Dr. Patrick McGann Named New Obama Foundation United States Leader

Lifespan today announced that Patrick McGann, MD, PhD, director of The Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University, is among the first cohort of 100 emerging changemakers selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA program. The Obama Leaders program is a six-month virtual program that supports and connects emerging leaders in the United States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe through a values-based leadership framework inspired by the ideals and legacy of President and Mrs. Obama. Chosen from a highly competitive pool of applications, Dr. McGann was selected to join the program for his commitment to improving the lives of individuals with sickle cell disease through a focus on anti-racism and health equity both locally and internationally.

The inaugural cohort of United States “Obama Leaders” is composed of values-driven changemakers    from every corner of the country. Hailing from 37 states; Washington, D.C.; American Samoa; Guam; and five tribal nations, these Obama Leaders are united by their passion for building a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive world.

Since joining Lifespan in September 2021 as Director of the Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, Dr. McGann has worked to develop an innovative "lifespan" approach to sickle cell care that aims to provide seamless, high-quality and equitable care across the lifespan, directly addressing the well described challenges related to transition from pediatric to adult care. Dr. McGann leads many US-based and global research studies related to sickle cell disease with funding from the National Institutes of Health, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and American Society of Hematology.

Locally in the US, Dr. McGann's efforts are focused on recognizing and addressing the negative impact of structural and interpersonal racism on the lives of individuals with sickle cell disease. Globally, Dr. McGann's work is focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of children with sickle cell disease to reduce the tremendous early mortality associated with sickle cell disease in Angola and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa where he has worked. Dr. McGann currently or has previously served in leadership positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Hematology, and New England Sickle Cell Consortium and looks forward to gaining more comprehensive leadership training through this prestigious program.

“We are excited to welcome these 100 changemakers from across the United States into the Obama Foundation family,” said Valerie Jarrett, CEO of the Obama Foundation. “Our newest Obama Leaders are already making a difference in their communities and are ready to take their work to the next level. They embody the values of President and Mrs. Obama, and their impactful work will create positive change in communities across the country."

The Leaders USA program offers participants a unique and comprehensive experience, including a values-driven leadership curriculum, action labs focused on strengthening democratic institutions and culture in the U.S., community groups for fostering constructive dialogue in a polarized environment, and one-on-one support to help tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. As part of the six-month program, Dr. McGann will convene virtually each week with the United States Obama Leaders cohort for interactive sessions designed to help them drive change by honing their leadership skills, building deep relationships with their peers, and engaging with thought leaders and members of the Obama Foundation community. Dr. McGann will also have an opportunity to engage with President Obama, participate in various virtual experiences and special events, including one-on-one conversations with experienced mentors in the Foundation's global network. To learn more about this program and the individuals who make up the inaugural cohort, visit obama.org/leaders.