Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has recognized the nomination of Creighton University's Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, M.D., MSPH, MBA, for her dedication to improving the health of the community. The recognition comes following Kosoko-Lasaki's nomination as a White House Champion of Change for Public Health and Prevention.
The White House developed the Champions of Change program to highlight ordinary Americans who "are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." As co-executive director for Creighton University?s Center for Promoting Health and Health Equities (CPHHE), Kosoko-Lasaki is actively involved in collaborating with the community to eliminate health disparities locally and internationally.
"Our emphasis is on health improvement of Omaha communities that have worse health related to social inequalities and inequities," she explains. "We recognize that in order to foster health equality and promote health generally, health sciences centers such as CPHHE should become 'centers without walls' that embrace served communities as partners and collaborators."
The top three issues facing the Omaha community, according to Kosoko-Lasaki, are obesity, cardiovascular disease and violence - which go hand-in-hand with Secretary Sebelius' focus for public health.
"Too many communities continue to face high obesity, smoking and chronic disease rates, and I appreciate your tireless efforts around prevention and public health," Sebelius wrote in a letter of recognition. "Your leadership is essential to moving our nation from a focus of sickness and disease to one that is based on wellness and prevention. Your efforts will have lasting effects on the health of Americans."
Along with her leadership role with the CPHHE, Kosoko-Lasaki also serves as associate vice president for health sciences multicultural and community affairs as well as professor of surgery (ophthalmology) and preventive medicine & public health. An ophthalmologist with a public health degree, she is also passionate about training and educating individuals locally and throughout the world about blindness prevention, specifically vitamin A deficiency and glaucoma. She has initiated health fairs and screenings for glaucoma ? the most common cause of blindness in African Americans and Hispanics ? in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic and has served as a consultant to UNICEF, USAID and Helen Keller International in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Chad and the Philippines.