Strategy & Program Development Director Anthem, Inc.

Jaleisha Smith-Jacobs

Jaleisha is a Staff Vice President at Anthem, responsible for relationship management, client retention, and growth for the company’s healthcare fraud, waste, and waste solution. Preceding her current role, Jaleisha was the Chief of Staff for Anthem’s Service Experience division, where her team was charged with crafting strategies and leading initiatives to achieve associate engagement, operation excellence, and consumer satisfaction. During a period of organizational transformation, Jaleisha was part of a team that managed a portfolio of initiatives valued at $1B in operating gain from ideation through business case development and execution planning. Jaleisha also designed and implemented an initiative to maximize performance through increasing associates’ connection to the organization’s values.

Prior to joining Anthem, Jaleisha managed the patient safety program for a 500+ bed hospital. She performed root cause analysis for sentinel events, managed the physician peer review process for several specialties, implemented a successful employee injury prevention program, improved Culture of Safety survey results, and achieved sustainable gains in national patient safety process and outcome measures. Jaleisha used principles of effective teamwork, open communication, and smart process design to achieve a safe healthcare environment for the patients that the hospital served. Jaleisha started her career in healthcare as a transplant ICU
nurse, then transitioned to behavioral health nursing before working in patient safety.

Jaleisha earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude. She is a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Gates Millennium Scholar. Jaleisha received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in healthcare management and policy from San Diego State University. She graduated from the MPH program with a 4.0 GPA, and was awarded the Health Management and Policy Outstanding Graduate Award and the Foster G. McGaw Award. From 2016 to 2018, Jaleisha served as the president of the Penn Club of Hampton Roads. Jaleisha continues to support the
Penn community as an alumni interviewer and mentor to an undergraduate student. Jaleisha
also mentors undergraduate students at San Diego State University.

As an undergraduate, Jaleisha trained with the United States Department of Health and HumanServices Office of Minority Health as a peer educator for their campaign to reduce health disparities in infant mortality. As a peer educator, Jaleisha promoted preconception health, organized a community health fair and baby shower in Philadelphia, and participated in community outreach in Memphis. Jaleisha was among the team captured in the documentary Crisis in the Crib: Saving Our Nation’s Babies, produced by Tonya Lewis Lee.

Presently, Jaleisha is a member of the San Diego Black Nurses Association (SDBNA) and a co- chair of their COVID-19 Taskforce where she and other members of the Taskforce have taken on the charge to secure vaccines to administer at events in the most diverse areas of San Diego.

Since the SDBNA began holding events, the percentage of African Americans among people that have been vaccinated has increased from 2.0% on February 16th to 2.5% as of March 22 nd . In a little over one month, the Task Force has administered over 1,750 Moderna vaccines through 100% volunteer effort and community partnerships.

Jaleisha also volunteers with Amor Ministries and Habitat for Humanity, and has participated in house builds in California, Virginia, Mexico, and South Africa. Jaleisha serves as a Phone Pal to an older adult through Anthem’s Member Connect program aimed at combating loneliness and promoting social health. Jaleisha also supports a number other of non-profits including San Diego Rescue Mission.

Jaleisha is a San Diego native and grew up in the Webster community. As a young person, she was involved in a number of community service and civic engagement programs, including serving on the Youth Advisory Boards for both the 4 th District Councilman and the Mayor of San Diego. Jaleisha now lives in the city of Chula Vista.

Other team members