Kaiser Permanente: Community Health Leaders Named

Originally published on about.kaiserpermanente.org.

David Grossman, MD, MPH, and Stephanie Ledesma, MS, will partner to advance critical social and community health initiatives.

David Grossman, MD, MHP, and Stephanie Ledesma, MS

Kaiser Permanente’s (Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Hall of Fame) mission extends beyond the delivery of health care to include addressing the health of communities. And as the country — and the world — continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s work to improve community health has taken on an even greater urgency. Today, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system announced that David Grossman, MD, MPH, and Stephanie Ledesma, MS, will co-lead the organization’s Office of Community Health.

“David and Stephanie will work together to accelerate the critical work driven by our social health and community health strategies,” said Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “Under the leadership of David and Stephanie, I am confident our social health and community health teams will continue to work seamlessly and effectively to help fulfill Kaiser Permanente’s mission and create greater health and equity for our members and communities.”

Dr. Grossman and Ledesma will partner closely to identify and address social health needs among Kaiser Permanente’s members, and — at the same time — to improve overall conditions for health and equity in the communities the organization serves.

In the last year, Kaiser Permanente established a social health practice to design and build new and innovative ways to connect members to social health services while bolstering the organization’s grant-making strategy to build and sustain communities’ capacity to meet growing needs. These efforts were previously led by Bechara Choucair, MD, who joined the Biden administration as the White House COVID-19 vaccinations coordinator in January.

“At this point in our pandemic response, it is critical that we accelerate our efforts to integrate how we address our members’ social health with our broader care delivery system,” said David Grossman, MD, MPH, interim senior vice president for community and social health. “Our work ahead is to diligently support our members and communities through this public health crisis as we seek to improve health and health equity outcomes by integrating social health into our clinical and care delivery settings.”

Dr. Grossman will work in partnership with the Permanente Medical Groups to lead Kaiser Permanente’s social health strategy as well as the organization’s public health advocacy and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephanie Ledesma, interim senior vice president for community health programs, will lead all community health operations and functions that support the organization’s community health portfolio.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating inequity in our communities, it is ever more critical that we intensify our focus on creating conditions for health,” said Ledesma. “I look forward to building upon our work to foster health and equity in the communities we serve by addressing the root causes of health, such as economic opportunity, affordable housing, health and wellness in schools, and a healthy environment.”

Ledesma has 25 years of experience in operations management and information technology leadership. Most recently, Stephanie served as vice president for community health operations at Kaiser Permanente, where she led grant-making, medical financial assistance and charity care, and the implementation of core community health initiatives across the enterprise.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Ledesma was chief operating officer at Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania where she had responsibility for a nearly $1 billion Medicaid health plan. She also led the implementation of key social health programs assisting community members with healthy eating, diabetes management, and medically tailored meals as well as interventions addressing substance abuse and the intergenerational cycles of poverty.

Ledesma holds a Bachelor of Science degree in information technology from Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri, and a Master of Science in applied analytics from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Grossman brings more than 30 years of medical and community health experience. He most recently served as senior associate medical director for community health and external relations for Kaiser Permanente Washington including executive oversight in community health, business development, and government relations, and was national senior medical director for community health for Kaiser Permanente. He served as executive medical leader and research investigator for Group Health Cooperative prior to its transition to Kaiser Permanente through an acquisition in 2017.

Before joining Group Health Cooperative and Kaiser Permanente in 2004, Dr. Grossman was a professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of health services at the University of Washington, and was the director of the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center in Seattle.

Dr. Grossman received his undergraduate education in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and medical degree at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A board-certified pediatrician, he completed his residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle.