Associate Dean for Diversity; Principal Officer for Community Partnerships; Alumni Endowed Professor of Medicine (Nephrology)

Will Ross, MD, MPH, FASN, FACP, FSACME, is associate dean for diversity and principal officer for community partnerships at Washington University School of Medicine, where he is a professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology. In 2021, he was honored with the distinction of being named the School’s first Alumni Endowed Professor.

Over the past two decades, he has recruited and developed a diverse workforce of medical students, residents and faculty while promoting health equity locally, nationally and globally through collaborations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and public health officials in Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Africa. He is currently assisting the development of an undergraduate program in public health in northern Haiti. As a public health and health policy expert, Ross focuses on systems integration and conceptual frameworks to reduce health-care disparities.  He is a co-founder of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence and served on the task force that created the Washington University Institute for Public Health, while serving as co-director of the new MD/MPH program.  He is vice chair of the Washington University Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.  He has been instrumental in redesigning local access to health care for the underserved as the founder of the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic and co-founder of Casa de Salud Latino Health Center.  Ross is also a founding member of the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet health professions high school in St. Louis. In 2022, he was recognized by the American College of Physicians as its recipient of the Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service. 

Ross previously served as the chief medical officer and director of ambulatory clinics for the St. Louis Regional Medical Center, the last public hospital in St. Louis.  In 1997, he was appointed a charter and founding member of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, which has leveraged over $400 million dollars to St. Louis to maintain an integrated network of safety net primary care clinics and public health services.  He served as chairman of the board of directors of the Missouri Foundation for Health, where he directed the foundation’s creation of the nonprofit center, Health Literacy Missouri.  He served on the Institute of Medicine’s Health Literacy Roundtable, where he evaluated health literacy efforts at the international level. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of the Mid-America Transplant Services Foundation, chairman of the St. Louis City Board of Health, and a member of the CDC’s Health Disparities Committee, where he promotes diversity in the public health workforce. He is a founding associate editor of the new public health journal, Frontiers in Public Health Education and Promotion. He was recently elected to the Group on Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee for the American Association of Medical Colleges, where he focuses on strategic planning to advance faculty diversity and inclusion.

Ross is a principal investigator of the Epharmix E-Interventions for Medical Care Study and co-investigator of the APO 1-1 GUAARD Replication Study.  Ross has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2005 State of Missouri Martin Luther King Distinguished Service in Medicine Award, the 2009 Washington University Medical Center Alumni Faculty Achievement Award, the 2011 Health Literacy Missouri Trailblazer Award, and the 2013 Samuel Goldstein Leadership in Medical Education Award. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha.  A graduate of Yale University, he completed medical school at Washington University School of Medicine, an internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University, and a renal fellowship at Washington University. He completed a master’s of science in epidemiology at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health.