Ilana Suez Mittman, PhD, MS, CGC

Ilana S. Mittman is the Research Program Director for the Center to Reduce Cancer Disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In that role, Dr. Mittman coordinates a five-year research effort investigating innovative measures in disseminating cancer prevention and treatment information to underserved communities in Maryland, using the principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). The project signifies a system-wide and state-wide collaborative effort focusing on community outreach and education, research and training.

Prior to her current role, Dr. Mittman was the Director of Health Policy Research at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, within the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions. In that role, she helped guide national efforts to diversify the health professions through forming state collaboratives and networking with professional societies, health professions schools, and other stakeholders. Dr. Mittman remains a consultant for the Sullivan Alliance which is now a not-for-profit organization based in the District of Columbia.

Mittman received her doctorate in health policy and management in 2005 from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was a Kellogg Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Health Policy Research. Following her graduation from Hopkins, Mittman joined the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, where she directed a project to increase diversity in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry in the state of Maryland and worked with local hospitals and academic health centers to increase cultural and linguistic responsiveness among health professionals.

Research Interests and Projects

For her dissertation, Mittman conducted community-based research on practices and perceptions related to genetic screening among an Orthodox Jewish population in Northwest Baltimore. After receiving her master’s in genetic counseling from the University of California Berkeley in 1984, Mittman spent two decades concentrating on equity in genetic screening and on the application of findings of the Human Genome Project to vulnerable communities. As a genetic counselor, she spearheaded national projects aimed at lowering ethnocultural barriers to genetic services among African Americans, Hispanics, Russian immigrants and Asian and Pacific Islander populations. Mittman was among the founders of the “diversity special interest” group within the National Society of Genetic Counselors and has called for diversification of the genetic counseling profession, which to date is one of the least racially diverse allied health professions in the nation. In 1996, Mittman became co-director of the genetic counseling training program at Howard University -- the only such program in the U.S. based at a historically black institution. During her tenure, the program reached national accreditation, and continues to be the major source of minorities entering the genetic counseling profession. Since attaining her doctoral degree in 2005, Dr. Mittman has focused on research and advocacy related to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in the various health professions and in research. She is also interested in understanding barriers to academic advancement of minority scholars.

Contact Address:
Johns Hopkins University
615 N Wolfe Street, Room E-6648
Baltimore, MD 21205

Contact Information:


Smedley, BD and Mittman, IS. The Diversity Benefit: How Does Diversity Among Health Professionals Address Public Needs? In Health Disparities at the Crossroads of Healthcare Reform. Editor, Richard Allen Williams, M.D. Springer Publications. Publication date: March, 2011.

Sullivan, LW and Mittman, IS. The Need for Greater Ethnic and Racial Diversity in Orthopedic Medicine. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Available on ePub ahead of print.

Sullivan, L.W. and Mittman, I.S. The State of Diversity in the Health Professions – A Century after Flexner. Centennial Issue on the Flexner Report. Academic Medicine 85(2). In press.

Mittman, I.S. and Katy, D. (2008) Diversity in genetic counseling: past, present and future. Journal of Genetic Counseling. 17 (4):301-313.

Mittman I., Maman, S. and Bowie, J. (2007) Exploring the discourse between genetic counselors and Orthodox Jewish community members. Patient Education and Counseling 65 (2):230-236.

Mittman, I., and Secundy, M.G. (1998) A national dialogue on genetics and minority issues. Community Genetics 1(3):190-200.

Mittman, I. (1998) Genetic education to diverse communities employing a community empowerment model Community Genetics 1(3):160-165.

Mittman, I., Cromblehole, W.R., Golbus, M.S, and Green, J.R. (1997) Reproductive genetic counseling to Asian Pacific and Latin American immigrants. Journal of Genetic Counseling 7(1):49-70.

Weil, J., and Mittman, I. (1993) A teaching framework for cross-cultural genetic counseling. Journal of Genetic Counseling 2(3):159-169