Episode #88: ‘How COVID-19 is Reframing Healthcare in America’ with Michellene Davis of RWJBarnabas Health

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

On Friday March 27th 2020, I launched a limited podcast series addressing how the COVID-19 pandemic is reframing American healthcare.  You can find the introduction episode here.  In this series, I’ll be interviewing future-facing, courageous healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs – asking two questions:

(1) How is the COVID-19 pandemic immediately changing the way you’re delivering healthcare?   (2) How will COVID-19 reframe American healthcare for years to come?

In this episode, we’ll be interviewing Michellene Davis, an Executive Vice President at RWJBarnabas Health – the largest healthcare system in New Jersey.  Michellene leads Social Impact and Community Investment across RWJBarnabas Healthcare.  She oversees the areas of Policy Development, Governmental and External Affairs, Community and Employee Wellness, and Global Health. Ms. Davis is the first woman and first person of color to serve as an Executive Vice President in Barnabas Health system’s history. She is a lawyer and trial litigator who also has extensive experience in senior levels of state government. Michellene is nationally recognized for her contributions to healthcare. In 2018, she received Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Most Influential Minorities in Healthcare award.

This dialogue is filled with more expertise, wisdom, humanity and hope than I could ever begin to describe.  It’s also an eye-opening description and depiction of one of the current epi-centers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michellene shared her incredible experience and expertise on a range of topics, including:

  • The brave work that healthcare providers & staff are doing in our hospital systems
  • The physical & psychological toll of the COVID-19 ‘battlefield’ on healthcare providers & staff
  • The severely negative and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the expanding segment of our population who are socio-economically vulnerable – and the impact that will have on everyone in our society
  • A list of recommendations for the work we must immediately begin, in order to mitigate the ‘2nd wave’ of the pandemic tsunami.  This is not an infectious disease wave, but a tidal wave of repercussions from the social determinants of health – such as lack of income and food, and the lack of a strong national public health infrastructure.

These are unprecedented times, so I hope you find valuable information, guidance, and inspiration in listening to these experts and entrepreneurs share how they are adapting to this pandemic (in real time); and how they’re thinking about and planning for the future.

Until next time, be safe and be well,
Zeev Neuwirth MD