Interest in medicine and business combine for chief medical officer of Hamilton Health Center – PennLive

Dr. Bolanle Limann is chief medical officer of Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg. February 11, 2022. Dan Gleiter | dgleiter@pennlive.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Wednesday, PennLive reported on the historic increase in Black students in medical school, and why that’s important. Today we bring you one in a series of profiles of Black health care professionals in central Pa. who have paved the way and now serve as role models for future doctors and nurses.
As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bolanle Limann oversees clinical operations for six Hamilton Health Center locations in Dauphin and Perry counties, bringing to bear both her skills as a physician and her knowledge of business.
Her curiosity about medicine began early, she said, long before she enrolled at Cornell University to study nutritional sciences.
“Since high school, I was always interested in public health. I chose a first degree in nutritional sciences because I wanted to earn a degree that would give me multiple avenues in the public health field,” Limann said.
Her father worked for the United Nations and she grew up living in several places around the world, and spending summers in New York with her maternal grandparents. She moved to upstate New York and lived with her aunt and uncle for her senior year of high school. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1998, Limann attended New York Medical College, studying internal medicine with the goal of becoming a primary care physician.
Her interest in business, she said, was sparked when she attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. That’s where she obtained her master’s degrees in public health and business administration.
“During residency at Hopkins, they gave me the option to take business courses,” Limann said. “Afterwards, I realized that I was interested in both public health and business.”
She eventually became an internal medicine specialist in Harrisburg, and is affiliated with Penn State Health, Holy Spirit Medical Center and UPMC Harrisburg. She and her husband, Dr. Baba Limann, have three daughters.
After working in the field for two decades, Limann said she’s discovered that learning is never ending, and forever expanding. The COVID-19 pandemic is just an example.
“As a chief medical officer, I have an infectious disease doctor at Penn State Hershey that’s going to give us a presentation about the pandemic. There are changes that are being made every minute because of new data. This is a profession that is continuously growing and if someone doesn’t have that drive or desire, this is definitely not the profession for them.”
Limann said the greatest need in the medical field is to prioritize more funding into the public health system and to focus on preventing and addressing the social determinants of health.
She mentioned reading how the pandemic has drawn attention to disparities in health care and vulnerabilities of certain populations.
“We should not be solely focused on additional treatment options — for example, diabetes and insulin pumps. By all means those are very important,” said Limann. “But how about nutrition and education so that fewer people have obesity and diabetes to begin with.”
“We should address the cause and not the symptoms and that really goes to preventive health and the structure of our public health systems. That is where I think this pandemic is bringing things to light and should be a focus for our leaders.”
More from PennLive:
Student chooses medical school as a path to advocacy
Medical school student pays tribute to those who paved her way
Medical school student’s experience as a patient put her on the path to becoming a doctor
Death of childhood friend drives student’s desire to be a doctor
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