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College of Medicine appoints head of diversity
Cheryl Holder, M.D.

College of Medicine appoints head of diversity

August 9, 2021 at 10:02am

Cheryl Holder, MD, has been named Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity and Community Initiatives (ODEICI) at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM). 

"In her new role, Dr. Holder will lead HWCOM in the creation of novel pipeline programs and advocacy for inclusivity and social justice in all aspects of HWCOM operations," said Dr. Robert Sackstein, HWCOM dean and senior vice president for Health Affairs.

Holder is a board-certified internist and HIV specialist who has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations. She was one of the first physicians to sound the alarm about the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on the African American community and the lack of testing sites in black neighborhoods. She had been serving as interim dean since last year while the college conducted a national search.

"I am excited to continue the mission of ensuring our communities receive the care they need to achieve optimal health from a diverse, caring workforce," she said.

In addition to her academic and clinical roles, Holder is president of the Florida State Medical Association, a regional arm of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. She also co-chairs Florida Clinicians for Climate Action. 

ODEICI is also being expanded to include a coordinator for biomedical sciences career development. HWCOM researcher Andrea Raymond has been tapped for the newly-created position. Raymond, an associate professor in the Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine, is well-recognized for her research work in HIV pathogenesis and has extensive experience mentoring and training biomedical scientists. 

"Together, Dr. Holder and Dr. Raymond will drive forward the college of medicine's and FIU's unwavering commitment to diversity and equity," said Sackstein.

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked HWCOM as the No. 3 most diverse medical school in the nation. The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society also honored HWCOM with its 2020 Award for Excellence in Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Medical Education and Patient Care.