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Michigan's former top doc takes executive post at CVS Health

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who led Michigan through the tumultuous first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been named vice president and chief health equity officer with CVS Health, owner of one of the country's largest pharmacy chains. 

Khaldun announced on Sept. 24 that she was leaving her job as the chief medical executive for Michigan and chief deputy director for health in the state Department of Health and Human Services, where she was responsible for public health and aging programs, Medicaid and behavioral health.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, left, then Michigan’s chief medical executive, addresses the media as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listens on April 6, 2021. Khaldun has been named vice president and chief health equity officer with CVS Health, owner of one of the country's largest pharmacy chains.

Khaldun had been a visible leader of Michigan’s COVID-19 response. She has been lauded for Michigan’s early identification of disparities in COVID-19 outcomes as well as developing strategies to address them. She was named this year a member of President Joe Biden's COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian began serving as chief medical executive on Oct. 1.

Khaldun previously told The Detroit News that she had accepted a new position to pursue "an opportunity outside of state government."

At CVS Health, which also owns health insurance company Aetna, 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, the press release said. She will report to Dr. Kyu Rhee, senior vice president and Aetna's chief medical officer.

“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,” Rhee said in a Monday statement.  “Her expertise in creating solutions to help improve health outcomes will help us continue addressing health inequities for the customers and communities we serve.” 

Khaldun previously was health officer and public health director for the Detroit Health Department and chief medical officer of the Baltimore City Health Department.

Khaldun obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, master's in public health from George Washington University, and completed her residency in emergency medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center/Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.

She practices emergency medicine part-time at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 

kbouffard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @kbouffardDN