Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Mary Travis Bassett, M.D.

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Overview
Mary T. Bassett is the Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, as well as the FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity. Prior to her directorship at the FXB Center, Dr. Bassett served for four years as commissioner of Health for New York City. As commissioner, she worked to ensure that every New York City neighborhood supported the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across the city.

Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived in Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years. Previously, she was the Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She received her B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University and her M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center, and has a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

Bibliographic
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Bassett MT, Chen JT, Krieger N. Variation in racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality by age in the United States: A cross-sectional study. PLoS Med. 2020 10; 17(10):e1003402. PMID: 33079941.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  2. Bassett MT, Galea S. Reparations as a Public Health Priority - A Strategy for Ending Black-White Health Disparities. N Engl J Med. 2020 Oct 08. PMID: 33031653.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  3. Shiman LJ, Freeman K, Bedell J, Bassett MT. Making Injustice Visible: How a Health Department Can Demonstrate the Connection Between Structural Racism and the Health of Whole Neighborhoods. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2020 Sep 09. PMID: 32956297.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  4. Bailey Z, Linos N, Bassett MT. Inequities in the Mortality Rates of Older Americans-Race, Sex, Place, and Time. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Aug 03; 3(8):e2012437. PMID: 32744627.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  5. Jiménez MC, Cowger TL, Simon LE, Behn M, Cassarino N, Bassett MT. Epidemiology of COVID-19 Among Incarcerated Individuals and Staff in Massachusetts Jails and Prisons. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 08 03; 3(8):e2018851. PMID: 32821919.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  6. Cowger TL, Davis BA, Etkins OS, Makofane K, Lawrence JA, Bassett MT, Krieger N. Comparison of Weighted and Unweighted Population Data to Assess Inequities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Deaths by Race/Ethnicity Reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jul 01; 3(7):e2016933. PMID: 32721026.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  7. Richardson ET, Malik MM, Darity WA, Mullen AK, Malik M, Benton A, Bassett MT, Farmer PE, Worden L, Jones JH. Reparations for Black American Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the U.S. and Their Estimated Impact on SARS-CoV-2 Transmission. medRxiv. 2020 Jun 05. PMID: 32577701.
    Citations:    
  8. Krieger N, Van Wye G, Huynh M, Waterman PD, Maduro G, Li W, Gwynn RC, Barbot O, Bassett MT. Structural Racism, Historical Redlining, and Risk of Preterm Birth in New York City, 2013-2017. Am J Public Health. 2020 07; 110(7):1046-1053. PMID: 32437270.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  9. Cloud DH, Bassett MT, Graves J, Fullilove RE, Brinkley-Rubinstein L. Documenting and Addressing the Health Impacts of Carceral Systems. Am J Public Health. 2020 01; 110(S1):S5. PMID: 31967878.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  10. Williams C, Amon JJ, Bassett MT, Diez Roux AV, Farmer PE. 25 Years: Exploring the Health and Human Rights Journey. Health Hum Rights. 2019 12; 21(2):279-282. PMID: 31885456.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  11. Perl SB, Merrill TG, Lopez W, Bassett MT. The Legacy of 1987 Boreali v. Axelrod: Board of Health Rule-Making Under Siege. Am J Public Health. 2019 01; 109(1):92-95. PMID: 30495990.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  12. Bassett MT, Graves JD. Uprooting Institutionalized Racism as Public Health Practice. Am J Public Health. 2018 Apr; 108(4):457-458. PMID: 29513591.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  13. Merrill TG, Lopez W, Perl SB, Bassett MT. The Judicial Threat to Public Health Innovation - The Sword of Boreali. N Engl J Med. 2018 Feb 08; 378(6):499-501. PMID: 29414275.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  14. Bassett MT, Krieger N, Bailey Z. Charlottesville: blatant racism, not grievances, on display. Lancet. 2017 11 18; 390(10109):2243. PMID: 29165264.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
  15. Narayan R, Gwynn RC, Bassett MT. Commentary: New York City: measuring progress as it's made. Int J Epidemiol. 2017 08 01; 46(4):1248-1250. PMID: 28338780.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  16. Bassett MT. Public Health Meets the Problem of the Color Line. Am J Public Health. 2017 05; 107(5):666-667. PMID: 28398798.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  17. Bassett MT, Wye GV, Huynh M, Paone D, Kunins HV. White individuals' risk of premature mortality in context. Lancet. 2017 04 08; 389(10077):1393. PMID: 28402815.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  18. Bailey ZD, Krieger N, Agénor M, Graves J, Linos N, Bassett MT. Structural racism and health inequities in the USA: evidence and interventions. Lancet. 2017 04 08; 389(10077):1453-1463. PMID: 28402827.
    Citations: 143     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  19. Bassett MT, Balter S. Regulating Cooling Towers to Prevent Outbreaks of Legionnaires' Disease. Public Health Rep. 2017 Mar/Apr; 132(2):133-135. PMID: 28147210.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  20. Bassett MT. Beyond Berets: The Black Panthers as Health Activists. Am J Public Health. 2016 10; 106(10):1741-3. PMID: 27626339.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  21. Tsao TY, Konty KJ, Van Wye G, Barbot O, Hadler JL, Linos N, Bassett MT. Estimating Potential Reductions in Premature Mortality in New York City From Raising the Minimum Wage to $15. Am J Public Health. 2016 06; 106(6):1036-41. PMID: 27077350.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  22. Belkin G, Linos N, Perlman SE, Norman C, Bassett MT. A roadmap for better mental health in New York City. Lancet. 2016 Jan 16; 387(10015):207-8. PMID: 26621182.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  23. Linos N, Bassett MT. Added Sugar Intake and Public Health. JAMA. 2015 Jul 14; 314(2):187. PMID: 26172901.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  24. Bassett MT. #BlackLivesMatter--a challenge to the medical and public health communities. N Engl J Med. 2015 Mar 19; 372(12):1085-7. PMID: 25692912.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  25. Bassett MT, Brudney K. Treating our way out of AIDS? Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb; 104(2):200-3. PMID: 24328645.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  26. Bassett MT. Of personal choice and level playing fields: why we need government policies on food content. Am J Public Health. 2012 Sep; 102(9):1624. PMID: 22813467.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  27. Krieger N, Bassett MT, Gomez SL. Breast and cervical cancer in 187 countries between 1980 and 2010. Lancet. 2012 Apr 14; 379(9824):1391-2. PMID: 22500876.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  28. Bassett MT. Advocacy: a leadership role for public health. Am J Public Health. 2011 Feb; 101(2):202. PMID: 21228281.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  29. Dumanovsky T, Huang CY, Bassett MT, Silver LD. Consumer awareness of fast-food calorie information in New York City after implementation of a menu labeling regulation. Am J Public Health. 2010 Dec; 100(12):2520-5. PMID: 20966367.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  30. Farley TA, Caffarelli A, Bassett MT, Silver L, Frieden TR. New York City's fight over calorie labeling. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Nov-Dec; 28(6):w1098-109. PMID: 19808704.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  31. Huang C, Dumanovsky T, Silver LD, Nonas C, Bassett MT. Calories from beverages purchased at 2 major coffee chains in New York City, 2007. Prev Chronic Dis. 2009 Oct; 6(4):A118. PMID: 19754994.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  32. Chamany S, Silver LD, Bassett MT, Driver CR, Berger DK, Neuhaus CE, Kumar N, Frieden TR. Tracking diabetes: New York City's A1C Registry. Milbank Q. 2009 Sep; 87(3):547-70. PMID: 19751279.
    Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  33. Angell SY, Silver LD, Goldstein GP, Johnson CM, Deitcher DR, Frieden TR, Bassett MT. Cholesterol control beyond the clinic: New York City's trans fat restriction. Ann Intern Med. 2009 Jul 21; 151(2):129-34. PMID: 19620165.
    Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  34. Dumanovsky T, Nonas CA, Huang CY, Silver LD, Bassett MT. What people buy from fast-food restaurants: caloric content and menu item selection, New York City 2007. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Jul; 17(7):1369-74. PMID: 19343015.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  35. Bassett MT. Bold steps for the health of Americans: yes we can. Am J Public Health. 2009 Apr; 99(4):587. PMID: 19197076.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  36. Springer CM, Tannert Niang KM, Matte TD, Miller N, Bassett MT, Frieden TR. Do medical students know enough about smoking to help their future patients? Assessment of New York City fourth-year medical students' knowledge of tobacco cessation and treatment for nicotine addiction. Acad Med. 2008 Oct; 83(10):982-9. PMID: 18820533.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  37. Zabos GP, Northridge ME, Ro MJ, Trinh C, Vaughan R, Howard JM, Lamster I, Bassett MT, Cohall AT. Lack of oral health care for adults in harlem: a hidden crisis. Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep; 98(9 Suppl):S102-5. PMID: 18687589.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    
  38. Silver L, Bassett MT. Food safety for the 21st century. JAMA. 2008 Aug 27; 300(8):957-9. PMID: 18728271.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  39. Bassett MT, Dumanovsky T, Huang C, Silver LD, Young C, Nonas C, Matte TD, Chideya S, Frieden TR. Purchasing behavior and calorie information at fast-food chains in New York City, 2007. Am J Public Health. 2008 Aug; 98(8):1457-9. PMID: 18556597.
    Citations: 52     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  40. Frieden TR, Bassett MT, Thorpe LE, Farley TA. Public health in New York City, 2002-2007: confronting epidemics of the modern era. Int J Epidemiol. 2008 Oct; 37(5):966-77. PMID: 18540026.
    Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  41. Karpati AM, Bassett MT, McCord C. Neighbourhood mortality inequalities in New York City, 1989-1991 and 1999-2001. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006 Dec; 60(12):1060-4. PMID: 17108302.
    Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  42. Corbett EL, Dauya E, Matambo R, Cheung YB, Makamure B, Bassett MT, Chandiwana S, Munyati S, Mason PR, Butterworth AE, Godfrey-Faussett P, Hayes RJ. Uptake of workplace HIV counselling and testing: a cluster-randomised trial in Zimbabwe. PLoS Med. 2006 Jul; 3(7):e238. PMID: 16796402.
    Citations: 61     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  43. Bassett MT. Diabetes is epidemic. Am J Public Health. 2005 Sep; 95(9):1496. PMID: 16211717.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  44. Miller N, Frieden TR, Liu SY, Matte TD, Mostashari F, Deitcher DR, Cummings KM, Chang C, Bauer U, Bassett MT. Effectiveness of a large-scale distribution programme of free nicotine patches: a prospective evaluation. Lancet. 2005 May 28-Jun 3; 365(9474):1849-54. PMID: 15924980.
    Citations: 62     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  45. Bassett MT, Perl S. Obesity: the public health challenge of our time. Am J Public Health. 2004 Sep; 94(9):1477. PMID: 15359488.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  46. Stover GN, Bassett MT. Practice is the purpose of public health. Am J Public Health. 2003 Nov; 93(11):1799-801. PMID: 14600042.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  47. Krieger N, Northridge M, Gruskin S, Quinn M, Kriebel D, Davey Smith G, Bassett M, Rehkopf DH, Miller C. Assessing health impact assessment: multidisciplinary and international perspectives. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2003 Sep; 57(9):659-62. PMID: 12933768.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  48. Bassett MT. Smoking among deprived populations: not just a matter of choice. Am J Public Health. 2003 Jul; 93(7):1035; author reply 1035-6. PMID: 12835169.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  49. Zabos GP, Northridge ME, Ro MJ, Trinh C, Vaughan R, Moon Howard J, Lamster I, Bassett MT, Cohall AT. Lack of oral health care for adults in Harlem: a hidden crisis. Am J Public Health. 2002 Jan; 92(1):49-52. PMID: 11772760.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  50. Bassett MT. Keeping the M in MTCT: women, mothers, and HIV prevention. Am J Public Health. 2001 May; 91(5):701-3. PMID: 11344872.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  51. Bassett MT. The pursuit of equity in health: reflections on race and public health data in Southern Africa. Am J Public Health. 2000 Nov; 90(11):1690-3. PMID: 11076231.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  52. Fullilove RE, Fullilove MT, Northridge ME, Ganz ML, Bassett MT, McLean DE, Aidala AA, Gemson DH, McCord C. Risk factors for excess mortality in Harlem. Findings from the Harlem Household Survey. Am J Prev Med. 1999 Apr; 16(3 Suppl):22-8. PMID: 10198677.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  53. Diez-Roux AV, Northridge ME, Morabia A, Bassett MT, Shea S. Prevalence and social correlates of cardiovascular disease risk factors in Harlem. Am J Public Health. 1999 Mar; 89(3):302-7. PMID: 10076477.
    Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  54. Northridge ME, Morabia A, Ganz ML, Bassett MT, Gemson D, Andrews H, McCord C. Contribution of smoking to excess mortality in Harlem. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Feb 01; 147(3):250-8. PMID: 9482499.
    Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  55. Bassett MT, Levy LM, Chetsanga C, Chokunonga E. Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry: summary data 1986-1989. National Cancer Registry Advisory Committee. Cent Afr J Med. 1992 Mar; 38(3):91-4. PMID: 1516126.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  56. Bassett MT, Krieger N. Social class and black-white differences in breast cancer survival. Am J Public Health. 1986 Dec; 76(12):1400-3. PMID: 3777285.
    Citations: 50     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.