L. Toni Lewis
Co - Founder, The Health Equity Cypher
Dr. Luella Toni Lewis pursued a career in social justice through medicine and earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Medical Doctorate from Georgetown University. In 2004, Dr. Lewis became a family medicine resident and a member of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU)–the largest physician’s union in the Service Employees International Union. Dr. Lewis became very active with CIR/SEIU, working with unions and allies to advocate for the community served by the failing system. She served the members of CIR/SEIU in many capacities from 2006-2010, including roles from delegate to national president.
She was appointed chair of SEIU Healthcare and elected International Vice President of SEIU. Dr. Lewis has worked with SEIU in many areas — including ACA implementation and health system transformation, global health, youth engagement, racial justice, disaster response, and political strategy. She serves on various boards and leadership committees of health and social justice organizations, including as president of the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York, and recent appointments to the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leadership Program, and the Equity Advisory Group for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
Dr. Lewis has a diverse set of tools to pull from for this mission. As Co-Founder of the Health Equity Cypher with Daniel Dawes, Dr. Joia Crear – Perry, Rev. Shavon Arline – Bradley, and Anton Gunn, is committed to the Cypher mission – improving the conditions of America’s most vulnerable, with a special emphasis on the Black community, through public health, health equity, policy, clinical and leadership strategies designed to target social systems rooted in institutional racism and classism.
In addition, Dr. Lewis founded Liberation Health Strategies, focused on community, national, and global holistic strategies for health justice. She is a licensed family physician and geriatrician and is internationally credentialed in Kemetic Yoga — an inclusive and afrocentric practice inspired by ancestral and ancient Egyptian culture–and Femme!–a multisensory fusion of dance, sensual motion, meditation and celebration for self-care, release, and empowerment. Dr. Lewis is originally from Mounds (pop. 800), a rural city in southern Illinois, and currently resides in the Bed-Stuy Neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.