Current Leader

Rosemary Nabaweesi

Rosemary Nabaweesi
Location: Nashville, Tennessee Cohort Start Year: 2020 Project Topics: Built Environment/Housing/Planning, Environmental Justice, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Violence and Trauma Populations Served: African-American/Black, Children and Families, Low-Income Communities, Women's Health
Chair for Health Policy/ Associate Professor
Meharry Medical College

Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi, an accomplished physician scientist and advocate for health equity, currently holds the RWJF Endowed Chair for Health Policy and serves as an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Practice within the School of Graduate Studies at Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Nabaweesi’s remarkable journey in the field of medicine and public health has been marked by a steadfast commitment to addressing pressing societal issues. Her work centers on the critical intersection of health policy, social determinants of health, and injuries, with a focus on mitigating health and educational inequities among vulnerable populations.

As a physician scientist, Dr. Nabaweesi employs a multidisciplinary approach to her work, emphasizing implementation and community engagement research. Her pioneering efforts have led to innovative solutions aimed at tackling the complex challenges associated with childhood injury, as well as women’s and children’s health and wellness.

Dr. Nabaweesi advocates for black women and children, and her work focuses on reducing maternal and infant mortality rates and improving access to healthcare services for families living in urban and rural areas. She understands that health and wellness begin with the built and social environment that people are born into, grow, play, live, and learn in, which has led to her strategic initiative focused on attaining equitable affordable community housing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mt strategic initiative will identify barriers and facilitators to healthcare systems in the Greater Davidson area, investing in affordable housing for African American communities. Lack of affordable, stable, and quality housing has been the root cause of health and education inequities, poverty, eviction, and homelessness. Those who are unhoused or housing-unstable often face increased physical and mental health illness and shorter lifespans. If healthcare systems are to keep the communities they serve healthy and well, investing in affordable housing development will meet their mission. Conducting a listening tour with sociopolitical leaders in the housing and healthcare ecosystems, designing a website to illustrate mutual areas of interest, and planning a virtual healthcare-housing summit are expected outcomes. The three-prong implementation includes: build relationships with housing and healthcare stakeholders in government, private business, and local communities. Our goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure and constituents involved in housing and healthcare. We plan to showcase this knowledge through a website that highlights the connection between the two sectors.The long-term impact from this work will increase affordable housing units and provide affordable housing resources.

Dr. Nabaweesi is a physician scientist who attained her medical education in Uganda at Makerere University and attained her public health doctorate in healthcare management and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is an expert in mixed methods, social determinants of health, and health policy research. She has more than 20 years’ experience in childhood injury research and global health. Her current research focuses on improving the inequitable built (physical) and social environments of underserved African American communities. She believes that one’s built and social environment contribute significantly to a community’s Culture of Health. Her work centers on the critical intersection of health policy, social determinants of health, and injuries, with a focus on mitigating health and educational inequities among vulnerable populations.

Click here to watch Rosemary’s Legacy Project video.