Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, is chief executive officer and president of the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the country’s largest and oldest independent non-profit public health organizations. At PHI and throughout her career, she has been a nationally recognized leader in improving community health, safety net and Medicaid provision of care for vulnerable populations, addressing health inequities, building the public health workforce, and promoting prevention. Her significant experience in both public health and health care settings have made her an expert and adviser in the field of population health, and a leader in efforts to re-vision how diverse stakeholders can work together to build healthier communities, stronger hospitals and public health systems, and more strategic investments in community health. Under her leadership, PHI has expanded their global workforce and portfolio, focused on gender equity and inclusion, increased their policy and advocacy work, strengthened their research portfolio, launched a Population Health Innovation Lab providing technical assistance, expanded their support of cancer research and support of children’s cancer clinical trials, and deepened its organizational focus on using a health equity lens to build power and engage communities in addressing disparities. Recently PHI, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and numerous philanthropies, has been instrumental in building an agile and diverse workforce for COVID-19 related work, supporting community-based organizations, local public health agencies, and schools and building strong community partner to respond to COVID and other health issues. International work on COVID has focused on building partnerships, technical assistance and specialized services to bolster epidemiology and surveillance, clinical training and interventions, and education. PHI engaged and scaled rapidly to address COVID, which has broadened its reach and contributed, in part, to PHI’s doubling in size over the last year and a half, and given the organization national recognition for its ability to address community-level needs. During her tenure, PHI has been recognized each of the three times it applied as one of the 50 best nonprofit places to work in the nation. In 2021 Mary was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 25 Women Leaders and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.
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