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Jaya Aysola, MD, DTMH, MPH appointed first Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at Penn Medicine

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jaya Aysola, MD, DTMH, MPH, as the first Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at Penn Medicine.  Dr. Aysola’s appointment to this newly created position affirms Penn’s commitment to advancing equity and inclusion set forth by the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, under the leadership of Dr. Eve Higginbotham, Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity.


Dr. Aysola is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, with her primary appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine.  As a clinician investigator, her research centers on evaluating system, provider, and patient level strategies to improve the uptake and quality of health care and health for vulnerable populations and stems from her clinical, administrative, and policy experiences in resource‐poor settings.  


This position builds on her previous successes as the inaugural Associate DIO for Health Equity and Inclusion and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education.  In this role, Dr. Aysola together with Dr. Jeffrey Berns, introduced Health Equity Week, a conference dedicated to advancing education and scientific inquiry pertaining to health equity and inclusion. For the past three years, Dr. Aysola has served as principal organizer and course director for this successful week-long annual conference.  In addition, together with Dr. Eve Higginbotham, Dr. Aysola has worked to introduce new methods for measuring inclusion within our organizations at Penn.   She also founded and served as Chair of the Health Equity Taskforce that introduced Penn Medicine’s Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion, modeled after Penn Medicine’s Blueprint for Quality and Safety. 


In her new role, Dr. Aysola will be responsible for the design and implementation of initiatives to enhance inclusion and equity in care in our learning and working environments.   Her primary responsibilities are threefold: 1. To lead efforts in developing the rationale for inclusion and diversity efforts by developing peer-reviewed evidence; 2. To assist the OID in supporting the professional development of students and faculty who are interested in health equity research; 3. To lead the relaunch of the Diversity Engagement Survey and related assessments as efforts continue to growth the inclusiveness of our culture.  These functions complement her continued service as Chair of the Health Equity Taskforce, guiding implementation of priority action items outlined in the Blueprint for Health Equity and Inclusion.


Dr. Aysola has an extensive education and experience in anthropology, public health, and health services research.  Dr. Aysola received a Bachelors of Science from University of Michigan, with high distinction in Anthropology and Zoology, and her MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.  After residency, she served as a diplomate from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, spending significant time in Cambodia, Thailand, and India developing and implementing care delivery models in resource poor settings.


Her international experience translated well  to care delivery in New Orleans, La., during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Dr. Aysola served as the Medical Director of the New Orleans Children's Health Project, a safety net clinic she developed to provide integrated primary care and behavioral health services in English and Spanish to vulnerable populations. Her integrated primary care behavioral health clinic was an early adopter of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) standards, receiving recognition in 2008 by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In 2009, she expanded these operations and became the Section Chief of Community Pediatrics and Global Health at Tulane School of Medicine. 


Dr. Aysola thereafter received her Master of Public Health in Health Care Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, through the Commonwealth Fund-Harvard University Minority Health Policy Fellowship.  During this fellowship, she worked closely with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to introduce PCMH standards to better capture to care delivery to minority and vulnerable populations.   She then completed a two-year general medicine research fellowship at the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School and the Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During this time, she continued her clinical work for vulnerable populations as an attending physician for women and children at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.  Her extensive and varied work experiences guided her research inquiries, which consistently focused on evaluating how health care models can improve access and care for those most in need. 


Dr. Aysola’s breadth of experience in a vast array of settings makes her uniquely suited for this position.  Please join me in congratulating Dr. Aysola on her new appointment as Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Diversity.


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