MVT Women’s History Month Celebration Continues with Profile of Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Resident & Founder/CEO of Grapevine Health

Friday March 15, 2024

As Women’s History Month progresses we continue to spotlight the formidable women who we’re honored call Mount Vernon Triangle home. This week we profile MVT resident Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick who is a board-certified infectious diseases physician and a medical epidemiologist and the founder & CEO of Grapevine Health. She established the digital health media company to build trust and improve engagement among Medicaid patients by delivering culturally appropriate and relatable health information. Born out of the COVID-19 crisis, Grapevine Health is making strides to achieve health equity in America.

In our discussion with Dr. Fitzpatrick we learned what attributes, in her opinion, make women such great doctors and public health specialists, and got her advice for women looking to join the field:

MVT CID: What inspired you to pursue a career in public health?

Lisa: I didn’t set out to work in public health. Throughout medical school I planned to work as a ER doctor. But during my medical training I conducted medical research in Africa and met a bunch of public health researchers who opened my eyes to the field of public health. I was intrigued and upon returning to the U.S., explored the Epidemic Intelligence Service—the “medical CIA” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I applied, was accepted and learned about the fields of epidemiology, disease surveillance, and global health.

MVT CID: Did any women inspire or assist you early in your career?

Lisa: Yes, many. One of the women I met in Zimbabwe was a researcher from Johns Hopkins. I have also been supported and mentored throughout my career by incredible women doctors and researchers during my infectious disease training and CDC tenure.

MVT CID: How do you think your industry could benefit from having more women in positions of leadership?

Lisa: The fields of medicine and public health have already shifted toward female predominance, especially in public health. Both disciplines benefit from compassion, empathy, fairness, and less ego. Therefore, decisions often are likely to be more focused on addressing the needs of underserved communities. While we are seeing more women in leadership positions the healthcare and public health board rooms and executive suites have a ways to go before we see enough women in these positions.

MVT CID: What advice can you offer to women looking to join your industry?

Lisa: Be curious. Be courageous. Be confident. If this feels like a calling, you have to try and don’t be discouraged by the formidable challenges in front of us, like the pandemic we just endured. Medicine and public health will always need people willing to be on the frontlines of public health and safety. So why not you?

MVT CID: What is your favorite part about the Mount Vernon Triangle community?

Lisa: The restaurant explosion.

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