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Dr. Patricia Treadwell named Special Advisor to the Dean, Chief Diversity Officer

portrait of patricia treadwell

Dear Colleagues:

The IU School of Medicine strives to be a place where every member of our community is welcomed, included and encouraged. Earlier this month, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I spoke to you about the tangible steps we must take as a school to counteract the racism and injustices that are rampant in our society.

Marching alongside hundreds of you at the White Coats for Black Lives rally—hearing your voices, reading your signs, and seeing the determination on all of your faces—I know that this is a shared mission. With this vision in mind, I’m pleased to announce that Dr. Patricia Treadwell—professor emeritus of pediatrics and dermatology at IU School of Medicine—has been named to the newly created role of Special Advisor to the Dean and Chief Diversity Officer.

A highly-respected pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Treadwell was the first African American woman to rise through the ranks to full professor with tenure at IU School of Medicine. She served as teacher and mentor to our students for more than 30 years as a faculty member with the Departments of Pediatrics and Dermatology.

Along with her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Treadwell served as Chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Riley Hospital for 17 years. A true leader, Dr. Treadwell spent many years serving the IUSM community in critical leadership roles. She served as chair of the IUSM Diversity Council from 2002-2017, and is presently a member of that group. She was a member of the IUSM Medical Student Promotions Committee from 1984-2017, serving as chair from 1994-2017. Dr. Treadwell also was Assistant Dean of Cultural Diversity at IUSM from 2001-2006. To recognize her achievements, upon her retirement the school established the Dr. Patricia Treadwell Women in Medicine Lecture, an annual event to celebrate both Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

In this new role, Dr. Treadwell will serve as a critical advisor to me on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion spanning all of the school’s mission areas. She will partner with the Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity and the leadership team in the Office of Diversity Affairs as they develop plans to promote diversity and inclusiveness, including cultural competency and humility training, curricular reform, revising competency assessment procedures, clarifying professionalism expectations and potential consequences of Honor Code violations, including acts of racism and bigotry.

I know there is much work to be done. But this is a strong step in effecting true change. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Treadwell on this new role.


Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA
Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs
Dean of the School of Medicine
Indiana University

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA

Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs

Jay L. Hess MD, PhD, MHSA became Dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs at Indiana University in September 2013. Read his full bio.