Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew named Top Diversity Leader for second year in a row

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New Pittsburgh Courier



Dr. Pettigrew is SVP and Chief DEI officer for Highmark Health, AHN


For the second year in a row, Pittsburgh’s Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, M.D., has been selected by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the industry’s Top Diversity Leaders, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned.

Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew 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. She also is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University School of Medicine.

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.

These industry leaders influence policy and care delivery models across the country, while also nurturing and enhancing health care’s diversity and equity standards.

The 2022 individual awardees include leaders from health care institutions, education, and government.

“Since the day she arrived at AHN, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew has been a remarkable advocate for diversity and health care equity, and she has had an extraordinary impact on the people and communities we serve in the Western Pennsylvania region,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, President and CEO, AHN, in a statement to the Courier, Oct. 17. “Her inclusion on this list, for a second straight year, speaks not only to her own professional accomplishments, and the achievements of her team, but also to AHN and Highmark Health’s organizational progress toward creating a more equitable health care environment.”

“The honorees on Modern Healthcare’s 2022 lists of Top Diversity Leaders and Organizations demonstrate a willingness to devote the resources necessary to execute meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, Modern Healthcare’s editor, in a statement. “Their efforts to provide greater opportunities internally while advancing health equity initiatives in their communities set a great example for others to follow.”

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. That strategy includes evaluation of the organization’s recruitment, its employment and professional development practices, and the quality of care and services it provides to every patient and community. 

In 2021, Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew and her team focused their efforts on equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution, ensuring that historically underserved communities and populations had equal access to the vaccine. 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.

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 Stude…


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