Modern Healthcare has recognized Dr. Mary A. Pittman, president, and chief executive officer of the Public Health Institute, as one of the top 25 women leaders in healthcare.
In a recent announcement, Modern Healthcare recognized Mary’s leadership in “the fight for better public health through initiatives on Covid-19, social inequities and substance use disorders” and cited her expertise in Medicaid financing as well as safety-net systems. The Institute also cited her work on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement and Healthy People 2030 advisory committee to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
It is worth mentioning here that under Mary’s leadership, Protected Health Information (PHI) has continued to expand its equity-based Covid-19 initiatives, which prioritize fast, flexible funding for community-based, community-centered approaches. Communities Rise Together (RISE) operates in 29 states and was recently awarded a renewal grant of nearly $10 million from HHS, as part of a $66.5 million American Rescue Plan funding package distributed to eight grantees for their work to expand Covid-19 vaccine equity outreach efforts.
RISE has already reached more than 40 million people, partnering with trusted messengers in communities of color and rural, immigrant/migrant, and low-income older adult populations. In California, PHI’s Together Toward Health program is leading outreach on Covid-19 testing and vaccine delivery, working with more than 539 community-based organizations in communities of color across the state.
Mary’s Role during Pandemic
All through the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Mary A Pittman has guided the work of PHI to stop coronavirus transmission, promote vaccination, and save lives. During the pandemic, PHI has doubled its budget and staff, and Dr. Pittman has also been thinking long term about how to create futures and careers that benefit individuals, communities, and the public health workforce. The PHI Covid-19 workforce, most of whom are women, has been recruited from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 and are often overlooked by public health. More than half are bi-or multi-lingual. PHI is committed to not only providing immediate work and income in the short term, but also providing job training and skills, leadership opportunities, and mentorship to create a public health workforce that looks like, comes from, and understands the communities it serves.
The CA Bridge program of PHI is addressing the opioid crisis through its work with more than 200 hospitals across California, changing the way healthcare views addiction. In addition, PHI coordinates the National Opioid Leadership Summit, an annual event bringing together health leaders from across the country, and the California Opioid Safety Network (COSN) and National Overdose Prevention Network (NOPN), which provides platforms for health equity and to prevent new addictions and overdose deaths.
Mary’s Work Appreciated
According to PHI Board Vice-Chair Adaeze Enekwechi, Ph.D., MPP, “Mary is a highly skilled executive. To watch her lead PHI however is to know that she is deeply compassionate, thoughtful, and resilient. She has inculcated these attributes across PHI.” “Since some of the consequences of our national and international public health policies disproportionately affect people of color, Mary saw it as an opportunity, and executed on her goals to recruit women and people of color to senior management and board roles at PHI.”
Modern Healthcare will highlight its Top 25 Women Leaders at its annual gala in Chicago this July 14. The program recognizes leaders from all sectors of the industry, spotlighting their professional accomplishments and contributions to their organizations.
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