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Health Disparities Panel Discussion

Join us for a panel discussion regarding the importance of addressing health disparities. This will be a great kick off event for MedEq as students and staff will be better understand the health community around us. We will be joined by esteemed panelists from the medical field who have been combating health disparities throughout their respected careers. To learn more about them, please read their biographies below!

Also, please RSVP for this event if you are interested in coming!

The event will be located in Ballroom C in the Student Center.

Name *

Denise White Perkins, MD, PhD

Director, Institute on Multicultural Health

Senior Staff Physician, Department of Family Medicine,Henry Ford Health System

Clinical Assistant Professor Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dept of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences


Dr. White Perkins is a senior staff physician and faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. She earned her medical degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She completed residency training at Metro Health medical center in Cleveland, Ohio. As Director of the Institute on Multicultural Health Dr. White Perkins develops research, educational and community based programs aimed at eliminating health and healthcare disparities. She currently leads a variety of community based and health system equity improvement initiatives for wellness and chronic disease management. Dr. White Perkins, a clinical associate professor at Wayne State University Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, is committed to increasing the cultural sensitivity and responsiveness of health providers and healthcare systems as they care for patients, particularly those in urban underserved communities.

Deirdre Young

Clinical Associate Professor

Multicultural Affairs, Director

D.D.S., University of Michigan



Dr. Deirdre Young earned her DDS at University of Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Allied Health from Howard University.  Dr. Young joins the School of Dentistry from Davenport University and Wayne County Community College, where she taught chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, as well as microbiology. At UDM, Dr. Young has taught in the Simulation Lab, DS3 Clinic, DS4 Clinic, and provided lectures in cultural competency in the pre-doctoral curriculum. As Director of Multicultural Affairs, she created a pipeline program entitled, "Dental Imprint", with local middle and high schools. Dr. Young serves as a faculty advisor at UDM for the Pre-Dentistry Student Association, Student National Dental Association/Student National Dental Hygienists' Association, and 7 year BS/DDS program-3rd Cohort.  She also serves as an advisor with the Dental Student Advising Program. Dr. Young provides dental care in the metropolitan Detroit area


Michele Cote, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Department of Oncology

Wayne State University 




Dr. Cote is an associate professor in the Department of Oncology. She is also a scientific member of the Population Studies and Disparities Research Program at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Cote’s research focuses on the intersection of molecular epidemiology and health disparities. She is specifically interested in examining genetic and molecular factors in lung and female cancers that impact disease occurrence or prognosis in underserved populations.

Dr. Cote has been a WSU faculty member since 2005, and is PI of a Komen-funded project describing the risk of breast cancer after a benign breast lesion in African American women and a Komen Graduate Training in Disparities Research grant, which will fund 3 PhD students in Cancer Biology, with a focus on breast cancer disparities.  She is a co-Investigator on a study of ovarian cancer in African American women, an active member of the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium (E2C2) and the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), and a Midwest Regional Center Investigator with the Women’s Health Initiative.


Dawn Misra, Ph.D.

Professor, Wayne State University

Associate Chair for Research




Dr. Misra is the Associate Chair for Research and a professor in the Department of Family Medicine. As an epidemiologist with expertise in perinatal and social epidemiology, much of her work focuses on racial and socioeconomic disparities in perinatal health with an emphasis on preterm birth. In 2008, she co-chaired the Psychosocial Factors Workgroup for the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General Conference on Preterm Birth. She is currently on the editorial board for the Journal of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.


Her research focuses on social and biomedical factors which may influence perinatal outcomes and which may explain the increased risks of infants born to poor and minority women. This includes examining the intersection between women's health prior to pregnancy and outcomes of pregnancy. Dr. Misra has proposed a framework for perinatal health that integrates a lifespan approach with a multiple determinants model (Misra, Guyer & Allston, 2003). The lifespan perspective focuses attention toward the preconceptional and interconceptional periods as targets for intervention in improving perinatal health. The multiple determinants model distinguishes between concepts of disease, health and functioning, and well-being among both women and their offspring.

Earlier Event: January 19
Oral Health School Presentation
Later Event: January 21
MedEq Bake Sale
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