Jason Purnell, PhD, MPH, will join BJC in September as vice president of community health improvement.
“In this new role, Jason will be responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of BJC's community health programs to ensure they are responsive to our community's needs,” says June McAllister Fowler, BJC senior vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs. “He will also oversee our connections with community-based programs that offer primary, secondary and tertiary prevention for chronic conditions, particularly those identified in our community health needs assessment.”
Purnell currently leads Health Equity Works, a community-facing research group at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Simultaneously, he has also served in a consulting capacity with BJC’s Center for Clinical Excellence for the past two years.
Along with his new responsibilities, Purnell will continue to hold a faculty position at the Brown School and support the soon-to-be-announced leadership of Health Equity Works. He also will provide support for the Brown School’s strategic planning efforts to advance community-science and align initiatives between the school and BJC.
Purnell holds a PhD in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in government and philosophy from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Originally from St. Louis, Purnell remains active in his hometown community, including leading the COVID-19 Regional Response Team to address the needs of vulnerable populations during the current pandemic. He also serves on the board of the Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance and on the Leadership Council of Ready by 21. Earlier this year, he was invited to join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. He is also a former director of community engagement with the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Purnell will report to McAllister Fowler and will also work closely with Bob Cannon, BJC group president; Clay Dunagan, MD, BJC chief clinical officer; and Joan Magruder, BJC group president, to ensure the work of the Community Health Improvement office is connected to all of BJC’s hospitals and service organizations.
“Jason is already an impactful leader of change in our community, and I am thrilled he will join us at BJC and help further advance our mission of improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve,” adds McAllister Fowler.