Dr. Ikwunga Wonodi serves as the Service Chief of the Adult Day Hospital at the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Ellicott City. In this capacity, he leads a highly motivated multidisciplinary team committed to advancing the Health System’s Mission: to improve the quality of life of individuals and families by compassionately serving their mental health, addiction, special education, and community support needs.
Prior to his appointment at the Sheppard Pratt Health System in July 2017, Dr. Wonodi was Associate Professor at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) – a world leader in schizophrenia research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where his primary interests focused on genomic biomarkers related to antipsychotic medication response and adverse effects in individuals of African ancestry.
Since his early days as a physician, Dr. Wonodi has deeply cared about improving healthcare for his people. During his National Youth Service (1990-1991), he conceptualized the Corper’s Health Aid Project (CHAP), which provided health and human services to motherless children’s homes in Lagos. Impressed by CHAP’s accomplishments, the then Hon. Minister of Health, Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti recognized the project with a Merit Award grant from the Federal Ministry of Health.
After relocating to the U.S. in 1995, Dr. I. Wonodi completed his internship at the Boston University Medical Center, residency training at the University of Maryland, and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the MPRC. As the first Black research faculty at MPRC, he effectively led a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, research staff, and administrative assistants and played a key role in the growth and funding success of his program at the MPRC.
· Dr. I. Wonodi is the Principal Investigator in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) pilot study that built capacity for molecular research studies at Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos. The data generated from this pilot study was subsequently used in securing a first-of-its-kind multisite (MPRC, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba, and Howard University), international biomarker study relevant to eliminating a racial disparity in the treatment of individuals of African ancestry in the U.S.
· Dr. Wonodi is the primary co-Investigator on a NIMH-funded multisite study “Biomarker and Safety Study of Clozapine for Patients with Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN)” where he oversees the largest study recruitment site at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba in Lagos, Nigeria.
· A subject-matter expert, he has published extensively in his field and authored several book chapters.
· A strong leader with superb organizational skills, he is the founder and CEO of Children's American Medical Center & Clinics - promoting a 120-bed world class, American standards Hospital.
· He successfully advocated for and served as the lead technical consultant on the upgrade and expansion of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Port Harcourt.
· He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
· He obtained his degree in Medicine in 1989, from the University of Port-Harcourt, and Internship at UCH, Ibadan, Nigeria.
· Dr. I. Wonodi is an MBA Candidate (Healthcare Management) at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
· He is the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award, from the Office of Minority and National Affairs of the American Psychiatric Association.
· He is the originator of Afrobeat Poetry and was a regular opening act at Femi Kuti’s Sunday Jump show at Afrika Shrine. An international recording artist, he has released Afrobeat-poetry CDs that sell around the world, proceeds of which go to support public health education.
· Di Bombs, a track from his first album, Calabash: Afrobeat Poems by Ikwunga, was featured on the Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (ASAP) CD released on Apple iTunes in 2004, all proceeds went to benefit humanitarian work for people devastated by the conflict in Sudan. A favorite on the ASAP CD, Di bombs was responsible for 60% of the downloads towards the total amount of $180,000.00 raised by this effort.
· His second album, “Deep Sleep”, which was a collaborative project with Mr. Something Something, a highly talented Canadian band, was number 1 on Canadian public radio charts; was voted best World Music CD in Canada (2007); and the poems were translated to Japanese by a Japanese label that released the CD in Japan.