Carlessia A. Hussein, RN, BS, MS, Dr.PH, is the retired director (2014) of the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in the Office of the Maryland Secretary of Health. Dr. Hussein established and managed the office with the goal of increasing awareness, involving health systems and communities, and reducing health disparities among small population groups throughout the State.
While director of the Maryland Tobacco Settlement Program 2000-2010, she funded and oversaw programs in State jurisdictions to lower smoking and reduce cancer incidence and disparities. Research funds were awarded to Hopkins and University of Maryland to conduct cancer research and promote smoking reduction within target communities. Other funds were provided to community-based organizations to implement health disparities demonstration programs.
Dr. Hussein’s Notable accomplishments associated with these programs include (a) lead advisor to Health Department and state legislators on development and passage of the Maryland 2012 Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act. Assisted with planning and implementation of the Act that established five Health Enterprise Zones in geographic areas with long standing health problems; (b) Established Maryland’s Minority Health Network and 5,000 + database of Public Health Partners; (c) Eliminated the gap in colonoscopy screening between Black and White populations in 2010; and (d) Decreased all-cause cancer mortality among Black and White populations by 51% (2000-2011).
Prior to 2000, Dr. Hussein negotiated/approved two Certificate-of-Need applications, one established organ transplant program serving Washington DC and Northern Virginia (1977), and another CON establishing the Washington Rehabilitation Hospital (1985). While Assistant Dean at the University of California School of Public Health, she established the Recruitment and Summer Preparatory Program that increased minority enrollment above 30% (1971-1973). She is the first African American to receive a Doctor of Public Health degree from UC, Berkeley School of Public Health, 1977.
2015-2017, Dr. Hussein continues her personal goal to improve the quality of health care to all populations with special focus on those in poorest health. She gives scholarships to minority middle school boys making low grades and live in low income families, Howard County and Baltimore City.