Denise Octavia Smith

Denise Octavia Smith
Location: Hartford, Connecticut Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Public, Population and Community Health, Health Care Access, Leadership Development, Public Policy Populations Served: African-American/Black, Native/Tribal/Indigenous People, Asian/Asian American, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Immigrants and Refugees, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Research Associate and Projects Manager
Health Disparities Institute

Denise Octavia Smith leads the development and implementation of the UConn Health Disparities Institute health and public policy research agenda and the Equal Coverage to Care statewide coalition. She has a specific focus on community-engaged research and health system transformation through the integration of community and clinical services, community health worker expertise, and the patient voice in health system governance. She develops and tests culturally relevant health insurance literacy interventions developed with community health workers to build community capacity to achieve well-being.

Denise is an artist, mother of four, wife, youth minister and survivor of a rare chronic disease. She uses her artistry, writing, determination, and belief in the transformative power of people’s collective action to transform lives with love.

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