UVA Health hires chief diversity & community engagement officers
Dr. Tracy Downs comes from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Charlottesville-based UVA Health has named Dr. Tracy M. Downs as the health system’s inaugural chief diversity & community engagement officer, effective July 1.
A urologist who specializes in the surgical treatment of urologic cancers, Downs previously served as associate dean for diversity and multicultural affairs and as a professor of urologic oncology for the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. At UW, Tracy played an instrumental role in overseeing the recruitment of and medical education support programs for individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds underrepresented in medicine.
According to a release, Downs will “serve as UVA Health’s leading voice on diversity, equity and inclusion and be a powerful advocate for related initiatives across the health system and, more broadly, in the local community.” Issues he will focus on including improving community health by addressing social determinants that create health disparities.
“Tracy is a leader of integrity who is passionate about community health advocacy and the work of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said UVA Health CEO Dr. K. Craig Kent in a statement. “He will play an integral role in the ongoing effort to strengthen U.Va.’s partnership with our neighboring communities.”
“I am both excited and humbled by the opportunity to join UVA Health, one of the best academic health systems in the country and a place that strongly values diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Downs. “It is important to me that we are good stewards and provide the same level of compassionate and skilled medical care to all members of society who come from differing diverse backgrounds. I cannot wait to help build upon the core values of UVA Health to serve our community better.”
Downs earned his medical degree from the University of California San Diego. He earned his bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University.