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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sleeping in, laying around ocean-adjacent with the fam, and ordering Thai food.
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.
Dim sum! We ate a lot of Indian food at home so going out for dim sum was always a treat.
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.
— Jen Leland, MFT, Founder and Director of Partnerships, Trauma Transformed