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Humana Appoints Chief Health Equity Officer

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   January 25, 2021

Nwando Olayiwola, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, will serve in this new role effective April 5.

Humana announced the appointment of a chief health equity officer Monday morning, a newly created role for the organization.

The position was established due to the pandemic putting a spotlight on health disparities and the importance of health equity, according to Humana.

Nwando Olayiwola, M.D., MPH, FAAFP will begin serving as senior vice president and chief health equity officer effective April 5.

She will report to William Shrank, M.D., Humana's chief medical and corporate affairs officer, where she will "set direction and establish strategy to promote health equity across all Humana lines of business, including its care delivery assets," the press release said. She will also focus on cultural sensitivity efforts, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI.)

Related: 4 Recent DEI Officer Appointments at Provider Organizations

"Dr. Olayiwola is highly regarded as an innovator and expert in harnessing technology to increase access to care for underserved and disenfranchised populations, as well as designing and implementing impactful clinical programs to address the personal needs and challenges people face in achieving their best health,” Shrank said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have her join us to expand and enhance Humana’s work on health equity."

Olayiwola has more than two decades of experience serving in clinical and academic institutions, public health, and health systems redesign. She previously served as chair and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The Ohio State University (OSU).

She has been recognized for publishing in peer-reviewed medical journals and has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award from UCSF, the Woman of the Year Award from the American Telemedicine Association, the Alumni Achievement Award from the OSU College of Medicine and the Public Health Innovator Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. She also gave a Tedx Talk in October 2020 around health equity.

Olayiwola’s hiring came just over a week before Humana will release its Q4 2020 earnings report.

"Unfortunately, we know there are hidden barriers to health care in our country, and I have always cared deeply about those who – by no fault of their own – have fallen through the cracks in our health care system," Olayiwola said in a statement. "The field of health equity is growing and maturing, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to concentrate my efforts in this important area, especially for a highly regarded, mission-driven organization like Humana."

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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