Director of Brain Injury for Stanford Medical Center, Dr. Odette Harris, Joins TeachAids
Dr. Odette Harris is the current Director of Brain Injury for Stanford Medical Center, where she focuses on implementing treatment algorithms to help patients with brain trauma attain a better functional outcome. She additionally serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System, holding responsibility for clinical, research, and educational efforts throughout the Polytrauma System of Care, Spinal Cord Injury, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation programs.
Dr. Harris is not only an incredible neurosurgeon, but also a change maker in the field of STEM. She is the first African American female to be appointed to tenure as a Professor of Neurosurgery in the United States and Stanford’s second female Professor of Neurosurgery. A University of California study highlighted in the Harvard Business Review found that women and people of color are 30% less likely to be given “glamour tasks” at work and are often asked to do the “office household” tasks, meaning that attaining promotions becomes much harder. Harris comments on her experiences in the medical workplace where “…most of my male co-residents were taller than me. We would go into a room, and the patients would talk literally right over my head, physically and figuratively.” On discussing how to change the workplace dynamic, Harris comments:
“I believe that hope has to be coupled with opportunity. We can’t just rest on hope. We can’t just say, ‘This is getting better. Things are getting better.’ We all have a responsibility to continue to make sure that those accomplishments and achievements continue and that there’s opportunity for people.”
Dr. Harris’ resilience and dedication to her field is truly inspiring. As the Site Director and Principal Investigator of the Defense Veterans and Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), she takes on multiple administrative and educative roles to ensure that Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are evaluated and treated properly. TeachAids is grateful to have support from such an experienced and passionate neurosurgeon. We are looking forward to learning from Dr. Harris and having her help making an impact in the world of head traumas.