Rosalind Franklin University Announces Founding Director of Michael Reese Foundation Center for Health Equity Research

Rosalind Franklin University is proud to announce Founding Director, Dr. Amanda Simanek, Social Epidemiologist at the Michael Reese Foundation Center for Health Equity Research. The center focuses on community engagement, investigator training, and data management, and this community-based research is immensely impactful for the medical field and community.

Dr. Simanek is committed to students, faculty, and the community and is looking forward to working closely with multiple academic programs to shape the mission and vision of the center and incorporate the community and healthcare providers. She has already established the first step “in ensuring future research projects are responsive to community needs and contribute to more equitable health outcomes among Lake County communities that have been systematically marginalized, disadvantaged and underserved.”

Dr. Simanek will join the university in June of 2022 and brings years of experience as well as a Master of Public Health degree in International Health Epidemiology and a Doctorate in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan.

Her research identifies pathways that socioeconomic disadvantages shape health inequities. She shares that, “health inequities are perpetuated by unjust social structures and systems — and healthcare providers, public health professionals and government officials have a duty to act by disrupting these systems and ensuring the conditions necessary for attaining optimal health are in place for all.”

Dr. Simanek plans to respond to these disparities by leading research projects addressing social determinants of health while also testing interventions. These projects will have a direct positive impact on the community in Lake County, Illinois.

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