Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS Receives 2019 Hal Luft Mentoring Award
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS has been selected as this year's recipient of the Harold S. Luft Award for Mentoring in Health Services and Health Policy Research, awarded by the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS is the Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair in Medicine, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. She co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, a research center focused on discovery, implementation, policy, advocacy, and community engagement for communities at risk for poor health and inadequate healthcare.
Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is a general internist and cardiovascular epidemiologist who uses observational epidemiology, pragmatic trials, and simulation modeling to examine the impact of clinical and public health approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention in the US, in US population subgroups, and in other countries globally. She is an expert in prevention and previously served on the US Preventive Services Task Force as a member (2010-2017) and as vice chair and chair (2014-2017). She is an inducted member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Excerpts from letters nominating Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo:
“Kirsten’s significant contributions to medicine, science and policy make her an exemplary role model, but she has tirelessly provided mentorship, guidance, leadership development and training opportunities to countless students and faculty members such as myself across the country. She is one of the most intelligent, articulate, caring, and dynamic individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and I can personally say that her mentorship and advice have been crucial to my academic success.”
“Kirsten embodies the role of mentor as “trusted advisor”. She has been integral to helping me develop strategies in my own career decisions and to navigating tricky academic politics. As a young faculty of color, I didn’t really believe that I could “make it” in academia until I not only had a role model of color, but also someone who believed in my success and made herself available to ensure it.”
“Dr. Bibbins-Domingo has the gift of being able to guide her mentees to the most creative and impactful questions – her national role as the past chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force means she has an eye for key knowledge gaps and is able to quickly identify the evidence that policy-makers truly care about. It is from her that I have learned how to always focus on the big picture – the statistical details of the analysis don’t matter if the research question itself is inadequate.”
“She is also an incredibly articulate and effective communicator, and has taught me how to fine-tune the message for the audience at hand. As my own career advances, I have also benefited from seeing how she invests in her mentees and collaborators, identifies and encourages trainees from underrepresented minorities, and manages her (outstanding) research team.”
“It is her ability to demand – of herself and others –work of the highest quality while also trusting the team to do the right thing at all times that makes her a very effective leader. I have seen other researchers struggle with this aspect of leadership, and it’s great for me to learn directly from someone who excels at team-building, which is a key attribute required for academic success.”
“Dr. Bibbins-Domingo, through her words and actions, has been a role model for me and dozens of other faculty members and fellows who look up to her as a mentor. She has taught me how to build an effective team, ask meaningful questions, communicate clearly, and always watch out for the well-being of one’s mentees. The research we continue to do together feels truly impactful, her support gives me the stability I need to believe that I can successfully transition to the next stage of my career, and, just as importantly, her counsel remains a guiding light when I am faced with challenges.”
“Kirsten’s expertise spans a range of focus areas and she prides herself on mentoring junior people who have different backgrounds than her own. The common denominator across this broad terrain of mentored scholarship is the extraordinary quality of the work of these mentees under Kirsten’s guidance.”
“I have learned that she is willing to have the hard conversations that allow her mentees to grow and improve in order to thrive in academia. Her generosity in allowing mentees to find their own path, her high energy and encouragement, and her high standards mean that her mentees produce truly important scholarship that benefit their careers.”
“Kirsten is a mentor and a sponsor. She is devoted to opening doors for those around her. In addition to recommending opportunities to her mentees and actively nominating and advocating for them with others in positions of authority, she is also generous and honest in her advice to mentees. This openness to discuss the “hidden curriculum” in academic advancement is particularly important to her mentees who may not come from academic backgrounds and makes her particularly effective in helping to develop the careers of those who are underrepresented in academic leadership.”
“Kirsten has spent significant time discussing and prepping me as I apply for internal and external leadership opportunities. She has spoken about negotiation in our group of junior and mid-level women faculty at ZSFG, and her frank advice about how to value oneself has helped me advance within the university. Just as importantly, she has debriefed with me when I have not been successful, so that each experience can be a learning opportunity.”
“Kirsten’s honesty,energy, and generosity make her a perfect role model for her mentees. I have been on the executive committee for CVP, and I strive to emulate Kirsten’s simultaneous openness to others’ input and willingness to be clear and decisive. We have also shared staff, and she embodies advocacy and fairness in her approach to leadership and supervision.”
“On paper, her many accomplishments could seem intimidating, but in person she is deeply empathetic to everyday struggles and very willing to talk through not only work challenges, but also life challenges. Her mentoring advice to me has included whether or not to send my son to kindergarten at age 5, San Francisco school applications, and strategies to deal with the challenge of aging and ailing parents. She has been a devoted parent and family member throughout the time I have known her, and that helps me feel like it is possible to have a fulfilling family life and a successful academic career. She is also open about the occasional chaos that comes from our many roles, and I have always found that reassuring.”
“Kirsten tirelessly made herself available to read drafts and met with me 1:1, either by phone or at conferences. She offered scientific expertise to my manuscripts and grants and I have relied on her advice and guidance in developing general research direction and responding to grant review critiques.”
“Kirsten continues to set time aside during conferences to meet with me one-on-one; just two months ago, she sat with me for more than 1 hour, after arriving on a late flight from San Francisco to DC, to give me advice and reassurance on navigating a delicate change in leadership. I constantly encounter other mentees of hers who remark on her integrity, professionalism and leadership-life balance, which we all strive to emulate.”