Who's in CHARGE? spotlights a member of the AAMC Collaborative for Health equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE), a forum for investigators, clinicians, and community partners who design and implement research that eliminates health and health care inequities. Today we're featuring Luyi Adesanya, MPH, MBA, CPH, member of the Research & Early Development Team for Health Equity and Inclusive Research at Genentech. You can meet other health equity champions like Luyi when you join AAMC CHARGE.
What sparked your interest in health equity or health disparities work?
Growing up in underserved rural and urban areas, I have always faced various societal inequities and systemic barriers in my own personal life. Given the many challenges and hurdles I had to overcome, I have always been interested in giving back to the populations I come from to improve health equity and close the stagnant gaps on health care disparities.
Why is now the right time for us all to work together on health equity?
Given the multitude of challenges in our domestic health care system, coupled with the persistent inequities that communities face, now is the time to work together to create cross-functional teams to find solutions. There is no optimal health care system where health inequities persist. To be an innovative and comprehensive health care system for all populations, there needs to be more sustainable health equity initiatives.
What health equity project are you most proud of or excited about?
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a contact tracer and case investigator for the Dallas-Ft. Worth region. As a newly minted MPH and MBA, I used my training to diversify clinical trials, improve access to COVID-19 vaccines in medically underserved communities, and spread awareness about prevention, all during a critical time in our society (especially for minority populations who had a higher disease and risk burden for COVID-19). I was able to see the direct beneficial impact this had on communities and how it alleviated health inequities for the community I was working with and serving.
Do you have any health equity heroes?
Dr. Camara Jones is a significant leader for health equity, ensuring a more equitable health care environment for all populations through her evidence-based, academic-community integration. My other health equity heroes are the community members. Community members are imperative to the mission we do as health care and health equity workers. It is so important to listen to community members, empower community members’ voices, and ensure their opinions and needs are heard.
What health equity or social justice issue do you think deserves more attention than it gets right now?
The maternal health crisis in this country is atrocious. The most joyous, blessed time of life, is filled with constant worry, fear, and fright because Black women are facing mortality and birthing outcomes much worse than other racial counterparts. The blessing it is to bring a child into this world should be a joy for all mothers and families regardless of race. These disparities need to close through sustained and innovative OB/GYN care approaches, coupled with policy reform, to ensure adequate access and holistic patient empowerment through the maternal health care spectrum.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and learning about other cultures. I am also an avid English Premier League soccer fan.
Connect with Luyi on LinkedIn.
You can meet other health equity champions like Luyi in the AAMC CHARGE virtual community. Interested in nominating yourself or a colleague for a Who’s In CHARGE? member spotlight?