Yolanda Lewis-Ragland's profile photo

Yolanda Lewis-Ragland

Attending Physician , Children's National Health Center

Yolanda Lewis-Ragland's profile photo
Location: Washington, DC
Start Year: 2022
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


Dr. Yolanda Lewis-Ragland is a double-board-certified physician in pediatrics and obesity medicine, owner and CEO of Family Fitness and Wellness for Community Health, and founder of Dr. Yolanda Cares Foundation, her nonprofit organization focusing on reducing health disparities in at-risk communities at home and abroad.

For 20 years, Yolanda has lived and practiced in one of the poorest and most traumatized communities in the nation’s capital, gaining the trust and respect of residents and, more recently, actively addressing heart disease in African Americans through her annual Heart-to-Heart Red Carpet Affair that educates families about the signs and symptoms of heart disease, and introduces practical and sustainable ways for families to address the stress of systemic racism, poor health outcomes driven by social determinants of health, and unconscious bias in healthcare delivery that contribute directly to hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and death.

Yolanda began her postdoctoral learning in public health as a PEACE CORPS health extensionist in West Africa, and completed her training at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She is a proud mother of three children and mentor to several youth organizations and trainees that she engages in community advocacy through her medical missions and health fairs throughout the Caribbean territories. Her most recent labor of love is a series of published writings on BIPOC healthcare workers in the pandemic, called Navigating a Triple Pandemic: Healthcare Workers of Color Confront Racism in America, Health Disparities in Medicine, and the Trauma of COVID-19.

Future Focus

Yolanda was just appointed as the director of community impact and health equity for the Harlem Festival of Culture in New York City. The festival will produce programs and activities designed to address intergenerational trauma of families and residents in the Harlem community and beyond, through free Transcendental Meditation trainings intended to decrease the physiologic damage caused by structural racism and implicit bias that result in conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, digestive illnesses, stress, anxiety, and other related mental health disorders.

Post-Institute: Transformative Action Plans

Yolanda is dedicated to the Black Resilience Matters (BRM) initiative, aiming to address equity, integration, and wellness in Black mental health, recognizing the shortcomings of our healthcare system for the Black community. The project targets Black Fatigue through a community-wide effort, aiming to interrupt violence and early-age trauma while encouraging a balance between rest and activity. Yolanda raises awareness about effective stress-release tools through wellness activities such as meditation through, emphasizing proactive approaches over mere stress management.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program