The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announced that its 2011 “Woman of the Year” is Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, chief medical officer of Pfizer. In her distinguished 30-year career, Dr. Lewis-Hall has held leadership roles in direct patient care, academics, media, government, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
“I am deeply honored to be named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association,” said Dr. Lewis-Hall. “HBA has been an agent of positive growth for many women who have made great contributions to the advancement of healthcare. To have been nominated for this award by my fellow members of the healthcare community is especially meaningful to me. Whether we’re in industry, academia, government, or the non-profit arena, we share a common goal: to improve the quality of healthcare for all patients.”
Dr. Lewis-Hall will be honored at the HBA’s 22nd annual “Woman of the Year” Luncheon on Thursday, May 5, at the Hilton New York. This is the event of the year for the healthcare community, attended by nearly 2,500 leaders in the industry. Awards for Honorable Mentor, the Star Volunteer, and a group of some 100 “Rising Stars,” noted for their accomplishments and contributions to the healthcare industry, will also be presented at the luncheon.
“Freda defines what it means to be a leader in today’s rapidly changing healthcare industry. She has a genuine and singular passion to improve the lives of patients – a passion that motivates and energizes her colleagues at Pfizer and everyone with whom she interacts. She has been a dedicated mentor and an inspiring role model to hundreds of women and men in industry, academia and medical practice,” said Ian Read, CEO and president of Pfizer. “Freda is intensely engaged in critical policy dialog in the interest of better patient outcomes. We are fortunate to have her as our top physician ensuring the quality, safety and effective use of Pfizer medicines.”
In September 2010, Dr. Lewis-Hall was appointed by the Government Accountability Office of the United States to the inaugural Board of Governors for the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Established through the healthcare reform law, PCORI will prioritize and direct a range of research programs to improve the nation’s quality of healthcare. In 2009, Dr. Lewis-Hall was one of 15 women spotlighted by ForbesWoman as a role model for young women in science. She was recognized in 2010 as one of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Healthcare by Black Health magazine and as one of the 75 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise magazine. Over the course of her career, Dr. Lewis-Hall has personally mentored more than 100 women.
Dr. Lewis-Hall has a strong record of patient advocacy, and she has spoken extensively on the impact of mental illnesses on patients, families and communities. She is a vocal champion of the imperatives to break down cultural barriers and eliminate healthcare disparities, often working closely with members of the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus. Dr. Lewis-Hall earned her undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University and her medical doctorate from Howard University College of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves on a number of boards, including the Society for the Advancement of Women’s Health Research, the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health, and the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School.
The 2011 HBA nominating committee overwhelmingly agreed that Dr. Lewis-Hall’s many accomplishments demonstrate her fulfillment of the criteria for Woman of the Year, including success in the healthcare industry, strong leadership capabilities, proven mentoring skills, dedication, a commitment to giving back to women, and contributions to the community. Letters of nomination were received for Dr. Lewis-Hall from across the healthcare spectrum, including public sector leaders.