Re-imagining Public Health in Boston
On Wednesday, April 5, Bouvé’s Department of Health Sciences continued its speaker series highlighting innovative approaches to advance health equity and racial justice across a range of disciplines.
This ongoing series examines the role of health equity, racial justice, and social justice in the context of current public health issues and trends by engaging experts in science, technology, humanities, and arts.
Wednesday’s event featured Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH, a nationally-recognized physician leader, health equity researcher, community advocate, and expert in the prevention, care, and treatment of infectious diseases.
She was appointed Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) in July 2021.
As Executive Director of the BPHC, the City’s health department, Dr. Ojikutu manages a budget of $162M and leads more than 1,300 employees to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly the most vulnerable. Dr. Ojikutu is a key advisor to Boston’s Mayor on health issues and builds innovative partnerships across city departments and within Boston’s communities to positively impact the health of all city residents.
Among other public health priorities, she is committed to addressing racism as a public health crisis and advancing health equity.
We were also joined by Triniese Polk, MS, director of the Office of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC).
Triniese is a Boston native and director of the Office of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC). For more than twenty years, Triniese has advocated for racial and social justice – leading many transformative initiatives in Boston and Public Health. While in her current role, Triniese established the Health Commission’s first community-driven Anti-Racism Policy which operationalizes cross-departmental equity and inclusion standards of practice.
In response to Boston’s Racism as a Public Health Crisis Declaration, Triniese and her team established the BPHC Generational Health Scholarship program for BIPOC identifying students seeking careers in fields including public and mental health, medical, and dental. Triniese holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Springfield College and a Master of Science degree in Health Communication from Boston University.
Thank you to all who attended and participated in this important event.