Diversity Overview

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is led by Dr. Tracy M. Downs and a team of professionals dedicated to cultivating a community that embraces, values, celebrates diversity and creates an engaging, equitable environment where students, faculty, trainees and staff can prosper.

Tracy M. Downs, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Tracy M. Downs, MD

Dr. Downs practices Urologic Oncology at UVA Health.

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Tracy M. Downs, MD, FACS, is the inaugural Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the School of Medicine. He is also Chief Diversity & Community Engagement Officer for UVA Health. In these roles, he coordinates and aligns diversity efforts across our mission areas of education, clinical, research, and community. Dr. Downs has oversight of all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the SOM, including the Office of Diversity and all DEI efforts among the different departments and centers.

Dr. Downs came to UVA from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where he was Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Professor of Urologic Oncology. At UW, Dr. Downs played an instrumental role in overseeing the recruitment of and medical education support programs for individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Dr. Downs earned his medical degree from the University of California San Diego, completed his residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, and completed a fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco. He earned his undergraduate degree from California Lutheran University.

Tracy M. Downs, MD

Dr. Downs practices Urologic Oncology at UVA Health.

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Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategists: JEDIS

The JEDIS form a collaborative program under the leadership of Senior Associate Dean of DEI Dr. Tracy Downs. JEDIS work to ensure diversity and inclusion are woven into best practices for all of their departments’ initiatives and across UVA Health. This program seeks to engage faculty, students, housestaff, and staff to further diversity in the School of Medicine by initiating, maintaining, and improving programs, policies, and processes that support a culture of equality, inclusion, and the value of each person.

Each department appoints an individual to serve as the department JEDI Strategist, listed below.

Diversity Consortium

The UVA Diversity Consortium is an advisory body that recommends ways to initiate, maintain and improve programs, policies, and processes that support a culture of equality, inclusion, fairness, and the value all individuals. These efforts touch upon all stakeholders in the School of Medicine, including students, Graduate Medical Education trainees, faculty, staff, patients and community. The specific goals of the Diversity Consortium are informed by the School Diversity Strategic Plan.

The Diversity Consortium’s recommendations are conveyed to the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee composed of the School of Medicine Dean, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development, Senior Associate Dean for Education, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Director of the Summer Medical Leadership Program, and Chair of the Committee on Women. The Diversity Consortium consists of leadership, representative members, ex officio members, and administrative staff, as follows:

HEED Award

The University of Virginia School of Medicine has been awarded the Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the past 11 years. This award recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. It measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

HEED Award logo 2022