about us

our story

KINSHIFT was founded by Kelly Davis, MPA and Simran Chaudhri MD, MPH, who first collaborated at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), where they created a Trauma-and-Resilience-Informed Systems (TRIS) training and institutional transformation process for the Maternity Hospital Quality Improvement Network. As the first project in the country working at the nexus of anti-racism, health equity, and trauma-and-resilience-informed care, TRIS addressed how trauma and bias are enshrined within healthcare to improve birth outcomes for Black women and birthing people.

In the years since launching TRIS, Kelly and Simran have used their innovative model to customize solutions for public health practitioners, healthcare systems, and community-based organizations across the country. KINSHIFT models its vision -- trusting and authentic multi-ethnic partnerships between the healthcare workforce and communities. As women of color trained in medicine and public health, we know the harms trauma and racism can inflict both professionally and personally. For KINSHIFT, dismantling racism, misogyny, and homophobia, isn't a purely intellectual pursuit.

Our lives depend on it.

kelly davis, mpa

Where is the most memorable place you have travelled?

I spent a summer working as a nurse’s assistant in a palliative radiation ward in Freiburg, Germany. Taking care of people at the end of their lives was a cathartic experience and one of my greatest honors. Working within that healthcare system also showed me the ways that American healthcare could improve both outcomes and patient experiences.

Why are you so passionate about racial and health equity work?

My grandmother, dad, mom, aunt and brother are all Black clinicians in the deep South. I have seen the ways they experience racism, in the community and at work, while simultaneously fighting to give their patients quality care. I am not a doctor or nurse like they are, but my work is a living love letter to my family and the people we are dedicated to serving.

Which of your hobbies brings you the most fulfillment?

My newest hobby makes me so happy! I recently began hiking, which I NEVER thought I would enjoy. For my first long hike, I travelled to Acadia National Park in Maine. During a time characterized by distress and devastation, spending time moving in nature has brought me solace and peace.

Photo of Kelly smiling warmly

Kelly is KINSHIFT’s Co-founder, Chief Equity Officer, and racial and gender justice expert. She received her BA from Princeton University and MPA in Health Policy from New York University. As the descendant of Africans enslaved in the Americas, her understanding of the impact of racism on health is informed by her life experience and extensive public health career.

She has led a series of innovative activities throughout her fifteen-year career in public health, including serving as one of the founding members of the NYC Health Department’s Center for Health Equity and catalyzing NYC's first HIV public awareness campaign entirely focused on women. She lives in New York City with her dog Bernie, many plants, and even more lipsticks.

simran chaudhri, md mph

Describe your perfect Saturday.

Sleeping in, laying around ocean-adjacent with the fam, and ordering Thai food.

How does your life context affect your perspective as a public health physician?

Growing up as a child of hardworking immigrants, I have immense gratitude, empathy, and respect for all underdogs doing their best to give their kids more than they had. This perspective drives my work as a public health physician, continuously striving to make it a bit easier for those trying to build a better world.

What was your favorite childhood meal?

Dim sum! We ate a lot of Indian food at home so going out for dim sum was always a treat.

Photo of Simran warmly smiling

Simran is KINSHIFT’s Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer, and trauma-and-resilience-informed care expert. She received her MD from Imperial College London and her MPH in Population and Family Health from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. Simran practiced primary care in the UK National Health Service before transitioning to a career in public health to improve healthcare access and equity for marginalized populations.

Her varied global and local experience includes public health research and programming with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the NYC Health Department, among others. A proud child of Indian and Chinese immigrants, she currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters.

"Kelly and Simran fill a crucial gap in the field of systems transformation and organizational change--namely that most consultants lack proximate experience with the practices or systems who come to them seeking guidance. Leading system change at the nexus of racial justice and trauma-informed care, KINSHIFT gets it. They understand the complexities of transforming systems because they have led institutional change from within. They understand frontline provider experiences and barriers to change within complex institutions. For this reason, Trauma Transformed recently hired KINSHIFT to bring their expertise to complex healthcare and government organizations struggling to create just and healing organizational cultures. After bringing KINSHIFT on board, one large hospital immediately saw improvement in metrics of change and workforce confidence to enact institutional improvements. This is what happens when proximity and purpose collide for individual and organizational growth and healing. They just get it: the work, the struggle, and how to facilitate real change.”

— Jen Leland, MFT, Founder and Director of Partnerships, Trauma Transformed