Black History Month Spotlight 2023

At AMHP, our mission is to bring together and strengthen the impact of Muslim health professionals to improve the health and wellness of all Americans. This month, strived to educate and highlight the contributions that Black Americans – including Black Muslim Americans – have made toward innovation in healthcare.


Our spotlights in 2023 include:


1.) Khadijah Abdullah

2.) Albert W. Pless, Jr.

3.) Dr. W. Marcus Lambert

4.) Dr. Qaali Hussein

Khadijah Abdullah

Khadijah is a Muslim, Public Health Professional, Entrepreneur, Activist, and Seeker of Doing Good. She is the founder of Reaching All HIV+ Muslims In America (RAHMA), a nonprofit that addresses HIV, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), Sexual Health, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in faith communities through education, advocacy, and empowerment. Khadijah is also the founder of the federally recognized National Faith HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Playtime Event Sitters, a premier onsite wedding and event childcare service.

Most recently, Khadijah joined Children’s National Hospital as an Outreach Coordinator in the HIV Prevention and Treatment Program. She is also a former Faith Ambassador with the COVID-19 Prevention Network and has joined the HIV Vaccines Trial Network Faith Initiative to continue engaging faith communities of color in conversations around the effects of HIV, disparities, prevention efforts, and effective community response.

Khadijah is always thinking of innovative ways to make a difference. Connect with Khadijah at We encourage all to support Khadijah’s initiatives and projects! Thank you, Khadijah, for all of your efforts.

Albert W. Pless, Jr.

Albert has committed his entire professional career to address health and racial inequities, and has over 25 years of experience working in community-based programs in the Greater Boston area. He currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Town of Andover, Massachusetts, an Adjunct Professor at the Tufts School of Medicine Online MPH program, and a guest lecturer at the Tufts School of Community Health.

Previously, Albert directed nationally recognized Community Health Worker programs for Black and Latino men at the Boston Public Health Commission and Cambridge Public Health Department. Albert is on numerous boards and committees, including the Men’s Health and Black Health Care Workers Caucus of the American Public Health Association (APHA), and Harvard Catalyst. He also served as a former Board President of AMHP. Albert received his Master of Science degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH.

We encourage everyone to support Albert’s initiatives and projects!

Dr. W. Marcus Lambert

Dr. W. Marcus Lambert is dedicated to promoting health equity and diversity in the scientific workforce. Dr. Lambert currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Research Strategy and Operations at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. In this role, Dr. Lambert oversees efforts to expand the university’s research portfolio in areas of health equity and clinical research. Dr. Lambert also co-leads multiple research training programs at Downstate, including TRANSPORT, a $10 million endowment grant with a focus on recruiting and training underrepresented scientists in health disparities research. As an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr. Lambert’s own research focuses on understanding disparities within the health workforce and their impact on health outcomes.

Prior to SUNY Downstate, Dr. Lambert was Assistant Dean of Diversity and Student Life at Weill Cornell Graduate School, where he led a $2.4 million NIH-funded Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) Program to increase the number and enhance the success of Ph.D. students from underrepresented backgrounds. Dr. Lambert helped to establish a new office devoted to student diversity and building community across the training continuum, leading to an increase in the percentage of Ph.D. students from underrepresented backgrounds. He developed mentor training programs for both faculty and students, including a near-peer mentoring program to help first-year students from underrepresented groups transition into their Ph.D. programs.


Dr. Lambert was also selected as one of New York’s Life Sciences Power 50 and one of Cell Press’ 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. He is also a member of such national boards as Cell Press’ Rising Black Scientists Award Academic Advisory Board and a member of NIH Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity Study Section. Dr. Lambert received his Ph.D. in biomedical science from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and his B.S. from Howard University. He also holds an M.S. in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research from Weill Cornell Graduate School. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and four children.


We encourage everyone to support Dr. Lambert’s initiatives and projects!

Dr. Qaali Hussein

Dr. Qaali Hussein is a double-board certified trauma surgeon, thought leader and sought-after speaker on leadership and culture change in the workplace. She is the Founder and CEO of Defiance Academy, a leadership training platform focused on leading culture change by empowering underrepresented women in STEM and also partners with organizations to address the critical factors contributing to hostile workplaces through talks, workshops and consulting services. 
In addition to her busy professional life, Dr. Hussein is the mother of six, all of whom she had during her intense training years. Her own experience living at the intersection of several marginalized identities while navigating the culture of surgery has informed her commitment to creating safe workplace environments. 
She is the Director of Acute Care Surgery at Acute Care Surgical Specialists and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Hussein received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch. She completed her general surgery residency and critical care fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. 

We encourage everyone to support Dr. Hussein’s initiatives and projects! 


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