Dr. Rachel R. Hardeman is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health. She is a health equity researcher with a focus on the role of the clinician, health care delivery systems, and the policy environment in reducing inequities in outcomes and improving quality of health care. She believes that eliminating racism is central to achieving health equity. Published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Hardeman’s work towards this end has elicited important conversations in our field on the topics of implicit racial bias, police brutality and structural racism. Her overarching goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge that links structural racism to health in a tangible way, identifies opportunities for intervention, and ultimately dismantles the systems, structures, and institutions that have allowed health inequities to persist.

Dr. Hardeman earned her MPH and PhD from the Division of Health Policy & Management at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and a BS in Chemistry and Spanish from Xavier University of Louisiana.

Read below as Dr. Hardeman shares her experience as an AcademyHealth member...

My research and educational choices have consistently been driven by my passion for eliminating root causes of injustice. Purposefully addressing health disparities requires an exploration of the issues, ideas, and practices that contribute to health inequities. Attending and presenting at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) conference as a doctoral student allowed me to do just that. It was clear that AcademyHealth membership afforded me important opportunities to network and learn from some of the best in our field. I’ve been an active member ever since.

As Chair of the Disparities Interest Group, I am committed to carrying out its mission to improve the health, health care and well-being of diverse communities through the promotion of health services research and the engagement of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and advocates committed to achieving health equity.

I am also a founding member of the AcademyHealth student chapter at the University of Minnesota, I was excited to become connected to AcademyHealth’s professional development opportunities, resources, and networks during the timeframe in between the annual meetings.

My involvement in the chapter led to countless other career-molding opportunities. In May of 2010, I was selected to be a part of AcademyHealth’s first cohort of the Minority Scholars Program. My participation in this program gave me access and connections to key mentors and future colleagues in the field. While I was developing my research interests and experiences, I was also becoming more deeply integrated in AcademyHealth and learning that their goals and missions mirrored my own. Doors were opened to service opportunities that have since then matured into leadership roles in the field. I have appreciated the opportunity to review abstracts, and as a result of the Minority Scholars Program, I joined the Disparities Interest Group (IG) where I served as a student representative. I am currently serving as Chair of the Disparities IG and have learned a lot about becoming a leader in our field.

My professional career was shaped by my involvement in AcademyHealth. I have always felt that I have a lot to contribute to this organization and vice versa. AcademyHealth is my professional home and I’ll always do my best to invest in its future success.

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