University Hospital Chooses Physician Leader as Chief Strategic Integration and Health Equity Officer

Chief Executive Officer/President Shereef M. Elnahal, M.D, MBA is proud to announce the hire of Dr. Chris Pernell as University Hospital’s first Chief Strategic Integration and Health Equity Officer. It is one of the initial steps in his efforts to make the state’s only public hospital a place that the Newark community can trust again.

According to University Hospital officials, Dr. Chris T. Pernell is a dynamic physician-leader and change agent. In her public health practice, she concentrates on health justice, community-based advocacy and total population health promotion and disease prevention.

At University Hospital, Dr. Chris as she is known, will implement a population health strategy to spur a culture of health, drive systems innovation, and improve the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace and in the communities where they live. She will also build across sector partnerships with the community to deliver on health equity for patients and the city of Newark.

Prior to joining University Hospital as Chief Strategic Integration and Health Equity Officer, Dr. Pernell led the 1199SEIU/League Labor Management Initiatives (LMI) Workplace and Community.

Working with leaders and frontline workers of 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare union in the United States, and alongside hospital leadership of New York City health care institutions represented by the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes, her efforts focused on workplace health strategies, worker engagement and empowerment, health equity, and health systems transformation.

In the past, she contributed to “Health Care Rx” – an online expert panel conducted by the Washington Post, providing social and public policy commentary leading up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Chris graduated cum laude from Princeton University before attending Duke University School of Medicine. She received her Executive Master of Public Health from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and completed the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health General Preventive Medicine Residency.

She is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and serves as an adjunct associate professor at the NYU College of Global Public Health.

"University Hospital can be the pride of Newark. Its health care, community, and academic missions can carry it forward into excellence. That is my promise to the patients, employees, and the surrounding community", said Chief Executive Officer Shereef M. Elnahal, M.D