Anti-Infective Research Lab Fellow Graduate Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir honored with Warrior of Distinction Award for outstanding DEI efforts

On Thursday, Nov. 4, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women honored Anti-Infective Research Lab Fellow Graduate Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir with one of three 2021 Warriors of Distinction Awards during a live Zoom ceremony that featured remarks from Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson and Rep. Debbie Dingell.

Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, PharmD
Dr. Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir

In addition to Abdul-Mutakabbir's alumni award, Kalimah Johnson⁠ received the student award and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Brandi Pritchett-Johnson was honored in the employee category. The awards recognize individuals in the WSU community who have demonstrated a sustained⁠ commitment to women, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Abdul-Mutakabbir, who holds a PharmD from the University of Saint Joseph as well as a Wayne State master of public health, is an assistant professor at Loma Linda University’s schools of pharmacy and medicine in California.

“As a native of Detroit, it was such an honor for me to have the opportunity to both train and attend Wayne State as a student,” Abdul-Mutakabbir said. “At the ARL, led by Dr. Michael Rybak, I was able to uncover innovative approaches to mitigating antimicrobial resistance, which proved to be very helpful as I have continued to navigate through my career. As a student in Wayne State’s public health program, I was able to learn how to apply all of the skills and knowledge that I have gained through my pharmacy career to explore novel methods to mitigate health inequities.

Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir with WSU colleagues at MAD-ID conference
Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir (center) with WSU colleagues Taylor Morrisette (from left), Razieh Kebriaei, Sara Alosaimy and Michael Rybak.

“Ultimately, the shared experiences that I had while at Wayne State have shaped my career and changed my life,” Abdul-Mutakabbir continued. “They have provided the basis for my dedication to amplifying, researching and overcoming health disparities amongst minoritized communities.”

Abdul-Mutakabbir was nominated by ARL Infectious Diseases Outcomes Postdoc Fellow Sara Alosaimy, who said, “Jacinda is dedicated to making the profession more diverse, inclusive and equitable, and to promoting positive patient outcomes, especially in minoritized communities. She has invested herself in advocating and creating opportunities to provide equitable health care, including organizing COVID-19 educational seminars in the community.”

These efforts were detailed in the Lancet-published paper, “Community-academic partnerships to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in minoritized communities.” While she practices traditionally in the ICU setting, Abdul-Mutakabbir has served as the lead as well as the co-lead pharmacist for several mobile community vaccination efforts developed by Loma Linda University as means of creating equitable COVID-19 vaccination access.

Warriors of Distinction award ceremony on zoom
Abdul-Mutakabbir accepted her COSW Warrior of Distinction award during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 4.

She has collaborated with minority faith leaders to successfully vaccinate more than 1,000 Black and Latinx community members, involving student pharmacists because “as emerging practitioners, it is important that they are aware of social determinant of health inequities and imperative that they have experience with developing and delivering strategies to minimize these inequities,” Alosaimy said.

“Jacinda, or Dr. JAM, as her students call her, is a phenomenal pharmacist, educator and public health advocate,” said WSU Applebaum Interim Associate Dean for Pharmacy Susan Davis. “By sharing her experiences and advice, she has empowered countless other health care professionals to improve equitable care in their own communities. Her friends and colleagues at Applebaum are proud to have Dr. Abdul-Mutakabbir represent our college and profession.”

Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir at ARL
Abdul-Mutakabbir working in the Anti-Infective Research Lab.

Abdul-Mutakabbir is on the leadership team of #PharmGradWishlist, which supports emerging pharmacist trainees who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx or American Indian/Alaska Native. She is also dedicated to amplifying gender equity in the profession, as well as the necessity of women of color in pharmacy, as evidenced in her paper “Ten recommendations to increase Black representation within pharmacy organization leadership,” published earlier this year by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. She also was recently appointed chair of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Health Equity Practice and Research Network.

“I am honored to receive an award from an institution and a city that have given me more than I could ever give in return,” Abdul-Mutakabbir said. “This is truly beyond my wildest dreams and expectations.”

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