Akivah Dixon Northern , DSci(c), MDiv

Doctoral Researcher, Reflection Rounds
Stanford University School of Medicine

As Americans, we need soothing, competent care, beautiful spaces, and time to heal gracefully.

Akivah is a visionary healthcare leader who plans to open community clinics around America where medicine, art, spiritual and social support, architecture, education, and ecology unite to impact lives and heal diseases. Akivah’s diverse academic and professional background has shaped and inspired her vision.

As a former Chaplain, Akivah cared for hundreds of patients and their families in hospitals, nursing facilities, and homes. As an Ecological Chaplain, Akivah led many others on healing journeys worldwide, including in the Kilimanjaro Mountains, Niagara Falls, and along the Pacific Shores in Santa Barbara, CA, where she lives. Akivah found that listening, storytelling, and meaning-making in nature profoundly impact people’s health and well-being.

Akivah holds a Master of Divinity from Yale University and is an alumnus of Howard University School of Medicine. Although accepted to medical school at age 52, Akivah’s medical education was cut short by spending thirteen years caring for her aging mother and Auntie Bea, who lived to be 100 and 108 years old, respectively! Not being able to finish medical school was one of her greatest disappointments.

However, Akivah’s heart was overjoyed when she was accepted to the Faith and Health doctoral program at Loma Linda University, where she brought her passion for medicine and ministry together. At Loma Linda, Akivah received the prestigious Wil Alexander Award from the School of Religion for service exemplifying the healing and teaching ministry.

In her final year, Akivah currently works with Bruce Feldstein, MD BBC, at Stanford University School of Medicine, co-facilitating an intervention called Reflection Rounds (RR). Akivah’s doctoral research explores Stanford medical students’ joys and challenges during patient encounters. Akivah is also participating in a healthcare leadership apprenticeship sponsored by the California State Department of Rehabilitation.

Akivah and her family have lived in Santa Barbara, CA since 1987. Her beloved husband of forty-three years, the late Babatunde Folayemi, was the first African American elected to the Santa Barbara City Council in its 173 years. Their son, Cinque Northern, is a Peabody-awarded, Emmy-nominated, and Oscar-short-listed documentary filmmaker whose films can be viewed streaming on Amazon, ShowTime, and Paramount Plus.