Dr. Khaalisha Ajala, MD, MBA is an assistant professor of hospital medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and based at Grady Memorial Hospital, a level one trauma center in Atlanta, GA. She is a Baltimore, MD native, a graduate of American Univ. Antigua College of Medicine and graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine’s Internal Medicine residency program. Dr. Ajala is also a health education advocate, mentor, DJ, speaker and founder and CEO of the health education nonprofit organization Heartbeats and HipHop, Inc. (HBHH)
In addition to being a hospitalist, her focus has gone beyond the hospital doors with education, prevention and the eradication of health disparities in urban communities. As a DJ and lover of music, she has found the importance of identifying hip-hop culture and popular music as a way to connect with various communities and age groups in order to promote disease prevention and healthy practices.
Dr. Khaalisha Ajala is a hip-hop head who loves to DJ and work for her nonprofit Heartbeats & HipHop, Inc when she’s not rounding as a board certified assistant professor of hospital medicine at Emory School of Medicine/Grady Memorial Hospital. Her love for medicine and hip-hop truly saved her life and kept her focused. In Baltimore, Dr. Ajala saw the effects that addiction, HIV, and crime could have on a city.
Dr. Ajala realized that she could be an activist in her own way and that was through medicine. When Heartbeats and hip-hop does a popup street clinic, they not only partnered with Fulton County Dept of Health to screen people for HIV while they screen for HTN, but they offer resources for free pap smears, mammograms, and programs for colon cancer screening. More importantly, they bring young doctors like herself and other medical professionals of color out in the community and away from their offices and bedside rounds.
“We seek to empower people to make informed decisions about their health care and nutrition. We have also hosted community programs that get people moving and in touch with their neighborhood medical professionals such as panel discussions on black men’s health, black women’s and the state of black health as a whole. We have also hosted donation based Stillmatic Yoga, a charity bike ride and charity hip-hop karaoke,” Dr. Ajala says.
Dr. Khaalisha Ajala has received numerous awards such as The J. Allen Garner, MD Memorial Humanitarian Award 2018, 2019 Educator Appreciation Day, Educator Award 2019, and 2020 Award for Excellence in Humanitarian Services.