Monica Peek, MD,MPH, the Ellen H. Block Professor for Health Justice in the Department of Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). This prestigious honor reflects her “or international leadership in reducing health disparities, through research on how structural racism and the social determinants of health perpetuate disparities among African Americans. Her cutting-edge research has informed national guidelines and best practices regarding shared decision-making between patients and physicians and community-engaged strategies to improve health among African Americans.” Dr. Peek joins seven faculty from the Department of Medicine, Vineet Arora, MD, Marshall Chin, MD, Graeme Bell, PhD. Robert Gibbons, PhD, David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD and Kenneth Polonsky, MD, as elected members of NAM .
Dr. Peek received her MPH in Health Policy and Management and her MD from Johns Hopkins University prior to completing her clinical training as an Internal Medicine Resident from Stanford University Hospital. She then worked for the National Health Service Corps for two years at a community health center for the medically underserved in Ohio before joining the faculty of the Department of Medicine in 2006. In September 2021 she was promoted to the rank of professor and was named the Ellen H. Block Professor for Health Care Justice in January 2022.
Dr. Peek is a gifted translational and health equity investigator whose outstanding work is focused on improving the health and health care for marginalized populations. Her early work engaging the South Side Diabetes Project which melded patient engagement, provider training in cultural competence, clinic systems enhancement for quality improvement, and community engagement with multiple stakeholders such as food pantries, farmers’ markets, pharmacies, grocery stores, Park District, and others, is nationally known and has become a best-practice standard which has been highlighted by numerous professional organizations, as well as the media and multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications. She is currently the Co-PI for the national program Bridging The Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care, which supports healthcare systems to combine medical and social care needs of marginalized populations to improve diabetes health outcomes. Her efforts this year are particularly noteworthy as she worked as a clinician, bioethicist, public health expert and health services researcher to advocate for policy and clinical solutions to disparities in COVID-19 prevention (e.g. vaccine distribution), care and health outcomes.
Dr. Peek has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers and has served as the principal investigator of multiple grants from institutions such as NIH/NIDDK, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation and the Merck Foundation. She is a Senior Associate Editor for the journal Health Services Research, a member of the Executive Council for the American Diabetes Association and a recent member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).
Dr. Peek was recently appointed as Associate Vice Chair for Research Faculty Development for the Department of Medicine where she works closely with Drs. Yoav Gilad and Ragu Mirmira to advise and mentor research fellows and faculty underrepresented in medicine (UiM) in their scholarly activities and career advancement.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), established in 1970 under the name Institute of Medicine (IOM), is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as adviser to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors. The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 100 people were elected to the NAM’s 2022 class.