“I want it to be very clear that Dr. Moore is passionate about the people he serves and advocates for them in spaces where they cannot advocate for themselves.” –Dr. Leo Moore
Dr. Leo Moore, Associate Medical Director and Clinical Prevention Specialist at Los Angeles County Department of Public Health feels blessed to leave work feeling fulfilled daily. He strives to be remembered for serving others and is always willing to go to bat for every client and the community as a whole.
Leo recalls getting his first job at McDonald’s on his fourteenth birthday; he has not looked back since. Leo received a B.S in Biology/ Pre-medicine from Columbus State University, MD from Morehouse School of Medicine, and a Masters in Health Policy and Management from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Leaders that inspired Leo include his high school homeroom teacher Mr. Amica and Dr. Griffiths, his internship supervisor. Mr. Amica helped teach Leo the value and importance of educators. It was one of the first times Leo saw a black male in a leadership position. Leo shadowed Dr. Griffiths in the E.R at the age of fifteen which helped him learn perseverance and how to be service oriented. Another leader that inspired Leo is Dr. Ben Carson. Reading “Gifted Hands” in high school changed Leo’s life and views on adversity which motivated him to focus more on school performance. Dr. Satcher, the former United States Surgeon General, taught Leo to take advantage of every opportunity and do the best in each position. Last but not least, Leo admires Barack Obama for his integrity and unwavering conviction even under pressure.
One of the first times Leo truly led was as an undergrad. He developed the first celebration of International World Aids Day for the school which still occurs annually. Leo recommends that people support the causes that inspire them. He gives advice about how to make an impact including having a focus and goal, finding champions, getting buy-in, and being a continuous advocate. Leo started advocating for more testing as a college student, and he is still a champion today.
Increasing awareness and testing for HIV/AIDS is not only professional for Leo. He saw someone go through the experience of being diagnosed. Leo knew that he wanted to help and have a positive impact on the community before this happened. However, it further motivated him. Leo is now regarded as a champion on the subject, and his unique view has become helpful in his career. Leo is also motivated by passionate people and conversations. During residency, he learned a valuable lesson on inspiration when he decided to look for something inspiring each day. Leo’s “inspiration threshold” lowered and he believes, “Inspiration is all around you, you just have to see it and take it in.”
After looking at Leo’s collegiate and professional accomplishments, you would not know he didn’t always love school. Leo faced many barriers getting to where he is today. However, he utilized the barriers as stepping stones. Leo encountered many naysayers who said “no” and tried to prohibit him from moving forward. He makes a point to talk to students and mentor so they know they can accomplish their goals regardless of the negativity they face.
If Leo could give his younger self advice, he would say, “It’s ok to explore and be uncertain.” Leo knew he wanted to be a doctor at five years old and once he started, he never stopped training. Leo wishes that students could learn about money management, saving, and investing at a young age. He feels that would help to even the playing field. Leo would also like to see an entrepreneurship class offered in grade school to help support creativity and self-sustainable growth.
As a leader, Leo is team oriented and believes in helping his team grow together through impactful engagement. Leo believes that people operate better knowing the end goal. Communication is at the center of his leadership style. Leo strives to find innovative ways to keep the lines of communication open. One idea he implemented was creating a weekly newsletter for the unit he is the chief over. The newsletter includes a letter from the chief, bios, accomplishments, and summaries from staff after attending training. It helps to create a culture of continuous learning.
Unsurprisingly, Leo’s favorite word is equity. His passion for supporting the community and serving others is centered around treating each person with care and respect. Outside of work, Leo is fervent about his partner, dog Felix, music, and being creative. One day he would like to eat his way through Thailand.
Leo encourages future leaders to:
Always… listen first and talk second.
Never… limit someone else’s potential.
Follow… your heart and seek opportunities that help identify your passions.
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