Newswise — LOS ANGELES (May 23, 2022) -- Following a nationwide search, Christina Harris, MD, has been named vice president and chief health equity officer for Cedars-Sinai.  In this strategic leadership position, Harris will guide Cedars-Sinai's ongoing efforts to promote health equity, address health disparities and foster wellness across the organization and the communities we serve.

Harris succeeds Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, senior vice president and Cedars-Sinai's first chief health equity officer, who is retiring after more than 50 years with Cedars-Sinai. 

“Dr. Harris is the ideal leader to build on the exceptional foundation laid by Dr. Burnes Bolton,” said Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai president and CEO.  “Dr. Harris combines a profound personal and professional commitment to health equity with deep experience leading clinical, educational and equity initiatives in academic medicine.”

Harris graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She began her career as an internist at a Federally Qualified Health Center in New York City that serves the largest public housing community in the country.

Most recently, Harris worked as associate program director in the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program and as associate vice chair of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for the UCLA Department of Medicine, a position she advocated for and created.

Within the Office of EDI, Dr. Harris played an integral leadership role advancing health equity by developing infrastructure to expand workforce diversity, facilitating inclusion and identifying opportunities to expand care for patients with Medi-Cal. She co-chaired the UCLA School of Medicine's COVID-19 Health Equity Research and Advisory Task Force and is a member of the Dean's Office Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the UCLA Health System Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board.

Additionally, Dr. Harris is a primary care physician at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, treating a historically marginalized patient population and working closely with departmental leadership to instill health equity awareness and education initiatives among physicians and others.

At Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Harris will lead institution-wide health equity strategies in clinical care, research, advocacy and education. Partnering with leaders across the organization, she will spearhead efforts to address health disparities and social determinants of health while enhancing community partnerships to improve health conditions for children and families. She also will serve as a key advisor to the president's Executive Advisory Council.