Talk That Walks
Talk That Walks
Leadership in Public Health: The 2023 Mawby Award Interviews

Our program today engages the 2023 winners of our Russell Mawby Award, Dr. Chandra Ford and Dr. Ed O’Neil. The Russell G. Mawby “People Helping People Award” is given every other year in recognition of ongoing contributions to the health and well-being of communities.

Dr. Chandra L. Ford received her PhD in Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Social Medicine (at UNC School of Medicine) and Epidemiology (at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health). Much of her work is dedicated to studying the impacts of racism and inequities on public health and supporting interdisciplinary research to prevent and combat the consequences of racism. She is lead editor of Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional, which was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title of 2020 by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine. She is also the founding director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health at UCLA. A dynamic and in-demand speaker, teacher and author, Ford’s contributions to public scholarship are profound. Her eminence has been recognized by a number of accolades, including: the 2020 Wade Hampton Frost Award from the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Black Women Physicians; a TrueHero Award from TruEvolution; and the 2019 Paul Cornely Award. In 2023, Dr. Ford joined the faculty at Emory University, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health.

Dr. Edward O’Neil Jr earned his M.D. from George Washington University and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center. In 1998, he founded Omni-Med, ( which has run programs in Belize, Guyana, and Kenya. Omni Med has partnered with the Ugandan Ministry of Health and US Peace Corps to develop an innovative health service program in Uganda, which has trained over 1200 community health workers since 1998. Dr. O’Neil is the author of two highly acclaimed books published by the American Medical Association, “Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty,” and “Global Service, and A Practical Guide to Global Health Service.” Since April 2007, Dr. O’Neil has served as Chair of a Brookings Institution Taskforce on Health Service in Sub-Saharan Africa. His practice of leadership and his practical application of knowledge to the health challenges of individuals and communities led to his being named to the Advisory Board of the Center for the Advanced Study of Leadership at the University of Maryland. His contributions have also been recognized by both The Brookings Institution and the United Center for Citizen Diplomacy. In addition to serving as the Medical Director of Omni Med, Dr. O’Neil is a practicing emergency physician at Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

Our host today is Barbara Krimgold, who served on the selection panel for this year’s Mawby Award. Barbara Krimgold is the Founding President of the Culture of Health Equity Network at the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF), where she also is the Senior Health Program Director. In addition, she serves as a health and social policy expert for the Resilient Cities social equity project – piloting projects in Boston, Massachusetts, and Athens, Greece – supported by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Soros Open Societies and the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities.

She directed the Kaiser Permanente Burch Minority Leadership Development Program and helped design the new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) human capital and leadership development programs at the IAF.

Prior to joining IAF, Ms. Krimgold was director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s postdoctoral Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH), a Washington DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to translating health research to policy and practice.

Our program, which is called Talk that Walks, convenes frontline leaders at the critical place where thought becomes change. The leaders in today’s dialogue inhabit the transition point where experience and insight take flight as impactful action. To learn more about the vision and mission of the Alliance, visit us on the web at