We are pleased to announce that Dr. Will Ross has agreed to expand his role as Associate Dean for Diversity Programs to include serving as the School of Medicine’s Principal Officer for Community Partnerships. This new role will be supported jointly by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Education. Community engagement was recognized as a major focus area for the medical center at the June 2015 Senior Leadership Retreat on Diversity and Inclusion. In addition, at the June 2018 Curriculum Renewal Retreat for the School of Medicine, community engagement and advocacy were identified as critical future directions for the education of our medical students and residents. As the Principal Officer for Community Partnerships, Dr. Ross will work in conjunction with programs already active in the area evolving from the Institute of Public Health, Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences, Siteman Cancer Center, the Gephardt Institute, BJC Healthcare, and other key stakeholders to enhance programs and strategies that address the health needs of our community. New initiatives will be developed in collaboration with community leaders and organizations from our city and county. In considering community partnership to be essential to our overall education and diversity and inclusion efforts, we will now be capitalizing on the long history of Will’s contributions, as well as his talents and inspiration, to foster an even more profound impact in the coming years.
Dr. Ross is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his medical degree from Washington University. He completed an internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University, a renal fellowship at Washington University, and a master’s degree in public health at Saint Louis University. Over the past two decades he has recruited and developed a diverse workforce of medical students, residents and faculty while promoting health equity locally, nationally and globally. He is a co-founder of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence and served on the task force that created the Washington University Institute for Public Health, while serving as co-director of the new MD/MPH program. He was vice chair of the Washington University Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. He has been instrumental in redesigning local access to health care for the underserved as the founder of the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic and co-founder of Casa de Salud Latino Health Center. Dr. Ross is also a founding member of the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet health professions high school in St. Louis.
Dr. Ross previously served as the chief medical officer and director of ambulatory clinics for the St. Louis Regional Medical Center, the last public hospital in St. Louis. In 1997 he was appointed a charter and founding member of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, which has leveraged over $400 million dollars to St. Louis to maintain an integrated network of safety net primary care clinics and public health services. He served as Chairman of the board of directors of the Missouri Foundation for Health. He is currently Chairman of the St. Louis City Board of Health and a past member of the Center for Disease Control’s Health Disparities Committee. He has won numerous awards including the State of Missouri Martin Luther King Distinguished Service in Medicine Award, the Health Literacy Missouri Trailblazer Award, the Samuel Goldstein Leadership in Medical Education Award, the Humanism in Medicine Award, and the Robert and Gerry Virgil Ethic of Service Award.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ross as he takes on this new leadership role.
David H. Perlmutter, M.D.
Sherree A. Wilson, Ph.D.
Eva M. Aagaard, MD