Partners In Health today named Dr. Sheila Davis as its new Chief Executive Officer. Currently the Chief of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Davis will succeed Dr. Gary Gottlieb, who in the spring of 2018 informed the board of his intention to step down.
“Thanks to her vast experience, strategic acumen, unwavering solidarity, and passionate commitment to our mission, Sheila is a brilliant choice to help the organization meet more of the needs of those we serve,” Dr. Gottlieb said.
Partners In Health is a non-profit social justice organization that brings the benefits of modern medical science to the poorest and sickest communities around the world, working to ensure that the universal human right to quality health care is realized. Founded in 1987 by Ophelia Dahl, Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Kim, Todd McCormack, and Tom White, it has grown from a small organization in Haiti to a global nonprofit with 18,000 mostly local staff in 10 countries. Last year, it provided access to care to 8 million people.
Dr. Davis holds a doctorate in nursing and has a long history of serving the poor and marginalized—working closely with patients suffering from HIV in the 1980s, both in the U.S. and abroad. For the past decade, she has held multiple cross-site roles at Partners In Health.
After joining the organization in 2010, Dr. Davis was instrumental in the planning and opening of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, a 300-bed teaching hospital in Haiti. When PIH entered West Africa to help address the Ebola epidemic, Dr. Davis, then Chief Nursing Officer and a member of the executive leadership team, led the organization’s Ebola response. Later, she took on the additional role of Chief of Clinical Operations.
Wearing both hats, Dr. Davis has married her activism, pragmatism, and implementation skills to elevate Partners In Health’s nursing programs and all of the clinical operations, firmly establish the organization’s nursing strategy, and heighten the professionalism and inclusiveness of the organization’s thousands of nurses, midwives, and community health workers.
“Partners In Health has never been better positioned to help provide health care that truly prioritizes the needs of the poor, to show the world that high-quality health care can be provided to all,” Dr. Davis said. “I’m honored and ready to work with my colleagues around the world to do the best for our patients and challenge health inequities globally.”
Dr. Davis will build on the legacy of Dr. Gottlieb, a longtime Partners In Health board member who left Partners HealthCare in 2015 to become CEO of Partners In Health a few months after the organization accepted an invitation to respond to the Ebola epidemic. Under Dr. Gottlieb’s leadership for the past four years, PIH has made rapid progress in improving health and health systems, building on its platform of universal health coverage in some of the world’s poorest countries. Also notable during Gary’s tenure, Partners In Health opened the University of Global Health Equity, a health sciences university in rural Rwanda; worked with key global partners to bring the first new drugs in 40 years to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to more than 2,600 people in 19 countries; and expanded innovative cross-site programs delivering mental health care and services for people with non-communicable diseases where none had been available previously. While retiring from his role at Partners In Health, Dr. Gottlieb will continue his academic commitments as professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, serving on the medical staffs of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He will also continue to serve on the boards of nonprofit and innovative health care companies and in an advisory role as an executive partner at Flare Capital Partners.
“I, along with the Partners In Health Board, could not be more excited to have Sheila at the helm, to lead us through this important next phase and into a promising future,” said Co-Founder and Chair of the Board Ophelia Dahl. “I have full confidence that Sheila will be an inspiring steward of our mission and a fierce advocate for our patients.”
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