by Gus Iversen
, Editor in Chief | April 15, 2022
From the April 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
For almost 10 years, HealthCare Business News has featured a hospital spotlight as part of its monthly magazine.
This month, we’re doing something just a little bit different. Rather than speak with the leadership from a hospital this month, we wanted to talk to someone delivering care in a community health center format. Who better than Dr. Jessica Henderson Boyd, president and CEO of Unity Health Care?
HCB News: Thanks for speaking with us, Dr. Boyd. Normally, this column is where we talk to hospital leaders, so a conversation about community health centers is an interesting change of pace! To start us off, what do you see as the principal advantages of delivering care through community health centers?
Dr. Jessica Henderson Boyd:
At Unity, we believe that every District resident deserves access to high quality, comprehensive, and compassionate healthcare services. Our community health centers (also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers) offer an opportunity for people to address their healthcare needs in the communities where they live. I am proud that we play a critical role in the District’s public health infrastructure and offer a high value option as a patient-centered medical home that addresses the whole person while reducing barriers to care such as cost, lack of insurance, distance, and language for our patients.
HCB News: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to become a physician, and I actually detailed my plan in an autobiography I wrote in the third grade. Living a life in service to others and achievement were two very important values in my family and medicine became a way for me to bring together my desire to help others with my passion for science and problem solving. Each step in my career journey from medical school until today solidified my love for healthcare and all of the opportunities the field offers.
HCB News: Can you tell us what your career has been like up to this point?
After graduating from medical school and completing a pediatric residency, pediatric pulmonary fellowship, and Masters in Public Health, I decided to start my career off as a pediatrician at a community health center where I felt I could have the most impact. I spent the next six years working at Baltimore Medical System, building a pediatric asthma program, spending time as a center medical director, developing a Quality program, and I went on to become the system’s chief medical officer.