The three newest recipients of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership will begin their MBA education this week as members of the MBA for Executives Class of 2025. The fellowship, designed to give healthcare professionals the leadership skills and the deep understanding of teams, markets, and organizations necessary to tackle major inequities in the U.S. healthcare system, includes 22 months of study in the healthcare area of focus of the EMBA program, as well as specialized training and mentorship from national experts on healthcare disparities.
Dr. Lou Hart, Dr. Amon Rodgers, and Dr. Sherise Chantell Rogers visited Edward P. Evans Hall for the first time in June for a two-day immersion, getting to know each other and the program faculty and taking part in discussions on improving healthcare access and outcomes for marginalized, minoritized, and medically underserved populations.
Dr. Hart is a pediatrician and the medical director of health equity for the Yale New Haven Health System; previously, he served as director of equity, quality, and safety at NYC Health + Hospitals.
In the fellowship, Dr. Hart said, he planned to gain additional skills to help “align financial incentives to drive innovation that advances both the social and financial missions of our for-profit and tax-exempt organizations. We need to more formally reward institutions that are driving profit and value on not just their financial missions, but more importantly in their social missions.”
His biggest takeaway from the immersion, he added, is that “to be a true leader for equity, it requires a cross-sector, trans-disciplinary approach to change management and improvement.”
Dr. Rodgers is a family medicine physician at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, and principal investigator and medical director for the university’s Mobile Health Outreach Program. He founded and co-directs the university’s Medicine and Society curriculum for medical students.
In the curriculum, he said, “my hope is to instill in my students a sense of agency and a mental model for change. The hope is that once they are practitioners, they will be able to effectively advocate and serve the underserved and marginalized communities at both a local and global scale.”
In his first days at Yale SOM, he said, the power of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship was apparent. “Everyone we met during the immersion was working toward one unifying goal: the idea of a healthier and more equitable future for the people of New Haven. But the diversity of the group—the varied differences in backgrounds, expertise, and philosophies—resulted in a very comprehensive and inclusive network of ideas, resources, and solutions. Meeting everyone individually and learning about their work, and then taking a step back to see it all come together was both beautiful and humbling.”
Dr. Rogers is a medical oncologist at the University of Florida whose research focuses on gastrointestinal malignancies and the cancer inequities faced by marginalized communities.
“As a medical oncologist and scientist, I witness firsthand the lives that are impacted by higher rates of disease and mortality in the African American community and other marginalized groups,” she said. “I believe through a deeper understanding of the complexities of businesses and policies that affect the ecosystem of optimal health, well-being, and access to healthcare, I will be able to foster innovative and sustainable change.”
At the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship immersion, she said, she was struck by the conversations with “local servant leaders about how they do the work to protect the lives and increase the well-being and health outcomes of their community through advocacy, education, innovation, and policy.”
She added, “As leaders in health equity, we must not forget the people we serve and truly understand their needs. Most of the time, the community knows what it needs. We just have to listen.”