The University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine has appointed Naudia Jonassaint, MD, MHS, to the newly created position of Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, said Mark Gladwin, MD, Jack D. Myers Professor and Chair, and chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Jonassaint, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a transplant hepatologist, will work to develop new initiatives and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion across the department.
She will work closely in this task with Christopher O’Donnell, PhD, and Ora Weisz, PhD, the Department’s Executive Vice Chair for Academic Affairs and Vice Chair for Faculty Development, respectively.
Dr. Jonassaint came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 to join the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and in Hispanic and Italian studies with Honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1999. She attended the Yale School of Medicine and completed a thesis focused on the Black-White achievement gap. Dr. Jonassaint returned to Johns Hopkins where completed her internal medicine training, chief residency, and GI and Transplant Hepatology fellowships. During her time at Johns Hopkins, she served on the Diversity Council, the Residency Selection Committee, and the Council for Women in Medicine. Dr. Jonassaint completed an MHS at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was a T32 fellow studying disparities in liver transplant outcomes. Her subsequent research continued a focus on transplant outcomes and post-transplant Hepatitis C treatment.
More recently, Dr. Jonassaint has taken on several leadership positions at the University of Pittsburgh, including her 2017 appointment as Medical Director of the Section of Hepatology—where she has played a critical role in the opening of the new Hepatology service (5E/W). She has also led initiatives to meet value metrics and quality outcomes in the hepatology and transplant space. In addition, Dr. Jonassaint has served on the hospital clinical executive committee, functioned as the clinical lead on quality and safety initiatives in Hepatology, and is now serving on the residency and fellowship selection committees.
Throughout her career, Dr. Jonaissant has been committed to clinical and research excellence and has exhibited a passion for teaching and mentoring. She was awarded the GI fellowship teaching award in 2017 and serves on the American Association of Liver Disease Diversity Committee.
In her Vice Chair role, Dr. Jonaissant will work with Drs. Alda Gonzaga, MD, MS, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, and Eloho Ufomata, MD, MS, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, to enhance the DOM residency and fellowship recruitment, retention and advancement. She will also focus on efforts to promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty into the Department of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Jonaissant will work with leaders across the wider institution on community building and engagement initiatives to create an environment of excellence that is both diverse and inclusive.