Austin, TX, Aug. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sendero Health Plans today announced that Mary Carol Jennings, MD, MPH is joining the local community non-profit health plan as Chief Medical Officer. In her role, Dr. Jennings will help lead Sendero’s mission of delivering high-quality, equitable health care to the Travis County area, and especially to under-served and lower income households in our community.
“Sendero’s values and mine align – we share a deep commitment to serving under-served communities and providing vital health care options with a high quality of care,” Dr. Jennings said. “That care not only extends to what patients receive from Sendero’s network of providers, but the care is demonstrated by every person within the company, from the people who answer member calls to the leadership team who constantly look for ways to improve our members’ health care experience.”
A board-certified preventive medicine physician with a special focus on communicable disease prevention and health equity, Dr. Jennings most recently served as the Director of Reproductive and Maternal Health Initiatives for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s International Vaccine Access Center. While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jennings also directed international research and policy initiatives across multiple departments and served as a core faculty member and Academic Director of the school’s preventive medicine residency training program. Shecontinues to serve on the faculty and as an advisor on community health and disease prevention issues.
Dr. Jennings’ research and public health practice focuses on innovation and community engagement to improve vaccine and health service delivery, with special attention on serving neglected and low-resourced populations. For the past four years, she ran a multi-country vaccine access collaborative in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the U.S.-based global NGO, JSI.
Dr. Jennings grew up in small-town rural South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from the College of William & Mary and received her medical degree from the University of South Carolina, where she focused on rural medicine and primary care. She completed two years of clinical training in obstetrics and gynecology before leaving to serve as a senior fellow in women’s health for a policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., overseeing regulatory and safety programs and initiatives. She went on to complete a residency in general preventive medicine and public health and obtained a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“Dr. Jennings’ medical and faculty background and passion for public health makes her a wonderful addition to Sendero’s leadership team – especially given the health challenges faced by community members today,” said Wes Durkalski, CEO of Sendero Health Plans. “Dr. Jennings’ knowledge and enthusiasm for her new role with our community health plan will significantly contribute to the health of Sendero members and our community.”
Dr. Jennings replaces Dr. Robert Allison, who left Sendero to join the CDCto support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office in the Philippines.
Formed in 2011, Sendero Health Plans, Inc. is a community-based nonprofit Health Maintenance Organization supported by the Travis County Health District, known as Central Health, dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing affordable, quality healthcare coverage, especially for Travis County residents with low income. Sendero offers its IdealCare and SelectCare plans on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace and is available in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Burnet, Fayette, Lee and Caldwell counties.