Mrs. Danurys (Didi) Sanchez is currently a Senior Research Staff Associate at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. For the past fifteen years, she has been the Project Coordinator of a longitudinal study on memory and aging, the Washington Heights-Hamilton Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP), a community-based longitudinal study of aging and dementia which began enrolling patients in 1989 and has followed more than 8,000 older adults residing in Northern Manhattan, NYC. Ms. Sanchez has led initiatives to engage the Spanish-speaking and African American community in Alzheimer’s Disease research, dissemination, and education on brain health. As she became more involved in community education, her focus shifted to the limited knowledge of advance care planning and barriers and access to end-of-life care throughout the target communities.
After working more than two decades as Project Research Manager, Danurys saw a need for establishing an organization that centered community-led approach to building and fostering equitable relationships between medical and research institutions and community stakeholders. Communities for Responsible Bioethics, LLC, was founded in March 2021 to increase knowledge of how bioethical principles impact end-of-life decision-making and can guide communities to shape initiatives that have the possibility of improving their clinical standard of care and overall well-being.
Mrs. Danurys Sanchez is currently enrolled in the Masters’ program in Bioethics at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and endeavors to improve communication on end-of-life decision-making between physicians and patients through an ethical framework based on trust, professionalism, and compassion.
Danurys lives in New York City with her husband, two daughters, Valentina and Camila, and enjoys taking nature walks in historic trails of Inwood Hill Park, home to the only forest on the island of Manhattan.
“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.