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Machelle Allen, MD, and Talya Schwartz, MD, Recognized Among Modern Healthcare’s ’50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’ of 2024

Health system's Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and MetroPlusHealth's President and Chief Executive Officer honored by prominent health care industry publication for leading initiatives supporting the health and well-being of New Yorkers

Jun 12, 2024

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD and MetroplusHealth’s President and Chief Executive Officer Talya Schwartz, MD, are among the honorees of Modern Healthcare’s ‘50 Most Influential Clinical Executives’ recognition list of 2024. The honorees were selected by the prominent health care industry publication for bringing their unique expertise and critical insight to their roles, incorporating strategies that help patients across the health system lead longer, healthier lives. Dr. Allen has led the development of systemwide initiatives such as tele-intensive care units, the expansion of robotic surgery, electroencephalogram interpretations using artificial intelligence, and the launch of the inaugural ‘Black Maternal Health’ forum. She oversees the behavioral health service line, which last month announced that nearly 14,000 patients have received behavioral health care through the health system’s telehealth services, Virtual Express Care, since its inception in 2022. Dr. Allen established the Office of Clinical Operations, which instituted surveillance of the health system’s wastewater to detect COVID-19, flu, monkeypox, polio, and emerging infections. Under the leadership of Dr. Schwartz, MetroPlusHealth has increased enrollment to roughly 700,000 members. She has integrated behavioral health services with the broader suite of care offerings for members, providing extensive support to members. Established in 1976, Modern Healthcare is a prominent publication focused on health care business and policy news, research and information.

“I am thrilled to support the health system as we launch initiatives that improve the lives of New Yorkers and uplift underserved communities. I am grateful to my colleagues for nominating me for this esteemed recognition, and thank my team and NYC Health + Hospitals leadership for their endless support. As part of a safety net health system, I am deeply committed to our mission of making health care accessible and affordable for all. With this recognition from Modern Healthcare, I look forward to continuing to serve our city’s most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD.

A longstanding veteran of the health care system, Dr. Allen completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, worked as an attending physician at Harlem and Bellevue hospitals, and served as the Associate Medical Director at Bellevue until 2013 when she transitioned to system Deputy CMO. She was subsequently selected to be system CMO in 2017.

Dr. Allen has devoted her career to helping marginalized and underserved patients. Her early career was devoted to women who suffered from addiction or were at risk for HIV infection during their pregnancies. While women’s health and birth outcomes remain a passion, in her role as system CMO Dr. Allen developed the clinical service line structure which has resulted in the implementation of systemwide clinical initiatives, including the underpinnings of the critical care pandemic response: Level setting of the critically ill patient, tele-ICU, point of care imaging, early ICU mobility, Artificial Intelligence-based EEG interpretations, and tele-neurology, among other initiatives. The Behavioral Health service line, in response to the mental health crisis seen in New York City as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, launched the B-HEARD (Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division) program which deploys social workers along with EMS personnel as first responders, in lieu of police officers.

Dr. Allen established an Office of Clinical Operations. It is this office which instituted surveillance of the health care system’s wastewater for emerging infections. Dr. Allen also created a systemwide Office of Women’s Health Services. Under this aegis, the NYC Health + Hospitals Maternal Home was “birthed” – one of the few in New York State. Dr. Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.

Dr. Schwartz is President & CEO of MetroPlusHealth. Under her leadership, MetroPlusHealth has amassed nearly 700,000 members, now representing nearly 1 in 5 New Yorkers enrolled in EP, Medicaid, or Child Health Plus with a robust 80% recertification rate. Since her appointment in 2019, Dr. Schwartz has spearheaded a series of strategic initiatives driving remarkable growth and success including enhancing member experience and access to care by expanding the provider network by 4,300 and MetroPlusHealth’s ascension to the #1 HIV-SNP Plan, achieving an impressive 82% success rate in viral suppression. She led the organization’s transformation by bringing its behavioral health services in-house and integrating them with physical care for comprehensive support of members, overhauling its website and portals, modernizing legacy technology with a single integrated platform, and expanding virtual visits to its members.

Dr. Schwartz’s ongoing commitment to addressing the social determinants of health among New York’s most vulnerable communities is the pinnacle of her leadership, especially around supportive housing, and food insecurity. Dr. Schwartz is a pediatrician by training and a mother of two daughters.




About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation, serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/ and stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About MetroPlusHealth
Since 1985, MetroPlusHealth has built a reputation for providing New Yorkers with access to affordable, quality health care at little to no cost. MetroPlusHealth is the plan of choice for over 685,000 New Yorkers and offers members a diversity of services and resources to address their unique health care needs. Its network includes 34,000 doctors, specialists, and participating hospitals and clinics across the city’s five boroughs. For more information, visit https://www.metroplus.org/.