Advocacy and DEI Mentors
Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD
Daniel S. Goldberg is trained as an attorney, a historian of medicine, and a public health ethicist. His current research agenda in law, policy, and bioethics focuses on the social determinants of health, public health policy and chronic illness, health inequities, stigma.
In addition, he maintains an active research program in the history of medicine, and focuses primarily on two topics in 19th century America: the history of medical imaging (especially X-rays) and the history of pain without lesion. His doctoral dissertation addressed the undertreatment of pain in the U.S., and he has been actively writing, teaching, and speaking on the subject of chronic pain since 2000.
Some highlights of Dr. Goldberg’s advocacy work include:
- Consulting with state campaign on addiction/SUD stigma;
- Conversations w/ state policymakers on traumatic brain injury and collision sports among youths and adolescents; and
- Working with multiple institutions & programs on structural competency and anti-oppression practice.
Thoughts on advocacy:
“Policy & advocacy work is so critical to me because on a personal level it is one way I can help. I am not a clinician or even a public health service worker, which means that sometimes I struggle to figure out how to be of assistance. Being able to use my training and skills in a strategic way to impact social determinants and population health means everything! But it’s also not something that requires extensive training in policy studies! (I mean, it helps, but it’s not necessary). Figuring out how to help build coalitions, organize collectively, support policy actors and communities is both socially important and intellectually engaging.”
Advice for residents:
“Advocacy can mean lots of different things. Some kinds of teaching can be advocacy! Mentorship can be advocacy. It does not require you to picket the Capitol building, although that is of course a welcome form of advocacy should you choose to do so. Residents and trainees often feel disempowered in large health care settings. This is totally understandable, but you have more agency to change health system policy than you think, especially if you organize collectively! The time horizon for changing federal or state law can be long, but health system policy is more tractable and still can have enormous regional impact …”
“I do like this short commentary on the art of writing a policy brief, even though of course that’s only one form of advocacy” - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27935727/
“I also think communications-style training on how to write an op-ed is super helpful. This tool, from social justice-oriented PR firm Burness, is especially good” - https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/resources/writing-an-op-ed
Anne Frank, MD
Dr. Frank is an attending physician at Denver Health practicing primary care for adults and children and an assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Dayton and her M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine.
Anne is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and practices Primary Care at Denver Health. She is active in medical education at the undergraduate and graduate level, including working Director of the Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship and Co-Director of the Clinical Content Pillar at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received a certificate from Teaching Scholars Program at the University of Colorado, and has used this training in multiple curricular design efforts. Anne has additional interests in advocacy and care of historically marginalized, specifically children in Foster and Kinship care, LGBTQ+ individuals, and care of immigrants and refugees. She works in the Connections for Kids Foster Care Clinic and acts as a Peds Trans/GNB Health Champion. She is the clinic lead for Refugee care at Peña. She is also is an active member of the CO-AAP, including the legislative policy committee.
Thoughts on advocacy:
“Advocacy has been important throughout my career, particularly patient level advocacy. If the patient in front of me needs something that is not readily available, advocacy is necessary to get patient’s treatment. We see this currently in some of the policies around treating our transgender and gender non-binary patients, but in the past it may have looked like hepatitis C treatment for patients who use alcohol or newer diabetes agents for patients who do not have insurance. Since moving to Denver, I have slowly worked to build relationships with people and groups in the community to engage with as partners in this work. More recently, I have found my voice in legislative advocacy, and have worked through the CO-AAP to testify at the state level in support of
vaccines, broadening access to family planning, and pediatric mental health.”
Advice for residents:
“Residency is such a busy time and pursuing advocacy can feel overwhelming! First, know that you are advocating for your patients all the time! Any time you go the extra mile to make sure patients have what they need is advocacy! Further, anytime you are systematic about patient level advocacy, i.e. screening all clinic patients for food insecurity and connecting them to resources, you can make a huge impact. I recommend getting involved in your professional organization and watching for opportunities that fit your schedule and passions.”
“I love podcasts and there is so much content out there that it is hard to choose, but recently I have been listening to the Clinical Problem Solvers Antiracism in Medicine (all of these are gold), the DEI Shift podcast (DEI in medicine the obesity episode is amazing), the West Steps (this is from the Colorado Children’s Campaign and focuses on child health and well-being in CO and policy priorities of the Children’s Campaign). The Curbsiders Podcast and Charting Pediatrics have great advocacy episodes.”
“Recent good reads include The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft, Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts, The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris.”
Shawnecca Burke, MD
Dr. Burke is a board-certified family medicine physician at the Southwest Federico Pena Clinic at Denver Health. She is practicing primary care and obstetrics in the Department of Family Medicine.
She is originally from Silver Spring, MD and received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Spanish at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She attended medical school at the University of Maryland,
School of Medicine and then completed her family medicine residency program through the University of Colorado Rural Training Track.
Dr. Burke is the advisor of the Minority and Allied Residency Council at the University of Colorado. She participates in mentorship through the University and currently participates in undergraduate education as a LIC preceptor. She is interested in care of historically marginalized communities and mentorship of those historically excluded from the medical field.
Thoughts on DEI:
Medicine may feel lonely because it has historically excluded certain groups of people from the practice such as myself which has led me in my journey to DEI efforts since medical school. DEI efforts work towards unraveling this concept one letter at a time. This applies to both the treatment of historically excluded minority groups in medicine and the treatment of patients. The way you choose to focus your DEI efforts can be through mentorship, education and trainings, community building, policy, clinical efforts and more. When all of these parts work together cohesively, that is when you truly see a change in an organization or field however, none of it should be done alone.
Advice for residents:
Being a resident is hard enough as it is. Be kind to yourself and take the time to reflect on the moments that are fundamental to who you are not only as a physician but as a person. It is okay to feel uncomfortable in the DEI world. Lean into that discomfort and ask yourself why.
Recommended listening: Recommended podcasts below!
- Code Switch
- The Nocturnists: Black Voices in Healthcare
- The Human Doctor
Christy Angerhofer is a Diversity and Inclusion specialist with over 15 years of medical education experience in Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education. Before joining the School of Medicine, Office of Diversity
and Inclusion in 2019, she spent 10 years as the program manager of the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine program co-founding their DEI efforts there. Christy, now splits her time between the Vice Chancellor’s
Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Health Equity in Action Lab (HEAL), and the School of Medicines Service-Learning Engagement.
Ellen Brilliant has worked for over 20 years in Colorado’s nonprofit and advocacy communities. In 2006, she founded her own consulting firm, Apex Strategies. Ellen joined AAP Colorado as Executive Director in June
2016. Within this role, she manages all the activities and operations of AAP-CO, including leading a statewide resident legislative curriculum, organizing the annual continuing medical education (CME) conference, managing
membership and communications, and overseeing finances, including seeking out, applying for and administering grants. She has been an invaluable mentor for pediatric and med-peds residents seeking to have an active
role in advocacy.