Recognizing Black health professionals: Sheritta Strong, MD

Sheritta Strong, MD, UNMC Department of Psychiatry, assistant vice chancellor of inclusion

Sheritta Strong, MD, UNMC Department of Psychiatry, assistant vice chancellor of inclusion

For Black History Month, UNMC celebrates the achievements and contributions of Blacks and African Americans and encourages the community to reflect on our nation’s history. A series of activities are planned throughout February. UNMC also will highlight the perspectives of Black health professionals at the medical center.

Today, UNMC Today recognizes Sheritta Strong, MD, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, assistant vice chancellor of inclusion at UNMC.

How does Black history influence your life as a health professional or physician?

Because of her, I can. Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman to receive a medical degree in 1864. Dr. Crumpler paved the way for Black women like me to enter the medical field. It is no secret that there are less health care disparities when the provider identifies with and sees the patient as a whole person. Persons who are familiar or aligned with the race and ethnicity of their patients are more likely to listen to their concerns. It is my duty to inspire young Black/African American children to consider health care fields, especially psychiatry, to help decrease in these disparities. 

What has your journey been like as a Black health professional?

As a Black health care professional who grew up in North Omaha, my journey has been unique. As the only “one” in most settings throughout my training and career, I have made sure to surround myself with supportive individuals of all races and backgrounds to ameliorate the “othering” that often is felt in these settings. This has helped to minimize the isolation. Also, as one of the only Black psychiatrists in the state, I am sought out by persons seeking mental health treatment from a Black provider. It is truly an honor to provide care for these individuals but challenging since my clinical availability is limited due to administrative roles.       


  1. Dr. Howard Liu, Chair Dept Psychiatry, UNMC says:

    We are proud of Dr. Strong for being a visionary for inclusion across campus, an outstanding mentor and sponsor for diverse faculty and students, and for being a skilled psychiatrist whose practice reflects her commitment to equity. Black History Month is a time to celebrate leaders and teammates like Dr Strong and commit to a diverse healthcare workforce for the future of Nebraska.

  2. Peggy Moore says:

    Dr. Strong, thank you for your commitment to diversity and inclusion. Your leadership brings great value to UNMC!

  3. Lisa Spellman says:

    Dr. Strong, it is nice to see your voice highlighted but more importantly You are a shining role model for all women. Most especially for young Black girls who need to see themselves and see the strength, wisdom and humility you bring to your profession.

  4. Lucille Woodard says:

    Proud to see my former classmate and long time friend continue to be a resource and inspiration to our community. As she rises she lifts others. This is one of the most empowering things we can do. Keep shining my friend, as your light continues to shine on others.

  5. Lorraine Touray says:

    I’m so proud 👏 of you, I always was proud of you since the day I met you at the Omaha VA.

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