Lisa D. Benton, MD, MPH


• Medical Director, Aetna Insurance; Health and Wellness Editor, Columbus and Dayton African American News Journal, Columbus, OH

Dr. Benton is a breast surgeon currently doing locum tenems practice. While she is looking for a job, she is training in medical and health care broadcasting and journalism. Her inspiration to become a breast surgeon emerged when she served as the Medical Director for the California Department of Public Health Cancer Detection Section where she had oversight of the Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Screening Program for California’s underserved women. Prior to that Dr. Benton worked as a Public Health Medical Officer for the State of California’s Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control and Infectious Disease Control where she was charged with statewide duties and a budget for bioterrorism preparedness, occupational health, and addressing asthma disparities. As a board certified general surgeon and breast surgeon, she has been an attending surgeon at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics and Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, California. In addition, she has served as also medical director of Project New Start Oakland, the Alameda County laser tattoo removal program, an appointed commissioner and chair for the Alameda County Public Health Department, and an American Cancer Society California Division Board of Director. Dr. Benton is a past president of the Sinkler Miller Medical Association Chapter of the National Medical Association. In addition to her many years of membership in the NMA, Dr. Benton has also represented physicians on the governing council of the Northern California Chapter of the American Public Health Association, and several committees of the Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association and the California Medical Association. The current focus of Dr. Benton's research is eliminating breast cancer outcomes disparities, improving quality of care, and promoting internet and multimedia applications for health education about environmental health and clinical diseases.

Dr. Benton received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, completed a general surgery residency at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Rutgers/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and did one year of plastic surgery training at University of California San Francisco. She has been a Commonwealth Fund Harvard University Fellow, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Urban Health Initiative Leadership Fellow, and an Academic Fellow of The California Wellness Foundation's Violence Prevention Initiative. Dr. Benton is an active member of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Menlo Park, CA.





The National Football League and Domestic Violence: 'What’s Football Gotta Do with It


In America, domestic violence poses a significant public health problem.  The social and economic costs to society are tremendous and continue to mount as men and women perpetuate the cycle of violence. Professional athletes, because of their unique relationship to the fans and general public, the media, their teammates, and sponsors, can not only convey effective messages raising awareness of domestic violence, but must also lead public opinion and change societal norms.

Instead, professional athletes are under tremendous pressure to win games, not social accolades.  Players are paid millions to play hard and coaches are easily fired if they lose too often.  Teams with prolonged losing records can suffer in their local markets, finding it very difficult to fill their stadiums and earn the revenues necessary to keep them a going concern. Thus, for the teams and players, their focus is on winning.  So why, therefore, should anyone in professional sports have to worry about societal issues such as domestic violence which, after all, occurs off the field and outside the arena?

Using the National Football League (NFL) as a model, this study examines multiple aspects of the debate of why domestic violence should matter to professional sports organizations. After reviewing the limited existing literature examining the relation between athletes and domestic violence, this work explores the role of the NFL as a market-driven entity and as a socially responsible corporate partner. Under these circumstances, we postulate that the issue of domestic violence could potentially affect a league’s future growth and success as a sustained image and public relations problem if not immediately addressed.  Therefore, a leadership position on this issue makes good economic sense based on a league’s relationships to all stakeholders involved.

As a conclusion to our analysis, a policy and program are recommended for the NFL to develop and communicate public health information around the issue of domestic violence in a way that will impact fan and public opinion and thereby enhance the league’s image. These practical concepts are easily adaptable across any professional sports organization.

Faculty Preceptor:

Stephen A. Greyser, the Richard P. Chapman Professor, Harvard Business School
Emmanuel A. Preko, MBA 1999, Harvard Business School