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Speaker Profile:

Sandra Bruce Nichols headshot
Sandra Bruce Nichols, MD, FAAFP, MHCDS, MS

Senior Vice President of Health and Community Engagement

UnitedHealth Group

Dr. Sandra B. Nichols is the Senior Vice President of Health and Community Engagement at UnitedHealth Group. Her role includes representing UHG to propose policies and set the direction for Health Inclusion and Community Engagement. Dr. Nichols leverages her expertise in public health, community engagement, health transformation, and health care management to address social determinants of health, plan programs for occupation and safety programming and leads innovative approaches to influence initiatives internally and externally. She provides expertise to support health equity and improve the health and wellness of marginalized populations.

Dr. Sandra Nichols has more than 20 years of increasingly responsible roles in public health, health care delivery and medical management. Prior to this role, Dr. Nichols was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of National Inpatient Care Management for UnitedHealthcare. Before moving into this national role, Dr. Nichols had served as the Chief Medical Officer for several regions across the country. Prior to UHC, she served as Director and Commission of the Arkansas Department of Health and as a Cabinet Secretary and Board of Health Member in the administrations of two Arkansas Governors –Jim Guy Tucker and Mike Huckabee. Dr. Nichols has previously held the position of CEO for Amerigroup, District of Columbia and Virginia.

Dr. Nichols completed her BA in chemistry from Columbia College in Missouri, her MS in Biology from Tennessee State University, and her MD from the University of Arkansas School of Medical Science where she served as Chief Resident and completed a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Family Practice.

She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Leadership Institute and an alumnus of the American Swiss Foundation Young Leader Conference. In 2015 Dr. Nichols received her MS in Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.

Throughout her career, Dr. Nichols has received many awards and citations. In 2013 she received The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in Maryland awards, and she is a 2011 recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business Award”. In 2006 she was named a Top 25 Minority Executives in Health Care by Modern Health Care Magazine and also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia College. In 2005 she was a National Congress of Black Women, Inc. award recipient. Dr. Nichols is also the recipient of the National FBI Community Leadership Award, the Talented Tenth Award, the Eta Phi Beta Vision of Excellence Award, and the Public Health Leadership Institute Scholar Award.

Dr. Nichols currently serves on numerous boards and organizations. She serves as the Chairman of the Board for National Medical Fellowships and serves on the board of Community Health Charities. In addition, she has also served on the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine Executive Council, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Southern Rural Access Board, Mercantile Bank Board, and Board of Trustees for Columbia College. She was appointed in 2012 by Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and served a four-year term on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice of the Health Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Nichols is the United Health Foundation business sponsor for the Diverse Scholar Initiative. She is a published author of articles and a textbook chapter “Occupational Hazards” Goldsmith, Simmons, Nichols., Family Medicine Principles and Practice Robert B. Taylor. Springer-Verlag, 1994,1995,1996.

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