09:30 AM

Northwestern Medicine names Dinee Simpson, MD, first chief health equity executive

Founder of African American Transplant Access Program takes on additional role

Transplant surgeon Dinee Simpson, MD, has been named the first chief health equity executive at Northwestern Medicine. In this new position, Dr. Simpson will lead the formation of a system-wide approach to enhance health equity across the communities Northwestern Medicine serves.

Dr. Simpson joined Northwestern Medicine in 2018. She developed the Northwestern Medicine African American Transplant Access Program (AATAP) to increase equitable access to transplantation and to help patients address cultural concerns and overcome modifiable structural and institutional barriers to receive care they need. With her new role, she will continue to provide clinical leadership over AATAP.

“Dr. Simpson is deeply committed to health equity, and she has long endeavored to address the issues that prevent patients from accessing high-quality care to achieve their highest quality of health,” said Howard Chrisman, MD, president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. “Her background in transplant health equity, as well as her ability to listen and partner with communities and other leaders, will help us reduce barriers and better serve our patients and their families.”

After completing medical school at New York University, Dr. Simpson moved to Boston for a surgical residency through Harvard Medical School and completed her transplant surgery fellowship training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her clinical focus on liver and kidney transplants and her work as an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Organ Transplantation at Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Simpson is the vice chair of faculty development and diversity in the Department of Surgery.

She sits on the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, and is the past diversity, equity and inclusion adviser for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS). She chaired the ASTS Boldly Against Racism Task Force and was recently elected to sit on the society’s board of councilors.

“I am beyond proud to be a part of this institution that has called out health equity as a main pillar of its core values," Dr. Simpson said. "Health equity is a space where there is always room for discovery, growth and improvement. It is with humility that I embrace this opportunity to guide Northwestern Medicine’s system-wide approach as we leverage the strengths of our clinicians, administrators, educators and researchers to better serve our communities. We must continue to critically evaluate and address health disparities for all and seek new ways to enhance wellness in all the communities we serve.”

We must continue to critically evaluate and address health disparities for all and seek new ways to enhance wellness in all the communities we serve.

Dinee Simpson, Chief Health Equity Executive