Soujanya Pulluru is leading Walmart Health's democratization of healthcare through transparent pricing, access

Soujanya (Chinni) Pulluru

Soujanya (Chinni) Pulluru MD, senior director of clinical transformation, innovation and operations at Walmart U.S. Health & Wellness 

Age: 46

Education: Soujanya Pulluru is a graduate of Mahadevappa Rampure Medical College.

About her: If there's one retail player that's been making major moves in the healthcare space, it's been Walmart Health. Behind much of that growth: Soujanya (Chinni) Pulluru, M.D., who leads clinical operations for Walmart Health.

In the past year, she has led Walmart Health’s expansion into four states, providing more than 40,000 patients with transparent cash-pricing and affordable primary care and behavioral health services. She also helped lead the company's COVID-19 pandemic response. The initial mobilization involved a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services for free community-based testing, which involved organizing 200 testing sites across 28 states in a one-week time frame in a medical tent campaign in Walmart parking lots across the United States. Since then, the team has expanded to another 500 sites in the organization’s markets, forging partnerships across a range of payers and other industry partners.

Through this work, her team processed more than 250,000 tests by mid-September.  Pulluru has overseen the expansion of access to primary care through Walmart Health, which is making key healthcare services accessible and affordable at a time when many Americans have lost their jobs and their health insurance. She is also behind ramped up efforts to provide flu vaccines and other services including teleheath in light of the demands posed by the pandemic across the organization’s 4,500 pharmacies.

She serves on the board of directors of Stellar Health, helping guide the industry in the implementation of value-based care. Pulluru previously served as board member of the Dupage Health Coalition, the Will County Health Department and the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.

First job: “Referee for kids’ league soccer games.”

Proudest accomplishment: “Being a mom to three amazing and kind children.”

Problem she’s most passionate about trying to solve: “What motivates me every day is to help solve the incredible inequity that exists in access to basic healthcare, including mental and behavioral health services, in this country.”

Book she recommends to other healthcare leaders: “Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.”

Advice she would give to her younger self: “To relax. It will turn out ok. To understand your value and find your purpose.”

What she’d do with her career if it wasn’t this: “I would want to teach world history.”

Advice she would offer to healthcare leaders seeking to make a real impact on systemic problems caused by racism: “Structural racism is one of the challenges in healthcare; it leads to inequities in access and quality of healthcare and is a major contributor to racial and ethnic health disparities. The healthcare community needs to take a lead in this country to forge a more equitable future.  Implicit bias affects patient care, research, and allocation of funding across the board. The medical system also has a duty to educate our young physicians and the entire spectrum of people involved in care delivery about how to recognize these biases and dismantle them.”

Soujanya Pulluru is leading Walmart Health's democratization of healthcare through transparent pricing, access