Meet Mary Kathleen Figaro
Throughout her 25 year career as a physician, Dr. Figaro has been committed to patients and families who entrust her with their health. As State Senator, her goal is “doing good smarter” giving neighbors the same care and attention given to patients.
Dr. Figaro grew up in New Jersey, in a working-class family with strong schools, churches, and communities. With the economic support of her community, and church, she graduated with high honors from Princeton University in 1992 and from Yale University School of Medicine in 1996. In 2001, she earned a masters in epidemiology and health services research from Cornell University and became a professor at Vanderbilt University where she taught preventative medicine to medical students and conducted health services research for over a decade.
While a physician-researcher at Vanderbilt, Dr. Figaro met her husband Alan Rice and was blessed with two wonderful children, Victoria and Jonathan. Also at Vanderbilt, she helped Tennessee Governor Bredesen write his seminal health policy book while pursuing a policy fellowship at the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, housed at Columbia University. Her family chose Iowa nearly a decade ago for its high-quality public schools, civic-minded communities, and to be closer to Alan’s family farm. In Iowa, she’s built her own private practice, seeing patients with hormone-related conditions as an endocrinologist.
Dr. Figaro knows that Iowans deserve better health and educational outcomes: more affordable and accessible care, higher quality care and a public health infrastructure that can withstand the next pandemic. We can make our communities healthier by prioritizing the public’s health – including mental health care and care for those with substance use. Every Iowan deserves a supportive community, great public schools, and access to economic opportunities that support a living wage.
In medicine and while doing patient-centered research, Dr Figaro has interacted with all economic and educational levels. She interviewed elderly in Harlem to performing biological research into the role of inflammation in chronic conditions such as diabetes and has written policy papers that describe and prescribe the effects of payment models on primary care. Dr Figaro has learned to listen in all these environments and believes that we must overcome one of the most challenging periods of time in the state’s history by managing and investing in public health and social services. As citizens of the state require a new vision for the prosperity of all of us – with care for the commons prioritized.