Social Epidemiologist Named Health Equity Professor

DECEMBER 2, 2013 - Jennifer Z. Huang Bouey, PhD, MPH, MBBS, an associate professor of international health at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, has been named the Susan H. Mayer Professor in Health Equity.

She begins in this role immediately and will serve a three-year term, according to Martin Y. Iguchi, the school’s dean, who announced the appointment today.

“A defining characteristic of this school, since its founding in 1903, has been a mission-centered engagement with the community to improve health and well-being,” he says.  “Having someone like Jennifer, whose local and global connections are strong, in this role will help us advance this tradition in new and meaningful ways.”

Social Epidemiologist

Huang is a social epidemiologist who joined the school in 2005. Since that time, she has served as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and co-investigator on NIH and other federally funded studies.

She has focused her attention on health disparities and health care access barriers among children of recent immigrant families to the United States, as well as HIV prevention among rural-to-urban migrants in China.  She is also an active member of the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR).

"I have been feeling extremely honored to be nominated for this position among many of my distinguished colleagues,” she says.  “I understand the position bears the weight of the mission to further develop community-based health equity research and teaching opportunities.”

Mentorship and Education

In addition to her research, Huang has provided mentorship for several undergraduate students who have developed research posters and co-authored scholarly publications.

And in 2009, building upon her connections at Fudan University in Shanghai, she launched a successful summer academic and cultural immersion program in China for Georgetown undergraduates.  She was recognized in 2011 with an Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award at Georgetown University Medical Center’s Convocation.

As holder of the professorship, Huang will work closely with Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at NHS, to promote health equity activities throughout the school and beyond.

“I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to achieve this goal and am grateful for the trust and support,” Huang says.

‘Deep Gratitude’

Iguchi thanked a number of individuals for their efforts.

“I extend deep gratitude to Georgetown parents Holly and Tom Mayer, who endowed this professorship more than a decade ago,” he says.  “The position was held for many years by former colleague Sharon Ramey, PhD, whose focus was on child and family studies.”

He also extended appreciation to the members of the school’s Committee on Mission and Values for leading the internal search for this position and to the nominees who took part in this process.

“Through it I have learned that we are fortunate to have many in our school who focus on the dimensions of health equity through important fields of inquiry,” he says.

By Bill Cessato