Excellence Runs in The Blood: Late Dora Akunyili's Daughter Appointed as First Black Chief Medical Officer at US Hospital - Good Nigeria

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Excellence Runs in The Blood: Late Dora Akunyili’s Daughter Appointed as First Black Chief Medical Officer at US Hospital

The Jersey City Medical Centre is a comprehensive full-service acute and sub-acute care 348-bed teaching hospital in the United States of America that is into healing, enhancing, and investing in Hudson County. Very recently, they announced Ms. Ijeoma Akunyili, Late Dora Akunyili’s first daughter, as their new Chief Medical Officer. Spotlighting the role, the daughter of the former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will be the first African American Medical Professional to serve in that role.

Ms. Ijeoma graduated from the University of Pennsylvania after which she attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She later completed her emergency medicine residency at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. She went further and earned an MPA in international development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Over the years, Ms. Ijeoma Akunyili has served as the Regional Medical Director for TeamHealth, Northeast Group, where she had strategic, operational, and clinical oversight of nearly 20 emergency departments, critical care, and hospitalist service lines in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. She has also led an unprecedented fourfold expansion of service lines with a specific focus on medical services and access to care for underserved populations, and previously served as the chair of emergency medicine at Waterbury Hospital, a Level II trauma teaching hospital and in 2019, she was awarded the Medical Director of the Year Award for the impressive turnaround of the Waterbury Hospital Emergency Department. She was an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and she is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale University.

It is also noteworthy that Ms. Ijeoma Akunyili has vast leadership and advocacy experience and is currently serving as the President of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians (CCEP), where she served for several years on the board of directors.

While conferring the honour on her, the Executive Vice President/Chief Medical and Quality Officer at The Jersey City Medical Center, Andy Anderson, said her experience managing multi-specialty physician groups in integrated healthcare systems will help support Jersey City Medical Centre in providing comprehensive health care throughout the community.

Also in the statement, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Centre, Michael Prilutsky, said Ms. Ijeoma Akunyili has a wealth of experience and knowledge and confidence that Hudson County will benefit in a great way from her leadership, and that her presence will have a tremendous impact. He ended by saying, as the new Chief Medical Officer, we look forward to creating a world-class experience for every patient at Jersey City Medical Center.

Ms. Ijeoma Akunyili expressing her excitement said, ‘I am grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to serving the residents of Hudson County and continuing to provide safe, innovative, efficient, and equitable care. It is a true privilege to lead the clinical effort at Jersey City Medical Center and to create sustainable health outcomes for our community.’

We wish her well in her new role.

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