New Leaders at University of Utah Health
Jul 21, 2022 8:00 AM
The start of the 2023 fiscal year on July 1 marked the start of several new leadership roles at University of Utah Health filled by those who represent identities historically underrepresented in medicine and health sciences. Each of these leaders represent the best of the best in their respective fields and show our institution’s forward progress to ensuring that all voices are brought to the decision-making table.
Highlights are from University of Utah Health press releases.
Fiemu Nwariaku, MD (he/him) joined the University of Utah as the new chair of the Department of Surgery at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine. Dr. Nwariaku joined us from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he served as the Malcolm O. Perry Professor of Surgery and executive vice chair in the Department of Surgery, as well as associate dean for Global Health at UTSW’s medical school. Dr. Nwariaku is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a past president of the Association of Academic Surgery.
Christy Porucznik, PhD, MSPH (she/her) has started in her new role as Vice Dean for Faculty in the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Porucznik will work to advance faculty and faculty success across 23 departments in the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine in clinical, education, research, community engagement, and supportive capacities. Since 2005, Dr. Porucznik has served as a faculty member at U of U Health, publishing numerous papers; receiving research funding from the NIH, CDC, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and teaching medical students, undergraduates, and graduate students both here and at the U of U Asia Campus. She was recognized by students as Faculty Member of the Year numerous times.
Rachel Hess, MD, MS (she/her) is the new Associate Vice President for Research at University of Utah Health. Dr. Hess will oversee the research enterprise across U of U Health, which includes five schools and colleges, the Eccles Health Science Library, and more than 20,000 faculty and staff. Dr. Hess is a professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Internal Medicine at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. She holds a H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair in Population Health Sciences and co-directs the Utah Clinical & Translational Science Institute. Prior to assuming the AVP role, she served as the associate dean for clinical and translational science and founding chief in the Division of Health System Innovation and Research.
Christy Hopkins, MD, MPH, MBA (she/her) is the inaugural chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hopkins will oversee a department that has expanded to nearly 40 faculty, 20 advance practice clinicians, 7 fellows, 27 residents, and more than 250 staff at three clinical sites. The department cares for nearly 90,000 patients within the region each year and accounts for 40% of all university hospital admissions. Since 2002, Dr. Hopkins has held many faculty roles, including medical director of U of U Hospitals emergency department, which she helped expand to two additional sites. She also facilitated the department’s transition to electronic medical records.