By Bridgette Wagner Jones

Equity Engagement

Anita Fernander Joins UNM School of Medicine as Executive Diversity Officer

fernander1.jpgAnita Fernander, PhD, has joined The University of New Mexico School of Medicine as executive diversity officer.

She assumed the role filled on an interim basis by John Paul “JP” Sánchez, MD, executive associate vice chancellor in the UNM Health Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and professor of Emergency Medicine.

Fernander will join the School of Medicine’s newly expanded DEI team, which also includes Kathleen Lopez Reyes, MD, Assistant Dean for DEI, Veronica L. Plaza, MD, Language Equity Initiatives director, and Curriculum Development co-directors Jessica Goodkind, PhD, (undergraduate medical education) and Anthony Fleg, MD, (health professions and research education).

“I’m grateful and excited to welcome Dr. Fernander as the School of Medicine continues to build and strengthen its efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, especially in diversifying the resident, fellow, faculty and senior administrative workforces and in championing language equity,” Sánchez said.

Fernander most recently served the Charles E Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University as chief Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion officer and interim chair and professor in the Department of Population Health and Social Sciences.  

Prior to her work at Florida Atlantic, she held key diversity roles at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she was a founding faculty member in the Center for Health Equity Transformation. Fernander received the Inaugural Excellence in Diversity Faculty award (2021) and the Inaugural Diversity Champion Award (2018).

Her work has included community-based transformational interventions as well as trainings to increase foundational knowledge and skill building to address diversity and health equity. She has employed strong alliances with communities as well as chairs to maintain a catalog of activities related to DEI.

Categories: Community Engagement, Diversity, Education, School of Medicine, Top Stories