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Martinez named interim associate VP for health parity

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Denise Martinez, MD, has been named interim associate vice president for health parity with University of Iowa Health Care.

Denise Martinez
Denise Martinez, MD

Martinez has served as associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Carver College of Medicine since February 2019. In this new role, she will lead initiatives across all of UI Health Care with emphasis on:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Culture and climate
  • Health disparities
  • Respect and understanding between providers and patients

These focus areas were outlined as part of a UI Health Care task force, established in fall 2020 to develop recommendations for fostering a welcoming and inclusive medical campus and academic health system. In her role as interim associate vice president for health parity, Martinez will work with the task force and other UI Health Care leaders to further develop and implement strategies in each of the focus areas.

“We’re committed to creating a more open, empathetic, and respectful environment for our faculty and staff, students and trainees, and patients, visitors, and community partners,” says Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. “Dr. Martinez has been a thoughtful and engaging leader in this work as associate dean, and she’ll continue to do a great job guiding us in these efforts moving forward.”

Martinez has been involved in a number of initiatives related to health parity and inclusion since joining the Carver College of Medicine faculty in 2011. A clinical associate professor of family medicine, she served one year as the Carver College of Medicine’s interim associate dean for cultural affairs and diversity initiatives in 2011 before serving as assistant dean from 2012 to 2019, when she became associate dean.

Dr. Martinez has been a thoughtful and engaging leader in this work as associate dean, and she’ll continue to do a great job guiding us in these efforts moving forward.

Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine

She established the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, which provides educational opportunities for underrepresented minority students to pursue health care careers. Martinez also has served as the principal investigator for the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at Iowa a free summer program that provides experience and resources to underrepresented students interested in applying to medical school or other health professions degree programs.

Martinez also serves as co-medical director for the UI Mobile Clinic, a free medical resource that serves over 1,000 patients each year, and she is the co-principal investigator on a federal grant that helps provide free counseling services to local Latinx populations through the Mobile Clinic.