Jason Purnell will join BJC Healthcare as vice president of community health improvement. In this newly created role, Purnell will be responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of BJC's community health programs, ensuring they are responsive to community needs. This role will help accelerate BJC’s focus on eliminating health disparities and will oversee connections with community-based programs and organizations that offer primary, secondary and tertiary prevention for chronic conditions.
Purnell currently leads Health Equity Works, an initiative previously called For the Sake of All, at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Purnell will keep his faculty position with the Brown School while in his new role.
“Already an impactful leader of change in our community, I am thrilled Jason will join us at BJC and help us further advance our mission of improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve,” said June McAllister Fowler, BJC senior vice president of communications, marketing and public affairs.
He earned a PhD in counseling psychology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in government and philosophy from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A St. Louis native, Purnell leads the COVID-19 Regional Response Team to address the needs of vulnerable populations during the current pandemic. He also serves on the board of the Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance and on the Leadership Council of Ready by 21. Earlier this year, Purnell was invited to join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. He is also a former director of community engagement with the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Purnell begins his position at BJC Healthcare in early September.