Department of Medicine names first vice chair for diversity and inclusion

Naudia Jonassaint, assistant professor of medicine, has been appointed as the Department of Medicine’s first vice chair for diversity and inclusion.

Naudia JonassaintJonassaint, who also is the medical director of clinical hepatology at UPMC Presbyterian, will work to develop new initiatives and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion across the department.

In her role, Jonassaint will work with other department leaders and faculty to enhance residency and fellowship recruitment, retention and advancement. She also will focus on efforts to promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty into the department, and work with leaders across the wider institution on community building and engagement initiatives to foster an environment of diversity and inclusivity.

“Diversity in health care improves access to care, leads to better outcomes and experiences for both patients and physicians, and enriches the academic environment,” Jonassaint said in a news release. “I’m honored to have been appointed to this role.”

Jonassaint joined Pitt’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and in Hispanic and Italian studies with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1999. She received her M.D. from Yale School of Medicine, and then returned to Johns Hopkins where she completed her internal medicine training, chief residency, and gastroenterology and transplant hepatology fellowships. While there, she also received a Master of Health Sciences degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.