The UMKC School of Medicine will welcome Patrice Harris, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association, as keynote speaker at the 2021 Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Endowed Lecture in Minority Health. This year’s lecture will be a virtual event at noon Feb. 12.
Harris, a psychiatrist and recognized expert in children’s mental health and childhood trauma, will discuss the persistent gaps and inequities in health care highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of organized medicine and physician leaders in bringing greater equity.
A private practice physician, county public health director, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist, Harris became the AMA’s first African American woman president in 2020. Before that, she developed a deep understanding of health care issues through several AMA leadership roles. She previously served as a member of the AMA Board of Trustees and has led the AMA Opioid Task Force since its origin in 2014.
Harris has also served in leadership roles with psychiatric organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia and the Big Cities Health Coalition.
She also is an adjunct assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In private practice she consults public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy.
Harris is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling psychology before receiving her medical degree in 1992.