under CEMHD’s P20 award), her specific focus has been on the interactions among low income African American women in a smaller urban setting and local health and human service providers. In collaboration with academic and community based research partners, she has investigated how women’s preventive reproductive healthcare seeking is affected by particularities of the place in which they live, including privacy concerns created by the nature of their social networks, organizational images of healthcare providers, shared ways of talking about fears associated with reproductive health screenings, and disjunctures in the local communication networks linking residents and organizations. This line of inquiry has yielded important findings about the interrelationships between the material environment and residents’ experiences of that environment, which have highly consequential implications for the design of health communication interventions to encourage positive health-related behaviors.

Dr. Golden is currently collaborating with Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership and New York Presbyterian Hospital on a project funded by the New York State Health Foundation to identify perinatal telehealth barriers and benefits, and elevate voices of women of color in both development of telehealth services and in day-to-day interactions with providers.

 

Moro Salifu

Moro Salifu

Director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center
Chair and Professor of Medicine
The Edwin C. and Anne K. Weiskopf Endowed Chair in Nephrology
Chief, Division of Nephrology
Director of the Kidney Transplant Program
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

About

Moro O. Salifu, MD, MPA, MPH, MACP is professor and chairman, Department of Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Health Sciences University. Dr. Salifu is the Edwin C. and Anne K. Weiskopf Endowed Chair in Nephrology, chief, Division of Nephrology, and director of the Kidney Transplant Program.

He is a member of and journal reviewer for many nephrology and transplant societies, has served in many local and national professional committees, and is also a Master of the American College of Physicians. His research interests include CKD disease progression, vascular biology, kidney transplant outcomes, and health disparities. Directing research/training of faculty/house staff at Downstate, he served as Chair of the Faculty Redeployment Workgroup during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Dr. Salifu is director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, a partnership between SUNY Downstate, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.

 

Panelists and Facilitators

Reaction Panel

Panelists

Julia Hastings

Julia Hastings, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior 
School of Public Health
School of Social Welfare
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

Elizabeth Vásquez

Elizabeth Vasquez, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor and Chair 
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics 
School of Public Health 
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Angela Antonikowski

Angela Antonikowski, Ph.D., M.A.
Chief Diversity Officer of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Albany Medical Center
Associate Dean for Student Wellness
Albany Medical College

 

 

 

Ola Kalu

Ola Kalu
Presidential Health Disparities Doctoral Fellow
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Environmental Health Disparities

Panelists

Lawrence Schell

Lawrence M. Schell, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Public Health
Founding Director
Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

DeeDee Bennett Gayle

DeeDee Bennett Gayle, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Shao Lin

Shao Lin, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences
School of Public Health
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Dorcey Applyrs

Dorcey Applyrs, Ph.D.
Chief City Auditor
City of Albany

 

 

 

Facilitator

Samantha Friedman sits on the Podium before a glass-enclosed stairway

Samantha Friedman, Ph.D.
Director
Center for Social and Demographic Analysis
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

Maternal Health Disparities

Panelists

Elise Andaya

Elise Andaya, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Rajani Bhatia

Rajani Bhatia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Christine Bozlak

Christine T. Bozlak, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy
Management and Behavior
School of Public Health
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

Fajah Ferrer

Fajah Ferrer
Community Outreach Coordinator
Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

Nakia Tillman

Nakia Tillman
Co-Director
BirthNet

 

 

 

 

 

Facilitator

Kate W. Strully

Kate W. Strully, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Health Communication, Digital Divide and Messaging

Panelists

Jennifer Manganello

Jennifer Manganello, Ph.D
Professor
Department of Health Policy Management and Behavior
School of Public Health
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Rukhsana Ahmed

Rukhsana Ahmed, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Department of Communication
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

Dina Refki

Dina Refki, D.A.
Executive Director
Center for Women in Government & Civil Society
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

Jeanette Altarriba

Jeanette Altarriba, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Masahiro Yamamoto

Masahiro Yamamoto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Communication
College of Arts and Sciences
University at Albany
State University of New York

 

 

 

Kristy Medina

Kristy Medina
Program Manager
Center for Community Health Navigation
New York Presbyterian Hospital

 

 

 

Facilitator

Renee Cadzow

Renee Cadzow, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Health Administration and Public Health
D'Youville College
Board Co-Chair
CoNECT/Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo