Ms. Fornessa T. Randal is the Center Co-Director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE) and Asian Health Coalition, a community-based organization affiliated with the University of Chicago. Fornessa has over 20 years of experience in health systems innovation, as well as minority and community health planning. Her background extends to cancer disparities research, public health, outreach, and administrative leadership. She is recognized both locally and nationally for her innovative approach to program design and implementation.

Fornessa has disseminated and transformed local health initiatives into statewide and national models and developed prototypes, which have been recognized by both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is the Principal Investigator for several federally funded programs, including the NIH’s All of Us Research Program as the lead for the Asian Engagement and Recruitment Core; Hepatitis B Outreach, Awareness, and Education to Immigrants; and SAMHSA-funded Coalition for Asian Substance Abuse Prevention.

Additionally, she is the former Assistant Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) – Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Disparities, under the direction of Dr. Karen Kim. Fornessa was instrumental in establishing and expanding partnerships within the Asian, African American, Native American, and Hispanic communities during her time with the UCCCC. She also served as the Partnership Director for the NIH-supported P20 initiative, Chicago Southside Cancer Disparities Initiative (CSCDI), to address cancer disparities among African American and Asian American communities. Prior to her current role, Ms. Randal was the founding Executive Director for a health management non-profit organization, which developed the nation’s first public private partnership to address the overutilization of the emergency room for primary care sensitive diagnosis among the uninsured and underinsured. Fornessa, along with Dr. Helen Lam, the Director of Research for CAHE, were the first to pilot a NIH-supported Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) cancer survivor program in Chicago’s Chinatown working collaboratively with the Chinese American Service League.

Fornessa received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California San Diego, her Master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree. Fornessa has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed articles and manuscripts, enjoys Marvel movies, as well as spending time with family and friends!