Andrea Westby, MD, Appointed Inaugural Josie Robinson Johnson Endowed Chair in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We are proud to announce that the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health has created the Josie Robinson Johnson Endowed Chair in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Our inaugural holder of the position is Andrea Westby, MD.

This chair honors the significant and ongoing contributions of civil rights activist and community leader, Josie Robinson Johnson, EdD. Dr. Johnson has dedicated her life to promoting equality and inclusion while breaking down barriers to access education, housing and employment. Her influence in Minnesota — as an advocate, educator, leader and advisor — is immeasurable and her work has left a lasting imprint on our nation. She is the first African American to have served on the University’s Board of Regents and led the University’s minority affairs and diversity efforts. The endowment of the Josie Robinson Johnson Endowed Chair provides a sustainable investment in advancing family medicine’s key role in promoting the principles of justice and inclusion through the equitable provision of health and care to our diverse community of patients and families. Additionally, it will ensure Dr. Johnson’s trailblazing legacy as a leader in the civil rights movement is honored and celebrated for generations to come.

Dr. Westby is an assistant professor and director for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is an outstanding educator and clinician, practicing full-spectrum family medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health’s North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. Over the past two years, she has co-directed a faculty-driven departmental initiative addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the work they do. In performing these duties, she has advocated for justice; addressed fairness and equity issues across healthcare, medical education, and faculty affairs; actively sought out diverse perspectives; and included a wide range of stakeholders.

Dr. Westby brings passion, clear-thinking, unceasing energy and humility to work that promotes justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare. Widely respected by colleagues, learners and the community, she has quickly become a trusted leader, not just in her department but also in the Medical School. Dr. Westby is an obvious choice to be the inaugural holder of this endowed chair, which is the highest academic award a university may bestow upon a faculty member. We are grateful for her leadership, and we are confident in her ability to accomplish great things in this important role.

Please join us in congratulating Drs. Johnson and Westby on this honor.