The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine Announces Jennie Ward-Robinson, PhD as New Chief Executive Officer

Evanston, IL — (October 15, 2021) The Board of Directors of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) announced today that after an extensive national search, Jennie Ward-Robinson, Ph.D., has been appointed as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Ward-Robinson will succeed current Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of SIDM, Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd, who’s held his role since the organization was founded in 2011. Dr. Ward-Robinson’s employment with SIDM will commence immediately.

Dr. Ward-Robinson is an internationally recognized global health leader with over 20 years of executive leadership experience within academic, multilateral, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. She has successfully led initiatives in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin America, and Africa throughout her career, from which peer-reviewed publications and related policy products have resulted.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Ward-Robinson will be joining us as the new CEO of SIDM,” said Robert Trowbridge, MD, President of the SIDM Board of Directors. “The Board selected Dr. Ward-Robinson from a slate of extraordinary candidates and strongly believes she is the right person to lead SIDM in pursuit of achieving its mission.  Her experience, leadership abilities, and perspective make us very confident she will have a great and positive impact on the organization and the field as a whole.”

Prior to joining SIDM, Dr. Ward-Robinson served as Senior Advisor to the Dean of College and Arts and Science at Georgia State University, and as Co-Director of the Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora. She also served as the President and CEO for Uniting for Health Innovation (formerly PAHO Foundation), founded the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, and served as the Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“I am humbled and proud to join SIDM at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified attention to the ecosystem of patient care,” said Dr. Ward-Robinson. “Globally, providers are being challenged to deliver safe care and reduce patient harm. I join SIDM among the voices of citizens in a call to action – to better understand the patients’ determinants of health and health risk, practices, and the systems of related work, to foster the reduction of harm and promote safe practices. As a global health professional, safe care is an integral component to strengthening our health care systems and foster universal access. SIDM is well aligned as a trusted partner in the ecosystem of care to collaborate, convene, and foster education and research to advance evidence-based solutions towards promoting safe care and reducing patient harm.”

Dr. Ward-Robinson lends her strategic leadership as an appointed Board member to various organizations, including the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance, Smithsonian Science Education Center, United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Council, Institute of Medicine Roundtable, Alliance for Water Efficiency, and many more. Dr. Ward-Robinson holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

The Board would like to recognize Paul Epner’s tenure as SIDM’s inaugural CEO and is grateful for all he has done for the organization, its members, and especially patients. The Board looks forward to celebrating his many contributions at the upcoming Diagnostic Error in Conference later this month.


About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community, and every interested stakeholder. SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015, SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and government agencies involved in patient care. Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit to learn more.

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