Submitted by FAMU Relations
Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced alumna and former Florida Deputy Health Secretary Shamarial Roberson, Dr.PH., as the summer 2022 commencement speaker.
The 6 p.m., Friday, July 29 ceremony at the Lawson Multipurpose Center, 1800 Wahnish Way, is expected to celebrate about 450 graduates from the University’s more than a dozen colleges and schools.
A nationally recognized expert in health equity and public health administration, Roberson serves as the president of Health and Human Services at Indelible Business Solutions, one of the nation’s fastest-growing management consulting firms. In her role, Roberson works to address the social determinants of health and advance health equity by bridging the gap between government agencies and communities, especially for vulnerable populations.
Before joining Indelible, the Greenville, Florida native served in the No. 2 role at the Florida Department of Health.
“Dr. Shamarial Roberson showed exceptional public health leadership during the pandemic. As deputy health secretary, Dr. Roberson was instrumental in the establishment of FAMU’s community-based COVID-19 testing site originally located at Bragg Memorial Stadium in April 2020 and our vaccination site in February 2021. With more than 650,000 tests and 26,000 vaccines administered on this campus to date, clearly these initiatives have made significant contributions to the health and well-being of our local community and the broader region. We look forward to hearing her words of inspiration for our summer 2022 graduates,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
During her nearly 10-year career with the state, Roberson provided oversight for critical functions, including community health promotion, emergency preparedness, performance management, and disease control, and helped establish organizational procedures to advance knowledge and institutionalize the implementation of health equity efforts throughout the state.
Roberson is nationally recognized for her work supporting the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. She spent more than 450 days at Florida’s Emergency Operations Center, driving a portion of the pandemic response and guided the management of more than $2 billion in funding that the Department received to respond to the pandemic.
She facilitated collaborations with organizations serving populations at greatest risk for disproportionate outcomes, and strategically leveraged partnerships with minority-serving community- and faith-based organizations to ensure these populations received accurate information and needed resources, including face masks, COVID-19 tests, and vaccines, in a timely fashion.
Other notable accomplishments during her tenure with the Department of Health include spearheading efforts to increase state funding to advance health equity, supporting the implementation of new state legislation aimed at enhancing the Department’s infrastructure, enhancing inter-departmental collaboration, and overseeing the implementation of more than $6 billion in federal grants.
Roberson continues to be a distinguished leader in public health and lends her expertise on many boards and councils, including the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Social Determinants of Health Committee, the editorial board for the Centers for Disease Control Preventing Chronic Diseases Journal, and locally to Big Bend Cares and the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.
She recently established the DSR Public Health Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to provide evidence-based strategies to meet the needs of communities and improve public health outcomes through innovative approaches.
Roberson completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Services, and a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from Florida State University, as well as a Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from FAMU. She lives in Tallahassee with her two children.
For those attending the commencement ceremony, the University strongly encourages attendees to wear masks inside the Lawson Center. The clear bag policy will be enforced. Doors will open at 4 p.m. Shuttle service will be available from the Welcome Center and others designated parking lots on campus. For more information, visit www.FAMU.edu/commencement.
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