BOSTON, Aug. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At the forefront of catalyzing the healthcare industry to address patients' unmet social needs for more than 20 years, Health Leads today announced the appointment of Damon Francis, M.D. to the new position of chief medical officer.
Francis brings a range of experience working in clinics, hospitals and communities of care and a deep understanding of the health challenges facing the marginalized and those living in concentrated poverty. As health systems increasingly commit to addressing the social determinants of health, Francis' perspective as a physician and public health practitioner will be crucial to Health Leads' future strategy to ensure social needs interventions become a cornerstone of person-centered care.
"Every day, health care teams witness their patients' pain and suffering, not only from illness and disease, but from a lack of access to basic resources —like housing, food and transportation. For 20 years, Health Leads has demonstrated that effective social needs interventions in clinical settings are both possible and necessary," said Francis. "I'm honored to join Health Leads in its commitment to addressing patients' unmet social needs at a systemic level and equipping clinical leaders across the country with the tools and insight they need to close the treatment gaps that exist for millions of patients."
Francis joins Health Leads after five years at the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency in the East San Francisco Bay Area, where he served as the interim director and medical director of Health Care for the Homeless, spearheading the adoption and expansion of clinical models addressing the whole patient, including medical, behavioral and social needs. Francis was also medical director of the Urban Male Health Initiative, a campaign of the Alameda County Public Health Department charged with reducing health disparities affecting men of color, and prior to that he worked as a physician at the East Bay AIDS Center. He is an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, where he received his M.D. and completed residency. He also continues to provide urgent care at a community clinic in Oakland, Calif.
"Damon's bold vision for a health system rooted in person-centered and compassionate care resonated with ours from the start," said Rebecca Onie, Health Leads' co-founder and chief executive officer. "We could not be more thrilled to have one of the country's foremost leaders in the intersection of healthcare delivery and community health join our team, bringing new insight into how we redefine collectively what 'counts' as healthcare, elevate health equity to the forefront of our work, and deepen our relationships with our patients, their communities and our health sector partners."
Francis is based in the Bay Area and will play a key role in driving Health Leads' research and evaluation agenda, expanding product innovation and deepening industry partnerships.
About Health Leads
Health Leads is a social enterprise that envisions a healthcare system that addresses all patients' basic resource needs as a standard part of quality care. For 20 years, Health Leads has worked with leading healthcare organizations to tackle social co-morbidities by connecting patients to the community-based resources they need to be healthy – from food to transportation to healthcare benefits. Health Leads is committed to leveraging its tools, expertise and direct services to change what "counts" as healthcare – and accelerate the leadership, best practices, incentives and research required to improve the health and well-being of patients. Learn more at www.healthleadsusa.org, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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SOURCE Health Leads