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Celebrating the Contributions of Black Professionals in Healthcare Artificial Intelligence and Health Data Analytics
Happy Black History Month!
A growing number of black people are working in healthcare AI and health data analytics. They are working to change the field using data to help achieve health equity. Also, they are helping their clients improve health outcomes, bringing more diversity to the field, and mentoring newcomers.
Hisani Madison, PhD
Dr. Hisani Madison is a passionate leader, diagnostic regulatory strategist and experienced precision medicine expert specializing in the co-development of oncology therapeutics and diagnostics. At the end of 2022, Dr. Madison took a new role as Head of Precision Oncology at PathAI, a digital pathology (DP) company using AI-powered technology to transform pathology and patient care. With a Ph.D. in Pathology from Duke University and a breadth of experience in novel diagnostic technologies, Dr. Madison is well-suited for her new role. As Head of Precision Oncology, she is responsible for developing and delivering commercial strategies and opportunities for PathAI DP technology products in the oncology space.
Hisani joined PathAI from AstraZeneca where she was as an Executive Director/Global Head of Precision Medicine & Diagnostics for the Immuno-Oncology Franchise. There she led a team of more than 30 precision medicine experts globally, and was accountable for the delivery and execution of precision medicine strategy, diagnostic development and global regulatory approval, in support of franchise and business priorities. Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Madison was a Senior Scientific Reviewer at the U.S. FDA specializing in the review of devices intended to aid in selection of therapy for patients with solid tumors and led the development of the regulatory policy for NGS-based companion diagnostics. Dr. Madison is also the co-founder and President of the Board for ArtWorks 4 ENA, a 501(c)(3) arts education non-profit providing free artistic programs and opportunities to underserved youth in Atlanta, GA.
Kimberly Deas, MS, PhD Candidate
Kimberly is a Chemical and Health Informaticist, Data Science Consultant, and Data Educator living in the Metro DC area. As the Chemical Information Manager / Cheminformatics Team Lead at a major US Pharmaceutical organization, she primarily oversees the editing and curation of substance information and, in working with the FDA, ensures the quality of pharmaceutical products prescribed in the US. She is also involved in projects using machine learning and artificial intelligence to study impurities created during API production.
A Ph.D. candidate in Healthcare Informatics at Rutgers University, Kimberly began her doctoral studies. At the same time, she worked as a Health Data Analyst and, later, a Health Data Scientist. Her dissertation project, which focuses on improving the health outcomes of Black women living with HIV using AI/Machine Learning, speaks to her passion for addressing HIV health disparities in real-time. To ensure a diverse and successful data workforce, in 2020, she co-founded BlackTIDES, a networking & mentoring organization for Blacks in Technology, Informatics, Data Science, Epidemiology,& Social Sciences. Social media information about Kimberly can be accessed from her website, https://btdata.my.canva.site/kimformatics.
Asya Spears, MS, PhD Student
Asya Spears (she/her) is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses on workforce preparation credentials that broaden participation in data science careers. With over a decade of professional experience in population health research and analytics, Asya has facilitated collaboration between client-facing and data-focused teams through project management, data storytelling, and research training program development. Asya received her M.S. in biostatistics from the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College. You can learn more about Asya on her website (www.rosedatastudio.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/asyaj).
Alana Etsy, MS
Alana is the host of the Health Analytic Insights podcast. She has her master’s in biomedical engineering and is currently working in the field of health informatics. When she graduated from university, like many of her peers, she had a rude awakening that just having a degree doesn’t magically open the doors you want to enter. What followed was a long and challenging two-year journey to attempt to find a job in her field. Along the way, she picked up some impactful tips that helped me pivot into health informatics. She created the Health Analytic Insights Podcast to discover a community of passionate individuals about the field of health informatics and help them get into the field quicker with actionable and helpful tips. She provides context on a typical day in the life of someone working in the health informatics field as a healthcare data analyst. In addition, she highlights vital technical and soft skills used in this role. https://healthanalyticinsights.com/
Feven Asefaha, MS
Feven works as an Analytic Consultant for Panalgo, a software company based in Boston. In her role, she assists pharmaceutical clients with executing their projects in their healthcare analytics platform, IHD.
Feven received her BS in Biology from Cornell University in 2015. Before graduate school, Feven worked as a biologist for the NYC Dept. of Health. She has worked with real-world data (RWD) since obtaining her MS in Biostatistics from Columbia University in 2019. With a solid grounding in programming and statistics, she was able to pivot into analyst roles in the healthcare finance space. During her time in consulting, clients included pharmaceutical corporations, hospital systems, and insurance companies.
Currently, she facilitates research over many therapeutic areas, helping her clients efficiently her insights from large healthcare data sources (e.g., claims, EMRs). You can connect with her on LinkedIn profile.
Many other African-American healthcare analytics and artificial intelligence are making a difference, but these are just a few examples.
If you know of other black people in the healthcare space who work in data analytics or artificial intelligence, leave a comment below and share why they are great.