September 30, 2021

Dr. Herman Gray named interim vice dean of Diversity and Inclusion

Herman Gray, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics and of Wayne Pediatrics has been appointed interim vice dean of the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

His appointment, announced last week by Dean Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D., began Oct. 1.

Herman Gray, M.D., M.B.A.

“Dr. Gray will administer our diversity, equality and inclusion efforts until mid-November, when the new vice dean joins us to lead the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” Dean Schweitzer said. “I cannot think of a steadier, more invested and committed person to assist us during this transition period.

“I want to assure faculty, students and staff that I am fully committed to diversity and inclusion at our School of Medicine and will appoint a new vice dean of Diversity and Inclusion who shares – and lives – that commitment,” Dean Schweitzer said.

Dean Schweitzer has convened a search committee to identify qualified candidates. The committee, chaired by Wael Sakr, M.D., chair of the Department of Pathology, includes Marquita Chamblee, Ph.D., associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer; Ingrid Guerra-Lopez, Ph.D., interim dean of the WSU College of Education; Karen Mourtzikos, M.D., executive vice dean of the School of Medicine; Dr. Gray; Stanley Berry, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Janice Timchuck, chief of staff of Office of the Dean; and Lorna Thomas, M.D., community member.

Dr. Gray, who replaces Herbert Smitherman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., professor of Internal Medicine, is a former president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan. His history with Children's Hospital of Michigan dates to the late 1970s, when he served as chief pediatric resident. He also served, at CHM, as vice president of Graduate Medical Education, pediatric residency program director, chief of staff and chief operating officer. Under his leadership, the residency program developed several innovative programs and successfully recruited a significant number of physicians of color.

He was named president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Michigan in 2005, a position he held until September 2015, when he was named president and chief executive officer of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Dr. Gray has served as chief medical consultant for the Michigan Department of Community Health - Children's Special Health Services and as vice president and medical director of clinical affairs for Blue Care Network. A child and family advocate, he has been honored numerous times for his humanitarian efforts related to pediatric health care, particularly with children with special needs, and served on a variety of state and national committees and organizations, including as one of the founding commissioners on the U.S. Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.

“We owe Dr. Smitherman a debt of gratitude for his efforts to address the diversity issues among our student body,” Dean Schweitzer said. “Our next vice dean, who will answer directly to me, will build upon that foundation by ensuring that all of our diversity and inclusion measures are embedded in the very core of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.”

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