Welcome Nwando Olayiwola & Bryan Simmons!
PCP is delighted to announce the appointment of two new members to our growing Board of Directors: Nwando Olayiwola, M.D., and Bryan Simmons.
Both come to the organization with exemplary professional resumes matched only by their extraordinary personal stories - from paving the way for minority women to advance in STEM, to crooning Ella Fitzgerald over a cocktail. And here at PCP, we couldn’t be more excited to have their insights and energy at the helm of the organization.
Raised between the U.S. and her family’s native Nigeria, Nwando is a family physician and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco. She was also recently named the inaugural Chief Clinical Transformation Officer for RubiconMD, and will be working to bridge primary care-specialty care access gaps through an e-consulting platform.
As the daughter of professors, Nwando spent much of her childhood witnessing the power of primary care in rural Africa, where so many widespread conditions were also very much preventable. Indeed, it was the recognition that primary care doctors, like her maternal aunt in Nigeria, are essential to laying the foundation for strong, healthy communities that motivated her to pursue a career in medicine. “Any healthcare system that’s going to succeed and do well is one that holds primary care as foundational,” notes Nwando. “Going into medicine was never a question. I knew without a doubt I could make a real difference in the lives of the patients I encountered.”
Throughout her career, Nwando has done far more than just impact the lives of those patients who walk through her clinic doors, she’s also shaping the systems and workforce that cares for those patients. 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. A busy wife and mother of two, she’s also become a national voice for women - particularly minority women - in careers within the STEM sector. Her national conference series - "Minority Women Professionals are MVPs" - aims to empower and equip minority women with the skills required to succeed in a predominately male industry. “You can’t overstate the challenges faced by women navigating these environments - from biases to expectations,” says Nwando. “You also can’t overstate the opportunities. We bring an extraordinary perspective that’s enormously valuable to research, workplace success, and the delivery of care.”
Although Bryan Simmons’ resume reads like that of an accomplished lifelong marketing executive, his personal story reads more like a best-selling novel.
Born to Mississippi sharecroppers turned Memphis educators, Bryan never imagined that he’d travel from a paper route in Memphis to a boarding school in New England and a high school in France. Raised in an era of civil rights and civil unrest, Bryan worked his way through Harvard College as an aspiring musician, entertaining jazz greats at clubs in Boston with, as regarded by Ms. Fitzgerald, “a voice the world needs to hear.”
Setting aside his musical ambition for a steady income, Bryan found fast success in the world of communications, where he has worked in executive roles both on the agency side and in multinational businesses that include Lotus Development Corporation and IBM. When asked how he could transition so seamlessly from music to marketing, Bryan shares, “In many ways, my career in marketing is a lot like music - it’s about telling a story - making connections. It’s about conveying ideas to people in a way that moves them.”
And that’s exactly what Bryan does best - use the power of personal connection to inspire action. In addition to his present work as Vice President of Communications for the global Arcus Foundation, he’s a passionate advocate for issues of inequality - from championing LGBT rights to advancing conservation efforts. That passion for addressing inequality is, in part, what drove Bryan to serve on the PCP Board. “There are few places where inequality expresses itself more overtly than in healthcare. Primary care offers a real place to counter that inequality.”
It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Nwando and Bryan to the PCP Board. There’s no doubt that we look to 2017 with a great deal of uncertainty about the future of healthcare in America. And yet with the dedication and support of people like our two newest Board members - and the thousands of healthcare professionals at the heart of PCP’s national network - we remain hopeful for all that can be accomplished in the months and years ahead.
Learn more about Bryan and Nwando.