city, roads, people

It Takes a Community to Reduce Health Disparities

December 2, 2022
Dr. Olajide Williams standing in a hospital room

Dr. Olajide Williams

Columbia has a responsibility to improve the health and well-being of its neighbors living in northern Manhattan, says neurologist Olajide Williams, MD, who leads one of the COMMUNITY projects. Dr. Williams is professor of neurology, chief of staff of the Department of Neurology, and co-director of the Columbia Wellness Center with Robert Fullilove, EdD, associate dean of community and minority affairs in the Mailman School of Public Health. “We live in a community that is plagued with adverse social determinants of health,” says Dr. Williams, “so it is a moral, civil, and societal responsibility for us to make sure that our backyard is the first place that we address before moving beyond...

Who better is there than those who live within a community to help us identify problems; leverage the existing assets within that community; identify barriers, pitfalls, and cultural sensitivities; translate the science into a language that will make sense for that particular community; and help us not just find the right solutions, but implement and sustain those solutions in the community?” [read more about the COMMUNITY projects]

Source: Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons 2022 Annual Report