Honoring Women of Color in Medicine, leading the call for Equitable Healthcare

Jehni Robinson (hscnews.usc.edu)

Keck Medicine of USC tapped Jehni Robinson, MD, to become president of USC Medical Group (USC care). The Los Angeles Sentinel had an exclusive interview with the newly appointed president to discuss her role and responsibilities. As an empowered Black woman, Robinson provided words of wisdom for the next generation to adhere to.

On July 22, Keck Medicine of USC released an announcement, depicting their newly appointed president. Robinson, who was the chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, is now serving a two-year term.

Robinson is the bridge between leaders in the healthcare system and innovative strategies that promote equity and deeper care for diverse populations.

The press release spoke highly of Robinson, by stating, “Robinson is a well-established and respected primary care physician with a combination of practical administrative skills from leading a large, multiservice community clinic and considerable experience in teaching and developing curriculum. She is passionate about medical care for underserved communities, developing teams, and creating efficient patient-centered models of care.”

The growth in Robinson’s responsibilities came from merited experience. In the press release, Robinson stated, “I look forward to working closely with our leaders to help advance our medical group by supporting its continued growth and development while improving communication, efficiency, and reliability of our processes. We must also improve diversity and inclusion within health care as technology and policy create a rapidly shifting industry landscape.”

Executive leadership emphasized the medical center’s good judgment in Robinson’s placement. Smitha Ravipudi, MPH, chief executive officer of USC Care and Ambulatory Care Services for Keck Medicine stated, “Maintaining a high-caliber physician group requires experience, thoughtful and strategic leadership from someone with a clear vision and keen ability to listen to others,”

Ravipudi continued, “Jehni Robinson is a dedicated physician and leader within her department. She enters this new role with enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge that will make her an exceptional president of USC Care.”

Robinson worked diligently in school, earning her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She followed her passion for medicine and completed her program at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Robinson found herself moving to Los Angeles to complete her internship and residency in family medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical center, accomplishing her term of residency and faculty development fellowship.

Robinson shared her passion for health and the medical profession started in middle school. “My middle School newspaper is where I was interviewed, and I said that I wanted to be a doctor. I always had some interest in it, but it wasn’t until I got to college and was thinking about how both of my parents used their careers to help others– I began to think of medicine as a means to an end–in the sense that I felt like it was important to use your career to improve the lives of others.”

The president of USC Medical Group shared that her work fulfills an aspect in her life that is a part of a greater cause, she described being involved in healthcare felt like a “tangible” outlet in building the collective community.

Robinson explained her academic journey, which included 11 years of training, she shared her courses of hardship. Robinson also provided the words of her father that kept her balanced. Robinson admitted that chemistry was her Achilles heel in her program. “As my dad would say, ‘you just keep on keeping on.’ You just try to put one foot in front of the other, show up, and do your best–and then you learn along that journey.”

Looking at healthcare in the current status of emergency, Robinson shared her appreciation and pride in the growth in Medicine at USC. “Building on the Journey, medicine has been a rapidly growing health system that has been developing and has continued to develop as part of the University of Southern California. And I think we’re incredibly proud within Medicine–of the growth and the accomplishments both in the number of patients and communities that we serve as well.”

Robinson continued, “I have had an opportunity as a chair of the Department of Family Medicine to watch over the last four years of continuing to grow and develop.”

The newly appointed president expressed how the values found in the healthcare at USC continue to move in the right direction. “I been impressed with the values of the other leaders within our system— about being there for our community and about serving patients, and their families.”

Robinson said.

Considering her two-year term, Robinson began to express the unique opportunity for growth she has found in this role. Robinson said, “I felt like it was an excellent opportunity to bring what we have in Family Medicine, which is a holistic perspective in terms of longitudinal care for patients. It’s on communities to bring that into a leadership role at an organization that I felt would be welcoming of that.”

Robinson has been selected to head a crucial part of the USC healthcare system, she expanded on her main plan while she holds this seat is the continual growth and development of more equitable healthcare opportunities for all patients.

“I think having access to excellent care across a wide variety of areas is something that we’ve been growing, and I want to continue to advocate for that growth and development. Also always having an eye on excellence and when we think about what is excellent to me–that means not only outstanding care for our patients and families but also thinking about how we create systems of care that are efficient, high-quality for the people who are involved in providing that care.”

Robinson continued, “From the people who might encounter you first–when you call in for an appointment, to the care provided by our nursing teams, to our world-class physicians who are providing outstanding services.  If we can shoot for excellent Synergy, good communication, and connection across those different parts of the care team, then I think we can meet our continued goal which is to provide excellent service.”