Nkem Chukwumerije, MD, MPH, FACP, President and Executive Medical Director, The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Named to Modern Healthcare’s 2023 List of “Top 25 Diversity Leaders”


Dr. Chukwumerije, national physician lead for equity, inclusion and diversity for the Permanente Medical Groups, honored for championing programs to disrupt bias and address microaggressions

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 17, 2023) The Permanente Federation today announced that Nkem Chukwumerije, MD, MPH, FACP, president and executive medical director of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group and executive sponsor and national physician lead for equity, inclusion and diversity for the Permanente Medical Groups, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s “Top Diversity Leaders.” The Modern Healthcare recognition program honors the top diverse individuals and organizations influencing policy, care delivery and public health, as well as promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in their organizations and in the health care industry.

Modern Healthcare recognized Dr. Chukwumerije for collaborating on the continuing deployment of Belong@KP Part One – Disrupt Bias, a program launched in 2021 to help Permanente Medical Group physicians, clinicians and employees identify and mitigate recurring forms of bias in the workplace. They also acknowledged Dr. Chukwumerije for leading a campaign to promote respectful interactions by addressing subtle forms of discrimination called microaggressions at The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, one of the largest multispecialty groups in Georgia. In addition, Modern Healthcare selected Dr. Chukwumerije for implementing equity, inclusion and diversity leader rounding at medical office buildings in his medical group to promote the importance of those concepts among physicians, clinicians and staff.

“This honor recognizes the commitment of our physicians, clinicians, nurses and staff to improve the health of our communities by addressing racial inequity and overcoming systemic and structural barriers both within our workplace and among the communities we serve,” Dr. Chukwumerije said. “It also pays tribute to their dedication to addressing inequities and disparities in health outcomes by providing culturally responsive, equitable care for all our members and patients.”

Also named to the 2023 “Top 25 Diversity Leaders” program is Ron Copeland, MD, senior vice president of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy and chief equity, inclusion and diversity officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. Dr. Copeland also serves on the board of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine and the National Organization on Disability.

Dr. Copeland and Dr. Chukwumerije together are at the center of Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to lead the country in improving clinical and workforce training and building closer relationships with communities to address ongoing disparities in health. The leaders earlier this year discussed Kaiser Permanente’s latest equity, inclusion and diversity efforts, how the medical community can better serve the underserved in health care, and reflected on their personal journeys in a Permanente Medicine Podcast episode on putting equity, inclusion and diversity at the center of care delivery.

The complete list of Modern Healthcare honorees and their profiles are available at ModernHealthcare.com/awards/top-diversity-leaders-healthcare-2023 and in the October 16th issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. A digital subscription is required to view the online profiles.

To learn more about Permanente Medicine, visit permanente.org.

About Permanente Medical Groups 
The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of more than 23,000 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente — an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine to 12.7 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the-art facilities and technology, to provide world-class preventive and complex care centered in eight states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation
The Permanente Federation LLC is the national leadership and consulting organization for the eight Permanente Medical Groups, which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the Permanente Medical Groups to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine — medicine that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered, and physician-led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation, and performance improvements across the Permanente Medical Groups to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming health care delivery.