The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) has created the Carole J. Bland, Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Research. Our inaugural holder of the Carole J. Bland, Ph.D. Endowed Chair is Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE, professor and vice chair for research in the DFMCH. The fund for this endowed chair was established to honor former DFMCH faculty member Dr. Carole J. Bland. As chair holder, Dr. Berge will have resources to assist the University in recruiting, supporting, and retaining outstanding research faculty members in the Medical School.

The decision to name Dr. Berge holder of this newly created chair was a natural one. In the creation of the Carole J. Bland, Ph.D. Endowed Chair in Research, the goal was for the holder to have a research focus that relates to family medicine, community and population level health, education, healthcare delivery, and faculty development. Dr. Berge exemplifies all that the chair represents. In addition to being a professor and the vice chair for research in the DFMCH, Dr. Berge directs the Healthy Eating and Activity across the LIfespan (HEAL) Center, the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 training program, and the Center for Women in Medicine and Science (CWIMS). She also co-leads CTSI's Community Engagement to Advance Research and Community Health (CEARCH) core and CTSI's Community and Collaboration component with Dr. Michele Allen.

Dr. Berge is both a researcher and licensed behavioral medicine clinician focused on integrated care and community-based partnerships that address social and structural determinants of health within the family context. Her NIH research agenda focuses on conducting both prevention and treatment studies within primary care settings to promote holistic health in children and families with the ultimate goal of achieving health equity in low-income and minoritized households. Her impressive work and inspiring leadership have played a major role in helping the Research Division become number two in NIH funding among family medicine departments nationwide.

Congratulations to Dr. Berge for being named holder of this endowed chair, which is the highest academic honor a university may bestow upon a faculty member.