J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, was appointed the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week. The Office of Minority Health is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.
"Dr. Gracia's appointment to lead the HHS Office of Minority Health reinforces the department's commitment to eliminate health disparities and to create a health care system that is accessible and affordable to all," said Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health. "Nadine brings to this position a wealth of expertise as a clinician and in public health policy, and a deep-rooted commitment to public service."
Dr. Gracia, who has served as Acting OMH Director since November 2011, plays a key role in the Administration's Affordable Care Act outreach to minority and underserved communities nationwide, and also leads the implementation of the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities. See Dr. Gracia's bio.
A pediatrician with epidemiology training, Dr. Gracia has served in academic medicine and government. From 2010 to 2011, she was the Chief Medical Officer for the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). She provided policy leadership and coordination of a portfolio that included child and adolescent health, disaster preparedness, environmental health, global health, Haiti recovery, and the White House Council on Women and Girls. She led the development of HHS's 2012 environmental justice strategy, which addresses the disproportionate exposure of minority and low-income communities and Indian tribes to environmental hazards and promotes healthy community environments.
In 2008 to 2009, Dr. Gracia was one of fourteen White House Fellows and was assigned to HHS, where she worked in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Office of the Secretary. During the last two months of the fellowship, she was a policy advisor in the Office of the First Lady, assisting in the development of the childhood obesity initiative.
Previously, Dr. Gracia was a clinical instructor and general pediatrics research fellow at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, conducting research on community risk factors for violence. She received a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Gracia completed pediatrics residency and served as Chief Pediatrics Resident at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is board-certified in pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Gracia is an advocate for minority and vulnerable populations and lectures nationwide on health disparities and children's health. She is a National President Emeritus of the Student National Medical Association and a past Postgraduate Physician Trustee of the National Medical Association. A first-generation Haitian-American, Dr. Gracia earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in French at Stanford University.