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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ex-NAFDAC DG Dora Akunyili’s daughter Ijeoma breaks record, becomes first black chief medical officer of US hospital

Ijeoma Akunyili, the first daughter of the former director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dora Akunyili has been named the new chief medical officer of The Jersey City Medical Center, a RWJBarnabas health facility in the United States.

The medical center announced the appointment in a statement on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.

The statement said Ijeoma led an unprecedented fourfold expansion of service lines with a specific focus on medical services and access to care for underserved populations.

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“Previously, Dr. Akunyili served as the chair of emergency medicine at Waterbury Hospital, a Level II trauma teaching hospital. There she was the change agent who led a dynamic team in dramatically reducing the lengths of stay, improving overall performance across multiple patient-centered metrics, and increasing physician staffing.

“She was awarded the 2019 Medical Director of the Year Award for the impressive turnaround of the Waterbury Hospital Emergency Department.

“In addition to her executive experience, Dr. Akunyili has vast leadership and advocacy experience, and is currently serving as the President of the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians (CCEP).

“Prior, she served for several years on the board of directors of Texas and Connecticut Colleges of Emergency Physicians. She was an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX, and she is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale University,” according to the statement.

Speaking on the appointment, Akunyili expressed gratitude to the hospital, adding that she remains committed to ensuring quality service delivery.

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“I am grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to serving the residents of Hudson County and continuing to provide safe, innovative, efficient, and equitable care,” she was quoted as saying.

“It is a true privilege to lead the clinical effort at Jersey City Medical Center and to create sustainable health outcomes for our community.”

In her most recent role, Dr. Akunyili served as the Regional Medical Director for TeamHealth, Northeast Group, where she had strategic, operational, and clinical oversight of nearly twenty emergency departments, critical care, and hospitalist service lines in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.

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