Press Release: 12 Doctors Announced as 2024 Climate and Health Equity Fellows

Blog > Members in Action > Press Release: 12 Doctors Announced as 2024 Climate and Health Equity Fellows

February 22, 2024

Kimberly Williams, PhD
Climate & Health Equity Fellowship Program Manager

Climate & Health Equity Fellowship continues to thrive, launching its fourth cohort.

Fairfax, VA– The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health in partnership with the National Medical Association announced today the launch of the fourth year of their Climate and Health Equity Fellowship (CHEF) program with a class of 12 Fellows from across the U.S.

The CHEF Fellowship was launched in 2021 in partnership with the National Medical Association (NMA) recognizing climate change as both a health emergency and a major health equity issue. The goal of the Fellowship is to empower doctors of color from populations that face greater burdens from climate effects and are under-represented in medicine to become leaders in climate and health equity education, advocacy, and policy solutions.

The CHEF fellows were welcomed by CHEF founder (retired), Dr. Mark Mitchell, noted Environmental Justice, climate change, and equity international experts Dr. Mustafa Santiago-Ali and Dr. Sacoby Wilson; Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA administrator Ms. Jainey Bavishi, and Fellowship partner, the 124th president of the NMA, Dr. Yolanda Lawson.

“CHEF fellows have had a significant impact on the NMA; they presented at our national meetings,” said Dr. Lawson. “They’ve taught our physicians and members how climate affects the practice of medicine. This is helping to propel the NMA to the forefront of climate and health policy nationally.”

The 2024 Fellows are: Agustin Rivas, MD, Pediatrics, (Miami, FL); Aisha Harris, MD, Family Medicine, (Flint, MI); C. Freeman, MD, Psychiatry, (Los Angeles, CA); Carla Wright, MD, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, (Milwaukee, WI); Charles Moore, MD, Otolaryngology, (Atlanta, GA); Condessa Curley, MD, Family Medicine, (Los Angeles, CA); Donna Kiel, MD, Anesthesiology, (New York, NY); Joniqua Caesar, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, (Baltimore, MD); LaKesha Lawrence, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, (Milwaukee, WI); Lawrence Burns, DPM, Podiatry, (Nashville, TN); Martina Kamaka, MD, Family Medicine, (Honolulu, HI); Victor Lopez-Carmen, MD, Pediatrics, (Boston, MA).

The CHEF fellowship will engage the doctors over 10 months and will continue to build a network of physician leaders of color from across the country who are experts on climate, health and equity with a solutions focus.

The Fellowship program is staffed by a dedicated team, including, Dr. Shaneeta Johnson, Fellowship Director, Dr. Venise Curry, Associate Program Director; Dr. Kimberly Williams, Program Manager, and Clarissa Peyton, Program Assistant.

Support for the Fellowship is provided by generous donations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Johnson & Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Energy Foundation, Northlight Foundation, and the American Medical Association, in cooperation with the National Medical Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the GLMA Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians, the Association of American Indian Physicians and Virginia Sea Grant.

Contact Dr. Kimberly Williams for more information.