Caring for the Most Vulnerable: A Physician Passionately Pursuing Health Equity

Michelle A. Matthews is a physician, teacher, public speaker, social justice advocate, and jazz vocalist. Through her work in the community, she has become a role model and mentor for young women and an advocate for access to human services, equity in healthcare, and healthy communities. A product of the public education system in Guyana and the United States, Michelle studied chemistry and physical therapy at Howard University. She went on to earn a degree in medicine from Wayne State University and later completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics. Michelle subsequently served as chief resident in internal medicine, faculty member, and assistant director. During her years of living in Detroit, Michelle realized her interest in disparity in medicine. After several years of working in traditional roles as a physician, she decided her true calling was increasing access for residents of vulnerable communities, which resulted in her serving as chairperson of the Human Relations Commission. She was instrumental in the re-opening of the pediatric unit of the local hospital to meet the needs of children in the community. As medical director of the Sickle Cell Program for her local Hospital Organization, she re-organized the medical program to facilitate quality care for patients with Sickle Cell disease who sought care within the Hospital system. Currently, Dr. Matthews serves as the Medical Director for the North Carolina Market at Landmark Health- an organization whose focus is on delivering value-based care to elderly high-risk populations. Dr. Matthews is a native of Guyana, South America. She currently lives in North Carolina. Michelle is actively involved in her community through advocacy, policy writing, and narrative change conversations when not practicing her craft. She also makes time to sing in a jazz band, hike, swim, and travel the world.

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