About Us

Meet the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) Staff!

Dr B pic 2.jpgNoel Brathwaite, PhD, MSPH

Dr. Noel Brathwaite, joined the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) on December 06, 2017 as Director. He is an international public health expert who gained experiences working with health issues in the United States, the Caribbean and parts of West and East Africa. Prior to joining MHHD, he organized the Greater Los Angeles Health Network to collaboratively tackle Urban and Suburban issues of health that continue to disproportionately impact people of African descent.  Some of his other past experiences include leadership positions with Florida Department of Health; the University of Miami School of Medicine, Cancer Center; at Morehouse School of Medicine International and Public Health Program; and as Director of Research in Trinidad.  Originally from the Caribbean, Dr. Brathwaite’s research interests include the impact of geography and lifestyle on chronic disease; health and premature mortality in small island developing states; and health system resiliency.  He has published a number of health-related articles in peer review journals. He is a graduate of Loma Linda University; earned a Doctorate from the University of Maryland; and pursued Postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University and also at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, (CAMH) affiliated with the University of Toronto, Canada. His vision is to work collaboratively with the MHHD team and other stakeholders to position the MHHD as a Transformative and Innovative agent that significantly lowers health disparities within the next decade. His goal is to advance prevention, equal health care access, quality treatment and improved health for all populations in Maryland.​

Dr Mann Photo.jpgDavid Mann, MD, PhD

Dr. David A Mann is the Epidemiologist at the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in the Maryland Department of Health, at 75% FTE.  His other 25% FTE is spent as an Instructor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University Of Medicine School Of Medicine.  Dr. Mann received his BA in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1978, his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1982, and his PhD in Epidemiology from University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2007.  Before coming to Maryland for epidemiology and public health training in 1998, Dr. Mann practiced primary care medicine in the greater Boston area for 14 years.  At DHMH Dr. Mann was a co-author of the Maryland Plan to Eliminate Minority Health Disparities, released in 2006 by MHHD; and principal author of the Maryland Chartbook of Minority Health and Minority Health Disparities Data, released in 2007, 2009 (2nd Edition) and 2012 (3rd edition) by MHHD.  He has been an invited speaker on health disparities data at several venues.  At DEPH in UMB SOM, Dr. Mann is the faculty co-leader of the Departmental Journal Club, participates in the Department’s epidemiology teaching for medical students, and teaches the summer course in Chronic Disease Epidemiology for graduate students.

Along Picture.jpgOlubukola Alonge, MD, MPH
Program Administrative Specialist

Olubukola (Buki) is a Data Analyst at the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in the Maryland Department of Health. Buki received her MPH degree with concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2016 from Morgan State University and her MD degree from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria in 2004. Her primary research interests focus on the social epidemiology of non-communicable diseases and cancers with particular interest on issues surrounding racial health disparities. Before joining MHHD, Buki interned with the Office with her MPH capstone focusing on reducing risk factors of cardiovascular disease amongst minority populations in Baltimore City, MD. Buki has also worked as a peer educator with Johns Hopkins University Generation Tomorrow project on Hepatitis C early diagnosis and linkage to care in Baltimore City. Her professional interests are on reducing health disparities for minority populations through improved access to quality services, and provision of data-driven evidence for better policy making.​

aren Gutierrez, MPA
Senior Program Specialist

Ms. Karen Gutierrez joined MHHD in February 2017 as the Senior Program Specialist.  She is currently in charge of coordinating health disparities initiatives such as the Educating Minorities on Benefits Recieved After Consumer Enrollment (EMBRACE) Initiative and the cultural competency training programs. Along with her current responsibilities, Ms. Gutierrez is looking forward to participating collaboratively with other staff in strategic planning processes to support Maryland Department of Health.  Ms. Gutierrez feels very passionate in serving the most vulnerable in our society. For the past nine years, she has been in charge of coordinating different programs in the nonprofit sector, both in Washington DC and New York City.  She has extensive knowledge and experience in program management; ensuring high quality standards for program delivery; fulfilling compliance requirement; conducting program evaluation; budgeting; and approaching in culturally-sensitive issues. As part of her project management responsibilities, Ms. Gutierrez has significant experience in event planning and community outreach initiatives. She has also participated in poster presentations at national conferences where she has shared successful program implementation strategies.  Her dedication to serving those in needed, motivated Ms. Gutierrez to graduate with a masters of Public Administration at City University of New York. She believes in guiding future leaders who are passionate in making a difference at their local communities. ​

IMAG0679.jpgKimberly Hiner, MPH
Program Administrator

Kim Hiner is a Program Administrator at the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities within the Maryland Department of Health.  As Program Administrator, Kim coordinates outreach initiatives for the office, co-plans Maryland’s Annual Health Equity Conference, serves as the Office's legislative liaison, coordinates the Office's Website and Facebook page, and recruits and supervises public health interns/volunteers.  She received a Master of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Towson University.

Kramer.jpgNamisa K. Kramer, MS
Health Disparities Initiatives Director

Ms. Namisa K. Kramer was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She attained her Primary and Secondary school education in Sierra Leone and moved to the United States in 1989. While in the U.S., Ms. Kramer attended the University of New Mexico and attained a BSc. Degree in Community Health Education, with a Minor in Nutrition and Child Development.  She then attained her MS degree in Health Education and at the same time pursued a certification in Tropical Medicine and public Health from Johns Hopkins University.  Ms. Kramer worked for seven years with the Maryland Department of Health, as a Community Health Educator at the Center for Health Promotion, Education and Tobacco Use Prevention.  She then left in 2011 for her beloved country, Sierra Leone during the economic downturn, where she worked for three years as the first female Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. During the Ebola outbreak, Ms. Kramer returned to the U.S. and briefly secured a job with the Maryland Department of Aging as the Human Services Specialist Supervisor.  She then applied for a position with the Minority Health and Health Disparities Office, where she is now the Program Administrator for the Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA) Program.