Modern Healthcare Names Penn’s Shreya Kangovi a Top Innovator
LDI Senior Fellow Honored for Her Groundbreaking Community Health Worker Program
Modern Healthcare magazine has named LDI Senior Fellow and Penn Associate Professor Shreya Kangovi, MD, MS, a Top Innovator of 2022. She joins 24 others from across the country acknowledged as Top Innovators in an annual program honoring health care professionals who have achieved industry-altering innovative success.
Modern Healthcare, the most respected trade magazine of the health care industry, circulates its print edition to 70,000 senior management executives and logs 1.2 million monthly page views on its website. Its Top 25 Innovators awards recognize “leaders who are instituting innovation and leading transformative programs that improve care by achieving measurable results and contributing to the clinical and financial goals of their organization.”
Community Health Workers
Kangovi is the Founding Executive Director of the Penn Center for Community Health Workers and leader of the research team that developed the Individualized Management for Patient-Centered Targets IMPaCT) system.
Those works have made Kangovi a renowned U.S. pioneer of an evidence-based system for recruiting, training, and managing a network of non-professional residents from low-income neighborhoods as trusted medical system navigators in those local communities. Multiple studies have shown that the IMPaCT system delivers improvements in mental health and chronic disease management while reducing the numbers of patient days spent in the hospital.
An Indian Concept
Born in Bangalore, India, Kangovi came to the U.S. as a three-year-old when her parents immigrated here. As a medical student at Harvard in the early 2000s, she traveled through India and worked at a tuberculosis hospital in New Delhi where community health workers were an integral part of the care delivery system. She was amazed by their empathetic efficiency and effectiveness.
As a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Penn in 2011, Kangovi focused her thesis research on adapting the same Indian community worker concept to the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s outreach and support needs in the low-income neighborhoods of West Philadelphia.
Impressed with the program’s early proven results in randomized trials, Penn Medicine adopted IMPaCT and worked with Kangovi to evolve it as the Penn Center for Community Health Workers (PCCHW). The University Health System also worked with her to commercialize IMPaCT as a separate core property that could operate as a national business. It is now the most widely used community health worker program in the U.S., replicated by community, health care, and public health organizations in 20 states.
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