The Penn Medicine Center for Health Equity Advancement team is supported by executive leadership and is led by Jaya Aysola, MD, MPH (Executive Director), Rosemary Thomas, MPH, CHES (Director of Operations), and members of the Health Equity Taskforce ─ an interdisciplinary team of staff, faculty, house staff, administrators, and health care providers representing Penn Medicine and the Penn Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Social Policy and Practice.

Senior Leadership Team

Patrick J. Brennan, MD

Patrick J. Brennan, MD

Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD

Vice Dean, Inclusion & Diversity

Dr Berns

Jeffrey S. Berns, MD

Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

Headshot of Pat Sullivan PhD

Patricia Garcia Sullivan PhD

Chief Quality Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Health Equity Advancement Leadership Team

Dr. Aysola's headshot

Jaya Aysola, MD, DTMH, MPH

Executive Director, Penn Medicine Center for Health Equity Advancement

Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Diversity, Perelman School of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Hospital of the University Of Pennsylvania

Rosemary Thomas

Rosemary Thomas, MPH, CHES

Director of Operations, Penn Medicine Center for Health Equity Advancement

Associate Director, Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health

Health Equity Task Force

Designated by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Health Equity Taskforce aims to ensure high quality patient and family-centered care for all populations, promote workforce diversity, and cultivate safe and inclusive learning and clinical environments through collaboration with internal stakeholders and community partners.

Learn more about the Task Force:

Barbara Todd, nurse practitioner


Workforce Chair

Director of Advanced Practice at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Director of the CMS Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration Project at the Hospital University of Pennsylvania

Senior Fellow, Center for Health Outcomes & Policy

Related Link: Penn Nursing profile
Roy Hoshi Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAN, FANA

Roy Hoshi Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAN, FANA

Workforce Chair

Director, Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation, University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Perelman School of Medicine

Denise LaMarra

Denise LaMarra, MS, CHSE

Education Chair

Director, Standardized Patient Program at Perelman School of Medicine

R. Aimee Ando,  DO

R. Aimee Ando, DO

Data and Evaluation Chair

Clinical Associate of Family Medicine and Community Health

Heather Klusaritz, PhD

Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW

Community Engagement Chair

Associate Director, Center for Community & Population Health

Laura Lombardo Headshot

Laura Lombardo

Community Engagement Chair

Penn Medicine Community Relations Manager


Health Equity Taskforce members include a diverse and interdisciplinary team comprised of staff, faculty, medical trainees, administrators and health care providers representing the health system and Perelman School of Medicine, Penn Nursing and the School of Social Policy & Practice.

Activities and Subcommittees

To achieve its mission, the Taskforce guided the development of the Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion, and will oversee the implementation of the Blueprint’s priority action items. The Taskforce is composed of the following subcommitees:


  • Imperative: To realize and actualize Penn Medicine’s core value of diversity in all sectors of the healthcare workforce.

Data and Evaluation

  • Imperative: To ensure equity in value of care provided to all patients irrespective of their personal characteristics.

Community Engagement

  • Imperative: To develop opportunities and a platform for community voice in the health system’s efforts to achieve health equity.


  • Imperative: To promote high quality care for all patient populations by ensuring medical trainees, staff and faculty possess the knowledge and skill relevant to care for diverse populations in a patient centered way.

For questions or a complete list of Taskforce Membership, please contact Rosemary Thomas at or 215-573-8499.

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