Public Health Advocate No. 1
When Tosan Boyo ’11 MPH talks about the passion he has for his work, one term comes up repeatedly: vulnerable populations.
Montclair State University’s first Master of Public Health graduate and the son of health care professionals, Boyo decided to make a career in hospitals while growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. At one point, riots broke out “and my family’s hospital was considered the safest place for people to be,” he recalls.
He chose the Master of Public Health graduate program because it accommodated his full-time job and because he felt the faculty would “truly invest in my development. [Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health] Amanda Birnbaum changed my life not only by accepting me into the program,” he recalls, “but also creating a learning environment that encouraged my ambitions and ability to thrive.”
Since February 2017, Boyo has been chief operating officer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the city’s largest primary care facility and the hub of the city’s disaster response in an earthquake or major crisis, serving some 100,000 patients per year. (The hospital added Mark Zuckerberg’s name after the Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $75 million to the hospital in 2015.)
Boyo oversees daily operations as well as large-scale efforts such as capital projects. He says his proudest accomplishments include developing a strategy to advance equity in health outcomes and supporting the Epic Project implementing an electronic medical record consolidating 62 disparate applications into one patient-centered source across the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In two years under Boyo’s leadership, Zuckerberg San Francisco General went from only 6% of hospital departments assessing disparities to 65%.
Boyo also serves as secretary of the board of the Fred Finch Youth Center, which helps vulnerable children and families at multiple locations in California, and has remained active with Montclair State’s Department of Public Health as a guest speaker in the Health Policy graduate course, and by helping guide the department about trends and policies.
“I love being empowered to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable populations,” he says.
- Written by Tom Kertscher for the Fall/Winter 2019 Montclair magazine