Ethnic Gem: Dr. Maysa Akbar PhD
Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Company: The Integrated Wellness Group. Title: CEO and Executive Director State: CT
By: Stephan Fortes, Senior Contributing Writer
Originally from the Carribean, Dr. Akbar was brought to the United States at the age of 4 when her family relocated to Brooklyn, New York where they raised Dr. Akbar.
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she attended an HBCU to pursue a Masters degree in Community Psychology at Florida A&M University. Dr. Akbar continued her education and obtained her Ph.D. from St. Louis University. Her final move was to Connecticut where she completed her post-doctorate in the field of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center. She has remained in Connecticut for the past 17 years with her husband and two children.
Dr. Akbar, has held many prestigious positions during this time including working as a psychologist at The Hill Health Center, as an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine and as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Wellness Group.
Her motivation to enter into this field stems from her struggles as a child in a broken family and having survived several traumatic events. At an early age, she wanted to know what kids like her could do and where they could go for help, mentorship, and guidance. When she was able to find that help and guidance, it made her strive to become a psychologist and give back to kids in similar situations as herself.
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She credits Dr. Vetta Sanders Thompson of Washington University as an early mentor who helped her find her inner strength and competence. She also has high praise for her peer mentor and college friend, Michell Tollinchi-Michele. She has found the co-mentoring with Michell an extraordinary support to have in her life.
What she has accomplished in her life is no small achievement. She is a United Nations ambassador for The American Psychological Association, the diversity representative of The Connecticut Psychological Association, and is a board member of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven and of JUNTA Inc. She has numerous awards & honors. Among them the Marquis Who’s Who in America, the Positive Impact Award – Hispanicize, the Leading Women Entrepreneur Finalist, Jamaican American Connection Trailblazer Award and Women Business Enterprise National Council Certified.
In 2017 she wrote a bestselling book, “Urban Trauma: A Legacy of Racism”. Amazingly during her downtime, she likes to read. Mainly books on leadership and the collective black experience like Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and books by Junot Diaz and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
She also has a passion for competitive athletics. She has run in both triathlons and road races. She feels that running not only keeps her fit but pushes her to improve, which ripples out to other areas of her life. In the coming years, her vision is to improve supplier diversity in the health care field, to network with community organizations and to continue to advocate and provide mental health services to low-income communities and vulnerable populations.
As a representative for the American Psychological Association at the U.N., she wants to bring issues of diversity and acceptance to the global stage and discuss how to improve race relations worldwide. There seems to be no doubt that she’ll be able to accomplish it all.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Maysa Akbar PhD as an Ethnic GEM!