Profiles of Women Working In STEM

Nadine Burke Harris

Surgeon General of California

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician currently serving as the first Surgeon General of California. She is the founder of Center for Youth Wellness (CYW), an organization working to create a clinical model that recognizes and effectively treats toxic stress in children and changes the standard of pediatric practice in our nation. She has earned international attention for her innovative approach to addressing adverse childhood experiences as a risk factor for adult diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Her work has demonstrated that it’s time to reassess the relationship between poverty, child development and health, and how the practical applications of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study can improve health outcomes. Her areas of interest are in health disparities, child trauma, nutrition and asthma. Particularly, her focus is serving communities where issues of poverty and race present challenges to conventional health care and education.

Dr. Burke Harris also serves as an expert advisor on the Too Small to Fail initiative championed by Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation in association with Next Generation. This initiative aims to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Dr. Burke Harris’ work has also earned her the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Burke Harris received her bachelors degree in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her medical degree from the University of California, Davis. Following receipt of her master’s degree in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she went on to serve a residency at Stanford in pediatrics.

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