LeonardEgede_Academic Profile

Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS

Professor of Medicine; Inaugural Milwaukee Community Chair in Health Equity Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin; Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine; Director, Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS); Director MCW CTSI KL2 Program; Director, MCW CTSI Master’s in Clinical/Translational Research


  • Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS)

Contact Information


Leonard Egede, MD, MS is general internist, tenured Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). He is also the Director of the MCW Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS), and the Associate Director of Cancer Disparities at the MCW Cancer Center.

As a nationally-recognized health disparities researcher, Dr. Egede's research has focused on developing and testing innovative interventions to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location for chronic medical and mental health conditions. His career started with diabetes as a template disease, but he has since worked with other physical and mental illnesses. Dr. Egede has published over 240 manuscripts documenting the existence of disparities and showing that factors at the personal, provider, and system level have an influence on health outcomes. His work has led to recognition that disparities exist and moved the field towards focusing on what can be done to address inequities. He has also investigated the impact of mental health comorbidities on health outcomes, and found significant effects on prevalence, cost, utilization, functional disability and mortality. Much of his work has focused on the role of depression on diabetes and other chronic disease outcomes, investigating the independent effects and mechanisms. His work in this field led to changes in policy and clinical care guidelines to better acknowledge the confluence of mental and physical health.

Dr. Egede's work, funded by the NIH National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Defense (DOD), and Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development (VA HSR&D), developed and tested innovative interventions to improve health outcomes for African Americans with medical and mental illnesses. Technology-based interventions developed by Dr. Egede include the use of telepsychology to reduce age, geographic, and racial disparities and maximize reach for elderly veterans with depression; a telephone-based intervention combining efficacy of knowledge and skills/patient empowerment; a technology-intensified case management intervention where he trained nurses to titrate medications to improve outcomes in low-income and rural adults with Type 2 diabetes; and case management, technology and diabetes education to improve diabetes outcomes in African Americans with Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Egede is extremely committed to mentorship, providing mentorship opportunities to students, general internal medicine fellows, interns, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty members. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of the Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholars Program and currently has a K24 career development award, recently renewed by NIH/NIDDK, providing protected time for mentorship of faculty. Dr. Egede has trained 40 mentees over the past five years alone, including seven faculty, two post-docs, two doctoral students, one fellow, and 17 medical students. The quality of his interactions with faculty, trainees, and students is shown in their strong trajectories of moving from trainees to faculty, and promotion through faculty ranks, in addition to their own commitments to training. Dr. Egede was also the Principal Investigator of a T35 training grant providing research training to medical students, specifically under-represented minorities, early in their career. In addition, he is a strong supporter of pipeline programs and works to involve under-represented minorities and women in research during high school and early undergraduate school.

Finally, Dr. Egede is interested in global health and has expanded the work he has done in the United States globally through efforts to provide care and empowerment of indigenous communities, promote collaborative research projects with investigators in other countries, and develop innovative strategies to improve outcomes for non-communicable diseases, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. As part of this effort, he founded and is president of the non-profit organization Indigenous Health International (IHI), focused on providing health care and engaging indigenous communities throughout the world. Initial efforts have focused on the Kuna Indians of Panama, taking medical teams to provide direct medical care, offering community screening and education, and collaboratively work with the community leadership to develop and implement community empowerment projects. Dr. Egede's global health research has focused on the interface between the environment and disease progression by better understanding the role of stress, environmental factors, lifestyle and culture on chronic disease and prevalence outcomes. Additionally, he mentors faculty in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Lebanon, working on developing strategies for underserved populations and support research development in their home countries.

Research Experience

  • Community Engagement
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Global Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Services Research
  • Mental Health Services
  • Minority Health
  • Social Determinants of Health

Clinical Expertise

  • Chronic Disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Global Health
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Internal Medicine
  • Mental Health Services
  • Poverty
  • Self-Management
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Urban Population

Methodologies and Techniques

  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mentoring
  • Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care)
  • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
  • Regression Analysis
  • Research Design
  • Retrospective Studies

Leadership Positions

  • Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine
  • Director, Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS)
  • Director, CTSI Master's in Clinical/Translational Research
  • Director, MCW CTSI KL2 Program

MCW Program / Core Facilities

  • CAPS - Global Health Unit
  • CAPS - Health Systems Research Unit

Educational Expertise

  • African Americans
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Health Behavior
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Primary Health Care
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Telemedicine
  • Treatment Outcome