Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center has named Erika Newman, MD, its first associate director for diversity, equality, inclusion, and justice. She will lead the center’s efforts to diversify the next generation of health professionals and researchers and to champion an anti-racist and just culture within the cancer center.
“This is a very important moment for these efforts,” Newman said. “We have had a difficult year with the health disparities underlined by COVID-19 and the events that have led to increased racial awareness across the country, including the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. So this is an opportunity for us to look at ourselves, look at our organization and understand how we can contribute to positive change in clinical care, research, education and training and service to our community.”
Newman, an associate professor of pediatric surgery at Michigan Medicine, received her medical degree from Georgetown University in 2001 and completed a general surgery course at UM and a fellowship training at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago in 2010. UM started.
Today, Newman has a busy clinical practice with broad expertise in the care of children with solid tumors, as well as a basic science research laboratory focused on understanding tumor-specific DNA repair mechanisms as novel therapeutic options for pediatric neuroblastoma. She is the surgical director of the solid tumor oncology program at CS Mott Children’s Hospital.
“Dr. Newman has made a tremendous contribution to improving diversity, equity and inclusion at UM — both within the Department of Surgery and in her role as associate chief clinical officer for health equity for the University of Michigan Medical Group,” said Eric Fearon, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Rogel Cancer Center, “At the Cancer Center, all of our leaders remain responsible for supporting and promoting DEIJ efforts in the respective areas they lead. And this newly created position, along with the unique perspectives and leadership from Dr. Newman, will help advance these critical DEIJ goals, not only within the center, but also in conjunction with other efforts in Michigan Medicine and the wider UM campus.”
Newman’s longstanding commitment to diversity and equality includes being a founding member of the Michigan Women’s Surgical Collaborative, a diverse group of academic surgeons with the mission of implementing strategies that advance female surgeons in a variety of disciplines. She also facilitated the development and implementation of the Michigan Promise within the Department of Surgery, a series of innovative initiatives aimed at improving the quality of educators and residents and strengthening core culture to create a more open and inclusive environment .
In 2020, Newman received a Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award in recognition of her work and leadership on cultural diversity.
“My goal for this new role is to be part of DEIJ as part of the cancer center’s core mission,” Newman said. “It touches everything we do, from the way we care for patients, to the way we recruit patients for clinical trials, to how we educate students in the cancer space, and how we build the pipeline of the next generation of leaders in the field. .”
Her appointment took effect on June 1.