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Clinical Scholars convenes its equity-centered leadership training on April 20-26 at the JB Duke Hotel in Durham, NC with its 5th cohort. Author and educator Stedman Graham, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Dean Nancy Messonnier will speak during a kickoff panel.

The Clinical Scholars program equips healthcare providers from every discipline with leadership tools centered in equity, diversity, and inclusion to transform their careers and the health of their communities. The program is led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will convene its intensive leadership training on April 20-26 at the JB Duke Hotel in Durham, NC with its 5th cohort.

Cohort 5As one of the national leadership programs supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Clinical Scholars supports interdisciplinary teams of healthcare providers collaborating across sectors, tackling significant, complex health problems in their communities, and ultimately building a Culture of Health nationwide. Clinical Scholars is co-led by Claudia Fernandez, DrPH, MS, RD, LDN, associate professor of Maternal and Child Health at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Giselle Corbie, MD, MSc, professor of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. The program kicks off with a leadership panel with author, educator and entrepreneur Stedman Graham, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Dean Nancy Messonnier, MD, on April 23.

Since 2016, 162 healthcare providers from 15 clinical disciplines across 28 states and territories have participated. During the three-year leadership program, participants grow through learning experiences, reflection, and application of community efforts that are:

  • Successful in reducing health disparities
  • Scalable towards public health impacts
  • Sustainable for continued impact

These 44 Clinical Scholars teams have collectively impacted over 875,000 people through direct care, trainings, jobs created, and partnerships. They have received more than $71 million in additional funding for health equity work. This equals a Return-On-Investment of nearly $9 for every $1 spent funding the program.

Meet the Clinical Scholars Teams

The eight Clinical Scholars teams convening apply their “Tar Heel” skills to tackle “Wicked Problems” and improve health with community-led approaches in North Carolina and across the country.

Asheville Clinical ScholarsProject: Community Based Doulas

MAHEC providers and Sistas Caring 4 Sistas doulas collaborate to support health and equitable birth outcomes in Buncombe County. These birth experts are also collaborating with groups across North Carolina on Accountability for Care through Undoing Racism and Equity for Moms (ACURE4Moms), a $10 million PCORI award to implement interventions to improve patient outcomes.

Team Members

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Wake County Clinical ScholarsProject: Wake County Familiar Faces Health Collaborative

This team and their partners integrate and deliver a holistic care model to familiar faces: vulnerable individuals with frequent interactions with crisis safety-net systems.

Team Members


Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Kent Clinical ScholarsProject: Addressing the Veterinarian Mental Health Crisis through an ACT-Based Program

Veterinarians experience mental health crises and suicide rates higher than other health professionals. This team created and implemented an evidence-based model that provides veterinarians with practical strategies to use daily.

Team Members

Location: Kent, Ohio

Clinical Scholars Washington DCProject: Breaking Silences in the Model Minority

This team is part of a national intervention to increase mental health awareness and decrease stigma in Asian immigrant families. An expansion of this work is providing peer support Mental Health First Aid Training for Asian families and nursing students at North Carolina Central University, an NC Historically Black College.

Team Members

Location: Nationwide

Buffalo NY Clinical ScholarsProject: Crossing Sectors Together

This team established the only medical respite unit in the region. They support relational, evidence-based care transitions partnerships between interdisciplinary providers from the Buffalo City Mission, University at Buffalo School of Nursing, and Erie County Medical Center.

Team Members

Location: Buffalo, New York

Clinical Scholars SeattleProject: People, Pets, Love

This team provides healthcare in convenient locations for unsheltered and low-income community members by building trust through providing care for not only people but their beloved pets.

Team Members


Location: Seattle, Washington

Denver Clinical ScholarsProject: Reducing the burden of diabetic kidney failure in Latinx patients

This team developed a culturally responsive, community-engaged boot camp to raise awareness of diabetic kidney disease and works with community partners, healthcare systems, and insurance policies towards an infrastructure for access to care.

Team Members

Location: Denver, Colorado

2020 Team New Orleans seriousProject: emPOWER NOLA

This team supports and trains culture bearers in New Orleans and school health providers to create community-based, trauma-informed spaces for kids.

Team Members

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

For more information about Clinical Scholars, click here.