New York, New York, USA

Guyanese-born medical doctor serves as senior medical director at Oak Street Health in the Bronx

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Guyanese Dr. Yonette Davis is a senior medical director at Oak Street Health, where most patients are people of color. She works out of Oak Street’s Allerton Center in the Bronx.

Dr. Davis told Caribbean Life on Tuesday that she treats older adults and Medicare recipients, especially adults who are suffering from chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

The doctor, who is also certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative care, said many of her patients also have mental health issues, like under-diagnosed depression, as well as social and economic issues, such as dealing with violence and food insecurity.

Dr. Davis, who has experience in population health, transitions of care, clinical education, and health policy, said her mission is “to bring high-level quality care to the older population with complex health needs and to change the health trajectories of historically disenfranchised populations.”

She said she migrated from Guyana at 10, spending her childhood in Brooklyn.

She remembers going to a hospital growing up and being given a number. And during her visit, she said she didn’t see any doctors who looked like her.

Dr. Davis said this experience made her feel like “a number in a system” and that she was being “experimented on.”

She said this inspired her to enter the medical profession, where she aimed to prevent anyone from feeling like that again.

Dr. Davis said she joined Oak Street Health as a senior medical director in September 2022.  Before that, she was medical director at The Centers HealthCare, Subacute rehab facilities.

She was also a regional medical director at Optum, United Health Group, and had served as the chief of the Division of Geriatrics at the Brooklyn Hospital.

Dr. Davis received her medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1996.

She completed her residency in internal medicine in 1999 and a fellowship in geriatric medicine in 2008 at Montefiore Medical Center.

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