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Health Sciences Trailblazers


Loretta Christensen, MD, MBA, MSJ, FACS

The physician-leader has a long history of saving lives, from performing surgery to heading the Navajo Nation’s successful COVID-19 response. In 2021, Dr. Christensen became chief medical officer of the Indian Health Service, the main federal health-care provider for the country’s 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

An enrolled Navajo Tribe member, her expertise includes critical care and complementary medicine. She was clinical trauma director for 17 years at Jersey Shore University Hospital, and led integrative medicine at New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The Harvard University alumna received her medical degree from the former Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, and has graduate degrees in law and business.