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About our Founder

Dr. Uché Blackstock is a physician, thought leader, and sought-after speaker on bias and racism in medicine and health care. Dr. Blackstock founded Advancing Health Equity in 2019 with the goal of partnering with healthcare organizations to dismantle racism in healthcare and to close the gap in racial health inequities.

In 2019, Dr. Blackstock was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of “10 Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With”. In 2020, she was one of thirty-one inaugural leaders awarded an unrestricted grant for her advocacy work from the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund. Dr. Blackstock has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Medical Women’s Association’s 2021 Presidential Award, the 2021 Harvard Humanist of the Year, and the NAACP Brooklyn Chapter’s 2022 Valiant Service Award.

Dr. Blackstock’s writing, including numerous OpEds, has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Scientific American, the Washington Post and New York magazine. In April 2021, she became an exclusive medical contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.

She is a former associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the former faculty director for recruitment, retention, and inclusion in the Office of Diversity Affairs at NYU School of Medicine.

Dr. Blackstock received both her undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University, making her and her twin sister, Oni, the first Black mother-daughter legacies from Harvard Medical School. They have been profiled in The New York Times and on PBS NewsHour.

In June 2021, Dr. Blackstock signed a book deal with Penguin Random House Books for her generational memoir, LEGACY: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine. LEGACY was published January 2024.

Dr. Blackstock currently lives in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, with her two small children.

Our Mission

Advancing Health Equity’s primary mission is to engage with healthcare organizations to dismantle racism in healthcare with the goal of mobilizing for health equity and eradicating racial health inequities. We believe that every healthcare organization should be committed to closing the gap in racialized health outcomes. Advancing Health Equity will partner with you to equip your organization with the tools and strategies to provide racially equitable care and to create an anti-racist workplace culture.

Her Mother’s Story

As a child, Dr. Blackstock watched her mother, Dr. Dale Blackstock, a Black woman in medicine, navigate the world with the odds stacked squarely against her.

Raised by a single mother with six children, on public assistance, her mother was the first person in her family to attend college. She died of acute myelogenous leukemia at only 47 years old. Dr. Blackstock’s mother’s legacy inspires her to work to advance health equity for Black Americans and to address the detrimental effects of systemic racism on health outcomes.


Samantha Truman


Chief Managing Director (CMD)
Senior Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

Samantha Truman (she/her) functions as the Chief Managing Director of Advancing Health Equity. In this role, she is the executive in control of the day-to-day affairs of the organization. As Chief Managing Director, she oversees the organization’s business development, organizational and cultural development, project management, and strategic planning. Notably, Samantha is a world-class facilitator who uses transformational leadership, change management tools, and humble inquiry. She centers “culture” – individual cultures working in service to organizational cultures. Samantha partners with institutions and strategically maps transformative programs that impact the corporate body. At the same time, she consults and collaborates with institutions to facilitate compelling IDEA and health equity strategy, growth, and company-wide cultural shifts. 

In her work, Samantha analyzes quantitative and qualitative sources and leverages data analytics. She enlightens the development of IDEA and health equity initiatives and processes, which leads to the development of a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive organization. Samantha has facilitated over seven hundred sessions with thousands of participants. She skillfully guides conversations with the C-suite and team members, who relearn empathy and emotional intelligence. Contributors dive into the culture, psychological safety, inclusive leadership, bias, and the ‘isms, as well as racialized disparities, the SDOH, and health equity. Her studies are in Organizational Leadership with a focus on D&I. In addition, she is a Coach, Certified IDI Administrator, Psychological Safety Practitioner, and Cultural Designer, working with individuals and establishments looking to further their intercultural humility, dexterity, and generative dialogue skills. 


Samantha was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, to a Ukrainian mother and Jamaican father. She would eventually move to Jamaica, where she went to high school. In her teenage years, Samantha moved to Fullerton, California (with her mother and Palestinian stepfather), where she had to learn how to navigate the cultural dynamics in the United StatesHealth inequities proved to be a challenge when she witnessed illness frequently in her family. As a result, health equity has become a part of her worldly mission. When Samantha isn’t working, she is with her family, crossing another country off the list. So far, she has visited 50 countries and continues to visit new destinations – further grounding her cultural work. Samantha’s noble goal is to “connect and inspire people to become empowered change-makers.”      

Meet our Team

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  • Jessica Curry (she/her)

    Operations Manager

  • Jess MacFarlane, MPH (she/her)

    Consultant, Racial Equity

  • Dr. Rachel M. Bond, MD, FACC (she/her)

    Consultant, HEDI/Leadership

  • Jen Lewis-Walden, MEM, MA (They/Them/She/Her)

    Consultant, HEDI/Strategy

  • Dr. Kellie Bryant, DNP, WHNP, CHSE, FAAN (she/her)

    Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

  • Falguni Shah, PhD, NCC, LCPC, CHCEF (she/her)

    Consultant, Leadership

  • Tiffany Cornwall, MPH (she/her)

    Consultant, Strategy

  • Fathiya Abdi, MPH (she/her)

    Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

  • Lilliann M. Paine, MPH (her/she)

    Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

  • Kai Williams (she/her)

    Consultant, HEDI/Leadership

  • Chiagbanwe “ChiChi” Enwere, MPH (she/her)

    Consultant, IDEA

  • Dr. Warren Hilton, EdD (he/him)

    Consultant, Leadership/IDEA

  • Dr. Micah Griffin, PhD (he/him)

    Consultant, Strategy

  • Dr. Cedric Pulliam, PhD (he/him)

    Consultant, HESI

  • Asma Hussain, MPH (she/her)

    Consultant, HEDI

Jessica Curry (she/her)

Operations Manager

I’m your favorite left-handed freelance Administrative Consultant! I’m tidy + efficient. I am organized + creative. I see things in a unique way. I like to elevate everyday things into something beautiful. For all my big-picture thinkers, and visionaries – I can coordinate what seems like chaos to you. In 2012 I took my skills from corporate America and pivoted, to collaborate with business owners and entrepreneurs in a way that compliments their work. I believe in the work of my clients and validate that through my offerings.  I’m from southern Virginia and have called North Carolina home for the past eight years. A self-proclaimed crime junkie, I have an Apple podcast library solely dedicated to true crime. I’m also a proud card-carrying member of the Rihanna navy. I can’t wait to collaborate with you all! 

Jess MacFarlane, MPH (she/her)

Consultant, Racial Equity

Jess MacFarlane, MPH is a racial equity consultant and facilitator. Her mission is to build racial literacy and promote action among those who are committed to equity but are unsure about next steps. Jess’ specific purpose is to mobilize white people in the collective process of unlearning, skills-building, and active anti-racism. Jess’ primary services include organizational assessments and equity audits, workshop facilitation, and coaching. Since 2015, Jess has worked across a range of fields, including healthcare, education, the criminal legal system, and media, equipping individuals, and institutions with the tools to live out their values of equity and belonging. Throughout her career, Jess has used research to drive equity. Her published research spans social psychology, behavioral HIV prevention, and harm reduction. Previously, Jess was a Core Team member of Perception Institute, a non-profit consortium of researchers and strategists who use the brain science of identity to reduce discrimination, concluding her time there as Deputy Director of Research and Assessment. Jess holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a certificate in Social Determinants of Health from Columbia University and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Duke University. The focus of her graduate studies was examining the root cause of racial disparities in health in the United States. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she currently lives with her partner and dog in Durham, NC.

Dr. Rachel M. Bond, MD, FACC (she/her)

Consultant, HEDI/Leadership

Rachel M. Bond, MD, FACC is a board-certified attending cardiologist in Arizona who has devoted her career to the treatment of heart disease through early detection, education, and prevention. She is a women’s heart health & prevention specialist and the author of several review papers referencing maternal health, sex and gender differences and cardiovascular conditions that predominantly affect women, along with opinion pieces aimed at addressing health equity, reducing health disparities, and promoting the professional development of women and minorities in the health-science profession. She has a passion for advocacy of education and mentorship and has advised as an expert source through news and media outlets. Her clinical interests include heart health prevention and maternal health. Dr. Bond is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology where she most recently has been appointed as a member of the national diversity and inclusion committee, a member of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology where she sits on the editorial board, a board member and co-chair of the cardiovascular disease in women and children’s committee at the Association of Black Cardiologists where she is leading efforts surrounding the Black maternal health crisis, and the American Heart Association, where she is a national spokesperson for the “Go Red for Women” campaign and sits on the board of directors. Dr. Bond received the coveted Nanette Wenger award for her work and advocacy in women’s heart health, was named one of the most influential women in Arizona in 2022 and received the Breaking Barriers award from ElevateMed for her work on health equity. 

Jen Lewis-Walden, MEM, MA (They/Them/She/Her)

Consultant, HEDI/Strategy

Jen Lewis-Walden, MEM, MA envisions a future where community aspirations and visions for health shape responsive institutions, capital, and democratic processes. Jen offers health equity strategy consulting to diverse audiences on community engagement, multisector collaboration, participatory funding, social needs strategy, investments to address the social determinants of health, and community-institution shared power partnerships. Jen’s work advances community governance to frame and test new ways of creating health systems that deliver on health. They have applied this lens across diverse disciplines – including public health, healthcare, environment, education, housing – as well as public, private and philanthropic sectors. Jen co-founded Shift Health Accelerator, spearheading health equity innovations, including healthcare accountability, data democratization, and operationalizing community-led change as a pathway to accelerate health and racial equity. Jen serves as Advisor to Anchors in Resilient Communities, Healthy Yolo multisector coalition, NeighborWorks America health equity and housing strategy, and the Florida Center for Thriving Communities statewide social justice and health equity strategy. Previously, Jen was an Advisor with the Build Healthy Places Network, Senior Fellow for Data Strategies with the Blue Shield of California Foundation and Special Projects Director for the Sonoma County (CA) Department of Health Services. Jen holds master’s degrees in environmental management (MEM) and International Relations (MA) from Yale University, and a BA in Biology from Bryn Mawr College. Jen holds a Certificate in Business Excellence through the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive Education program and was a Culture of Health Leader with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Kellie Bryant, DNP, WHNP, CHSE, FAAN (she/her)

Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

Dr. Kellie Bryant is currently the Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs and Simulation and Associate Professor position at Columbia School of Nursing. Dr. Bryant has garnered expertise in her field with a teaching career spanning over two decades and 15 years of specialized simulation experience. Within her current role, Dr. Bryant oversees the day-to-day operations and execution of simulation-based education for both prelicensure and advanced practice nursing students at Columbia’s accredited simulation center. Her responsibilities include implementing initiatives within the institution and the broader community aimed at fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Falguni Shah, PhD, NCC, LCPC, CHCEF (she/her)

Consultant, Leadership

Falguni Shah,PhD, NCC, LCPC, CHCEF   is an independent consultant assisting organizational change initiatives using lean and change management principles, improving processes, increasing operational efficiencies, and generating revenue. She provides leadership development on leading diverse teams, inclusive leadership competencies, and fostering an inclusive culture and climate. She also provides HR consulting on workforce assessment and helps develop a DEI strategy including metrics on recruitment, retention, and promotion. Dr Shah’s research interests include talent management and leading diverse/global teams. She has developed an action-oriented framework for reducing bias in the workplace and a promotability index of behaviors for employees to increase their promotability rating.  Dr. Shah has 15 years of experience in Federally Qualified and Community Mental Health Centers managing day to day operations as well as leading multiple projects/programs. Some examples include integrated primary care and behavioral health, continuous quality improvement, maintaining accreditation, grant management, electronic medical records implementation, managed care contracting, billing and revenue cycle management, and value-based care amongst others. As a clinician, she has worked with individuals of all ages coming from low-socio economic backgrounds with multiple comorbidities. Dr. Shah is currently an Associate Director in the Standards Interpretation Group at The Joint Commission since 2018. She evaluates and guides Behavioral Health Care and Human Services and In-patient Psychiatric Hospitals to implement the highest standards of quality and safety. She serves on the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) council and is a designated speaker on health equity. She has also completed Advancing DE&I Certification at Kellogg School of Nonprofit Management, Chicago. 

Tiffany Cornwall, MPH (she/her)

Consultant, Strategy

Tiffany Cornwall, MPH is a health services researcher and strategist, with demonstrated experience across diverse sectors such as academia, consulting, and healthcare insurance. She currently serves as Lead Director of Health Equity Business Strategy and Innovation at CVS Health while pursuing her PhD in Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. In her current role at CVS Health, she leads their health equity business unit assessment work to improve the quality of CVS healthcare, pharmacy, and provider services for their underserved members, patients, customers, and communities. Her dissertation work is dedicated to understanding how healthcare organizations recruit and retain diverse leadership talent and strategies to advance health equity.  Prior to joining CVS Health, she served as the inaugural Health Equity Doctoral Fellow at UnitedHealth Group (UHG) and supported the development of UHG’s first health equity strategic partnerships strategy. Tiffany’s commitment to health equity led her to join AHE as a consultant. At AHE, she serves as a subject matter expert in health equity, equipping organizations with tools and strategies to provide racially equitable care and build an anti-racist workplace culture. Tiffany holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Public Health at Spelman College, where she achieved Phi Beta Kappa distinction. She is a proud first-generation Jamaican and alumna of A Better Chance and the Wadleigh Scholars Program in New York City.  

Fathiya Abdi, MPH (she/her)

Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

Fathiya Abdi was born and raised in San Diego, California. Her efforts in advocacy and equity began at a young age. As the oldest child of Somali immigrants, she helped her parents navigate America’s complex structures and essentially “translate” this country and their systems. She has witnessed firsthand how structural racism, oppression, and the link between   the social drivers of health operate to create and reproduce health inequities.  As a public health professional and community-rooted justice practitioner, she is passionate about creating conditions that encourage healing from systems of oppression, foster accountability and efforts that start to undo the harms of racism. She has had the opportunity to work with local/state government agencies, health care organizations and communities to lead strategy development, shape organizational culture and inform programs, policies and decisions that center racial justice, health equity and systems of change that cultivate a world where people are not coming up against harm in their everyday life.  

Lilliann M. Paine, MPH (her/she)

Consultant, HEDI/IDEA

With a robust career spanning multiple pivotal roles, I am a Health Equity Subject Matter Expert leveraging over a decade of experience in public health, technical assistance, and project management. As a former Technical Assistance Director at National Birth Equity Collaborative, I led a successful team that enhanced client experiences across federal, state, and local healthcare agencies. My tenure as Chief of Staff at the Milwaukee Health Department was marked by strategic pandemic planning, community engagement, and coaching on health and racial equity practices. Previously, as a Health and Well-Being Educator for UW-Extension-Milwaukee, I orchestrated strategic planning efforts and educational programs resulting in impactful initiatives like the Fund My Future Children’s Saving Account for the City of Milwaukee. With a proven track record in strategic planning, equity-focused program management, and fostering collaborative partnerships, I am passionate about health equity and dedicated to effecting positive change in public health.

Kai Williams (she/her)

Consultant, HEDI/Leadership

Kai Williams is a consultant, leadership coach, and facilitator with nearly 20 years of experience in the healthcare field. She’s held positions spanning from Healthcare Associate and Training and Operations Manager to Sr. VP of Healthcare Delivery and Co-CEO. She has extensive experience leading organizational change and in the “art” of balancing the needs of patients, employees, and the health of the business as an accountable executive leader. Kai has had first-hand experience being a leader and supporting leaders navigating an institutional reckoning around racial harm and inequitable care.  Kai’s mission is to improve the culture, experience, health outcomes, and effectiveness of organizations. Kai aims to engage white people and leaders to critically analyze the gap between their intentions and their actions, structures, and outcomes, as well as build the knowledge and skills to become actively anti-racist. Kai joined AHE in 2023 and through training sessions, assessments, and coaching, she works to create environments, systems, and individuals that prioritize health equity, inclusivity, and anti-racism. Kai has honed her practice with specialized training, including a certification in Executive Healthcare Leadership, Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, Mind Sciences on Difference, and Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations. 

Chiagbanwe “ChiChi” Enwere, MPH (she/her)

Consultant, IDEA

Chiagbanwe ‘Chichi’ Enwere, MPH is a passionate and innovative public health data scientist dedicated to driving positive change in the healthcare landscape. As a Nigerian immigrant, Chichi draws on her unique experiences to shape her vision of a healthcare system that prioritizes accessibility, health equity, and reproductive health justice for all individuals. In her role as a consultant, Chichi excels in translating complex data into compelling presentations and conversations. Specializing in health management and policy, epidemiology, and health education and promotions, she leverages her expertise to uncover trends and minimize the risk of negative health outcomes. Proficient in data tools such as Tableau, SAS, RedCap, and Alteryx, she skillfully cleans, analyzes, and visualizes data to inform evidence-based decision-making. An alumna of the School of Public Health, University at Albany (SUNY), Chichi holds a Master of Public Health with a specialization in Public Health Practice and Policy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology and Africana Studies, showcasing her interdisciplinary approach to public health. Throughout her career, Chichi has been a proactive organizer of community and corporate programs, focusing on providing access and resources to underserved communities. She has collaborated with governmental and non-governmental, nonprofit agencies and organizations, contributing to the creation of inclusive and patient-centered content, policies, and best practices. Chichi Enwere’s commitment to transforming healthcare through research, education, and policy underscores her dedication to building a healthier and more equitable future for all.

Dr. Warren Hilton, EdD (he/him)

Consultant, Leadership/IDEA

Dr. Warren Hilton, EdD has over 20 years of experience working with individuals and organizations to manage change and improve culture. Dr. Hilton has led an esteemed career in academia and corporate settings, with a special focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a consultant, Dr. Hilton enjoys helping clients challenge the status-quo on their journey to reaching their full potential. He has experience in enrollment management and student development at public and private higher education institutions. Dr. Hilton has spent his career in higher education helping faculty, staff, and students, especially those from marginalized populations, reach their goals and aspirations. Currently, he serves as the President for Onondaga Community College. Dr. Hilton also serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 

Dr. Micah Griffin, PhD (he/him)

Consultant, Strategy

Dr. Micah Griffin, PhD is a healthcare strategist with expertise in health service administration, college health, public health policy, health equity, and mental health program development. His work has centered on health services utilization, improving wellbeing for communities of color, public health communications, and diversity, equity, & inclusion (DE&I). He has contributed to such outlets as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside HigherEd, Essence, NBC News, and various professional organizations.  Dr. Griffin has held progressive leadership positions at The City University of New York, The Pennsylvania State University, and North Carolina Central University. He currently serves as Vice President of Health Equity at Ketchum where he provides strategy consulting for various clients; Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Gilead Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, Office of Minority Health, and CDC Foundation. He has provided council and subject expertise for a wide variety of brands and organizations that have resulted in improved population outcomes, user engagement, and overall performance improvement.  Dr. Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Livingstone College a Master’s in Exercise Science from Life University. He also has an earned master’s in healthcare administration (MHA), and a Ph.D. in Health Services with a focus in Community Health both from Walden University. 

Dr. Cedric Pulliam, PhD (he/him)

Consultant, HESI

After serving nearly 13 years as a public servant in the U.S. federal government with a focus on foreign diplomacy, global and public health (HIV), global human rights and gender equality, international development, and multilateral diplomacy – he has rooted his federal career in the objectives of access, community, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout his work. He values the role of community, ensuring their voices are heard and seen within policies and programs, and continues to volunteer within the public health corps within his local community – the epitome of a community-oriented public health practitioner. He recently served as the Director of Global Public Policy at Prevention Access Campaign. Throughout his federal career, Cedric has served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Congressional Research Service, and the U.S. Department of the Air Force. Cedric founded CDP Consulting, LLC, which was started in 2014 to assist recent veterans in career and professional development and transitioned into a public health and health equity consultancy company in 2018. Through CDP Consulting, LLC, Dr. Pulliam provides health equity and patient advocacy consulting to several industry, government, and nonprofit entities within the Atopic Dermatitis, HIV, IBD and Crohn’s Disease communications, clinical research and patient access and quality of care. Dr. Pulliam attended Elon University, obtained International Studies and Political Science bachelor’s degrees, and was recognized with the 2022 Top 10 Under 10 Alumni and 2017 LGBTQIA Community Enrichment awards. Cedric received a 2012 full-tuition fellowship from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where he obtained his first master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies. He went on to complete graduate studies at Georgetown University and George Mason University, focusing on International Development and Conflict Resolution, and completed his doctoral studies in Health and Medical Psychology at Northcentral University.

Asma Hussain, MPH (she/her)

Consultant, HEDI

Asma has nearly 12 years of experience in evidence-based processes and tools to improve efficiencies and reduce disparities in healthcare through continuous quality improvement methodologies, data analytics, and outcomes evaluation. She has worked at federally qualified health centers, large hospital systems, and national non-profits. She also has experience in global health, including at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Pakistan’s only cancer research center providing free care to low-income patients. Asma worked as a Data Analyst for the 17 Planned Parenthood health centers across Ohio, crafting insights to help senior leadership increase health equity for communities of color. She was a Senior Consultant at Rabin Martin, a global public health strategy firm where she led several high-profile client engagements focused on maternal mortality, health equity, childhood obesity, and HIV/AIDS. She is co-founder and Executive Director of a free clinic in her local community that serves un/underinsured people, with a special focus on serving refugee and immigrant populations around the Cleveland area.

Asma holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Case Western Reserve University. She also received training and certification through the Global Mental Health Trauma and Recovery Program at Harvard University on how to provide trauma-informed care. She has a Certificate of Public Health (CPH) from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Asma lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her wonderful husband with whom she is working on her most important job—raising four beautiful, crazy children.