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April 01, 2018

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD


The National Minority Quality Forum is proud to announce the selection of the 2018 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health

Washington, DC- The National Minority Quality Forum is proud to announce the selection of the 2018 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health. After receiving hundreds of applications from healthcare professionals across the country, these 40 represent the next generation of thought leaders in reducing health disparities.

“Here at the NMQF, we are truly excited about this next class of honorees and recognizing them at our annual leadership summit,” stated NMQF President & CEO Dr. Gary Puckrein. “The 2018 winners are doing amazing things that both better and diversify the healthcare marketplace. They serve as positive role models for our next generation of leaders in minority health.” 

“I am excited to meet this year’s 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health at the CBC Spring Health Braintrust,” said Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Chair Dr. Robin Kelly. “Our country needs new leaders to fulfill the dream of eliminating health disparities in a generation. Fresh ideas and new approaches are needed to decrease health inequalities for minority communities currently suffering from poor access to quality healthcare.”

40 Under 40 recipients will receive their award at the 2018 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and CBC Spring Health Braintrust Gala Dinner on April 17. For more information on the 2018 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and CBC Spring Health Braintrust please visit

2018 Winners:

Vivian Jolley Bea, MD, MBS

MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

Melynda Barnes, MD

ENT and Allergy Associates, LLC 

Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD

Health Digital Ventures

Alison Brown, MS, PhD

Tufts Medical Center

Jada Bush, PharmD


Kendrick T. Clack, MS, APRN, FNP-C, AAHIV-S

National Black Nurses Association, Inc.

Christopher Allen Clarke, MPA

University of Michigan School of Public Health

Tina Comissiong Dickson, Esq., MPA

Schneider Regional Medical Center

Sarah Johnson Conway, MD

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Adolfo G. Cuevas, PhD

Tufts University

Denise De Las Nueces, MD, MPH

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Brandi Kaye Freeman, MD, MS

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Vivek Garg, MD, MBA

CareMore Health

Dalmacio Flores, PhD, ACRN

University of Pennsylvania

 L’Issa L. Gates, MD, FAAP

Ochsner Health System

Nia Heard-Garris, MD, MSc

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Sophia O. Hector, MPH

Florida Department of Health-Hillsborough County

Joseph Johnson, DO

American Medical Student Association

Kaustubh Kale, MS, MSM

Aventusoft LLC

Joneigh S. Khaldun, MD, MPH, FACEP

Detroit Health Department

Dhruv Khullar, MD, MPP

Weill Cornell Medical College

LaTasha H. Lee, PhD, MPH

American Society of Hematology

Imani R Lewis, MHA, MPH, PCMH CCE

Meridian Health

Antonio Martinez

Imperial Beach Community Clinic

Denise A. Martinez, MD

Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa

Michelle Morse, MD, MPH


Thaddeus Khangan Pham

Hawaii Department of Health

Nicole Lee Plenty, MD, MPH, MS

Community Health Network, Indianapolis, IN

La Roux Pendleton, MPH

California Department of Public Health

Jennifer L. Porter, MPH, MCHES

Children’s National Health System

Lauren R. Powell, MPA, PhD

Virginia Department of Health

Nadia M. Richardson, PhD

No More Martyrs

Crystal A. Riley, PharmD, MHA, MBA

Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Amber Robins, MD, MBA

Georgetown University School of Medicine

Cedric L. Salone PharmD, MPH

Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital 

Carlos S. Smith, DDS, MDiv

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry

Brintha Vasagar, MD, MPH

Tidelands Health MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program

Kevin S. Wang, MD, FAAFP

Swedish First Hill Family Medicine Residency Program

Christopher Watson, MD, MPH

Indiana University School of Medicine 

Cameron Webb, MD, JD

University of Virginia School of Medicine


About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.

Media Contact

Matt McMurray, NMQF