Tracy Downs, MD, FACS, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Tracy M. Downs, MD, FACS, UVA School of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Tracy M. Downs, MD, FACS, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Tracy M. Downs, MD, FACS, is the inaugural Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the School of Medicine. He is also Chief Diversity & Community Engagement Officer for UVA Health. In these roles, he guides efforts to ensure an inclusive, optimal and respectful learning, training and working environment. Within the greater Charlottesville region, and across the broader state of Virginia, he works collaboratively to improve community health and well-being by decreasing health disparities.

Dr. Downs comes 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. He also served as Faculty Director of the Cancer Health Disparities Initiative at UW’s Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In addition to his leadership role, Dr. Downs is board-certified urologist specializing in the surgical treatment of urologic cancers, with a sub-specialty focus in the treatment of both prostate and bladder cancer. He also has extensive experience in taking care of patients with general urology health concerns and overseeing clinical trials.

School of Medicine wins HEED Award 2021

Insight Health HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Award 2021Oct. 18th 2021 | Today, UVA School of Medicine received the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — UVA School of Medicine will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the 10th consecutive year, UVA School of Medicine has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.


Medical building signpostAt UVA School of Medicine, we are committed to ensuring that diversity is more than a buzzword, and that our culture and community actually reflect the values of inclusion and fairness. For students, housestaff, faculty, staff and patients alike, we strive to foster a sense of community that values and takes advantage of our differences and similarities in gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and beyond.


Photo: UVA students working togetherIn all that we do, we work to benefit human health and improve the quality of life.
We will be:

  • Our local community’s provider of choice for its healthcare needs
  • A national leader in quality, patient safety, service, and compassionate care
  • The leading provider of technologically-advanced, ground-breaking care throughout Virginia
  • Recognized for translating research discoveries into improvements in clinical care and patient outcomes
  • Fostering innovative care delivery and teaching/training models that respond to the evolving health environment
  • A leader in training students and faculty in providing health care free of disparity

Strategic Plan

Photo: UVA School of Medicine studentFor physicians-in-training, learning the cross-cultural skills to communicate across differences of every kind is essential. The School of Medicine has over three decades’ experience promoting diversity among medical and graduate students in a variety of educational and mentoring programs. We invite you to explore further what diversity means at the UVA School of Medicine.

Diversity stands with ethics, integrity, and academic excellence, as a cornerstone of University culture. The University promotes an inclusive and welcoming environment that embraces the full spectrum of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. When people of different backgrounds come together, they exchange ideas, question assumptions (including their own), and broaden the horizons for us all. A University of Virginia community rich in diversity affords every member equal respect – and provides a forum for understanding our differences as well as our commonalities.

For more information about UVA’s commitment to diversity and a broader listing of diversity programs, please visit the site of our Vice President & Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity.