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Mobilizing Community Health Literacy

Meet the Speaker: Renee Mahaffey Harris, MPH

President/CEO of The Center for Closing the Health Gap

Renee Mahaffey Harris, MPH, is a committed advocate for the marginalized populations in Greater Cincinnati and the region. Mahaffey Harris leads The Health Gap in its mission to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through advocacy, education and community outreach. Mahaffey Harris received her undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, Ohio University and Master of Public Health, Morehouse College of Medicine.

During her tenure at The Health Gap, Mahaffey Harris jointly created the city of Cincinnati’s Health in All Policy and launched several groundbreaking communities-based health initiatives including: The Ohio African American Health Disparities Collaborative and the Black Women’s Health Movement — an Ohio collaboration with the national organization, Black Women’s Health Imperative. Mahaffey Harris served as a member of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 Minority Strike Task Force, President of Ohio African American Health Disparities Coalition and was appointed Co-Chair City of the Cincinnati Racial Equity Taskforce. She is also, a member of the National Council on Black Health-Subcommittee on national programs.

Before joining The Health Gap, Mahaffey Harris held executive leadership roles in the private sector including tenures as Vice President of Community Development with PNC Bank and Director of the Greater Cincinnati Local Initiative Support Corporation. In the public sector, Mahaffey Harris worked in leadership roles with former Ohio Secretary of State Sherrod Brown and former Congressman Charles Luken. Mahaffey Harris has served on numerous boards past and current. Recent awards include: 2021 UC Health MLK Humanitarian Award, 2021 YWCA Racial Justice Award, 2021 Urban One National Shero Award, Cincinnati Herald Nefertiti Awardee, 2022 Business Courier Women Who Mean Business Award, 2023 Cincinnati Enquirer Women of the Year Award, 2023 Cincinnati NAACP Individual Community Outreach & Partnership Award, Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati and Power CEOs.

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