Ikenna Okezie

May 28, 2024
5 min read

Early Life and Schooling

Ikenna Okezie, MD, MBA, is a Nigerian-American kidney doctor and the CEO and co-founder of Somatus. This company provides in-home dialysis care for patients with chronic kidney disease. Ikenna is a passionate advocate for better access to quality care for all and is working to close the gap in care delivery with Somatus. Under his leadership, Somatus has made great strides in providing high-quality renal care to patients across the U.S.

Ikenna Okezie was born in Nigeria and then immigrated to the United States with his family at two. He grew up in Detroit and attended public schools. Ikenna excelled in academics and was active in extracurricular activities. After high school, Ikenna attended Yale, where he majored in Economics. At Yale, he was captain of the wrestling team and was awarded Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1994. He graduated cum laude and was also named a Rhodes and Marshall scholar finalist.

His family was very supportive of his academic goals and especially in his choice of economics. Both his older brother and father are medical doctors and were an influence in his ultimate direction of medicine.

In 1994 Dr. Okezie attended Harvard Medical School. There he received top honors and was a peer leader. Over three years into his medical degree, the call of finance again beckoned. He then furthered his education in finance. Ultimately, he earned a joint degree in medicine and business from HBS and Harvard Medical.

Somatus

Ikenna Okezie.

Somatus is a health technology company that provides care management solutions for kidney patients. The company was founded in 2014 by Ikenna Okezie, who is also its CEO.

Ikenna Okezie Somatus.

Somatus’ mission is to improve the quality of life for kidney patients by providing them with access to information and resources that can help them better manage their condition. The company’s products and services empower patients and their caregivers with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions about their care.

In addition to its core offerings, Somatus provides patient education and support through its website and blog. The website offers a wealth of information on kidney disease, treatment options, and coping with the condition. The blog features articles written by patients and caregivers, as well as experts in the field of kidney care.

Somatus is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to all its patients. The company works closely with each patient to develop an individualized care plan that meets their unique needs. Somatus also partners with leading healthcare providers to ensure its patients receive the best care.

Early Career

Okezie spearheaded strategic, financial, and operational management of a $1 billion business at DaVita. He also managed an engagement team in McKinsey’s advising practice and spent three years as a managing director with the Advisory Board Company.

Ikenna previously worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and as a Managing Director at the Advisory Board Company. He was also a member of the Medical Review Board of CMS ESKD Network 5 for six years and is currently a Fellow of the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship.

Since he was young, Ikenna has always had the drive to succeed. So, when he started his career in the medical field, he quickly rose to the top of his field. He has excelled in his career by prioritizing his patients and striving to provide the best possible care. He has also built strong relationships with his colleagues and superiors, which has helped him advance in his career.

Ikenna Okezie is a healthcare executive and entrepreneur passionate about improving access to quality care for all. Dr. Okezie became involved in health care after witnessing firsthand the challenges that many faced when diagnosed with kidney failure. Inspired by their strength and resilience, he dedicated his career to helping others facing similar challenges.

He has since built Somatus into a leading provider of in-home dialysis services, improving the lives of hundreds of patients across the country. In 2019, he was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in Healthcare for his work in improving access to quality care.

“There’s a long history of racism against Black patients and communities of colour. Building trust will take time and effort.”

In addition to his work with Somatus, Dr. Okezie is also active on the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology. He is committed to using his platform to improve access to quality care for all kidney patients and increase awareness about kidney disease prevention.

“I chose to focus on kidney care for the past decade. While working at a large dialysis company, I was able to be a part of a team that improved care for patients, allowing them to live the best lives they could. Still, I was frustrated seeing patients receive treatment only after their kidneys were already failing. I saw inequities and racial disparity: Black patients and other patients of colour disproportionately affected by kidney disease, living on dialysis, waiting for a transplant.”

Leadership and Awards

Ikenna Okezie.

Okezie has been honored with numerous awards and recognition for his business and philanthropy leadership. He was most recently named Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Mid-Atlantic Award winner.

Okezie is also an often featured participant at Global Summits on health and sciences. He appears here as a panel 5 participant at the Global Kidney Care innovations summit at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences:

Black founder Dr.Ikenna Okezie is a rising star in the healthcare industry, and we are proud to feature him in our Black Excellence Series. His work with Somatus is awe-inspiring Black excellence, and his dedication to improving the lives of others is inspirational. We hope that Ikenna’s story will encourage other Black entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world.

Dr.Ikenna Okezie is part of our Black Founders50 Series. Download the complete 2023 BBVA Founders50 list here.

BBVA envisions a vibrant Canadian technology ecosystem with significant participation from members of the Black community. We are on a mission to help establish 1000 successful, Black-led tech and tech-enabled businesses in Canada by 2030.

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