Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez

SVP, Community and Population Health, Northwell Health

As senior vice president of community and population health, Debbie Salas-Lopez, M.D., M.P.H., oversees Northwell Health's community and public health strategy, including community health investment, community relations, strategic community partnerships, the Center for Equity of Care, as well as the smoking cessation, human trafficking and Food as Health programs.

Dr. Salas-Lopez's leadership was critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her team have partnered with various community and faith-based leaders to identify their most-pressing needs, which became the catalyst for Northwell's faith-based testing initiative - a program where Northwell partners with community and faith-based centers to offer free diagnostic and serology (antibody) testing. Dr. Salas-Lopez is also leading the Long Island Regional Health Equity Task Force, which has been tasked with providing equitable and safe COVID-19 vaccine distribution and education to lower-income communities.

Dr. Salas-Lopez joined Northwell in 2019 as senior vice president for transformation, responsible for system value-based initiatives that improve health and care delivery. She assumed her leadership role after serving as the chief transformation officer at Lehigh Valley Health Network, where she led strategy and oversaw a unique and broad portfolio, including community-based and population health initiatives, telehealth, connected care, and innovation, strategic partnerships, and operational redesigning of the clinical delivery system.

At Lehigh Valley, Dr. Salas-Lopez held various academic and clinical leadership positions. In 2009, she was appointed as the Leonard Parker Pool Chair of Medicine, a role she served in until 2015 when she became an associate chief medical officer. In 2017, she was appointed chief transformation officer for Lehigh Valley Health Network. Academically, she was a professor of medicine at the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine and the College of Public Health. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

She has collaborated with many community-based organizations on issues related to prevention, screening, and healthcare access and has partnered with other healthcare institutions to address community needs. She has led initiatives to improve quality of care and the health of the community, reduce costs, and provide better care coordination.

Dr. Salas-Lopez is a nationally recognized speaker and educator in women leaders in medicine, healthcare disparities and equity in care, cultural awareness and language-appropriate services, and the impact of social and economic factors on health. In 2021, Modern Healthcare named her to its annual Top 25 Women Leaders as a "Woman to Watch." She also received the 2021 Tribute to Excellence in Health Care award from the United Hospital Fund.


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