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April 13, 2023

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

In-house communications team expands NMQF’s capabilities in reaching minoritized communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 13, 2023) — National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring high-risk racial and ethnic populations receive optimal healthcare, announced today the launch of its new health communications team that is led by Adjoa Kyerematen, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. This team expands NMQF’s capabilities and offers a new level of expertise in bringing culturally competent communications to the health equity field.

The Communications Team will work with other NMQF business units to ensure that comprehensive communications campaigns are included within the goals and objectives of the various organization initiatives. Additionally, the team is taking on projects directly related to the development and dissemination of health communications campaigns for communities that are negatively impacted by health disparities.  

“One of the important lessons from the COVID pandemic was that healthcare messaging is not one size fits all. Systemic social and health inequities that contributed to healthcare disparities in minority communities were often not taken into consideration with respect to communicating life-or-death information to the general public,” said Dr. Gary Puckrein, President and Chief Executive Officer at National Minority Quality Forum. “I am excited to say that we now have a team in place here at NMQF that is primed to take the lead in delivering culturally appropriate messaging to the communities most in need.”

The team recently relaunched For Your Health News (FYHN), NMQF’s new digital application that captures trending news about the health of Black, Brown and rural communities. Each day, FYHN presents its readers with the top stories selected from more than 80,000 online news outlets. The news site introduces users to the industry leaders, the entrepreneurs, the patient advocates, the clinicians, the elected officials who are challenging the old order by reimagining the American healthcare system stripped of historic inequities. 

Meet the Communications Team

With over 17 years of experience, Adjoa is a Capitol Hill and federal government agency communications veteran. She served on Biden for President’s Health Equity and Special Populations Subcommittee of the Biden for President Health Policy Committee, and she also served as Communications Director for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, where she led communications for the Congressional Senior Caucus. Prior to NMQF, Adjoa headed media relations for EQRx, a new pharmaceutical company focused on delivering low-cost, high-quality drugs for major cancers.

Adjoa’s strategic and health equity communications expertise has garnered an award-winning record, to include the Gold Award for Health Care Ad Awards in the category of Newspaper Advertising/Series for her outstanding efforts made in the field of healthcare marketing and advertising, a Content Marketing Award Finalist for Best Use of Facebook in Content Marketing, and PR News Platinum Finalist for the Facebook Communications and Public Affairs Award and in 2016 while at Better Medicare Alliance.

Adjoa currently serves on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Advisory Panel on Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science (CEDS), which analyzes critical knowledge gaps in health communication, particularly in vulnerable communities. Due to her background as a former journalist, she has deep relationships with media outlets reaching African American and Latino communities. Adjoa has been published over 300 times in leading newspapers across the country, including The Congressional Quarterly, The Kansas City Star, The Miami Herald, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Adjoa is a dynamic leader with an abundance of skills that will elevate NMQF in many ways,” said Dr. Puckrein. “She brings a depth of experience in health communication–especially in the vulnerable communities our organization advocates for–that will take our messaging to the people as we take on changing health communications.” 

Joining Adjoa on the communications team is Akeia Blue, Health Communications Director, who brings several years of experience in multicultural marketing, health literacy and culturally competent communications. Akeia leads the day-to-day management of communications initiatives across NMQF, while offering strategic thinking to campaigns. She brings an eye for project management to the team with the goal of supporting each of NMQF’s business units in their communications needs, while also working hand-in-hand with Adjoa to expand the capabilities of the team to take on the development and implementation of health equity focused communications campaigns.   

Prior to joining NMQF, Akeia’s work at health-focused public relations and marketing agencies gave her the opportunity to support several non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical companies across a variety of health topics including sexual/reproductive health, mental health, diabetes, COVID-19 vaccination, general adult vaccination and several types of cancers. Akeia has contributed to award winning campaigns, earned high profile speaking engagements for clients and advised on health equity topics, including word choice, campaign design and research and outreach plans. 

Akeia was named an Emerging Leaders Award finalist by the Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) in 2021 for her contributions to her organization, community and the public relations field. Outside of work, Akeia is also a consultant through her business, Be Health Literate, where she works with organizations to develop health literate materials and develop social media strategies for small start-up non-profit organizations. Additionally, she previously served on the public relations committee for her local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.    

Also on the team is Bakari Wilkins, Digital Marketing Manager, UI/UX, who brings a background in usability testing, cross-functional communication, user-research and web and mobile development. In his role, Bakari uses his digital environment know-how to help curate experiences for visitors to NMQF’s digital properties and has improved the usability of NMQF’s web presences and ensured accessibility of the web experience. 

Additionally, Bakari is actively building out NMQF’s email marketing capabilities and taking the lead on developing NMQF’s Salesforce/Pardot outreach. He also serves as the digital editor for For Your Health News. In this role, he curates news and trends based on what is currently impacting communities of color.

For more information on how you can work with NMQF’s Communications Team,  please email NMQF Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Adjoa Kyerematen at