Health Equity

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ATS Fellowship in Health Equality

Meet Past Fellows: Drew Harris


Drew Harris, MD

Since entering medical school at the University of Pittsburgh, Drew has focused on improving the health of vulnerable populations. Drew has had several formative experiences in health equity, including 2 years working within the Indian Health Service caring for an impoverished Navajo and Hopi community in Arizona. During his IHS years, Drew became well-versed as to the importance of addressing social and environmental determinants of health to improve the health of vulnerable communities. While a pulmonary fellow at Yale, using a community-based participatory approach and partnering with a federally qualified community health center, Drew lead a study that identified common barriers in both the home and work environments that impede asthma symptom control in a disadvantaged community in New Haven. Through a better understanding of these barriers, such as fear of retaliation from landlords or employers, Drew is now focused on how to utilize legal advocacy as a component of a multidisciplinary approach to address the social and environmental determinants of health related to asthma in disadvantaged populations.

As the 2017-2018 ATS Health Equality Fellow, Drew is junior faculty at the University of Virginia with a joint appointment in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Medicine. Partnering with the Legal Aid Justice Center, UVA Law School faculty, the Housing Clinic within the UVA Law School, and the UVA Primary Care Center, Drew is leading a multidisciplinary community-engaged team of lawyers, doctors and social workers to develop and study the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach to asthma care in vulnerable populations, centered on a medical-legal partnership. In addition, he is partnering with the Legal Aid Justice Center to survey the home environments within the largest subsidized housing complexes in Charlottesville as a first step towards making systemic environmental improvements for Charlottesville’s poor, elderly and disabled populations.