Health

United Medical Center Gets New CEO

Andrew L. Davis Brings Experience, Compassion

Running a medical facility the size of United Medical Center [UMC] requires a person that knows the business, can make sound decisions and has no fear of challenges.

Perhaps that’s why the only full-service medical center in Southeast called on Andrew L. Davis, 45, to take over as the new CEO for a network that remains essential to those who live in the District, particularly in Wards 7 and 8.

Davis, a Florida native and a certified accountant, has been running medical centers for the past 10 years and said he finds the work rewarding.

“This is my fourth hospital where I’ve had the great fortune to serve as the CEO and what I like most is being able to help people and provide them with quality health care,” he said. “When people come to our doors, they’re often anxious. Reducing their anxiety helps with healing – that’s why I’m in this business – to facilitate healing.”

Davis, who left a Boston-based hospital similar to UMC, said service remains his top priority.

“We’re more than just a hospital – we consider ourselves to be a community partner,” he said. “For many who live in this area, we’re the only safety net they have. We have one of the busiest emergency rooms [ER] in the District and we serve a large number of high-risk patients – those with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and HIV/AIDS.

“With the Affordable Care Act [ACA], there have been major changes in the industry, particularly in regards with reimbursement policies. It also allows us to focus on preventive care. In fact, we’re in the process of developing more primary care clinics in Southeast that will focus on disease prevention,” he added. Davis noted that Blacks who seek the services of UMC often use the center’s ER for their general health care – a habit that he says must change.

“We’ve recently partnered with three new providers, all experts in internal medicine, who are helping us set up smaller clinics where patients can be treated and educated prior to having episodic situations that require a visit to the ER,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we purchased a mobile unit a few months ago and have since purchased a second one. Patients in this area needed us to go to them and we’ve done that.”

Davis describes accessing health care as a “journey.”

“Many people are moving from an uninsured status to having some type of insured product but they still need access to care. When you undergo regular exams as an outpatient, doing things like tracking your blood pressure and weight, doctors can make suggestions for the kind of care needed, many times avoiding potentially life-threatening situations later. We have to educate our people, especially Black men who tend to avoid doctors until it’s too late,” he said.

Davis, a Black man, said while there aren’t a lot of CEOs of color in the U.S., it hasn’t deterred him from his goals.

“I’ve been in this business close to 20 years and in that time I’ve seen more Blacks join the executive ranks,” he said “It’s still a difficult climb but progress has been made.

“We want to hear from the community in terms of its needs and we want to help those in Wards 7 and 8 face their medical challenges without fear. We’re here for them,” he said.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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