John R. Lumpkin, MD, MPH has been President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation since April 2019. He leads the organization in pursuit of its stated mission to improve the health and well-being of everyone in North Carolina through a focus on: transforming the health care system (including oral health), expanding access to healthy food, supporting a healthy start in life for children, improving the physical conditions where people live, and strengthening the ability of communities to improve health.
In addition to his role as Foundation President, John is Vice President, Drivers of Health Strategy for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. He also currently serves as co-chair of the Task Force on the Future of Local Public Health in North Carolina; chair of Digital Bridge – a multi-sector forum to collaborate on solutions for a nationally consistent and sustainable approach to using electronic health data for public health; chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Health Statistics/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and on the board of directors of the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research.
Most recently, John served as Senior Vice President, Programs for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) where he was responsible for the organization’s efforts to transform health, broaden access to stable and affordable health care coverage, build leadership, and engage business toward building a Culture of Health in the United States. Before joining RWJF in 2003, he served as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health for 12 years.
John is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American College of Medical Informatics. Among his previous leadership positions, he is past chairman of the board of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, as well as past chairman of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics. He has also served on, and advised, several federal-level committees and commissions to advance and improve health in the United States.
John is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. In addition, his many distinctions and honors include the Arthur McCormack Excellence and Dedication in Public Health Award from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, as well as the Jonas Salk Health Leadership Award.
He earned his MD and BMS degrees from Northwestern University Medical School and his MPH from the University of Illinois School Of Public Health. He was also the first African-American trained in emergency medicine in the country after completing his residency at the University of Chicago, and he has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and University of Illinois at Chicago.
John and his wife Mary S. Blanks, MD, a health care mediator, reside in the Chapel Hill area. They have two adult children.
What I love about my work:
Every day I have the joy of helping North Carolina become a healthier state – work that helps everyone living here.
When not at my desk:
I am an avid movie fan with a strong science fiction bent.
Favorite thing about North Carolina:
The great range of landscapes from the ocean to the mountains and the plains in between. I also love the welcoming, neighborly people that I meet every day.