Clipp-Speer MGR Features Health Equity Leader, Dr. Consuelo Wilkins

Former Duke resident and health equity thought leader, Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, returns to campus to deliver the 2023 Clipp-Speer Medical Grand Rounds on Friday, June 9.

The Clipp-Speer Lecture Series is hosted by the Program for Women in Internal Medicine (PWIM) and takes place beginning at 8 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Center. 

Dr. Wilkins is a tenured professor of Medicine, senior vice president and senior associate dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a nationally recognized physician-scientist focusing on integrating social, cultural, and environmental factors into clinical and translational research. 

Learning objectives for the lecture include: discussion of academic medicine’s historical and ongoing role in creating and maintaining systems that contribute to health inequities; approaches to disaggregating data by sociodemographic factors and apply to address inequities in health; strategies for conducting clinical research that is scientifically just and inclusive; and the importance of accountability within academic medicine’s leadership to drive equitable and inclusive policies and initiatives. 

Among Dr. Wilkins’ many contributions to science is her prescient focus on engaging racial and ethnic minority communities, using implementation science methodologies in the design and conduct of clinical research. She has pioneered efforts to move the academic and clinical research enterprise to transform approaches to clinical research design by embedding participant and community engagement in every aspect of biomedical discovery. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, she has published over 100 papers on her research. 

Dr. Wilkins is a 1996 graduate of the Howard University College of Medicine and completed her residency at Duke in 1999 followed by a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2000.  She earned a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation degree in 2002 from Washington University in St. Louis. 

“Dr. Wilkins was chosen as our guest speaker for her leadership and impact in health equity in clinical and translational science,” said PWIM Chair Daniella Zipkin, MD, associate vice chair for faculty development and diversity. “I first learned of Dr. Wilkins when I read one of her articles, which was a powerful call to action to all academic medical centers to become anti-racist. I subsequently learned of her leadership in research equity and felt her experience would provide valuable bridges with our work at Duke.” 

The Clipp-Speer Women in Medicine Visiting Professorship honors the memory and contributions of two faculty members who were trailblazers in the Duke Department of Medicine:  Elizabeth "Jody" Clipp, PhD, RN, and Marcy Speer, PhD. 

Jody Clipp was a professor of medicine, associate director for research in the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Durham VA, and the associate dean for research at the Duke School of Nursing.  She was a nationally recognized researcher in the area of caregiving to the chronically ill and was a dedicated mentor, particularly to female scientists. 

Marcy Speer was a professor of medicine, director of the Duke Center for Human Genetics, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics, and an internationally recognized researcher in neural tube defects, Chiari malformations, muscular dystrophy, and psychiatric disorders. She was devoted to the cause of genetics education at every level, and colleagues speak of her generous and selfless support of their careers. 

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