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Renee Mahaffey Harris Cincinnati Women in History Honoree

Source: Renee Mahaffey Harris / Renee Mahaffey Harris

Renee Mahaffey Harris is a committed advocate for the underserved and marginalized populations in Greater Cincinnati and the region.  She started her journey in eliminating health disparities with the Health Gap in 2008 and is now the President and Chief Executive Officer.  Harris leads The Health Gap in its mission to lead the efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through advocacy, education, and community outreach.  During her tenure at The Health Gap, Harris has co-led the creation of the Food Desert Task Force, jointly implemented the City of Cincinnati Health In All Policy, and launched several groundbreaking community-based health initiatives including the Black Women’s Health Movement.

Before joining The Health Gap, Harris held executive leadership roles in the private sector including her tenures as Vice President of Community Development with PNC Bank and Director of the Greater Cincinnati Local Initiative Support Corporation.  In the public sector Harris worked in leadership roles with former Ohio Secretary of State Sherrod Brown and former Congressman Charles Luken.

Harris’ serves as a member of the National Council of Black Health Ohio Statewide Health Disparities Collaborative, the Greater Cincinnati Oral Health Coalition, The Taft Lecture Series and has served on numerous boards including the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Council, Cincinnati Parks Foundation the Greater Cincinnati Urban League, Home Opportunities Made Equal and the YWCA.

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Harris was once named one of Ebony Magazine’s 50 Leaders of The Future. She is also a recipient of UC Health’s MLK Humanitarian Award for her work during the COVID-19 Pandemic and embodying the Dr. King quote: An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

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