OU-TU School of Community Medicine Names Dennis for Equity and Community Engagement Role

OU-TU School of Community Medicine Names Dennis for Equity and Community Engagement Role

TULSA -- Syeachia Dennis, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, was recently named assistant dean for Equity and Community Engagement for the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. Dennis, an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine, previously served as director of Community Medicine Curriculum for the school.

In this new role, Dennis will work with faculty members, residents, students and staff to advance efforts that address social and structural determinants of health and their impact on the community’s patient population. She will focus on the development of anti-bias curriculum within the School of Community Medicine and core curriculum for medical students, as well as building strong collaborations with organizations committed to advancing health equity.

James M. Herman, M.D., MSPH, dean of the OU-TU School of Community Medicine, said, “Dr. Dennis brings significant depth of experience and extensive background to her work with the School of Community Medicine. This new role presents exciting opportunities to move us forward in our goal to eliminate structural racism. Together, our efforts toward equity and inclusion will resonate within graduate medical education. The strategic impact will serve to improve well-being across the OU-TU campus, the Tulsa community and across the state.”

Dennis earned her medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill., and completed a family medicine residency at West Suburban Medical Center, Oak Park, Ill. She earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md.

Her current projects include the Focus-Forward LARC (long-acting reversible contraceptives) project through the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, as well as collaboration with the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative toward development of a residency community health longitudinal rotation and a preconception health project.

Dennis serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians and participates in the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Health of the Public and Science. She has presented nationally and internationally on historical trauma, and has taught graduate medical education courses focused on social determinants of health. She is published on the topic of racism as a social determinant of health for students in healthcare professions.