Mar 12, 2021

The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) announced that Keri L. Norris, PhD, MPH, MCHES, has joined NHF as  vice president of health equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Norris has more than 20 years of experience in health equity, public health, and social justice, with a particular emphasis on health disparities. Her role will be to create a health equity framework to integrate into NHF programs and services and develop culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and services to address disparities in outcomes within our community.

In her most recent role as chief of health policy and administration at Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority, Dr. Norris created programs that partnered with community-based organizations to address the needs of vulnerable populations. She sees partnering with local organizations as a key driver in improving outcomes, because people’s access to care and barriers to health vary so widely depending on where they live. “Your zip code has a greater impact on your health than your genetic code,” she says.

“We know there are health disparities stemming from a myriad of inequities including those related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of injustice” said Len Valentino, president and CEO of NHF. “These inequities affect members of the inherited blood disorder community and result in disparate outcomes. This is the first step in working to identify the barriers to care within our community and find ways to improve health and quality of life for our community members enabling people and families to thrive.”

Dr. Norris will also provide internal guidance on fostering a workforce culture that is inclusive and reflective of the diversity of the inheritable blood disorders community that NHF serves.

“At NHF, we define diversity as an integral part of our mission to serve those affected by all inheritable blood disorders,” said Dawn Rotellini, chief operating officer at NHF.  “We believe that every staff person brings a unique perspective and experience to advance our mission. But we know that creating a truly inclusive environment requires professional expertise and a commitment by the entire foundation.”

“It’s important that any organization that is truly committed to addressing the inequities that exist, diversity and inclusion must be integrated into its mission, vision, and strategic plan,” said Dr. Norris. “This can ensure that all work across all departments align with the diversity and inclusion goals.”

Dr. Norris previously worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a health scientist to eliminate diabetes-related health disparities among vulnerable populations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from Agnes Scott College, a Master of Public Health in Health Administration, Management and Policy from Morehouse School of Medicine's Master of Public Health Program, and a Juris Master in Health Law, Policy & Regulation from Emory University School of Law. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. She lives in Atlanta, GA.