Partners In Health Appoints Sheila Davis as CEO

Sheila Davis
June 6, 2019 — Partners In Health, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides health services to some of the poorest regions of the world and conducts research on diseases affecting those areas, yesterday announced Sheila Davis has been named chief executive officer.

Davis, currently chief of clinical operations and chief nursing officer at Partners In Health (PIH), succeeds Gary Gottlieb, a longtime PIH board member who became CEO in 2015. A year ago, he announced his intention to step down.

"Thanks to her vast experience, strategic acumen, unwavering solidarity, and passionate commitment to our mission, Sheila is a brilliant choice to help the organization meet more of the needs of those we serve," Gottlieb said.

After joining PIH in 2010, Davis was instrumental in the planning and opening of a 300-bed teaching hospital in Haiti. When PIH entered West Africa to help address the Ebola epidemic, Davis, then chief nursing officer and a member of the executive leadership team, led the organization's Ebola response. Later, she took on the additional role of chief of clinical operations.

"Partners In Health has never been better positioned to help provide health care that truly prioritizes the needs of the poor, to show the world that high-quality health care can be provided to all," Davis said. "I'm honored and ready to work with my colleagues around the world to do the best for our patients and challenge health inequities globally."

PIH said Davis "has married her activism, pragmatism, and implementation skills to elevate Partners In Health's nursing programs and all of the clinical operations, firmly establish the organization's nursing strategy, and heighten the professionalism and inclusiveness of the organization's thousands of nurses, midwives, and community health workers."

Davis joined PIH in 2010 as a global nurse coordinator. Prior to that, she served as president of Sibusiso, a nonprofit providing support to HIV/AIDS infected and affected communities in South Africa and the Greater Boston area.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Northeastern University, and a Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Science degrees from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Under Gottlieb's leadership, PIH opened the University of Global Health Equity, a health sciences university in rural Rwanda; worked with key global partners to bring the first new drugs in 40 years to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to more than 2,600 people in 19 countries; and expanded innovative cross-site programs delivering mental health care and services for people with non-communicable diseases where none had been available previously.

Gottlieb will continue his academic commitments as professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, serving on the medical staffs of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He will also continue to serve on the boards of nonprofit and innovative health care companies and in an advisory role as an executive partner at Flare Capital Partners.

PIH was established in 1987 by Paul Farmer, chief strategist of the organization, Ophelia Dahl, board chair, and others to deliver health care to the destitute sick. To meet its mission, it builds hospitals and medical facilities, trains and hires local staff, and, working with local governments, seeks to remove barriers to good health and strengthen the rights of the poor. Although PIH provides direct care, it does not own and operate facilities.