Keynote Speaker: Monica E. Peek, MD, MPH, MSc

Monday October 15, 2018

8:30am - 9:45am

How Structural Inequities Impact Health Disparities Across the Lifespan: Lessons for Medical Decision Making

Inequities in the built environment (e.g. residential segregation, access to high-performing educational systems) and social environment (e.g. crime and violence, social cohesion and exposure to discrimination) impact health and contribute to health disparities among marginalized populations. Such inequities exist across the entire lifespan, from children through older adults, and have inter-generational effects. These macro-level societal factors provide important context for decision making that occurs within healthcare systems and between clinicians and patients from marginalized groups at different life stages. Dr. Peek will discuss these issues and effective tools and strategies to help address health disparities among vulnerable populations living in communities with structural inequities.

Meeting co-chairs, Ms. Beverly Canin, patient partner, and Ms. Isabel Jordan, parent partner, will give reflections following the keynote presentation.


Dr. Monica Peek is an Associate Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, where she provides clinical care, teaches and does health services research in the area of health disparities. Dr. Peek is the Associate Director of the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, where she heads the Health Disparities and Community-Based Participatory Research Core. She is an inaugural faculty fellow of the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, whose goal is to promote positive patient/physician relationships. Dr. Peek is the Director of Research at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and the Executive Medical Director of Community Health Innovation for the University of Chicago Medicine. As a 2015 Greenwall Faculty Scholar, Dr. Peek is exploring shared decision-making between African-Americans and their healthcare providers. Dr. Peek received her MD and MPH from The Johns Hopkins University and her MSc from the University of Chicago. 

Dr. Peek has authored over 65 peer-reviewed research papers and publications, and has served as the principal investigator of grants from NIH/NIDDK, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Merck Foundation to improve patient/provider communication, shared decision-making, diabetes care and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations.  Dr. Peek was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” in Chicago by Crain’s Business Magazine and was ranked among Chicago’s Top Female Physicians in 2005. Her work has been featured in national media outlets such as TIME magazine, ESSENCE magazine, CNN, the Melissa Harris Perry show, and The Huffington Post. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award by the national Society of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Peek has served as an American Cancer Society medical ambassador and as board member of A Silver Lining Foundation, the Chicago Black Women’s Health Alliance, Project HOOD, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. She is currently a member of the editorial board for the journal Health Services Research, a national Council Member for the Society of General Internal Medicine, and is a National Advisory Council (NAC) member for the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).


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