July 12, 2023

Martinez Named Associate Dean of DEI

Inland Southern California native returns from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Author: Ross French
July 12, 2023

Dr. Denise Martinez
Denise Martinez, MD

Denise A. Martinez, MD has been appointed as the new associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. Her position, which includes a faculty appointment in the Department of Family Medicine, begins on August 21, 2023.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Martinez as our new associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her impressive educational and professional background, along with her unwavering commitment to healthcare excellence and promoting diversity, make her a perfect fit,” said Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean Deborah Deas, MD, MPH. “Martinez's extensive experience in academia, leadership, and her dedication to culturally responsive healthcare will greatly contribute to our ongoing efforts in creating a more inclusive and equitable environment. We are confident that her passion and expertise will drive positive change, fostering a diverse community that thrives on collaboration and understanding.”

“It is my privilege to join the School of Medicine at UC Riverside and play a role in promoting an inclusive environment and diversity as we work to impact health disparities,” Martinez said. “Having lived my formative years in the Inland Empire, it’s an incredible opportunity to return to my home state and join this institution—one whose mission aligns with my professional goals and interests. I’m looking forward to joining the team.”

Martinez comes to UCR after a dozen years at University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. Since joining the school in 2011, Martinez served as assistant and associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion and, in 2021, was named the interim associate vice president for health parity.

Martinez was recently selected as recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award for Early Career Achievement at the Carver College of Medicine, the Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine bestows upon its outstanding graduates.

She earned her bachelor of science in biology from Seattle Pacific University in 2003, followed by her MD from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2008. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics from 2008 to 2011.

She has also completed multiple professional development activities, such as attending conferences and participating in educational programs related to culturally responsive healthcare, leadership, and health disparities.

Her list of awards and accolades include the Dr. Phil DeChavez Mentor of the Year from the Latino Medical Student Association in 2022, 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America from Cell Mentor and Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Midwest Faculty of the Year in 2020, and 40-Under 40 Leadership Award from the National Minority Quality Forum in 2018. She is also a three-time recipient of the Champion for Student Success award from the University of Iowa, most recently in 2021.

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