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Center for Empathy and Social Justice in Human Health

Center Mission  

The mission of the Center for Empathy and Social Justice in Human Health (CESJHH) is to bring empathy and compassion to the work of addressing health injustice through research, communication, and advancing representation of marginalized communities in the STEM and healthcare profession pipeline.

 Guiding Priorities 

  • Building a diverse STEM community to support social justice in human health: The STEM and healthcare communities play featured roles in understanding and applying empathy and compassion.
  • Creating platforms to enable a deep understanding of racial injustice, establish programs, inform policy, and help promote systemic change to secure social justice benefits in human health.
  • Engaging the broader community to complement, partner with, and leverage the activities and goals of other Centers within Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion as well as other campus units, programs, and initiatives to increase participation of underrepresented populations in STEM and healthcare educational pathways and careers.


Center Leadership 


Center Director: Gentry Patrick, PhD

Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Dr. Gentry N. Patrick’s lived experience is a testament to the power to access, mentorship, and advocacy. His personal and professional journey into Neuroscience and academia has presented him with opportunities to leverage his own experience as an underrepresented minority student in STEM to innovate and advocate for systemic change in STEM education. Committed to diversifying the STEM and healthcare profession pipeline by building networks of support and access for under-resourced communities, Dr. Patrick has made a significant impact across the San Diego community. As Center Director for CESJHH, Dr. Patrick intends to leverage the power of partnerships and storytelling to diversify STEM and healthcare professional spaces, effectively mitigate health disparities among marginalized communities, and explore how the intersection of empathy, compassion, and social justice can measure and catalyze systemic change for improved inclusivity and justice in human health.