CVS Adds Health Equity Officer Role to C-Suite

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to help company break down barriers that perpetuate health care disparities
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
CVS Adds Health Equity Officer Role to Its C-Suite
Joneigh Khaldun, M.D., MPH, FACEP

CVS Health has hired Joneigh Khaldun, M.D., MPH, FACEP as VP and chief health equity officer to help address health inequities for the customers and communities it serves. Khaldun will report to Kyu Rhee, M.D., MPP, the company's SVP and Aetna chief medical officer.

In her new role, Khaldun will lead the strategy to advance health equity for patients, members, providers, customers and communities served across all lines of the CVS Health business. She and her team will focus on culturally competent care delivery, ensuring that it's fully integrated into the design and development of clinical and population health programs, products, services, interactions and communications. She will also work collaboratively with the broader health care system to advance health equity and better support underserved communities.

CVS revealed earlier in the year its strategy for advancing community and public policy initiatives that address inequity and injustice via its annual corporate social responsibility report.

“As a health care innovation company committed to health equity and breaking down barriers that perpetuate health care disparities, Dr. Khaldun joins our team as chief health equity officer at a critically important time,” said Rhee. “Her expertise in creating solutions to help improve health outcomes will help us continue addressing health inequities for the customers and communities we serve.” 

This expertise includes a stint as the chief medical executive for the state of Michigan and chief deputy director for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where she was responsible for public health and aging programs, Medicaid and behavioral health. Khaldun led Michigan’s COVID-19 response and is credited with Michigan’s early identification of, and strategy to, address disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. In 2021, she was named by President Biden to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. 

Khaldun has also held several positions that leveraged her expertise in improving, expanding and modernizing the delivery of community health services, including director and health officer of the Detroit Health Department and chief medical officer of the Baltimore City Health Department. She was also director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Control at George Washington University, founder and director of the Fellowship in Health Policy in the University of Maryland Department of Emergency Medicine, and Fellow in the Obama-Biden administration’s Office of Health Reform in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

She currently serves on the national advisory board for the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, and on the health and medicine committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Khaldun is also an adjunct professor in the department of health policy and management at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and practices emergency medicine part-time at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 

CVS Health recently revealed that it was helping to overcome health access barriers across the nation with the introduction of an innovative health care solution, Aetna Virtual Primary Care. Available for self-funded employers, the new solution reimagines the primary care experience and makes it easier for people to get health services virtually and in person.

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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