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Joseph Wright

Adjunct Faculty, Health Policy and Management

Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH is Chief Health Equity Officer of the 13-hospital, 29,000 employee University of Maryland Medical System. He was previously Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at University of Maryland Capital Region Health within the University of Maryland Medical System.


(410) 328-4368

Areas of Interest

Adjuncts and Affiliates

Community Engagement; Evidence-based Best Practice; Advocacy and Policy Development; Equity, Disparities and Social Justice

Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH is Chief Health Equity Officer of the 13-hospital, 29,000 employee University of Maryland Medical System. He previously served as tenured Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at the Howard University College of Medicine, and as Senior Vice President within the Children's National Health System, where he provided strategic leadership for the organization’s advocacy mission, public policy positions, community partnership initiatives. He maintains appointments as adjunct professor of emergency medicine and health policy at the George Washington University, and teaches as professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. He served 17 years as the inaugural state pediatric medical director within the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, in addition to 8 years as principal investigator of the National Resource Center for the federally-funded Emergency Medical Services for Children program.

Academically, Dr. Wright is among the nation’s original cohort of board-certified pediatric emergency physicians with scholarly interests that include injury prevention, prehospital pediatrics, and the needs of underserved communities. He has contributed over 120 publications to the scientific literature, served more than 30 visiting professorships, and was principal investigator of the NIH-funded DC-Baltimore Research Center on Child Health Disparities. Dr. Wright is an elected member of the Alpha Omega Alpha (medicine) and Delta Omega (public health) honor societies, the Academy of Medicine of Washington, and the American Pediatric Society for which he co-chairs the Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Dr. Wright is immediate past chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and also chaired the AAP Task Force on Addressing Bias and Discrimination. He is currently a sitting AAP Board member and chairs the Board Committee on Equity. Dr. Wright has been recognized by the Academy for his long-standing leadership as recipient of two career achievement awards for distinguished contributions to the disciplines of injury prevention and emergency medicine, respectively. He is also recipient of the prestigious Shining Star Award from the Los Angeles-based Starlight Foundation for outstanding community service and the 2020 Diversity in Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal.

Dr. Wright provides national leadership through advisory and governance service to several health and human service entities including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the March of Dimes. He previously served as an Obama administration appointee to the Pediatric Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration, and has recently been appointed to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine study committee on Addressing the Long-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children and Families. Dr. Wright regularly presents invited testimony before Congress, state and municipal legislative bodies, has made numerous media appearances, and lectures widely to both professional and lay audiences.

Dr. Wright earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, his M.D. from Rutgers University, and a Master of Public Health in Administrative Medicine and Management from George Washington University.

BA, Psychology, 1979

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

MD, 1983 

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

MPH, Administrative Medicine and Management, 1994

George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC

Residency, Pediatric Medicine, 1986

Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC

Fellowship, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, 1990-92

Children’s Nat’l Health System, Washington, DC

SPHL601 Core Concepts in Public Health

Dr. Maynard J. Cohen Memorial Award, “For Intense Interest, Diligence, Excellence of Judgment in Care of the Pediatric Patient”, Children’s National Health System, 1986

Adele C. Smithers Humanitarian Award, “For Contribution to the Field of Alcoholism on a National Level”, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., 1992

Shining Star Award, “In Recognition of Outstanding Contributions in Health Care Service to the African-American Community”, Starlight Foundation, Los Angeles, 1994

Elected Member, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, George Washington University Chapter, 1996

Pediatric Ethicscope Essay Award – “Family-Centered Care and End-of-Life in Emergency Medical Services for Children”, Children’s National Health System, 2005

Academic Pediatrics Association Regional Research Award (senior investigator), 2006

Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) Pix Competition Award, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine (senior author), 2008

Distinguished Alumni Achievement – Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School, 2010

1st Place - Community Research, Children’s National Research Week Competition, 2011

Fellow Achievement Award, “In Recognition of Exceptional Contribution to the Area of Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention”, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011

Jim Seidel Distinguished Service Award, “In Recognition of Significant Career Achievements in Pediatric Emergency Medicine”, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013

Wall of Champion Honoree, Greater Baden Medical Services Federally Qualified Health Center System, 2014

Maryland EMS Star of Life, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, 2014

Elected Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Howard Univ. Chapter, 2015

Distinguished Healthcare Leader, National Association of Health Services Executives, Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter, 2015

Inductee, Academy of Medicine of Washington, 2016

Honoree, Outstanding African Americans in Medicine, National Medical Association, 2018

Outstanding Alumni Award, Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, 2018

Minority Business Leader Award, Washington Business Journal, 2020

Remick K, Gausche-Hill M, Joseph M, Brown K, Snow SK, Wright JL; AAP Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Section on Surgery, ACEP Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee, ENA Pediatrics Committee. Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2018;72:e123-e136 (jointly published – Pediatrics 2018;142:e20182459 and Journal of Emergency Nursing 2019;45:e3-e18)

Dixon G, Kind T, Wright J, et al. Factors That Influence the Choice of Academic Pediatrics by Underrepresented Minorities. Pediatrics 2019;144:e20182759

Dreyer BP, Trent M…Wright JL, et al. The Death of George Floyd: Bending the Arc of History Towards Justice for Generations of Children. Pediatrics 2020;146(3):e2020009639.

Dixon G, Kind T, Wright J, et al. Factors that Influence Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) Medical Students to Pursue a Career in Academic Pediatrics. [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 5]. J Natl Med Assoc. 2020;S0027-9684(20)30154-1.

American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors (lead author). Truth, Reconciliation and Transformation: Continuing on the Path to Equity. Pediatrics 2020;146(3):e2020019794.

Wright JL, Jarvis JN, Pachter LM, Walker-Harding LR. "Racism as a public health issue" APS racism series: at the intersection of equity, science, and social justice. Pediatric Research 2020 Nov;88(5):696-698.

Walker-Harding LR, Bogue CW, Hendricks-Munoz KD, Raphael JL, Wright JL. "Challenges and opportunities in academic medicine" APS racism series: at the intersection of equity, science, and social justice. Pediatric Research 2020 Nov;88(5):699-701.

Pursley DM, Coyne-Beasley TD, Freed GL, Walker-Harding LR, Wright JL. "Organizational solutions: calling the question" APS racism series: at the intersection of equity, science, and social justice. Pediatric Research 2020 Nov;88(5):702-703

Gausche-Hill M, Krug S, Wright J. Emergency Medical Services 2050: A Vision for the Future of Pediatric Prehospital Care. Prehospital Emergency Care 2021;25:91-94

*Nfonoyim B, Martin A, Ellison A, Joseph L. Wright JL, Johnson TJ. Experiences of Under-Represented Faculty in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Academic Emergency Medicine 2020 Dec 8. Epub ahead of print.

Wright JL, Freed GL, Hendricks-Munoz KD, Jarvis JN, Maldonado YA, Raphael JL, Schnadower D, Sims B, Bogue CW, Leonard MB, Coyne-Beasley TD. Achieving Equity through Science and Integrity: Dismantling Race-based Medicine. Pediatric Research 2022 Apr 5. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02041-8. Epub ahead of print.

Wright JL, Davis WS, Joseph MM, Ellison AM, Heard-Garris NJ, Johnson TJ. Eliminating Race-Based Medicine. Pediatrics 2022 May 2. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-
057998. Epub ahead of print