Dr. James E.K. Hildreth
President and CEO, Meharry Medical College
In 2021, Hildreth opened a school of data science and biomedical data science at Meharry, the culmination of a vision he’s had since becoming CEO seven years ago. “Data is driving everything,” he says, and analyzing it appropriately is the key to improving equitable care. For 146 years, Meharry–which includes schools of medicine, dentistry, graduate studies and research–has existed to ensure that people “who look like me, who are poor, who otherwise don’t have access to healthcare, can have it,” he says. His aim at the historically Black college is to diversify the data science field so that the growing use of algorithms can more accurately reflect the “totality of the populations that we serve.” In addition to his work at Meharry, Hildreth serves on the Nashville Health Governing Board, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Nashville Healthcare Council and on the board of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.