Elisa Friedman, MS

Director of Planning and Community Engagement

(615) 963-2825


Elisa is the Director of Planning and Community Engagement for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.  In her role, she helps strengthen existing partnerships, develops new community-engaged initiatives, and implements strategies to improve the Alliance’s overall impact.  Prior to joining the Alliance, Elisa spent fourteen years working with community health centers and nonprofit hospitals in Boston.  In this capacity, Elisa was responsible for planning and evaluating community-based health programs and managing high-level relationships with community-based organizations, as well as academic, hospital and community health center partners.  Although the content areas have varied, the common theme in all of Elisa’s work is a commitment to stakeholder engagement.  Elisa has also led a number of health improvement and quality improvement initiatives focused on using race, ethnicity and language data and the Office of Minority Health National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards to address health disparities.  Prior to her work in Boston, Elisa worked on HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives internationally.   Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, Elisa has worked in Mozambique, Angola, Brazil, El Salvador and Honduras.  She received a B.A. from Vassar College and a M.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.