Panel Bios – Healthcare

Wizdom P.

Dr. Wizdom Powell, Director of the Health Disparities Institute, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UCONN Health

Dr. Powell is the Director of The University of Connecticut Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UConn Health. She served as the 2020 President of the American Psychological Association, Society for the Study of Men and Masculinities (Division 51) Men and Masculinities, and is an honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Her local, national, and international health research investigates the interplay between stress (e.g., race-related), social constructions of masculinity, and Black male health disparities. In 2011-2012, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a White House Fellow to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In addition to being a White House Fellow, she is an American Psychological Association (APA) Minority, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Burch Leadership, Institute of African American Research, and Ford Foundation Fellow. Dr. Powell was awarded a 2017 academic writing residency at the Bellagio Center from the Rockefeller Foundation.


Steven Hernández, Esq. Executive Director for the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity

Steven Hernández, Esq. is the Executive Director of the CT Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity, a non-partisan agency of the Connecticut General Assembly.  He previously served the CT state legislature as Director of Public Policy and Research for the Connecticut Commission on Children.  Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Hernández served seven years as legislative and budget director in the office of Washington, D.C., Council member Jim Graham. Mr. Hernández served as a clerk to two judges in the District’s Court of Appeals and as a consultant to the Washington law firm Baker & Miller, PLLC. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bennington College in Vermont in 1995 and a Juris Doctor Degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.


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Jens R.

Dr. Jens Rueter, Chief Medical Officer of The Jackson Laboratory, Medical Director of the Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI) and Associate Director for Regional Translational Partnerships of the JAX Cancer Center (JAXCC)

Dr Rueter provides strategic guidance for the MCGI in its pursuit of enabling deep integration of Precision Oncology into clinical care.  His team executes this vison through the coordination and implementation of clinical research studies with oncology community practices in Northern New England.  Dr. Rueter came to JAX from Eastern Maine Medical Center Cancer Care (EMMC) in Brewer, ME, where he was the medical director for EMMC’s Translational Oncology Program and the EMMC Biobank. He has been a hematologist/oncologist at EMMC Cancer Care (now Northern Light EMMC Cancer care) since 2010, and a member of the JAX adjunct faculty since 2012. Prior to joining JAX, Dr. Rueter collaborated with several JAX investigators and technicians on developing new approaches to treating cancers while advancing translational research at EMMC. After graduating from medical school in Berlin, Germany, Rueter completed his residency in internal medicine at Tulane University and fellowship training in hematology/oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.