During its annual meeting on November 30, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Group on Women in Medicine and Science (GWIMS) presented Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, assistant professor, Neonatology and Newborn Nursery, with its inaugural GWIMS Impact Award for her work in advocacy and community engagement.
Zapata is deeply involved in community advocacy activities and works tirelessly to address the root causes of the chronic health disparities that plague marginalized communities of color. Calling upon her extensive training in pediatrics, preventive medicine, and public health, her research focuses on the interplay of biological, environmental, and social factors that contribute to disparities in maternal and child health outcomes.
Zapata has been an outstanding mentor to numerous trainees, many of whom are women and minorities in academic medicine or the larger community. She is the faculty director for The Ladder, a partnership between the School of Medicine and Public Health and Boys and Girls Club of Dane County that offers long-term mentorship for scholars from diverse backgrounds to promote careers in health care. She also helped develop a financial literacy program for school-age students, and wrote “Beyond Beautiful,” a socioeconomic empowerment book for girls of all backgrounds that has been incorporated into school curriculums in Madison, Milwaukee, and other communities. Her relationships with community organizations and public-health officials throughout the nation help her collaborate widely on maternal and child health. Most recently, she was appointed as Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for community health at Wisconsin Department of Health Services to provide medical and public health consultation and leadership to bureau programs.