Meet the 2023 Plenary Speakers

Chris Chanyasulkit, PhD, MPH

APHA President Chris Chanyasulkit is grounded in a strong belief in eliminating the structural barriers to equity for marginalized populations. She holds leadership positions with local, state, regional and national governance and civic engagement organizations, working to promote racial, gender, and health equity.

Dr. Chanyasulkit has served as a Human Services Specialist and Assistant Director of Diversity in the Massachusetts town of Brookline’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations. She designed and delivered graduate public health courses at the Simmons University Department of Public Health. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University, where she teaches Public Health Advocacy in the College of Public Health. Chris earned a B.A. in Biology and Art History from Boston University, an M.P.H. (with a concentration in maternal and child health care) from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northeastern University, where she conducted research on health disparities.

In addition to her advocacy and scholarly pursuits, Dr. Chanyasulkit is Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA), an elected Library Trustee of the Public Libraries of Brookline, a Brookline Town Meeting Member, a Brookline Community Emergency Response Team member, a Brookline Medical Reserve Corps member, a Brookline Community Foundation Board Member, and a Mentor Mom for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Parent Connection Program. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, James, a software engineer, and their three children.

Priscilla Pemu, MD

Dr. Priscilla Pemu is an internist whose goal is to improve the health of all patients similar to those that she encounters in her primary care practice. The complex interplay of patient, physician, practice setting, environmental and psychosocial factors in perpetuating disparities in health outcomes led to her interest and work with the Community Physicians Network. In the past 15 years, they have developed a successful partnership based on a shared vision for improved care and outcomes among minority and underserved patients with community physicians who are part of the Morehouse Community Physicians Network (CPN). The overall focus has been on identifying gaps in treatment and outcomes and opportunities for improvement. As Medical Director of the Community Physicians’ Network (CPN), Dr. Pemu is responsible for planning and executing research and quality improvement initiatives.

Dr. Pemu is part of a team at Morehouse School of Medicine that developed a system and method for chronic illness care that empowers patients to change behaviors relevant to their health through improved knowledge, support for goal setting and accountability in sustaining behavior change. She completed a residency with the TED organization in May 2019. As a participant in this highly selective incubator for breakthrough ideas, she introduced the concept of Culturally Congruent Coaching. Her TED Talk, featured as Editor’s choice on, shared the results of 12 years of research observations about what predicts successful health behavior change. The talk brings attention to the impact of behavior on health and wellbeing among people living with chronic illnesses and the doctors who care for them. She also discussed Culturally Congruent Coaching; a high-tech, high-touch approach to support behavior change that has produced great results among diverse patient groups.

Dr. Pemu is a Professor of Clinical Medicine; Associate Dean for Clinical Research and Director of the Clinical Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine. She is also a proud mother of four; wife to Igho of 27 years, a sister, friend and daughter.

Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, MA

Dr. Brian Castrucci is the president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation. He has built the Foundation into a leading voice in health philanthropy and public health practice.

An award-winning epidemiologist with 10 years of experience working in the health departments of Philadelphia, Texas, and Georgia, Brian brings a unique perspective to the philanthropic sector that allows him to shape and implement visionary and practical initiatives and partnerships and bring together research and practice to improve public health.