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Yale Surgery Appoints First Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Welcomes Dr. Paris D. Butler

December 22, 2021
by Cecelia Smith

The Department of Surgery is pleased to announce Paris D. Butler, MD, MPH, FACS as Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Associate Professor of Surgery, effective April 1, 2022. He is the first Vice Chair of DEI in the Department of Surgery’s 209-year history.

"Dr. Butler’s appointment to our leadership cabinet is a significant milestone in our Department’s history, and a big step forward toward our goals of developing a diverse workforce, and promoting the cultural competencies that will allow each of us to provide our community with patient-centered care,” said Department of Surgery Chair, Dr. Nita Ahuja.

As the inaugural Vice Chair for DEI, Dr. Butler will be charged with elevating a strategic vision for expansion of DEI activities, working in coordination with Vice Chairs, Division Chiefs, and Program Directors to actively promote a comprehensive approach to recruitment, retention, and support of highly qualified, diverse, and talented faculty, staff, residents, and fellows.

“Diversity is at the center of our responsibility to transform healthcare and lead academic medicine into the future. I am excited to partner with my colleagues at Yale, and especially in the Department of Surgery, to make the place where we work, educate, and care for our patients, a more inclusive and respectful place for everyone,” said Dr. Butler.

Dr. Butler joins the Yale Surgery faculty via the University of Pennsylvania Health System, where he has been the Associate Designated Institutional Official (DIO) of Under-represented in Medicine (UIM) Affairs for the Office of Graduate Medical Education, Clerkship Site Director for the Division of Plastic Surgery, and Assistant Professor of Surgery since 2016. In addition to being a clinically busy plastic and reconstructive surgeon, his research interests include keloid pathophysiology and treatment, surgical health care disparities, health care policy, and provision of care to the underserved.

He obtained his Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Roanoke College and his Medical Doctorate (MD) degree at the University of Virginia School of Medicine where he also completed his general surgery residency. Dr. Butler completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University and a Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) from University of California-Berkeley. He served as a policy fellow in the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health. He subsequently completed his plastic surgery training at the University of Pennsylvania, prior to joining their faculty.

Dr. Raul Guzman led the nationwide search, with a committee of Faculty, Trainees, and Staff including: Dr. Emily Christison-Lagay, Dr. Andrew Duffy, Dr. Raymond Jean, Dr. Dirk Johnson, Dr. Rita Milewski, Dr. Marietta Vazquez, and Morgan Lavigne.

“Dr. Butler’s unique perspective on what it means to bring diversity to academic surgery is inspiring, exciting, and something that really resonated with every member of our committee,” said Dr. Guzman. “We are delighted to welcome him to the community and grateful for his leadership.”

Submitted by Cecelia Smith on December 22, 2021