Former ED physician, cardiac nurse win award for workplace program

The American Heart Association is awarding its Meritorious Achievement honor to two women from separate major companies who teamed up to advance health equity. 

The recipients, Kulleni Gebreyes, MD, a former emergency department physician, and Lynne Sterrett, MSN, who was previously a cardiac nurse, both left the medical field to enter the corporate world. Now, Dr. Gebreyes is a chief health equity officer at Deloitte, and Ms. Sterrett leads the company's life sciences and healthcare consulting practice. 

The two teamed up at Deloitte to partner with the AHA and form a collaboration aimed at identifying and reducing health disparities within organizations. Out of it came the Health Equity in the Workforce initiative as well as an accompanying playbook that acts as a tool for companies to use, guiding them through measuring the impact of efforts and meeting the needs of employees. 

The benefit, Ms. Sterrett told the AHA, comes when an organization's CEO and leadership team are able to better understand the needs of its workforce and then develop programs to meet those needs.

"Purpose and profit need to align," Dr. Gebreyes said in a statement. "If you want your company to succeed, you have to have a healthy workforce."

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