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Meet Dr. Karen

Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD is the Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance - a strategic partnership focused on improving health equity by fostering bi-directional communication between academia and the community. 

Dr. Winkfield works with individuals, families and community-based organizations, empowering them to design and implement programs they believe will have the greatest impact on their well-being. 

Growing up on Long Island, NY as the youngest of 7 children, she graduated from Binghamton University with a BS in Biochemistry. She was later accepted into the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke University where, after 8 years, she was awarded two degrees – an MD and a PhD. She completed her medical training at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston, Massachusetts.


Dr. Winkfield is a thoughtful, caring clinician who specializes in the treatment of cancers involving blood cells.  These cancers include lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma.  She also treats patients who need radiation therapy as part of their treatment for breast cancer.


Based on her expertise in community engagement, program development and implementation science, Dr. Winkfield has developed a platform to enable accurate and timely dispersal of clinical information in the community, address cultural barriers to accessing and accepting appropriate cancer care, and encourage policymakers to invest in initiatives designed to address inequities in the health care delivery system.  


Dr. Winkfield was recently appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

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