Healthcare Leaders Atul Gawande and Toyin Ajayi to Keynote at NQF 2023 Annual Conference 

DEC 13, 2022

CONTACT: Zachary Brousseau

Healthcare Leaders Atul Gawande and Toyin Ajayi to Keynote at NQF 2023 Annual Conference
Healthcare quality leaders to gather in Washington, DC as National Quality Forum’s conference returns in person

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced today that Atul Gawande and Toyin Ajayi will be the keynote speakers for its 2023 Annual Conference (NQF23) to be held in Washington, DC, February 20–22. Gawande is a renowned surgeon, writer, public health leader, and the current Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ajayi is co-founder and CEO of Cityblock Health, and a prominent thought leader on caring for populations with complex needs.

Gawande’s opening keynote, entitled ‘Transforming Population Health Through Primary Care: Working at Global Scale,’ and Ajayi’s closing keynote, ‘Transforming Primary Care and Achieving Health Equity at Scale: Beyond the Rhetoric’ will bookend NQF’s signature annual event. This marks the first NQF conference to be held in person since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled and honored to have Dr. Atul Gawande and Dr. Toyin Ajayi as the keynote speakers for NQF’s Annual Conference, where we are focusing on innovation in action,” said Dana Gelb Safran, ScD, President & CEO, NQF. “Since the last time the quality community gathered together for our annual conference, we have experienced a global crisis that has brought unfathomable suffering, exacerbated and laid bare long-standing health disparities, and imposed unprecedented strain on our healthcare workforce and delivery system. When we reconnect at NQF23, Dr. Gawande, Dr. Ajayi, and our other inspiring speakers will provide real-world examples of transformational change that is within reach and galvanize our community to continue forging a path toward safer, more equitable, more affordable care.”

Prior to USAID, Gawande was a practicing surgeon and Harvard Medical School professor. He founded Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation; and Lifebox, a nonprofit focused on making surgery safer globally; and co-founded CIC Health, a public benefit corporation supporting pandemic response operations. He also served on the Biden transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. From 2018–2020, he was CEO of Haven, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase healthcare venture. Gawande was a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker and has written four New York Times best-selling books. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the winner of two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.

Ajayi’s company, Cityblock Health, is a tech-enabled, value-based healthcare provider for Medicaid, dually-eligible and lower-income Medicare beneficiaries in underserved communities. Prior to Cityblock, she served as Chief Medical Officer of Commonwealth Care Alliance, a nationally renowned integrated health plan and care delivery system for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In this role, Ajayi led clinical operations, spearheaded care delivery innovations, and oversaw multi-disciplinary teams of clinicians, community health workers and administrators. She continues to practice primary care with a focus on patients with chronic, complex and end-of-life needs. She has published and spoken extensively about her work, including at TEDMED, NCQA, and HLTH, and in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Members of the media who wish to cover all or part of the NQF 2023 Annual Conference should contact Zachary Brousseau, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications, NQF.


About National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) works with members of the healthcare community to drive measurable health improvements together. NQF is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that gives all healthcare stakeholders a voice in advancing quality measures and improvement strategies that lead to better outcomes and greater value. Learn more at