Leana Wen Joins Milken Institute School of Public Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 20, 2019)Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University (GW) today announced that Leana Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, will join the school as a visiting professor of health policy and management. Wen, who starts Sept. 1, has also been named a distinguished fellow in the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity (Mullan Institute).

Wen most recently served as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she worked to expand comprehensive health care for vulnerable women and families.  She previously was Health Commissioner for Baltimore City, where she led innovative work to reduce health disparities, improve maternal and child health and combat the opioid epidemic.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Wen to Milken Institute School of Public Health,” said Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MPH, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Milken Institute SPH. “Dr. Wen has long been a member of the GW family, and we are elated to have her expertise, care and vision as we work toward building equity in health care.”

A board-certified emergency medicine physician, Wen has served on the faculties of both the Department of Emergency Medicine at GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and the Department of Health Policy and Management at Milken Institute SPH. Wen is also an adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at SMHS.  

In June, Wen provided the keynote speech at the inaugural Health Workforce Equity Summit, an initiative of the Mullan Institute, which works to strengthen health workforce policies in the United States and around the world. It was named in April to honor Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, professor of health policy and management, and pediatrics at Milken Institute SPH and SMHS, and his lifelong commitment social justice, health equity and health workforce policies.

“It is particularly meaningful that I will serve as the distinguished fellow for the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity, as Dr. Mullan has been my mentor since I was 18 years old,” Wen said. “He exemplifies what it means to be a physician-leader: someone who advocates for health as a human right, who fights against deep-rooted injustices, whose north star is serving patients and communities most in need. What an honor to carry on his legacy!”

As a distinguished fellow in the Mullan Institute, Wen will advance interdisciplinary research and education, participating in the trainings of the Mullan Institute’s fellowship programs and enhancing the school’s educational opportunities in the areas of maternal and child health, women’s health and health equity.

Wen received her medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis and her master’s degrees from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She completed her medical residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Wen authored a critically acclaimed book, When Doctors Don’t Listen, and published dozens of articles in scientific publications. A fellow of both the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and Academy of Medicine, she has also been recognized as Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives, received the American Public Health Association’s highest award for local public health work, and named one of Governing’s 2017 Public Officials of the Year. Wen was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019. 

“I am excited to return to the George Washington University, where I will be working with dedicated colleagues to train the next generation of public health leaders who are striving for health equity and social justice,” Wen said.