New York City Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene
While visiting Antigua in March, Dr. Aletha Maybank shared ideas with the island’s minister of health, Parliament secretary and chief medical officer. She has since received word from the Antigua government that they are looking forward to her providing expertise to the island in various capacities. “I want to establish a wellness center that incorporates physical and mental health, but also the arts,” says Maybank.
Maybank is an assistant commissioner in the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She is the director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office, serves on the executive committee of Empire State Medical Association, the organization for New York’s Black doctors, and has given countless lectures locally and nationally on health literacy, health inequities and cultural competency. In 2010, she served on two earthquake relief mission trips to Haiti. “The most influential lesson that I have gained from being of the hip-hop generation is recognizing the power and the importance of the “right” messenger and the message. In public health, we have a wealth of information that is very beneficial to the communities that we serve. However, there exists a tremendous gap in knowledge related to knowing this valuable information by our communities. My ultimate vision is to be a powerful ‘messenger’ through media,” she says.
Maybank earned a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences at Johns Hopkins University, her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, and a master’s in public health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “I am not in favor of rigid boundaries in our lives; who I am at work feels most comfortable and natural if it resembles who I am outside of work,” she says.
Favorite book: The Bluest Eye
Countries visited: Israel, Czech Republic
Favorite charity: World of Money