UT Southwestern Events Calendar

Join us for the annual Black History Month Celebration featuring a panel of healthcare leaders. This is UT Southwestern’s signature event to celebrate Black History Month The theme for this year‘s observance is Reflect. Organize. Recognize. 

Reflecting on the history and contributions of our community; 

Organizing for an equitable healthcare future; and, 

Recognizing the need for transformative efforts to advance inclusion. All events and programs during this month will underscore this theme.

The topic of the panel discussion will be Organizing to Make Dallas Healthier. The panel will feature the President and CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dr. Frederick Cerise, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Ericka Walker Williams. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, Professor of Medicine, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.

Doors will open and a reception will precede the event at 11:30 am. This event is hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Office of Institution Equity & Access, and the African American Employees Business Resource Group.


Registration is required to attend this in-person event. 


About the panelists:

Ericka Walker Williams, M.D. UT Southwestern. Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. She specializes in primary and preventive care, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus. Dr. Williams earned her medical degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. She completed an internship in internal medicine at George Washington University and a residency in internal medicine at the University of Southern California. She gained advanced training through a fellowship in rheumatology and immunology at UT Southwestern. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2022. Dr. Williams is a member of the National Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American College of Rheumatology, and the C.V. Roman Medical Society.


Frederick Cerise, M.D., M.P.H. Parkland Hospital. Dr. Cerise is president and CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System, a large public safety-net health system in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he oversaw Medicaid and other programs for the state of Louisiana as secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. Dr. Cerise also held the position of medical director and other leadership roles at various healthcare facilities operated by Louisiana State University. He began his career as an internal medicine physician and spent 13 years treating patients and teaching medical students in Louisiana’s public hospital system. Dr. Cerise received his degree in medicine from Louisiana State University and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University.



Shawna Nesbitt, M.D., UT Southwestern. Shawna D. (Smith) Nesbitt, M.D., M.S., is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and a member of the hypertension section in the Division of Cardiology. She serves as the Medical Director of the Parkland Hypertension Clinic, as well as the Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, and. Inclusion Officer for UT Southwestern Medical Center. Originally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Nesbitt holds a bachelor's degree from Gannon University in Erie. She earned her medical degree at Hahnemann University College of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed internal medicine residency training at Allegheny General Hospital. She then received advanced training in hypertension through a fellowship program at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers. She also holds an M.S. in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She has published scores of scholarly articles, authored and co-authored a number of book chapters, and delivered many national and international invited lectures about these and related topics.

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