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Blessed Sheriff


As a medical student at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, Blessed Sheriff served as the co-head of operations at the Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic.

There, she helped to do psychological evaluations and write medical affidavits to support the applications of asylum seekers in Rhode Island. She often interviewed victims of violence with significant trauma whose psychiatric needs were left unaddressed.

“I and other future providers cannot know our agenda for advancing equitable medicine without knowing the stories and statistics pursued by public health.”

Sheriff led a student team in conducting a needs assessment of asylum clinic clients, which revealed that a mental health referral was the most requested service. This inspired her to help lead efforts to revamp the clinic’s training protocols and evaluation and referral tools.

Sheriff had also witnessed the striking gap in mental services in global health while leading research at the Center for Learning and Childhood Development in Ghana. She investigated the consequences of caregiver burden among mothers of children with cerebral palsy, demonstrating the complex contextual factors affecting the mental and physical well-being of children and caregivers.

At the Bloomberg School, Sheriff plans to work with international students and faculty in the Global Mental Health Program and in Baltimore to develop research and advocacy collaborations that will help address unmet needs, locally and internationally. She also plans to gain a larger set of tools to perform analyses that can help change ineffective mental health policies.

“The global communities that I have spent my time caring for and intend to serve for the rest of my career are at stake,” Sheriff says.

Profile photo of Blessed Sheriff

BA, Public Health and Literature, Brown University, 2019; Medical student, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Graduation expected 2023