Founder and CEO, Advancing Health Equity
As a Harvard-educated physician specializing in emergency medicine, Dr. Uché Blackstock could have punched her own ticket. A little more than a decade into her career, she did just that: In 2018, she founded Advancing Health Equity, an organization dedicated to combating the factors that contribute to widespread health inequity.
It came as little surprise, then, that Blackstock was among the first experts to anticipate COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black communities. During her part-time work at urgent care centers in her native Brooklyn, New York, she immediately noticed a lack of testing resources. “When I heard about doctors in Italy having to ration ventilators, and then the incredibly likely possibility that this is going to happen here, my first thought was so many Black people are going to die,” she later told Slate.
Eight months into the pandemic, Blackstock remains one of the most effective advocates for populations and communities that are most vulnerable to COVID. Advancing Health Equity itself has emerged as a force, coordinating training sessions on unconscious bias and structural racism for organizations such as Salesforce, the New York State Department of Health and the American Medical Association.