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Stephen Thomas

Professor and Director, University of Maryland Center for Health Equity
School of Public Health
Primary Expertise: 
Public Health
Health and Fitness
Health Equity

Stephen B. Thomas is the founding director of the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE), an NIH Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  He is a full professor in the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health.  He is internationally recognized as one of the nation’s leading scholars on community engaged interventions designed to break the cycle of risk factors associated with premature illness and death associated with chronic diseases such as hypertension, type II diabetes, youth violence and depression.

Thomas has been a lead investigator of multiple studies investigating racial differences in health outcomes, including a National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) funded National Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative entitled “Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers.”  Additionally, he has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CIGNA Foundation and numerous local foundations and donors.

In 2011, Thomas was selected by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown to serve as a member of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council Health Disparities Workgroup and was instrumental in the passage of the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Act of 2012.  In 2014, he was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the Board of the Maryland Health Care Commission.

Dr. Thomas has received certificates in bioethics from Georgetown University and the University of Washington.  His body of work, with Dr. Sandra Quinn, on overcoming the legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study contributed to the 1997 Presidential Apology to Survivors of the Tuskegee Study.

Dr. Thomas has been interviewed by national media including, but not limited to, ABC 20/20, MSMBC, PBS McNeil News Hour, NPR Morning Edition.


Ph.D. Community Health Education, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale
M.S. Health Education, Illinois State University
B.S. School Health Education, The Ohio State University