Cassandra Okechukwu is the principal health and life scientist in MITRE Corporation’s Health Transformation Technical Center. She was recognized with a Research Leadership Award at the BEYA STEM Conference for helping the Health Resources and Services Administration agency develop a more equitable approach to award federal grants to communities in need.
The Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.
Cassandra’s insights helped create a system for identifying unmet needs across every state and territory. Now, she is engaged in fine-tuning the program and in understanding how existing health centers can improve their services for those in most need.
“Because of Cassandra’s consistent leadership in discovering and developing unique approaches to the nation’s most pressing healthcare inequities, because of the direct impact she has had on our country’s most vulnerable communities, I am honored to nominate Cassandra for this award,” said Dr. Jason Providakes, president and CEO of The MITRE Corporation.
Cassandra also serves as an adjunct associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a technical adviser, researcher, and educator with a history of achievements in community health, higher education, research, and health care. Her educational and professional background includes nursing, public health, and social epidemiology.