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  • Jun 21, 2017

CHA Researcher Receives Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School

Benjamin Cook, PhD, MPH, being awarded the 2017 A Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, presented by Harvard Medical School, by Joan Reede, MD, MPH, MBA.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Benjamin Cook, PhD, MPH, Director of the Health Equity Research Lab and the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, a Senior Scientist at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS), has been named a recipient of the Young Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School. The award was established in 2005 to recognize faculty who are still in the early stages of their career, but are devoting time to providing mentoring for others.

Dr. Cook is a health services researcher focused on reducing and understanding underlying mechanisms of racial and ethnic disparities in health and mental health care. He has been principal investigator on several major grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality investigating mechanisms underlying disparities in episodes of mental health care, and a Milton Foundation grant supporting research on tobacco use and mental health.

His other research interests include improving mental health of immigrant populations, comparative effectiveness research and its influence on healthcare disparities, substance abuse treatment disparities, and healthcare equity. Dr. Cook assists with the Scholarly Activities seminar for first-year fellows and provides mentorship on research methods and analysis to fellows and faculty interested in pursuing quantitative research studies.

Joan Reede, MD, MPH, MBA, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School, noted that, "Rather than approach mentoring as a landscaper intent on trimming hedges to match his own notion of the ideal, Ben quietly clears away the brush and obstacles that stand in each of our ways, ensures we have what we need to grow successfully, and then simply allows us to expand into our own space as independent researchers – reaching in the directions, twists and turns that suits each of us best/"

Dr. Cook received a PhD in Health Policy at Harvard University concentrating in Evaluative Science and Statistics, an MPH from UNC-Chapel Hill in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and a BA in psychology from Swarthmore College.

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health system committed to providing high quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine.

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