Dr. Brian K. Gibbs, a public health practitioner with 30 years of experience in health disparities reduction, has been appointed associate vice chancellor for the Health Sciences Center’s Office for Diversity and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, effective this month.
In addition to Gibbs’ duties promoting inclusivity and diversity throughout the HSC, he will facilitate the general work of the Office for Diversity through goal-setting, strategic planning, evaluation, engagement in HSC, campus, local, statewide, and national activities and in the development of community collaborations. He will be involved in diversity and inclusion efforts relating to faculty, learners and staff, as well as assist in aligning and leveraging faculty development efforts within the HSC and external constituencies.
Gibbs, an assistant professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine, also is a senior consultant and advisor for Coordinated Services for the Improvement of Education, where he provides consultation on cultural competency, diversity and inclusion and public health strategies to reduce disparities in health and health care. He also prepares underrepresented minority students for academic success in college and university classrooms.
"Our institution’s Vision 2020 strategic plan provides the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate and generate new practices that support the efforts of our leadership, faculty, staff, learners and community partners,” says Dr. Valerie Romero-Leggott, vice chancellor for diversity at the UNM Health Sciences Center. “Collectively, we must translate our institutional values into action. Dr. Gibbs is preeminently qualified and will be a tremendous asset to the Health Sciences Center and communities throughout New Mexico.”
Prior to joining UNM, Gibbs was an assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he served as the associate dean for diversity and cultural competence. Prior to his work at Johns Hopkins, Gibbs spent 10 years as the founder and director of the Program to Eliminate Health Disparities at the Harvard School of Public Health where he was a senior research scientist within the Department of Health Policy and Management.
Gibbs received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University where he was a Pew Health Policy Fellow. He focused his dissertation research on the efficacy of hospital-based violence prevention programs. Gibbs completed post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University Dominguez Hills, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Michigan University.
“This appointment is absolutely in line with my personal and professional missions,” Gibbs says. “I can’t think of a better place for me to help develop health parity while educating community residents, providers and policy makers about the intersections of racism, and other social and environmental determinants of health."
“Diversity as a core value seeks to cultivate better outcomes through inclusion and respect of individuals and groups from different racial, cultural, cognitive, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, gender and socio-economic backgrounds," says UNM Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Paul Roth. "With the valuable addition of Dr. Gibbs to our Office for Diversity, we have a powerful opportunity to expand our programs and curricula to better recruit and train health care professionals in New Mexico, a state rich in cultural diversity.”
The HSC’s Office for Diversity promotes inclusivity and diversity throughout the UNM Health Sciences and creates collaborative opportunities to achieve innovation, excellence, and health equity in academic, clinical, research and community settings.