Swedish Health Services has named Nwando Anyaoku, M.D., MPH, MBA, as its inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer. In this new role, Dr. Anyaoku will direct the organization’s programs to measure equity in care delivery and outcomes, improve access for patients from all backgrounds, and promote culturally competent care.
As a member of the executive leadership team, Dr. Anyaoku will report to Swedish CEO R. Guy Hudson, M.D., and work as a dyad partner with the new Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Officer that Swedish is currently recruiting.
Together, Dr. Anyaoku and the future Chief DEI Officer will co-lead Swedish’s newly created Office of Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion that will drive initiatives to dismantle systemic racism, reduce barriers to health care access and improve health equity.
“Dr. Anyaoku’s leadership is critical to our efforts to make meaningful progress to address inequities in health care,” said Dr. Hudson. “Decades of experience in population health, primary pediatric care, physician leadership and program development make Dr. Anyaoku the ideal leader to implement Swedish’s commitment to equity.”
Dr. Anyaoku’s leadership at Swedish began when she joined the organization in 2016 as the Associate Medical Director of Pediatrics. She was promoted the following year to Executive Medical Director of Pediatrics. In 2020, she took on the position of Executive Medical Director of Medicaid Strategy for Population Health. She has served as the organization’s physician lead for health equity and community partnerships. Previously, she was System Medical Director of Pediatric Medicine at CHI Health in Omaha, Neb., and Division Chief of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Dr. Anyaoku serves on the board of Neighborcare Health, the largest provider of primary medical, dental and behavioral health care services in the Seattle area serving low-income and uninsured families and individuals, seniors on fixed incomes, immigrants and those experiencing homelessness through nearly 30 clinics located in neighborhoods where health disparities are the greatest. She also serves on the governing board of HealthierHere, which is the Accountable Community of Health for King County, Wash., and supports initiatives such as the Healthier Washington Medicaid Transformation Project.
Dr. Anyaoku earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Washington. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and Clinical Associate Professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University
“Swedish is committed to doing the work that is needed to ensure we provide high-quality care and an inclusive, respectful health care experience for all of our patients, including those from historically underserved and under-resourced communities,” said Dr. Hudson. “Dr. Anyaoku brings the experience, expertise and vision that is needed to this new role to help us move forward with that intention. She has the full support and confidence of my leadership team and our organization.”