Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew, the academic chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine, was named a “Luminary” by the magazine, recognizing the sustained career impact she’s had throughout her four-plus decades in medicine.
PITTSBURGH (October 16, 2023) — — For the third year in a row, Pittsburgh's Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD, has been selected by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the industry's Top Diversity Leaders.
Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew (MEd, MPPM, FACOG) is the Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network (AHN).
A practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew has spent her career engaging marginalized communities and building programs that promote access and outcomes equity for vulnerable patients and mitigate socio-economic barriers to care, particularly for women.
Modern Healthcare's annual “Top Diversity Leaders” recognition celebrates a distinguished group of executives and organizations that are identified by an expert panel to be the nation's trailblazers in the areas of health care diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In 2021 and 2022, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew was named to the magazine's Top 25 Diversity Leaders list. This year, she was named to Modern Healthcare's special class of "Luminaries," an award that honors individuals who have made "outstanding, sustained contributions to health care" and have a proven track record of improving organizations, advancing the careers of other minority leaders, and enhancing health care's diversity and equity standards.
Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew is now among just a handful of the nation's health care leaders to be named diversity Luminaries by the magazine, a group that includes Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals; Beverly Malone, CEO for the National League for Nursing; and Ken Frazier, executive chairman of the board at Merck.
The 2023 individual awardees include leaders from health care institutions, insurance plans, academia, government, and the retail sector.
Profiles of the Top Diversity Leaders will be published online at ModernHealthcare.com/top-diversity-leaders and in the Oct. 16 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.
"Modern Healthcare's 2023 Top Diversity Leaders and organizations exemplify a commitment to meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion," said Dan Peres, President of Modern Healthcare. "They have exceeded industry standards and continue to devote necessary resources to providing internal opportunities while advancing community health equity, setting a great example for others."
At Highmark Health, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew and the AHN Equitable Health Institute which she established are advancing a comprehensive internal and external strategy designed to promote a culture of equity and inclusion across every component of the health and wellness enterprise.
In 2021, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew and her team focused their efforts on equitable COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution, ensuring that historically underserved communities and populations had equal access to these life-saving resources. In 2022, the Equitable Health Institute expanded its First Steps and Beyond program, a critical initiative established by AHN to reduce Black infant and fetal mortality and ensure that all babies born in the greater Pittsburgh region celebrate their first birthday. And in 2023, the institute, along with partners from the AHN Women’s Institute, launched AHN's first CenteringPregnancy® program, a nationally recognized model of group prenatal care shown to improve birth outcomes, particularly among Black babies.
In 2023, she was also appointed academic chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine.
"Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew is one of the nation’s top advocates for health care equity and diversity, and her incredible body of work speaks for itself," said Bruce Meyer, MD, Highmark Health’s Western PA Market President. "We are extremely proud of everything she has done at Highmark Health to further advance our organization’s commitment to the highest DEI standards that guide our strategies, both as an employer and as a facilitator of health and wellness services for millions."
At AHN, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew and her team have built from the ground up a program that has greatly strengthened the network's ability to effectively meet the health needs of every community it serves, said Jim Benedict, AHN President.
"Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew and her Equitable Health Institute team have had an extraordinary impact on our Network, and the diverse patient populations that we care for throughout the Western Pennsylvania region, helping to ensure that every person and every community feels valued and has access to the high-quality health care services they need and deserve."
Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew joined AHN in 2020 from University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, where she served as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chair of Clinical Diversity and Inclusion, and Assistant Dean of Students. She founded the JustWondoor (Women and Neonates, Diversity, Outreach, Opportunity, Research) global health program.
Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew earned a bachelor's degree in nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, a master's degree in education from California State University, a master's degree in public policy from the University of Pittsburgh and her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She served in the U.S. Navy for 13 years, achieving the rank of lieutenant commander and completing an OBGYN internship at Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA-based enterprise that employs more than 35,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the parent company of Highmark Inc., a hospital system, and other businesses. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates provide health insurance to more than 6 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and western/northeastern New York, as well as dental insurance, and related health products through a national network of diversified businesses. Allegheny Health Network is an integrated delivery network comprised of thirteen hospitals, more than 2,500 affiliated physicians, ambulatory surgery centers, an employed physician organization, home and community-based health services, a research institute, a group purchasing organization, and health and wellness pavilions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions is focused on meeting the information technology platform and other business needs of the Highmark Health enterprise as well as unaffiliated health insurance plans by providing proven business processes, expert knowledge, and integrated cloud-based platforms. To learn more, visit www.highmarkhealth.org.