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Close to Home: Meet Michelle Y. Hawkins, Signify Health Physician

By Signify Health Team on 6/11/24 9:27 AM

At Signify Health, our mission is to build trusted relationships to make people healthier. Our national network of more than 12,000 clinicians works to help people gain a more comprehensive view of their health by conducting In-Home Health Evaluations (IHEs). During an IHE, clinicians identify chronic conditions, close gaps in care, and address social determinants of health, making it possible for health plan members to get connected to the right care for their unique needs. 

Michelle-HawkinsWe’re proud to showcase the clinicians helping us build a more connected, effective care experience for all – and their personal stories that make this important work feel #ClosetoHome. This is Dr. Hawkin’s story. 


Close to Home: Michelle Y. Hawkins, MD, MPM

Dr. Michelle Hawkins knows what it means to overcome a daunting health care struggle. During her journey with chronic kidney disease (CKD), she underwent dialysis, the wait for an organ donor, and eventually, a successful double kidney transplant. Now, that perspective drives her work with health plan members as a member of the Signify Health network of clinicians.

“I like that I have an opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds and share information to help them feel more empowered to take care of themselves,” she said.

This shared experience recently helped her build trust with a health plan member who was recovering from transplant surgery. After sharing that she, too, received a kidney transplant, the member felt more comfortable talking with her.

“At first, he was nervous and quiet. Once we made the connection, he began talking much more freely,” Dr. Hawkins said. “It was a great opportunity to connect with him and answer his questions.”

She believes Signify Health clinicians provide education that is vital to improving members’ health and quality of life. Whether it’s reminding them to take medications as prescribed or keeping up with medical appointments, Dr. Hawkins wants to empower members to take a more active role in their care.

In addition to education, she believes the Signify Health visit can be an important lifeline for members who feel isolated. “Some people are so lonely. They don’t know how to connect with their communities and access the resources and support available," she said.

Dr. Hawkins is committed to raising awareness about the risks of kidney disease, particularly for individuals at higher risk due to diabetes, hypertension, or other factors. “It’s a teaching moment. There are steps we can all take to reduce the risk of kidney disease. And if you do have it, you can manage potential complications and overall severity. I want members to take charge and be advocates for themselves,” she said.

Dr. Hawkins has traveled extensively, completing medical mission trips to Africa, South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean Islands. She serves on the NKF Northern Ohio Medical Advisory Board and volunteers as a Kidney Health Coach with the American Kidney Fund and as an Ambassador for Lifebanc.

She earned her bachelor’s in Biology from Youngstown State University, a Doctor of Medicine from Wright State University School of Medicine, and a Master of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Are you a clinician interested in helping health plan members gain a more comprehensive view of their health?
To learn more about opportunities with Signify Health, visit our clinical careers page.