Henry Ford Health Faculty

Visit HenryFordMSU.org to learn more about the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership.

Karen L. Smith, LMSW, PhD, HEC-C

Karen Smith

Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Bioethics and Social Justice

  • Director of Ethics Integration, Henry Ford Health
  • ksmith67@hfhs.org
  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • PhD 2011 University of Tennessee
  • MSW 1990 Indiana University
  • Curriculum Vitae


Karen Smith has been a member of hospital ethics committees for over 20 years. She is currently the Director of Ethics Integration for Henry Ford Health, a six-hospital system in metro Detroit. Dr. Smith publishes on issues related to clinical ethics the hospital setting. She specializes in death and dying issues and often works to educate the public on Advance Directive issues. She has been on the National Board for the Funeral Consumers Alliance which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the public education and advocacy related to after death needs. More from Dr. Smith: Bioethics for Breakfast: Demystifying End-of-Life Care.


Denise White Perkins, MD, PhD

Denise White Perkins

Clinical Professor, Center for Bioethics and Social Justice

  • Director, Healthcare Equity Initiatives, Office of System Diversity Equity and Inclusion
  • Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Department of Family Medicine
  • Henry Ford Health
  • dwhite2@hfhs.org
  • Pronouns: she/her/hers
  • PhD 2000 University of Michigan
  • MD 1994 University of Michigan


Dr. Denise White Perkins is a native Detroiter who has devoted her career as a provider, educator, researcher, and leader who is dedicated to serving and advocating for the urban underserved community. She enjoys a busy family medicine practice at Detroit Northwest Medical Center where she also teaches medical students and residents. As Vice Chair of Family Medicine, she is committed to advancing the ability of learners and healthcare teams to provide quality care that meets the unique needs of their diverse patient population. Serving as Director of Healthcare Equity Initiatives within the Henry Ford Health Office of System Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Dr. White Perkins collaborates with community, health system, and academic partners to eliminate health and healthcare disparities. She is also a physician investigator with funded research assessing social determinants of health in patient care; reducing hypertension in African American men; optimizing diabetes care and improving the delivery of virtual care for older adults.