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Skeptics Gets a Dose of Mindfulness & Positivity from NYU Langone Health Professional Dr. Brita Roy '98
Paula Hong '16

A huge part of a doctor’s job is to help their patients achieve and maintain wellness, longevity and strength. Yet, each doctor has their own theory and approach to achieving such blessings. Current clinical associate professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine Dr. Brita Roy 98, whose overall goal is to mitigate health disparities in communities using a “positive health” approach spoke at Skeptics. 

A huge component of Dr. Roy’s practice is the emphasis of maintaining “positive health,” to achieve wellness. In addition to talking about her role and the winding path it took to get her here, the health professional seeks to share her conceptual framework of the importance of “collective well-being, and how it can be applied to improve the health and well-being of the Blair community,” she said in a pre-event interview. 

Though Dr. Roy is an expert in her field today, when thinking about her chance to speak with young students on the hilltop, she couldn’t help but think about the struggles she faced and how each hurdle crucially impacted her overall journey. 

“Careers are long and life truly is a journey,” Dr. Roy starts, “I agree with Headmaster Curran that finding joyful purpose is essential—and you can foster joyful purpose through each phase of learning and life.”

“High school is an influential time and I hope students know that it’s okay not to know exactly what they want to do. The path and journey to finding what inspires them and brings purpose is more important than the destination.”

In the past few years alone, Dr. Roy has been a powerful influence in her Brooklyn community. She was a principal investigator (PI) of numerous studies, including one on using participatory group model building to understand the “interplay of various community-level factors that influence rates of physical activity and gun violence,” according to NYU Langone’s website. A direct result of that study was Dr. Roy’s co-designing of a community-based intervention project that aims to reduce rates of gun violence.

Additionally, she keeps additional community members safe while working as the director for the Community Health and Clinical Outcomes for Beyond Bridges, where she and her team design innovative programs and processes that promote equitable health outcomes across Brooklyn.

After obtaining her dual Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) degrees from the University of Michigan in 2009 and completing her residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, Dr. Roy began serving her community in New York City, where she worked as clinical associate professor at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Director of Community Health and Clinical Outcomes - Beyond Bridges. 

History of Skeptics
The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.

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