Blackwell appointed to state medical institute


Reuben Blackwell


Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A local leader has been appointed to a statewide medical institution.

Reuben Blackwell, president and CEO of Opportunities Industrialization Center and member of the Rocky Mount City Council, has been appointed to the N.C. Institute of Medicine by its board of directors.

Blackwell said he's honored and humbled to be recognized by one of the premier health policy organizations in North Carolina and to serve as a member of the Institute.

"I’m blessed to be able to serve individuals and communities with limited financial resources and create, together with them and OIC’s team of talented, committed and compassionate professionals, models of care that are changing people’s lives daily," Blackwell said. "I’m thankful that NCIOM has provided an opportunity to me and OIC to leverage our voices and our work for the betterment of all of North Carolina.”

Blackwell will join around 150 leaders in health, medicine and policy across the state to receive the prestigious honor of partnering with the institute to advance health policy for a healthier North Carolina, according to a press release from OIC administration director Clara Knight.

Blackwell recently co-chaired, along with three other statewide health leaders, the institute’s yearlong study of evidence-driven approaches in building successful accountable care communities in North Carolina.

The board is pleased to welcome Blackwell as a member of the Institute, said Institute President and CEO Dr. Adam Zolotor.

“We look forward to working with (Blackwell) to continue the mission of the Institute, seeking constructive solutions to statewide problems that impede the improvement of health and efficient and effective delivery of health care for all North Carolinians," Zolotor said.

The Institute of Medicine is an independent, quasi-state agency that was chartered by the General Assembly in 1983 to provide balanced, nonpartisan information on issues of relevance to the health of the state’s population.

The institute convenes task forces of knowledgeable and interested people to study complex health issues facing the state in order to develop workable solutions to address these issues to improve health, health care access and quality of health care in North Carolina, according to information provided by the institute.

The OIC was established in 1969 in Rocky Mount to address high unemployment rates among historically black and poor communities. Created at the height of the Civil Rights movement, OIC brought together industry and community to create win-win solutions for workplace success, according to information supplied by Knight in the press release.

Since that time, OIC has consistently provided comprehensive employment training, business and health services to thousands of people of all races and backgrounds in Rocky Mount while expanding its vision, mission and scope, Knight said.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct erroneous information contained in the original version.