Stephen Thomas PhD
University of Maryland School of Public Health, Maryland Center for Health Equity
The Colors of COVID-19: Confronting Health Disparities During a Global Pandemic
Dr. Stephen B. Thomas is a tenured Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health and Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity (MCHE) at the University of Maryland in College Park. Prior to joining the faculty in 2010, he served as the Director of the Center for Minority Health in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh from 2000-2009. He is a highly experienced Principal Investigator, having served as PI of multiple five year NIH-NIMHD P60 grant titled “Excellence in Partnership through Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT)” (5P60 MD000207; 2002-2007), the Research Center of Excellence in Minority Health Disparities (7 P60 MD000207, 2007-2012), and with Dr. Quinn, was also the Joint PI of the Center of Excellence in Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research (P20 MD006737, 2012-2017, NIMHD). He also served as PI (along with Dr. Quinn) on a prestigious Grand Opportunity (“GO”) grant sponsored by the Office of the Director, NIH, NIMHD, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) titled “Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative: Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers” (7RC2MD004766). Over the decades, he has developed a significant network of relationships and leadership roles across multiple health disparity influencing sectors including academic researchers; healthcare providers and service organizations; community leaders; national foundations, and local, state, and federal policymakers. He has specific expertise in the development, implementation and evaluation of community engaged minority health and health disparity interventions. He also has extensive experience in overcoming barriers associated with the legacy of the Syphilis Study Done at Tuskegee (1932 - 1972) and conducting scientifically sound and culturally tailored community-based interventions designed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities to achieve health equity. He believes in team science and building trust with minority communities by first addressing their unmet health needs. Once trust is established, opportunities to conduct research can flourish. He serves on the Board of Directors for Doctors Community Hospital in Prince George’s County and founding member of the leadership team for the Totally Linking Care Coalition composed of five hospital systems. Nationally, he serves on the Institutional Review Board of the All of US research initiative, a major NIH longitudinal study seeking to enroll one million Americans. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Health Equity Research Initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.