UnitedHealth Group taps Wilson as new chief medical officer

UnitedHealth Group's Margaret-Mary Wilson, M.D., is stepping into the role of chief medical officer to lead the company's clinical innovations, focusing particularly on improving health equity.

Wilson, who previously served as executive vice president and associate chief medical officer, will be taking on the role from Richard Migliori, M.D., who has been with the company for 25 years and served as CMO since 2013.

Wilson's new position takes effect Dec. 5.

"I’m honored to be named the next chief medical officer of UnitedHealth Group. This is an incredible time to be in health care and I look forward to working with my 340,000 colleagues to address some of the health system’s critical needs and most exciting opportunities. I’d also like to thank Dr. Migliori for his service, contributions and mentorship," Wilson said in a statement.

RELATED: UnitedHealth Group wants to close 600M gaps in care by 2025. Here's how

As outgoing CMO, Migliori said in a statement, "I’ve been honored to serve with an incredibly talented and passionate team across UnitedHealth Group, and confident to be leaving the work ahead in the very capable hands of Dr. Wilson. The clinical voice has never been more important to our business and Dr. Wilson is the perfect person to help lead our organization towards developing a modern high performing health system."

UnitedHealth Group has two distinct businesses: UnitedHealthcare, which provides healthcare coverage and benefits services, and Optum, which provides information- and technology-enabled health services. 

One of UnitedHealth Group's key strategic goals is to more strongly harness the combined capabilities of its UnitedHealthcare and Optum business arms, executives said during the company's earnings call back in April.

Wilson is taking on the role as the healthcare and insurance giant is focused on building health equity throughout its efforts to expand access, lower costs and improve outcomes and experience for the patients it serves.

UnitedHealth Group is aiming to address 600 million gaps in care for its members by 2025, Wilson told Fierce Healthcare's Paige Minemyer back in June.

RELATED: How UnitedHealth Group is aiming to harness the dual capabilities of its health plan, Optum

Alongside addressing care gaps, the company said in its annual Sustainability Report that it wants to ensure at least 85% of its members receive preventive care each year by 2030 as well as to make sure 55% of outpatient surgeries and radiology services are provided in high-quality, cost-efficient sites of care by 2030.

Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare in 2008, Wilson was an associate professor of internal and geriatric medicine at St. Louis University in Missouri, where she also served as director of geriatric ambulatory services and director of the ortho-geriatric service. Her experience also includes direct patient care, medical education, patient safety, quality improvement, risk management and global healthcare systems management in a variety of healthcare settings in Africa, the U.K., South America and the U.S.

In 2021, Wilson was named one of the Top 100 most influential African Americans in business by the National Diversity Council and one of the Top 100 elite women in 2021 by Diversity Journal.