Leadership and Health Care Transformation in Medically Underserved Communities

View a recording of the symposium by filling out the form below

Chickasaw Nation Logo
Center for Primary Care logo
Mass Gen - med for web
BPH - med for web

Transforming underserved communities

Being a part of a certain community, whether it be a neighborhood, an ethnicity, or otherwise, should not impact your health. Many communities are medically underserved creating unique challenges for their community members. Fill out the form on this page to hear Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby discuss how his leadership shaped the health care transformation of Chickasaw Nation. You'll also watch a diverse panel that includes health care providers, leaders, and policymakers as they discuss their experiences and the strategies to work towards a healthier America.

This event was recorded on Jan. 18, 2024 on the Harvard Medical School campus. 

Keynote speaker

Bill Anoatubby


Bill Anoatubby
Chickasaw Nation Governor
Bill Anoatubby is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and has served his tribe since 1975, when he was appointed as the first Director of Tribal Health Services. Over his career, he has served as the Chickasaw Nation’s Director of Finance, Special Assistant to the Governor, Controller and as the tribes first Lieutenant Governor, before being elected in 1987 as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation. In his first term, Governor Anoatubby established goals of economic development and self-sufficiency for the Chickasaw Nation and its people that have resulted in phenomenal growth of programs and services and the revenue needed to fund them.

Throughout Bill Anoatubby’s 37 consecutive years as Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, tribal assets have grown more than two-hundred-fold and employment with the tribe has jumped from 250 employees in 1987 to nearly 14,000 employees today. To address the needs of his constituents, his administration has established nearly 200 programs and services, many of them funded by the development of more than 100 diverse businesses. These programs address a broad range of socio-economic drivers, including education, health care, employment, youth and elder programs, housing and more, all of which directly benefit Chickasaw families, Oklahomans, and their communities. 



Headshot of Charles Grim


Charles W. Grim, DDS, MHSA
Secretary of Health, Chickasaw Nation

Dr. Grim serves as the executive in charge of a health system that serves more than 90,000 patients and over 11 million visits annually.  The health system includes more than 1900 employees working in more than 500,000 sq ft of health delivery space including a hospital and multiple ambulatory services including nutrition situated on four distinct, geographically dispersed campuses. 
Dr. Grim is a native of Oklahoma and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Prior to joining the Chickasaw Nation, Dr. Grim served for 10 years in various leadership roles for the Cherokee Nation health system, including Executive Director. Prior to that he was appointed by President George W. Bush and received unanimous Senate confirmation as the Director of the Indian Health Service (IHS) in 2002. He is a retired Assistant Surgeon General and Rear Admiral (upper half) in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Services (USPHS).

Headshot of Bisola Ojikutu


Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Boston Public Health Commission

Dr. Ojikutu is a nationally recognized physician leader, health equity researcher, community advocate and expert in the prevention, care, and treatment of infectious diseases. Dr. Ojikutu was appointed Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) in July 2021.

Dr. Ojikutu is a key advisor to Boston's Mayor on health issues and builds innovative partnerships across city departments and within Boston’s communities to positively impact the health of all city residents. Among other public health priorities, she is committed to addressing racism as a public health crisis and advancing health equity.

Dr. Ojikutu is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a faculty member within the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She also holds an appointment within the Infectious Disease Division at Massachusetts General Hospital and is an adjunct faculty member at The Fenway Institute. She has led research and developed programs focused on increasing access to health care among marginalized populations funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HIV/AIDS Bureau). Most recently, Dr. Ojikutu served as Director of the Community Engaged Research Program and the Associate Director of the Bio-Behavioral and Community Science Core for the Harvard Center for AIDS Research.

DSmith Picture 2019


Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN
Executive Director, National Association of Community Health Workers

Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN is the inaugural Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers, Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change, Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow, and a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader. As a woman of African descent, a Community Health Worker, certified patient navigator and survivor of a rare chronic disease, Denise envisions a culture of health where individuals have self-determination and dignity, where communities meaningfully contribute to system design and governance and where societies eliminate structural barriers to well-being. Denise is the strategic lead for NACHW, an organization of CHW and ally members in all 50 states, over 30 tribes and territories. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Smith led CHWs and allies in the U.S. to develop the first National CHW Policy Platform with recommendations for public and private institutions to respect, protect and authentically partner with CHWs and their Networks. Denise also conceptualized the first National CHW Hill Day and the first National CHW Awareness Week, which was introduced and passed as a resolution in Congress.  She co-founded the Community Based Workforce Alliance and the Vaccine Equity Cooperative to advocate for national racial equity principles and policies that affirm and sustain community expertise and capacity in COVID-19 response and community recovery. Ms. Smith is currently focused on building U.S. and global CHW Networks and Associations, organizational and leadership capacity, advancing racial and health equity, and realizing a framework, tools and approaches for CHW sustainability.

 Judith Steinberg's headshot

Judith Steinberg, MD, MPH
former HHS Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Health

Dr. Steinberg served as a health policy official in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  With her primary health care, infectious disease, public health, and health policy expertise, Dr. Steinberg led collaborative efforts across HHS and advanced federal policy and programs. 

Dr. Steinberg was a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health and lead of the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care. She initially served in HHS as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, part of the Health Resources and Services Administration and later, as the CMO of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

Before joining the federal government, Dr. Steinberg was Deputy CMO and Senior Director of the Office of Healthcare Innovation and Quality at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division. There Dr. Steinberg and her team supported Massachusetts health care reform, contributing to the design and implementation of new healthcare delivery and payment models, in particular, to advance primary care. Dr. Steinberg practiced primary care and infectious disease medicine at community health centers and safety net hospitals in MA for nearly 30 years.

Dr. Steinberg was an associate professor of medicine, and family medicine and community health, at UMass Medical School and an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas and completed a residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and an infectious disease fellowship at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women’s hospitals in Boston. She was a Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University fellow in minority health policy and received a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.


Headshot of David Duong


David Duong, MD, MPH
Director, Harvard Medical School Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change

Dr. Duong is the Director of the Harvard Medical School Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change. In this position, David is responsible for the overall strategy development, partnership engagement, programmatic activities and donor relations for the Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change at Harvard Medical School in order to meet the goals and mission of Harvard Medical School as well as the local, national and global primary care community. He also provides teaching, mentorship and career development support to students, residents, junior faculty and staff.