(JANUARY 25, 2021) – Last Mile Health announced today that Lisha McCormick has been selected by the Board of Directors to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective February 1, 2021.
McCormick succeeds Dr. Raj Panjabi, a physician who co-founded the organization in 2007 and served for 14 years as CEO. Dr. Panjabi, who is also a medical professor at Harvard Medical School, will become President Emeritus and join Last Mile Health’s Board of Directors.
Panjabi said, “I could not imagine a better leader to step into this role. Lisha combines a deep commitment to our mission with hands-on experience co-leading the organization with me for the past four years. I know Last Mile Health will grow and thrive under Lisha’s leadership.”
McCormick joined the organization in 2013, bringing over twenty years of non-profit management experience to serve as the founding Chief Development Officer. Under her leadership, the budget grew ten-fold as the organization expanded from a district-level pilot to partnering with the Government of Liberia to design and scale a historic national community health worker program. In 2017, she was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer in a ‘co-leadership’ model with Panjabi. Since then, McCormick has directly overseen all day-to-day functions of the organization, which has grown to a team of over 200 people now supporting five partner countries across Africa to strengthen rural community health systems. To date, the organization has supported thousands of community and frontline health workers to carry out millions of visits, delivering care and services for people at risk for COVID-19, Ebola, malaria, malnutrition, and complications of childbirth, amongst other conditions. Under McCormick’s leadership, Last Mile Health helped train tens of thousands of people around the world to strengthen community health programs in their own regions. She has also helped lead the organization’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and its current regional and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I started my career in public health as a community health worker. The idea that people should have equitable access to quality care is core to my values. The simple truth is that people shouldn’t be left out—and the health of any one of us is connected to the health and well being of all of us,” McCormick said. “I am ready to take on the role of CEO, particularly with the incredible Last Mile Health team by my side. Over the years, I’ve learned that hard problems can be solved when they are tackled by a committed, competent, values-aligned community. I am privileged to lead our team into this next chapter, a chapter we’ll be collectively writing.”
“It has been the honor of my life to serve as CEO of Last Mile Health,” Panjabi continued. “I know our journeys are not self made; they are shaped by others. I’m truly grateful for our team, partners, fellow health workers, and the patients we serve, who have shaped mine. When I reflect on where we started, raising $6,000 in 2007 to launch rural Liberia’s first HIV/AIDS clinic with community and frontline health workers in the hallway closet of a war-torn hospital, and where we are now, 14 years later, I’m in awe. I’m in awe of what’s possible when a community like ours fights for health equity—and then commits to this fight over the long term.”
About Last Mile Health
Last Mile Health saves lives in the world’s most remote communities. Founded in Liberia in 2007, the organization partners with countries across Africa to strengthen rural community health systems. For more information, visit lastmilehealth.org.
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