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  • May 09, 2017

CHA Honors Harvard's David Williams with Art of Healing Award

Event raises $470,000 for CHA’s community health mission

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) honored David Williams, PhD, MPH, a longtime advocate of the underserved, with its annual Art of Healing Award on Thursday, May 4, at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Dr. Williams was recognized for his work focused on the social determinants of health. His research explores the intricate ways race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement impact physical and mental health.

The award was presented during CHA’s annual signature fundraising event, which raised $470,000 to benefit CHA and its critical community health mission. The Art of Healing Award celebrates visionary men and women who transcend boundaries, joyfully embrace humanity, and profoundly inspire the healing of body and spirit. Robin Young, co-host of NPR affiliate WBUR’s Here & Now, emceed the program, and Jim Braude, host of Greater Boston on WGBH, served as auctioneer for the event.

Dr. Williams is internationally regarded as a leading social scientist focused on the social determinants of health. The Everyday Discrimination scale which he developed is one of the most widely used measures to assess discrimination in health studies. He is the author of more than 300 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections.

Currently, Dr. Williams directs the Lung Cancer Disparities Center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at HSPH and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

He has been involved in the development and implementation of health policy at the national level in the United States. Dr. Williams served on the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on committees for the Institute of Medicine including the Committee that prepared the Unequal Treatment report. He has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations, such as the American Sociological Association, the American Public Health Association and Academy Health.

“Like Dr. Williams, CHA is passionate about breaking down barriers to good health,” said Mary Cassesso, President of the CHA Foundation and Chief Community Officer. “His findings help to guide CHA’s mission to provide all our patients and community members, especially those with complex needs and diverse backgrounds, with the care they need and deserve. Our work to identify and reduce health disparities and provide access where it is most needed is our way of bringing David’s body of work to life.”

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