Lisa Cooper named VP for health care equity at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Lisa Cooper, a professor of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities, has been named vice president for health care equity for Johns Hopkins Medicine. She will assume the newly created position on Jan. 1, 2016.

Image caption: Lisa Cooper


The announcement was made Dec. 4 by Paul Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ron Peterson, president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

In a letter to colleagues, Rothman and Peterson wrote, "As our nation struggles to improve population health while managing health care spending, moving from health disparities to health equity has emerged as a top priority here at Johns Hopkins Medicine and across the country. In this new role, Lisa will work closely with Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and senior vice president for patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and James Page, vice president of diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, to expand our efforts to eliminate inequity across the health system."

Under Cooper's leadership, Rothman and Peterson said, Johns Hopkins Medicine will develop a systemwide plan to address health care disparities in high-risk populations. The plan will include the development of strategies to collect race, ethnicity, and primary language data; the creation of a dashboard to assess and report transparently on clinical performance in readmissions, chronic disease management, and patient satisfaction scores across population subgroups; the implementation of training materials and toolkits for clinicians and staff members; and technical support for the implementation and evaluation of interventions to achieve health care equity across Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Cooper became interested in tackling health disparities when she witnessed firsthand the effects of social deprivation on the health of those in her home country of Liberia, Rothman and Peterson said.

As the director of the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities, Cooper leads a multidisciplinary team that implements rigorous clinical trials to identify effective patient-centered solutions for alleviating health disparities among at-risk populations.

She has received national and international recognition for her research, including a MacArthur "genius grant," election to the National Academy of Medicine, and the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges for promoting social justice in medical education and health care equity.

Cooper received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Emory University and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Center. While completing her postdoctoral fellowship in general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she received her master's degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.