Shreya Kangovi, MD, MSHP is an internist, pediatrician and health policy researcher. She is a leading national expert on the use of community health workers –trusted laypeople from local communities-- to improve population health. Her research also sheds light on patient perspectives on health and health care utilization.
Dr. Kangovi is the founding executive director of the Penn Center for Community Health Workers, a national center of excellence dedicated to advancing health in low-income populations through effective community health worker programs. The center is a hub for ongoing research and development of best practices for community health workers. Dr. Kangovi led the team that designed IMPaCT, a standardized, scalable community health worker program which has been proven in three randomized controlled trials to improve chronic disease control, primary care access, mental health and quality of care while reducing hospital admissions.
IMPaCT has a $2:1 annual return on investment to payers and has been delivered to nearly 10,000 high-risk patients in the Philadelphia region alone. In the last three years, IMPaCT has become the most widely disseminated community health worker program in North America; it is being replicated by organizations across 15 different states including Veterans Health Administration, state Medicaid programs; integrated healthcare organizations and even retailers. These organizations collectively reach over 200M people across the United States and Canada.
Dr. Kangovi’s research, published in peer-reviewed publications including NEJM, JAMA and Health Affairs, has elucidated patient preference of hospital (rather than primary) care, the effect of unrealistic goal-setting on health outcomes, and the unmet need for empathic health care personnel such as community health workers. She has received over $20M in funding including federal grants from the NIH and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
She is the recipient of the 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Award, an elected member of the American College of Physicians and a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity.
At a recent the University of Pennsylvania Health Policy retreat, Dr. Kangovi summarized her work with community health workers:
Dr. Kangovi received her Bachelor's degree from Columbia University and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She trained in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, and received her Masters of Health Policy Research from the University of Pennsylvania, as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar.