Wunderman Thompson Health Chief Medical Officer Dania Alarcon spent 2022 using her knowledge and experience to advocate for greater equality in health care. As an Afro-Latina woman with a background as a cancer researcher, Alarcon was able to launch Wunderman Thompson Health’s Health4Equity practice and receive a grant from WPP’s Racial Equity program to jump-start the initiative.
“[The grant] has allowed us to establish not only the practice but then to drive a lot of the partnerships with nonprofit organizations, with community organizations and advocacy groups,” Alarcon said. “Then in partnership with our clients, we could really do a lot of purpose-driven meaningful work to help historically marginalized communities improve their outcomes in health.”
In 2022, Health4Equity focused on Black maternal mental health and increasing earlier screening for prostate cancer for Black men. In the next year, she plans to look at how marginalized communities are often left behind during infectious disease outbreaks.
Alarcon also partnered with behavioral science consultancy BVA to establish a health equity index that is free to use for government organizations, nonprofits, brands and anyone else with a vested interest in health equity. She also made educational inroads with the African Science Academy to expose young female students in Africa to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.