Feb 11, 2021

Dionne Hart, MD, Joins NCCHC Board of Representatives

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care welcomes Dionne Hart, MD,  DFAPA, FASAM, to its board of representatives. Dr. Hart serves as the American Medical Association’s liaison to the NCCHC board.

After graduating from the Mayo Clinic’s psychiatry residency program, Dr. Hart began her service commitment to the National Health Service Corps at a correctional facility. Her public service provided experience with health inequities and the disproportionate number of racial minorities involved in the criminal justice system. Dr. Hart notes, “As an African American psychiatrist, who as a group are only two percent of all practicing psychiatrists, I felt a responsibility to advocate for change by becoming active in the medical community.” 

Dr. Hart founded a local chapter of the National Medical Association and currently serves as the president of Minnesota’s statewide chapter. Nationally, she served as the first chairperson of the AMA Minority Affairs Section and then its delegate to AMA’s House of Delegates. As a delegate, Dr. Hart advocated for health equity, social justice, and parity in treatment for those incarcerated and social justice while publishing articles to highlight the physical and mental health care burdens faced by correctional staff.

Her advocacy efforts led to her selection as the 2014 Minnesota Psychiatrist of the Year and a 2017 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In 2019, Dr. Hart was reelected as the first and only Black woman on the Minnesota Medical Association’s Board of Trustees. In addition, in 2020, the Minnesota Physician medical journal named her one of the 100 most influential health care leaders in Minnesota.

Her appointment took effect February 3 after approval by the NCCHC Governance Board. She replaces Ilse Levin, DO, MPH, CCHP-P, who left the NCCHC Board after being elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees in 2020.

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