Nwando Olayiwola – primary care, tech, and leadership

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How can we use tech to make healthcare better and more accessible? Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, a family physician, faculty member at UCSF, and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer for RubiconMD, a leading provider of electronic consultations between primary care and specialty care providers, has spent many years thinking about that question. She joins us this week to tell us about her career in primary care, tech, and leadership. We also discuss her powerful essay, Racism in Medicine: Shifting the Power, and her research looking at various aspects of tech and care delivery.

Thank you to the Harvard Center for primary care for helping to facilitate this interview. I did make a few recording snafus on this interview – so my apologies for the sub-optimal audio quality in a few sections.

A little more about our guest: Dr. Nwando Olayiwola is a family physician and the inaugural Chief Clinical Transformation Officer for RubiconMD, a leading provider of electronic consultations between primary care and specialty care providers. She is also currently an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. She served as the Director of the UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care until February 2017. In that role, she supported the Center in achieving strategic objectives around primary care transformation and systems redesign regionally, nationally and internationally. Prior to her work at UCSF, Dr. Olayiwola served as the Chief Medical Officer of the largest Federally Qualified Health Center system in Connecticut, Community Health Center, Inc. (CHCI), where she developed expertise in medical administration, translational and implementation research, professional development, systems based and quality improvement and practice transformation of twelve primary care practices into Patient-Centered Medical Homes. Her work led to CHCI being one of the first organizations in the United States to receive both the NCQA Level 3 PCMH and Joint Commission PCMH Recognitions. She has been a leader in harnessing technology to increase access to care for underserved and disenfranchised populations and is an expert in the areas of health systems reform, practice transformation, health information technology and primary care redesign. She is on the advisory board of Primary Care Progress and the Robert Graham Center for Family Medicine and Primary Care Policy.

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This interview has been edited for length and clarity.