The University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is proud to appoint Renée Crichlow, MD, assistant professor and director of Advocacy and Policy in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, as the inaugural Mac Baird Endowed Chair in Family Medicine Advocacy and Policy.

Dr. Crichlow has extensive experience in teaching health policy, community engagement and leadership in addition to her full-spectrum practice. In 2018, she was named the director of the department's program in Advocacy and Policy. Crichlow has parlayed her public roles as president of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians and board member of the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine into both a state and federal reputation for her promotion of family medicine and its principles. She is also the co-founder of a youth health career mentorship program in North Minneapolis called The Ladder, which has been engaging learners and physicians at every level.

"Dr. Crichlow is a charismatic leader and outstanding communicator. The departmental program in Advocacy and Policy has grown under her direction and is now poised to have an even greater impact with the extra time and resources that will be provided by the Mac Baird Chair," said James Pacala, MD, MS, professor and head of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. "Dr. Crichlow is highly regarded by students and residents, further raising the profile of the department and specialty. She is an obvious choice to be the Mac Baird Chair."

An endowed chair is the highest academic award a university may bestow on a faculty member. Named for former Department Head Dr. Macaran Baird, the fund was created to honor Dr. Baird's celebrated history, commitment to excellence in education and pledge to provide outstanding patient care.

"Dr. Baird is one of my heroes and mentors. His life and work have been an example of caring and excellence we all have learned and benefited from. Personally, he has taught me that physicians must stand up for their patients, the communities we serve and the learners we teach. I am honored and appreciate that this Chair will be a part of his legacy," Crichlow said.

"We are excited to honor Dr. Crichlow as the inaugural Mac Baird Chair. Dr. Baird is a treasured colleague, trusted adviser and pioneering medical leader—this endowed chair is a fitting tribute to his brilliant career," said Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, dean of the Medical School. "Our role in medicine to advocate for patients and communities and influence policy has never been more important. In Dr. Crichlow, we have summoned a powerful force to this work."