Black History Month: Profiles in Service

CUMC Newsroom
February 9, 2016

Olajide Williams, Stroke Educator

Olajide Williams, MD, obtained his medical degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, then trained in neurology and completed a neuromuscular fellowship program at Columbia University Medical Center, where he also received a master’s degree from the Mailman School of Public Health. He is now associate professor of neurology, director of Acute Stroke Services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and chief of staff/chief medical officer of the Department of Neurology.

Dr. Williams has contributed to the community as an international leader in stroke education and community-based behavioral intervention research. He co-leads the Center for Stroke Disparities Solutions, funded by the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, with physicians at New York University. Started in 2013, the center creates and tests programs aimed at lowering stroke risk among racial and ethnic minorities. As part of his work with the center, Dr. Williams uses short culturally tailored professionally produced films of stroke patient stories to improve stroke knowledge and prevention in adults. “Stroke is a mysterious disease for many people,” Dr. Williams says. “It’s a huge challenge requiring very innovative, creative solutions.”

As founder of Hip Hop Public Health, Dr. Williams creates and implements multimedia public health interventions that target youth around the topics of childhood obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. He developed “Hip Hop Stroke,” an innovative multimedia school-based stroke education program intended to educate children to transfer stroke knowledge to their parents and grandparents. [read more]