Dr. George is a sociologist and public health expert with extensive experience in using social scientific theories and community-engaged methods in studying health inequities among minority, under-resourced populations. She is a Professor in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. She serves as the Course Director for Medicine & Society, a longitudinal course over the four years of the medical program. She also serves as the Chair of the Pre-Clerkship Phase Sub-Committee.
Additionally, Dr. George is the program director of the CDU Health Careers Opportunity Program, a $3.2 million federally funded pipeline program that provides academic and workforce preparation to at least 375 high school, undergraduate, and graduate underrepresented minority (URM) students from disadvantaged areas of South Los Angeles over the five-year grant period.
Dr. George also serves as the program director of CDU’s Community Health Worker Academy. Historically, community health workers (CHWs) have been based in community settings. As their presence is increasing in clinical settings, especially given that the state is reimbursing for CHW services, the CDU CHW Academy is partnering with clinical organizations such as Providence Health and Cedars Sinai in filling a critical gap to develop curricula and train CHWs to be effective members of health care teams.
Dr. George is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles. She serves as an Editorial Board member for two journals – Centers for Disease Control’s Preventing Chronic Disease Journal and on the Editorial Leadership Board of Journal of Patient Experiences.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and her master’s and PhD degrees at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a National Institute of Mental Health AIDS Research Training postdoctoral fellowship Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has also served as a consultant for Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research.
Through her research, teaching, and service activities, Dr. George has aimed to create the greatest positive impact by applying her expertise in sociological and public health theories and research methods to address health disparities among vulnerable and under resourced populations. Her areas of focus have included a) sociotechnical factors associated with the uptake and use of health information technologies in safety-net settings, b) the role of culture and community-based approaches to improving access to and engagement in healthcare and health research and c) health professional training across the spectrum, from pre-health professional students, Community health workers to medical students. Professionally her long-term goal is to deepen her involvement as an established educator and researcher, using community-based participatory research approaches to focus on public health challenges while developing new areas of knowledge in health education.
She has been the principal investigator on several National Institutes of Health grants and other foundation grants. She was also a lead author of an NIH-sponsored report on “The Cultural Framework for Health: An Integrative Approach for Research and Program Evaluation,” which outlined an innovative cultural health framework for research with multicultural populations. Her research in these areas has resulted in multiple award-winning peer-reviewed publications, including one co-authored book and a second sole-authored, both published by the University of California Press.