Cheryl Talbert

Rise Up: Dismantling Institutionalized Racism Embedded in Healthcare to Improve Health Outcomes for Black Women

Clinical social workers are called to help prevent and intervene in health and social problems impacting communities and populations at large. For over 25 years, Cheryl L. Talbert has devoted her career to this work serving communities as a dedicated leader, passionate hands-on professional and collaborative mentor.

In her role as the Chief of Social Work for the Lexington Veterans Administration Health Care System she has oversight of 100 social workers across the organization. This agency is one of 170 VA medical centers and outpatient clinics throughout the country providing life-long healthcare services to eligible military veterans.

Cheryl has spent the last 10 years in healthcare in leadership roles at an academic medical center, as well as the VA.

With both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky, she has led a rewarding and learning career. She continues to advance and is currently a doctoral candidate for Doctor of Social Work practice (DSW).

Cheryl’s research is focused on dismantling institutional racism in healthcare to improve health outcomes for Black women. Her care, research and training is fueled by an overwhelming passion that was grounded by her own interactions and experiences with healthcare systems.

Among the proud moments in her career, her research on Post-Acute Care Partnerships and Patient Progression has been published in the esteemed American Journal of Managed Care. She has also presented to the American Case Management Association and was featured on the national stage for Vizient, the nation’s leading healthcare performance improvement company.

Cheryl is a member of Xi Sigma, the UK College of Social Work’s chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society, and completed UK’s Healthcare Executive Leadership Program. Her honors include the William C. Parker Fellowship for academic excellence and the Volunteer of the Year Award for her service to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

This leader has devoted her career to serving others, especially our most vulnerable communities. A native of Danville, Kentucky, she makes time to enjoy life with her husband and family, and enjoys traveling.