1. Tell us something we don’t know. (Anything!)
I am committed to Playing Mas in at least 5 more Carnivals – especially Brazil!
2. Which fiction book would you recommend to researchers and innovators in healthcare, and why?
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Jesmyn is masterful at the written word and it is only through understanding experience that we make substantial change in healthcare.
3. What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
My team is incorporating virtual reality into our understanding of Black youth’s coping with racial discrimination. We typically measure coping via retrospective survey, but what an amazing opportunity it will be to learn about what Black youth are seeing – literally – through their eyes. Their hands. Their heart rate. This learning is not just for our edification, but especially useful in the applied clinical work we are conducting to “dropkick” the impact of racism on Black youth’s psychological wellbeing.
4. Who’s doing something that you admire in healthcare today, and why is it so cool?
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett – I mean, vaccinations sis?! Yasss!
5. What’s the biggest barrier to getting things done in your line of work?
Money money money money – MONEY!
6. Imagine you win an award for impacting healthcare. What did you do?
Either: 1) uprooted racism from the start OR 2) karate chopped the impact of racism on Black youth’s mental health.
7. What advice would you give innovators in healthcare?
It is not enough to simply think about the problem: DO something about it
About Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson
Riana Elyse Anderson, PhD, LCP is an Assistant Professor in the Health Behavior and Health Education Department in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Her scholarship addresses culturally specific parenting practices to reduce race-related stress in families. She earned her doctorate in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Virginia and was a Clinical and Community Psychology Predoctoral Fellow at Yale University’s School of Medicine. She was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Anderson strives to improve psychological outcomes for Black youth through culturally and contextually relevant parenting programs focused on racism and discrimination, effective coping strategies, and community building, participation, and collaboration. One of her primary goals is to create interventions and youth centers which support the mental and physical health of Black youth in urban communities. Dr. Anderson aims to facilitate healing in Black families with practical applications of her research and clinical services, as well as through teaching/mentorship and policy recommendations.
Prior to her doctoral training, Dr. Anderson graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in Psychology and Political Science and taught for 2 years with Teach For America in Atlanta. She also conducted Community Based Participatory Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and neuropsychological research at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Anderson was born in, raised for, and returned to Detroit. She enjoys all things food, sports, and travel, and is adventurous – except for the outdoors. She enjoys listening to and playing music and adores cooking for friends and family (not to mention herself!). You can also catch her at Carnival and eating cake pops.