Monica Vela,MD- 2019 University of Chicago Diversity Leadership Award Recipient

Monica Vela,MD, Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine), Associate Vice Chair for Diversity, and Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs (Pritzker School of Medicine has been named as a recipient of the University of Chicago’s 2019 Diversity Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions to diversity and inclusion at the University and in the broader community. Dr. Vela received her award at a January 15 on campus reception and was honored during the University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

Dr. Vela has had a major impact increasing cultural diversity in medicine and improving minority health. Her innovative work spans the continuum of medical education from high school students to faculty and has bolstered the Pritzker School of Medicine’s stature as a national model for teaching about the impact of health care disparities .

Dr. Vela has served as the Associate Vice Chair for Diversity within the Department of Medicine since 2006. As such, she chairs the Department’s Diversity Committee and also directs the Minority Visiting Clerkship Program (MCVP) to enhance minority student awareness of opportunities in academic medicine.

As Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at the Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Vela is one of the University’s most ardent supporters of minority medical students. Within the Pritzker School of Medicine curriculum, Dr. Vela implemented an innovative course on health care disparities that contributed to a significantly increased enrollment of URM students at the University of Chicago in the year following its introduction and that increased enrollment continues to this day.    She has also introduced several measures to maintain the level of diversity at Pritzker. 

Dr. Vela has a strong national reputation as an educational leader in the area of teaching health disparities and the disparities curriculum has been emulated at other institutions.

For more information about Dr. Vela and her award click here: