To help expand the organization’s work to address health disparities and promote health equity, Sentara Healthcare has hired Dr. Keith H. Newby as an independent contractor to be the system’s Medical Director of Health Equity. Newby will work with Chief Physician Executive Dr. Jordan Asher, Director of Health Equity Iris Lundy, and other system leaders to aid in the development of programs that address conditions that disproportionately affect underserved and underrepresented communities with a specific focus on the Black and Brown communities in Hampton Roads and throughout Virginia and northeast North Carolina.
Sentara and Dr. Newby have a history of collaboration. Dr. Newby, a cardiologist, has and continues to be a physician partner for Sentara. He was also the face and voice of some Sentara-led campaigns to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and to reduce vaccine hesitancy within underserved and underrepresented communities.
In his new role, Dr. Newby is expected to work on expanding plans and initiatives that improve access to both physical and mental healthcare in underserved neighborhoods. He will also work on plans that promote higher COVID-19 vaccination rates among those populations with lower inoculation rates and encourage better overall health through community initiatives and education.
Dr. Newby is the founder of the newly-created James E. Newby, M.D. Foundation (Newby Foundation). Dr. Newby created the Newby Foundation in memory of his late father, Dr. James E. Newby, Jr., a well-known Hampton Roads internist who served as Chief of Medicine at Norfolk Community Hospital and was the first Black board-certified Internist to obtain privileges at what is now Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
“My father passed on a strong sense of community involvement to his children, so I am excited to work with Sentara as Medical Director of Health Equity. Together, we will address concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, chronic kidney disease, infant mortality and low birth in our community,” Newby said.