San Francisco, CA – On Saturday, September 26, 2015, at what will go down in history as one of the most star-studded primary care gatherings in decades, the Bodenheimer Symposium on Excellence in Primary Care, a number of exciting things occurred. The Symposium, dedicated to honor the legacy of Dr. Tom Bodenheimer for his years of contribution and vision to the world of primary care and health policy, was a striking call to action for the leaders, clinicians, faculty, policy makers, consumers, students, residents, innovators, and others committed to improving and sustaining primary care.
One of the event highlights was the passing of the baton from Dr. Bodenheimer to Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, who was appointed the new Director of the Center for Excellence in Primary Care (CEPC). Dr. Bodenheimer will now assume the role of Founding Director of the CEPC and will continue to play an active role.
Dr. Olayiwola's appointment is both highly deserved and symbolic. She joined the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2013, after serving as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Community Health Center, Inc. in Connecticut. She was the youngest CMO in the organization's nearly 40-year history, and was the first woman and person of color to serve in that capacity. Dr. Olayiwola transitioned to the role of Associate Director of the CEPC at UCSF in September 2013, where she immediately began an impressive career as an academic physician and became an instrumental agent for CEPC’s growth and visibility as a primary care practice transformation, research, and policy center.
Since her arrival at UCSF, Dr. Olayiwola has excelled as a researcher, receiving the Hellman Foundation fellowship for junior faculty to examine the impact of social determinants of health on professional clinician burnout; funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation to identify and disseminate best practices in safety net primary care integration into the medical neighborhood and patient engagement in electronic referral systems designed to improve access to specialty care; completing research on the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) through a collaboration with the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative and her research team examination of the impact on disparities; and more.
She has also excelled as a practice transformation leader, providing coaching and training to organizations across the state of California, nationally and internationally on sustainable improvement in primary care settings, and leading a team of practice coaches and trainers to build on Dr. Bodehheimer's Ten Building Blocks of High Performing Primary Care, health coaching and other curricula. She speaks widely on achieving the Quadruple Aim in healthcare and provides technical assistance and professional development for physician leaders across the nation.
Additionally, Dr. Olayiwola has made an impressive jump into the role of a faculty member. While maintaining her own clinical practice at the Family Health Center of the San Francisco General Hospital, she serves as an attending for the residents and students in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is also an active mentor to medical students in the UCSF Primary Care Leadership Academy, and currently supports residents in research and educational programming on anti-oppression and unconscious bias training in residency, practice transformation in the teaching environment, optimization of Health Information Technology, PCMH and disparities, and professional development.
Said Dr. Kevin Grumbach, Professor and Chair of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine, who is also co-founder and co-Director of CEPC, "Nwando epitomizes leadership and vision. She has advanced the cause of primary care beyond our expectations in just two short years at UCSF, and we look forward to what is yet to come." Dr. Bodenheimer, her predecessor and mentor, shares the same thoughts: "Nwando is the new face of CEPC. She takes the best of Kevin (Grumbach), the best of me, and blends that with her own innate skills, talents, and expertise into a force to be reckoned with. I have no doubt that I am passing the baton to the perfect person."
Dr. Olayiwola continues to inspire a newer generation of physicians and healthcare professionals. Dr. Lamercie Saint-Hilaire, a third year UCSF family medicine resident and mentee, states, "As a woman physician of color, she is living and breathing proof that glass ceilings are meant to be shattered. She inspires so many of us and continues to open doors for us."
"This is an exciting time for the CEPC," said Claire Richardson, CEPC’s operations manager and practice coach and trainer. "It's incredible to see what Nwando has done in a short time and we have so much confidence in her next phase at CEPC."