A panel of previous winners of The Daily Record Top 100 Women and Leading Women selected 32 women 40 years of age and under to honor in 2020. Award recipients were selected based on their professional experience, community involvement, and commitment to inspiring change. Among these 2020 Leading Women honorees is Johns Hopkins HealthCare’s Associate Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hoda Bastani.
Dr. Bastani started medical school at 17 with the goal of making a positive impact on the lives of people with the greatest needs. She cared for children and trained local physicians in rural Honduras, Rwanda, and Haiti, and later served a low-income population at the Inova Cares Clinic for Children as pediatrician for nine years. Recognizing the greater health needs of these populations, Dr. Bastani shifted her career to focus on population health and received her MPH and board certification in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins, where she also served as Chief Resident of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program. Within this field, she has led a community-based initiative to improve access to nutrition in inner-city food deserts, taught community cooking classes to promote principles of lifestyle medicine and culinary medicine (which she has since expanded and taken to social media), and participated in legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Preventive Medicine. As JHHC’s Associate CMO, she leads clinical strategies to promote health and prevent disease in innovative and data-driven ways for our members.
“In order to lead successful change, one must not be afraid to disrupt the status quo and look for innovative solutions to age-old problems,” says Dr. Bastani. The world of health care tends to assume that social factors such as race, level of education, and economic status — known risk factors for illness — cannot be overcome. Dr. Bastani has challenged this assumption throughout her career. As a pediatrician, Dr. Bastani gained insight into the factors that impact a person’s ability to lead a healthy life, and helped the families she cared for develop new ways to address these challenges. Now, she uses this perspective to work toward health equity on a larger scale for JHHC’s 400,000+ health plan members.
JHHC is proud of Dr. Bastani, and we are thrilled that such an exemplar of JHHC’s core values has been recognized on this scale. Dr. Bastani and other winners will be honored on Dec. 1, 6 - 7 p.m., at a virtual event.