Yale’s Marcella Nunez-Smith Honored to Her Work to Address COVID-19 Racial Disparities

Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research and associate professor of internal medicine, of epidemiology, and of public health at Yale Medical School, received the 11th Annual Visionary Leadership Award from the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. She was honored for her work to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and brown communities.

“This award so critically shines a light on the challenge and is a rallying call to action for all of us. This past year has forced a national reckoning. I invite each of us to think about ways we can individually hold this moment and center equity and justice in everything we do,” Dr. Nunez-Smith said.

Dr. Nunez-Smith co-chaired the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s COVID-19 task force. She now serves as chair of the Biden-Harris administration’s COVID-19 Equity Task Force.

Dr. Nunez-Smith grew up in Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She wanted to be a doctor at the age of 6. Dr. Nunez-Smith came to the mainland at the age of 16 to enroll at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in psychology. She earned a master’s degree at Yale University and her medical degree at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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