Department of Medicine Saul J. Farber, MD, Program in Health Equity
The Department of Medicine’s Saul J. Farber, MD, Program in Health Equity, led by Renee L. Williams, MD, MHPE, associate chair for health equity, was established to expand upon the department’s ongoing efforts to promote health equity and address disparities through education, research, and care. The program was founded with the generous support of an anonymous donor to recognize the longstanding commitment to health equity of Dr. Farber, former dean of NYU School of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine.
Our department reinforces our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through the Farber Program, which aims to accomplish the following goals:
- strengthen the culture of diversity within the Department of Medicine
- support and implement initiatives centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion
- develop programs that promote research and mentorship
- mitigate the systemic bias that impacts the health of underserved communities
Acknowledging the national disparities in healthcare evidenced by COVID-19, we conducted a cohort study that found that although Black patients were more likely than White patients to test positive for COVID-19, after hospitalization they had lower mortality, supporting the assertion that existing structural determinants may explain the disproportionately higher out-of-hospital COVID-19 mortality among Black individuals.
The Farber Program builds upon the foundations of our NYU Department of Internal Medicine Organization for Nurturing Diversity (DIMOND) Program and works collaboratively with NYU Langone’s Office of Diversity Affairs and the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity.
Areas of Focus
The Farber Program has two areas of focus, one on initiatives supporting our faculty and the other on opportunities and mentorship for our trainees.
The Farber Program supports faculty members from underrepresented groups who lead research efforts in health equity, implement health equity education within the core curriculum of the Internal Medicine Residency program, and incorporate initiatives aimed at supporting our faculty of color in developing their careers and providing community.
The program aims to award two Saul Farber Health Equity Junior Faculty Fellowships each year. The faculty members chosen for these fellowships will work closely with Dr. Williams and the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity within the domains of research, education, or clinical care.
Our trainees have the opportunity to apply for a DIMOND TULA Health Equity Research Fellowship, which comprises four research awards—one specifically for research in health equity and the others for projects led by DIMOND members. Each award has a value of $10,000 and is sponsored by the department’s Farber Program and TULA Skincare, which was founded by Roshini Rajapaksa, MD. Learn more about the 2021–22 DIMOND TULA Health Equity Research Fellowship awardees.
The program is also incorporating a health equity pathway within the Internal Medicine Residency program, allowing trainees interested in developing an expertise in health equity to participate in a formal curriculum and research activities.
The leadership of the Farber Program works closely with The Empathy Project to create content that highlights issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has produced a video that teaches healthcare providers how to better understand and combat implicit bias. The Empathy Project was created and is directed by Jonathan LaPook, MD, the Mebane Professor of Gastroenterology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health.
Renee L. Williams, MD, MHPE
The Farber Program is directed by Renee L. Williams, MD, MHPE, associate chair for health equity in the Department of Medicine and associate professor of medicine on the scholar track within the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Williams is director of the DIMOND Program, as well as co-director of the medical education pillar within the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity.
Dr. Williams has been involved nationally in efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. She has designed, implemented, and published on various workshops and seminars aimed at increasing awareness of a career in academia for diverse trainees on a national level. She co-authored the book Succeeding in Academic Medicine: A Roadmap for Diverse Medical Students and Residents. She is the former chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and transitioned to become a member of the ACG board of trustees in 2018.
Dr. Williams is the 2018 recipient of the Minority Healthcare Digestive Award from the ACG. In 2020, she received both the Faculty of the Year Award from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the Excellence in Diversity in Education Award from NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s Educator Community. She was elected as the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Northeast Region Participant on its Group on Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee.
2021–22 Saul Farber Health Equity Junior Faculty Fellow
Ofole Mgbako, MD
Ofole Mgbako, MD, received his medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and completed his internal medicine residency at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where he also served as senior chief resident. Before medical school, he worked for the Center for Urban Epidemiological Studies at the New York Academy of Medicine, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and on various HIV-related global health projects in Ghana, Jamaica, and South Africa. During medical school and residency, he worked abroad clinically in Rwanda and Uganda, serving as a teaching resident as part of the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars Program. He was also an affiliated investigator at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, and part of the NYU Spatial Epidemiology Lab.
Established in 2000, the NYU Department of Internal Medicine Organization for Nurturing Diversity (DIMOND) Program, led by Dr. Williams, promotes diversity among faculty and house staff while facilitating their personal and professional growth. The DIMOND Program, part of the Farber Program, actively recruits faculty and house staff from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in medicine, encourages continuing faculty development and mentorship, and works with other local and national organizations to address multicultural and minority health issues.
As healthcare providers in a large urban academic medical center, we treat one of the most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient populations in the country. We strive to ensure that our workforce reflects the communities we serve.
Meet our DIMOND residents and learn more about the program’s role in our Internal Medicine Residency program.
Our Diversity Partner
Institute for Excellence in Health Equity
The mission of NYU Langone’s Institute for Excellence in Health Equity is to lead in the development, implementation, and dissemination of evidence-based solutions that advance health equity outcomes. Led by Olugbenga G. Ogedegbe, MD, MPH, an internationally renowned physician–scientist and expert in health equity research, the institute works collaboratively with the Farber Program to reduce disparities in health and help build the next generation of leaders in health equity research, medical education, and clinical care. Dr. Williams serves as co-director of the medical education pillar within the institute.