October 8, 2020

Utibe R. Essien, MD, MPH, was selected by Business Insider as one of 30 leaders under 40 who are working to transform U.S. healthcare. Dr. Essien is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and an alumnus (‘20) of the Institute for Clinical Research Education’s Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) Program. He is also the Director of the CEED II Program for Medical Students.

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changed healthcare in the U.S. While health care providers adjusted to new challenges in caring for patients during a pandemic, the country also faced the reality of systematic racism through the protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd. During this challenging time which has established a new normal for healthcare leaders, Dr. Essien has tirelessly forged ahead in working to advance health equity and to end racism in medicine.

Dr. Essien has focused his research on understanding the disparities in health care and studying communities that are disproportionately affected by health risks and illness. During the pandemic, Dr. Essien has investigated the racial and ethnic disparities that are apparent in COVID-19 data, finding that the risk of death related to the disease is higher for Black Americans than for white Americans. Dr. Essien has identified issues with how COVID-19 testing is being conducted, noting that limited testing and inconsistent reporting around race and ethnicity are major problems. Dr. Essien has also asserted that an important component of addressing inequity in healthcare is to expand access so that more people get care and to ensure the care provided is not biased against the patient.

We at the ICRE are proud of Dr. Essien’s work in addressing the inequities that exist in healthcare. The other leaders named in the Business Insider article from September 30, 2020, include business leaders, scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs who are confronting a pandemic and systemic racism in the industry. Article available here (BI subscription required). To explore more of Dr. Essien’s work, follow him on Twitter here.

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