Dr. Joyce Essien is a retired Captain, US Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; retired Director, Center for Public Health Practice, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; Board Certified Pathologist in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.
Culminating a career that spans academic medicine, the private health sector and public health, Dr. Essien’s current focus is interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral translation research that leverages the evidence base to make progress toward system scale change for health and equity. She currently provides leadership coaching for cross-sectoral teams at the local and national level for the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health, a program of the California Public Health Institute.
Dr. Essien’s community service includes service on the Board of Directors for Georgians for Children in the 70’s & 80”s, the non profit that lobbied to assure that children’s issues would be high on the legislative agenda and was the contractor for the Annie Casey Kids Count Database. As a member of the board of Directors of Exodus, the Alternative School for high school children expelled from neighborhood public schools, advocated for creating experiential learning environments that assure the opportunity for students expelled from school to obtain a high school graduation diploma.. As founding Director of ZAP Asthma Inc,, an organization that received the Carter Center Partnership Award, 20 unemployed women were trained and deployed as community health workers, serving families of children with asthma to address conditions to improve self management , mitigate exposure to triggers, and reduce school absenteeism associated with asthma, the leading cause of absenteeism in urban schools, emergency room visits and hospitalization among children of color.
Dr. Essien currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. and AMGP Georgia Managed Care Company, Inc. and has served on the Boards of Trustees of the Bon Secours Hospital System and Southwest Hospital and Medical Center; the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Regional Health Forum and the Association for Community Health Improvement of the American Hospital Association.
Dr. Essien was a member of the team that received the 2008 Inaugural Applied Systems Thinking Award from the Applied Systems Thinking Institute for the magnitude of the problems that were being addressed (chronic disease syndemics and health system transformation); a recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Medicine Award, the American Medical Association Foundation; and a recipient of the Physician of the Year Award (2011) from the Atlanta Medical Association.