Chandra Ford and Gilbert Gee, professors of community health sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, have been chosen as co-recipients of the 2019 Paul Cornely Award for their work on the impact of racism on health.

Ford, associate professor of community health sciences and founding director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health in the Fielding Schoool, conducts research that examines relationships between racism-related factors and disparities in the HIV care continuum, and advances the conceptual and methodological tools for studying racism’s relationship to health disparities. In “Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional,” a new book co-edited and co-authored by Ford, academicians, students and community organizers explain how experiencing racism can harm a person’s health, and how people who work in the field of public health should address the problem.

Gee, professor of community health sciences at the Fielding School, focuses on conceptualizing and measuring racial discrimination in his research, and understanding how discrimination may be related to illness. Gee, who was previously honored with a group Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health for the development of a multicultural measures of discrimination tool for health surveys, has written extensively about the role of racism as a factor that spans the life course and across multiple levels of influence.

Ford and Gee accepted their awards at the annual Health Activist Dinner on Nov. 3. Established in the 1990s as an evolution of the annual Physicians Forum, the Health Activist Dinner is an event that allows for a spectrum of public health and healthcare workers and students to meet, share information and provide mutual support with the goal of promoting social justice. The Paul Cornely Award was established by the Physicians Forum in 1984 to be presented to individuals who represent the forum’s ideals.