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New Health Sciences Leadership Positions to Focus on Inclusion and Strategy


Dr. Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah, has announced the hiring of two senior staff members to her leadership team. Evelyn Gopez, M.D., has been named the new associate vice president for inclusion, and Grant Lasson, MBA, has been named associate vice president for strategy.

Gopez, a professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, previously served as the school's assistant dean for diversity and community outreach. Under her leadership, the school doubled the number of hours medical students provided in outreach to the community, as well as dramatically increased the number of school-age children who participated in and benefited from the school's outreach programs.

"I've challenged Evelyn in this new role to look at ways our organization can better foster an environment that embraces diverse opinions and ideas," said Lee. "There is growing evidence that decisions (in the lab, the classroom, and the clinic) are better when the decision-making team includes diverse perspectives. This means that our students, faculty, and staff must feel comfortable expressing their views -- no matter how divergent." Lee says greater emphasis on inter-professional education and training will be a critical part of this effort, as well as prioritizing efforts to address health disparities in Utah communities.

Lasson joins the University administration from the Chartis Group, a consulting group in Chicago where he specialized in helping major health care systems with strategic planning, business planning, strategy execution, and operations performance management. In his new position, Lasson will be responsible for helping lead, support and coordinate strategic planning efforts for all health sciences and health care programs at the University.

Lasson earned an MBA from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University where he was honored with the prestigious Stoddard Prize for excelling in finance. He attended graduate school in chemistry at Iowa State University and earned his BS degree in chemistry from BYU.

"Grant brings both a national perspective and a local understanding of the dynamic forces impacting our clinical and academic missions and I look forward to his leadership as we begin our health sciences strategic planning process," said Lee.