UnityPoint Health has announced its partnership with Bank of America that provides the health system with a loaned executive to help advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in hiring and career advancement.

This is a Bank of America’s first loaned executive in the state of Iowa, a news release says. Kechi Kwizera, a senior vice president and director at Bank of America, serves on the enterprise leadership team for Bank of America LEAD for Women, and as co-chair heading market integration.

Kwizera is an active member of multiple bank employee networks including the Black Professionals Group, Parents & Caregivers Network, Disability Action Network, and the LGBTQ and Pride Network. She began to work with UnityPoint Health in early 2022.

As part of her role, Kwizera will help launch the UnityPoint Health Pathways Program. This initiative is designed to assist team members from underrepresented communities advance their careers. The program will help connect them with education and training programs to help them gain practical problem-solving and leadership skills, the release says. It’s part of UnityPoint Health’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy and goal of achieving a diverse workforce reflective of the communities it serves.

UnityPoint Health President and CEO Clay Holderman said the investment in innovative partnerships is key to attract and retain a skilled and diverse workforce, “It’s critical to invest in our team members who are already working in our health system doing various and often entry-level roles. If we can help them advance in their careers, it benefits patients, our team members, and UnityPoint Health,” Holderman said.

“At Bank of America, we are committed to being a catalyst for positive change in our communities and to supporting initiatives which advance the health and success of all,” said Heidi Parkhurst, president, Bank of America Iowa.

“The UnityPoint Pathways Program is an exciting next step in our partnership with UnityPoint Health, which has been fundamental in ensuring quality healthcare and addressing work shortages across our state.”

Prior to her appointment at UnityPoint Health, Kwizera served as a leader within Bank of America’s Global Real Estate division. She previously held a leadership position at Ascension Health Resource Group (St. Louis) and served internationally, spearheading a global health and economic development initiative under Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, delivering an economic sustainability program in rural Uganda.

Kwizera earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Manchester University and a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech.)