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Please read this letter from Wesley Burks, MD, to all to all UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine teammates, announcing Audrea Caesar, PhD, as UNC Health’s inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.

Dear teammates,

I am excited to share with you that Audrea Caesar, PhD, will join UNC Health on September 13 as UNC Health’s inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO). In this role, Dr. Caesar will report directly to me and oversee the DEI and health equity efforts underway at UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine (SOM), and the outstanding work that Aleyah Pryor-Pankey, UNC Health System Executive Director for DEI, Dr. Crystal Cene, UNC Health System Executive Director for Health Equity, and Dr. Nate Thomas, SOM Vice Dean for DEI, are leading.

Dr. Caesar comes to UNC Health from the City of Raleigh, where she created and led the city’s first Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  In this role she developed Raleigh’s first racial equity action plan emphasizing workforce equity, police-community relations, business inclusion and community engagement, and served as an advisor to the Mayor and City Council on issues related to community health, social justice and equity.

Prior to her time with the City of Raleigh, Dr. Caesar held several positions where she has helped organizations better understand the social determinants of inequity. As Director of Community Outreach & Support for Union County’s Department of Health and Human Services, she founded the Union Health Equity Collaborative, which trained over 150 providers and staff from Union County Public Health, Atrium Health Union, Novant Health and members of the community on topics related to social determinants using Union County-specific data.

I want to thank Dr. Cristy Page who led the search committee for this role as well as the search committee members, the System Executive DEI Council, and the many individuals across the UNC Health system and SOM involved in the interviewing and recruitment process.

You have heard me say many times that our work in DEI and health equity are essential components to providing the very best care to our communities and the citizens of North Carolina. I know Dr. Caesar will bring the same passion and dedication to UNC Health in her new role that she has demonstrated throughout her career.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Caesar to UNC Health!