Jacksonville, Fla. (September 22, 2023) – Modern Healthcare has named Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, Executive Vice President and Chief Population Officer, Nemours Children's Health, as one of the nation’s "Top Innovators for 2023". The program honors leaders and organizations that are instituting innovation and leading transformative programs that achieve measurable results in improving care and supporting clinical and financial goals.
Dr. Walker was recognized for her work transforming care delivery to promote healthier populations. She leads the Nemours population health strategy, policy and advocacy, research, innovation and implementation, along with its Value-Based Services Organization and Delaware Valley primary care network.
“Innovation can take many forms, as evidenced by the individual and organizational honorees in this year’s class of Top Innovators,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Healthcare. “Whether they are establishing partnerships across the industry or developing tools to broaden consumers’ access to care, these winners are producing results and forging a path that others should follow.”
Dr. Walker has led the expansion of the Nemours value-based payment partnerships, with exciting results: achieving more than $2.5 million in earned incentives; securing value-based care payer models for 2022-2023 that decreased overall costs while improving outcomes; and exceeding initial social determinants of health and health equity objectives with payers. She also oversaw a pilot shared savings program with one payer that achieved a 15.7% increase in preventative care visits and 24% fewer hospital readmissions.
“Dr. Walker has focused her distinguished career on developing innovative strategies to transform the nation’s healthcare system so that it delivers quality, equitable, whole-person health through value-based care,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, President and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health. “She is a tremendous asset to the communities served by Nemours and to many others who benefit from her work here. I am delighted to see this well-deserved recognition among such a prestigious group.”
Since joining Nemours in 2020, Dr. Walker led the creation of the 12-organization Whole Child Health Alliance and The Ginsburg Institute for Health Equity at Nemours Children’s Health. She is a Board member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as well as a Membership Section Committee co-chair and Primary Care Interest Group Co-Chair of the National Academy of Medicine and the NAM Roundtable on Population Health.
The 2023 Top Innovators are featured in the magazine’s September 18 issue and online at ModernHealthcare.com/Top-Innovators.
About Modern Healthcare
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About Nemours Children’s Health
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, which includes two free-standing children's hospitals and a network of more than 70 primary and specialty care practices. Nemours Children's seeks to transform the health of children by adopting a holistic health model that utilizes innovative, safe, and high-quality care, while also caring for the health of the whole child beyond medicine. Nemours Children's also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, Nemours KidsHealth.org. The Nemours Foundation, established through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to the children, families and communities it serves. For more information, visit Nemours.org.
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