Elisa Friedman-Stevenson is the Director of Planning and Community Engagement for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. In her role, she strengthens partnerships focused on community health improvement, develops new community-engaged initiatives, and implements strategies to improve the Alliance’s overall impact on health outcomes for vulnerable populations. She also directs Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) efforts to identify health needs of communities and develops strategies and solutions for addressing needs, working in collaboration with a multitude of community partners. Elisa holds various leadership roles including serving on the Mayor’s Health Nashville Leadership Council and as chair of the Council’s Health Equity Workgroup.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Elisa spent fourteen years working with community health centers and health care systems at the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Department of Community Health Improvement and at the Institute for Community Health. As a member of the senior leadership team, Elisa was responsible for planning and evaluating community health initiatives and managing relationships with community-based organizations, as well as academic, health system, government and community health center partners. Elisa developed the participatory program evaluation approach that was adopted by both organizations and trained and supervised teams who worked with community partners on measuring outcomes and building evaluation capacity.
Although the content areas vary, the common theme in Elisa’s work is a commitment to community engagement and cross-sector collaboration to catalyze change. Prior to her work in Boston, Elisa worked on global health initiatives. Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, Elisa has worked in Mozambique, Angola, Brazil, El Salvador and Honduras. She received a B.A. from Vassar College and a M.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.