Nebeyou Abebe is the senior vice president of social determinants of health for Highmark Health, a $21 billion national, blended health organization that includes one of America’s largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers and a growing regional hospital and physician network. Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Highmark Health’s 35,000 employees serve millions of customers nationwide through the nonprofit organization’s affiliated businesses, including Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, HM Insurance Group, United Concordia Dental, HM Health Solutions, Helion, and Lumevity.
Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people live, work, learn, and play that can impact up to 80% of an individual’s health outcomes before the health care system can intervene. Mr. Abebe brings nearly 20 years of experience leading social determinants of health, population health, and employee health and well-being initiatives for public and private sector organizations.
In his role at Highmark Health, Mr. Abebe leads a team that spans across the enterprise and forges close ties with the communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and New York, uncovering non-clinical opportunities to improve the health and well-being of people the organization serves.
Before joining Highmark Health, Mr. Abebe served as global VP of health and well-being for Sodexo Group, where he guided social determinants of health, population health and employee wellness for all Sodexo business segments, impacting more than 425,000 employees and 100 million consumers. While at Sodexo Group, Mr. Abebe developed initiatives that addressed food insecurity, housing, transportation and workforce development in partnership with community-based organizations.
Prior to joining the Sodexo Group in 2013, Mr. Abebe served as associate director of health systems for the Louisiana Public Health Institute, where he played a leading role in building and strengthening local health IT infrastructure and testing innovative approaches to make measurable improvements in health, patient care and cost. He has also served in health communications and social marketing positions, including directing a national CDC campaign to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Abebe earned his bachelor’s in economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his master’s in social and public policy from Georgetown University, as well as his Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute.