Improving health and the human condition – Dr. Helene D. Gayle

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The HSPop EDI Committee would like to showcase Dr. Helene D. Gayle MD, MPH this month in honor of Black History Month

Born in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Helene D. Gayle has spent most of her life dedicating herself to the public health field in a variety of areas and with many different organizations. She has contributed to numerous articles and papers including sexual health, poverty alleviation, and social justice. Dr. Gayle was a clinical associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington for over 10 years. Over the years, she has become an internationally recognized expert on health, global development, and humanitarian issues.

Helene D. Gayle

“Think big, think bold and believe in the possible. Let passion be your guide and let the unexpected become the expected.

-Helene D. Gayle MD, MPH

Dr. Gayle is currently the president of Spelman College where she aims to grow resources to support and uplift those who change lives. She believes that stakeholders and friends are the key to momentum and excellence.

Dr. Gayle spent her early career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and control. During her 20 years there, she was named an Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral in the US Public Health Service.

From 2001-2006 she was director of the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is now a board member of the Foundation. She then spent 19 years as president and CEO of CARE, an international humanitarian organization focused on fighting global poverty. Following that, Dr. Gayle spent a couple of years as president and CEO of McKinsey and then president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the US. She led the organization in working toward closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.

Given her commitment toward improving health and human condition, she currently holds membership and board positions in many professional organizations and has earned many awards. Dr. Gayle currently has received 18 honorary degrees, the most recent being Doctor of Science from The American University. She’s had an immense impact on public health and to also honor her time at the University, we’re excited to share Dr. Gayle’s work with you.

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