Women & Business Profile: Sylvia Owusu-Ansah MD, MPH, FAAP

“Every human being placed on this earth has the potential to be the best human being you can be.”

Wb SylviaowusuansahCo-lead of Career Help Advancement and Achievement Mentorship Program (CHAMP)
CEO of Simply Akoma
Associate Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine;
EMS Medical Director of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 
pghchamp.wixsite.com/champ  |  simplyakoma.com

From teaching CPR to the Pitt football team to educating legislators on Capitol Hill about the importance of pediatric emergency care, Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah’s career has taken her to wildly diverse places. A quick scan of her CV explains why – she is one of only a few doctors in the country who is a pediatrician, pediatric emergency medicine physician, and emergency medical services physician.

Dr. Owusu-Ansah has held leadership positions at several institutions. She is the Associate Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she also teaches as an assistant professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine. She serves as the EMS Medical Director for UPMC Children’s Hospital and is Medical Director for Pennsylvania’s Emergency Medicine Services for Children Program. Her most recent endeavor co-founding the Career Help Advancement and Achievement Mentorship Program (CHAMP), combines her work in all four of her roles by fusing medicine with education and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Started in May 2020, CHAMP collaborates with local school district leadership to provide students with more opportunities to learn about fields in STEM and health. The program, currently implemented in Arsenal Middle School, utilizes Pittsburgh’s network of medical experts and medical students to incorporate guest speakers and health programming into the school’s curriculum. “In the hospital, you have accountants, culinary artists, health care providers, media, artists, public safety…,” Dr. Owusu-Ansah says.

The program provides students access to topics ranging from mental health and CPR to instilling habits that create financial wellness and learning about Black history. CHAMP also serves underrepresented medical students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine by providing them with a mentorship program and classes on financial wellness.

Dr. Owusu-Ansah’s commitment to inclusion and diversity extends beyond the hospital and classroom. She founded Simply Akoma, a clothing company that brings Akan culture — found in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana — to the West through apparel featuring African proverbs and historic symbols. A portion of the proceeds from Simply Akoma will support charity.

What is Dr. Owusu-Ansah’s advice to other women in business?

“Every human being placed on this earth has the potential to be the best human being you can be,” she says. “Reach for your highest potential as if you had no room to fail. Have confidence in the person God designed you to be and know there is always room on this earth for you.”

She leans on several pieces of great advice, one of which is the South African KwaZulu proverb: “I am because you are.”

For more than 10 years, Pittsburgh Magazine has spotlighted exceptional businesswomen within our pages and at quarterly networking events. Join us for a vibrant conversation with our four inspiring honorees and a keynote speaker at our Women & Business Awards.

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When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2023
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