Chief Health Equity Officer & Vice President, American Medical Association
Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH is a highly proficient physician with demonstrated excellence and leadership in public health, health equity, and preventive medicine. Dr. Maybank recently joined the American Medical Association (AMA) in April 2019 as their inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer and Vice President. Her role is to embed health equity in all the work of the AMA and to launch a Center for Health Equity.
Prior to this in 2014, Dr. Maybank became an Associate Commissioner, and later a Deputy Commissioner, and launched the Center for the Health Equity, a new division in the NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene geared towards strengthening and amplifying the Health Department’s work in advancing health equity. Under her leadership, the Race to Justice Initiative was launched and in a short amount of time made great strides in transforming the culture and public health practice of the Health Department and embed health equity in all of the health department’s work. This work has been recognized and adapted by other City agencies and has even captured the attention of the World Health Organization. She oversaw the rebranding and reframing for the District Public Health Offices to the Neighborhood Health Action Centers, renewing the agency’s commitment to neighborhood-based work. Neighborhood efforts under her purview have strengthened through enhanced coordination and grown in scope, including expansions to New York City Teens Connection, Cure Violence, Office of Faith Based Initiatives, and Healthy Start Brooklyn. Dr. Maybank has also overseen the development of one of the first placed-based Community Health Worker efforts in NYC Public Housing. She has pushed relentlessly to change the tenured narratives around what creates health and uniquely linked with the arts community and Department of Cultural Affairs to bring the Health Department its first Artist-in-Residence to amplify our birth equity efforts. Her bold leadership and communication style has allowed for her to share our health equity work that names racism as a root cause to audiences locally, nationally, and globally. The Center for Health Equity was recently considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be a model for the country.
Prior to this role, she was an Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and served as the Medical Director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office, a place-based approach, located in Central Brooklyn from April 2009 – 2014. Her Bureau set a precedent at the Health Department and created a template for community-driven planning and implementation to improve the built environment by creating safety improvements and bike lanes to encourage active transportation as one example. Through this work, she has served as an honest broker and convener of typically silo-ed, large NYC agencies and local community boards to ensure equitable conversations in planning.
Dr. Maybank also successfully launched the Office of Minority Health as its Founding Director in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services in NY from 2006-2009.
She also teaches medical and public health students on topics related to health inequities, public health leadership and management, physician advocacy, and community organizing in health. Currently, Dr. Maybank serves as President of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association. In 2012, she co-founded “We Are Doc McStuffins,” a movement created by African American female physicians who were inspired by the Disney Junior character Doc McStuffins.
In the media and on the lecture circuit, Dr. Maybank is highly sought after. She has appeared or been profiled on Disney Jr.’s highly successful Doc McStuffins Animated Series, MSNBC, Good Morning America, BET, HuffPost, and various other outlets. She has also advised on film projects: the award-winning documentary Soul Food Junkies by Byron Hurt and Black Women in Medicine by Crystal Emery. For her accomplishments, she has been honored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Men, The Network Journal 40 Under 40, the Hip Hop Loves Foundation, NV Magazine’s Movers and Shakers, and many others.
Dr. Maybank has served on medical mission trips to Haiti to assist in the post-earthquake relief efforts. While there, she provided health care, conducted a public health assessment, and provided recommendations on how to
improve sanitation and hygiene conditions on a tent camp of 20,000 people.
Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and a MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is pediatrician board certified in Preventive Medicine/Public Health.