Dr. Marilyn Fraser is the Chief Executive Officer at the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center and the co-Director of the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. In her previous capacities as the Deputy Director and the Associate Director for Research & Training, she was primarily responsible for overseeing the Institute’s community outreach and research programs.
In March 2019, Dr. Fraser was named Power Woman of Brooklyn by Schneps Media at their annual Power Women Awards and Networking Event. The event honors top Kings County women for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the community.
Born in Guyana Dr. Marilyn Fraser is a graduate of the Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine in St. Lucia, West Indies, where she maintained an enviable scholastic record. During her medical education, she was afforded the opportunity to be exposed to various types of health care delivery systems, within the United States and abroad. Her medical training has included work in the West Indies, Mexico and various US cities such as Kansas City, Washington, DC and New York City. Dr. Fraser is a former scholar of the NHLBI funded Summer Institute Program to Increase Diversity (SIPID, now known as PRIDE) in cardiovascular disease; and, she has participated as a faculty member to train new scholars on the importance of community engagement in addressing health disparities.
As Program Coordinator for the Institute’s award-winning Black Pearls and Different Fades of Health programs, Dr. Fraser was instrumental in developing the programs into behavioral health intervention models. She was a co-leader of an investigative team of researchers supported by several NIH and CDC grants that have developed training curricula for hair stylists and barbers to educate their clients about breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and HIV/AIDS risk reduction. She has served as the principal investigator (PI) for a New York University – Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) funded pilot study to train hair stylists to deliver CVD messages to their clients. Dr. Fraser has served as the Co-PI of the team of investigators responsible for conducting the Institute’s ACCESS project to increase access to health and social services for formerly incarcerated individuals in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Fraser has leveraged her talents and assets in support of the collaborative work with the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, a partnership between the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, for which she serves as the Co-Director and a Principal Investigator. Dr. Fraser is also the Director of the Community Engagement Core of the NIH funded Center. In this capacity, she uses her strengths in health disparities research training on behalf of minority youth and in CBPR methods in order to engage community organizations in health disparities research and related policy work. She also serves as the co-investigator of the Center’s health disparities research projects to address HIV/AIDS and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in African American and Afro-Caribbean individuals.
Dr. Fraser has received various awards including the Health Award from the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators and being named as one of the extraordinary women of Downstate. In 2013, Dr. Fraser was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Research Specialist award to develop and implement a climate change and public health internship program for secondary school students in Trinidad and Tobago. This program, conducted in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine’s campus), provided didactic training for students on climate change and health disparities and hands-on training at local non-governmental organizations, where students participated in research projects. In recognition of her innovative community-based strategies to address health disparities, Dr. Fraser received the Innovator Award from the Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center at their 2014 Gala. Dr. Fraser received the Community Award from the Nurses Association of the Counties of Long Island (NACLI) in 2016. She was also recognized by CSR in the same year for her work in promoting health and wellness. In 2015, Dr. Marilyn Fraser was selected to serve on the Collaboration/Engagement Domain Taskforce (DTF), a component of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium, one of National Institute of Health’s largest and most important initiatives. She has presented her work at scientific meetings, nationally and internationally, and is a co-author on several publications and a book chapter.