Our Diversity Team
Gregory Townsend, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity and Medical Education
Dr. Gregory C. Townsend was appointed Associate Dean for Diversity and Medical Education at the UVA School of Medicine in 2014. In this position, he shares the general responsibility of promoting the educational mission of the School and provides leadership, information, advice, and counsel to students, faculty, and staff in order to facilitate a positive experience for all as part of a diverse community. As Associate Dean for Diversity, he leads the Diversity Consortium, and is a member of the Diversity Steering Committee, the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee, and UVA’s Diversity Council, among others.
A native of upstate New York, Dr. Townsend earned his bachelor’s degrees in Biology at the College of William and Mary. He received his MD degree from UVA. After completing a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at West Virginia University, he returned to UVA for a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, and has been at UVA since completing his fellowship. At the time that he joined the faculty, he was one of a handful of African-American faculty members at the UVA School of Medicine. He is currently Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health of the Department of Medicine at UVA.
Dr. Townsend’s primary clinical area of interest is the care of individuals infected with HIV. He is Associate Director of the UVA Infectious Diseases Clinic. He is the principal investigator for several federally-funded grants aimed at providing better care for patients living with HIV-AIDS. He has won numerous awards related to his clinical care and to his involvement in physician education, and was an inaugural member of the UVA School of Medicine’s Academy of Distinguished Educators.
Dr. Townsend’s interest in diversity has been shaped by his personal experience as an underrepresented minority in academic medicine, and by his clinical interest in the treatment of HIV, a disease that has its greatest impact among racial minorities, the poor, and the otherwise disenfranchised members of our community. He has been a member of the School of Medicine’s Diversity Consortium since its inception.
Dr. Townsend is married to his lab partner from his college freshman biology class. They have two sons, one planning a career in medicine, the other a computer programmer. All are avid soccer fans.
Brian Gittens, EdD, SPHR, Director of School of Medicine Diversity Initiatives
Dr. Gittens was appointed as the Director of Diversity Initiatives for the School of Medicine in 2014. As the Director of Diversity Initiatives, he works collaboratively with the diversity and inclusion steering committee to design and implement learning and professional development programs focused on promoting increased recruitment, retention, advancement of underrepresented groups, and facilitating a more inclusive institutional culture in support of the School of Medicine’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
Dr. Gittens is originally from Baltimore, Md. and received his secondary education at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. He received his B.A. in Communications from Virginia Tech, earned a Masters degree in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration (Leadership and Organizational Development) from the George Washington University. Dr. Gittens joined the University of Virginia in 2011 as the Director of Human Resources for the Department of Medicine
Dr. Gittens is an experienced human resource leader, consultant and educator with over 23years of strategic and operational experience. Areas of expertise and consulting include process reengineering, diversity planning and implementation, talent management, compensation, organizational development, leadership development, and both qualitative and quantitative program assessments to include statistical analysis, focus group facilitation, and behavioral interviews. He is an executive educator and designs and teaches courses in compensation, staffing, organizational development, and change management. Areas of interest and research include designing and delivering training, creating diversity programs, and developing strategic plans in support of diversity for both public and private organizations.
Dr. Gittens is passionate and committed to diversity issues and equal opportunity. He has worked to actively recruit and retain under-represented individuals in higher education and most recently in academic medicine. He is actively involved in community service as a coach and mentor to minority youth. Dr. Gittens is married with two boys who enjoy youth athletics and traveling.
Michael D. Williams, MD, SMDEP Director
Dr. Williams joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 2012 where he is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director, Emergency General Surgery in the Acute Care Surgery.
After completing his undergraduate studies in Biology at Brown University, Dr. Williams attended the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine and graduated in 1993. His postgraduate medical training was in the field of General Surgery at Louisiana State University-New Orleans program at Charity Hospital. After residency, he returned to Washington, DC and completed two one-year fellowships in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery.
Dr. Williams is Board Certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, and practiced as a Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon in the Washington metropolitan area for over a decade. He has held numerous leadership positions in both clinical and academic medicine and has multiple peer-reviewed presentations and publications to his credit.
After having served in the public sector as Chief Medical Officer for the DC Fire and EMS Department, and moving back into the private sector, Dr. Williams returned to academia in 2012. He believes in the importance of patient-centered innovation in the application and management of health systems. His over 20 years of experience in health care delivery and systems design has led him to the conclusion that Health Equity starts with efficient, cost-effective health system design and management. Dr. Williams has a strong interest and background in Population Health, and sees this as the greatest opportunity to achieve health equity, both in the United States and globally. He serves on the Board of Directors for Healthshare Global, LLC, a non-profit committed to improving communities through improving health globally.
He is married and he and his wife have two children, and are in the process of adopting a child from Haiti.
Marcus L. Martin, MD - University Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity
During his tenure, Dr. Martin has served as Assistant Dean, School of Medicine, Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice President, and currently as Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity at UVA. A native of Covington, Virginia, he earned bachelor’s degrees in pulp and paper technology and chemical engineering from North Carolina State University where he was the first African American varsity football player. He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and was the first African American graduate.
Dr. Martin was commissioned by the US Public Health Service and later served as general medical officer at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico. He completed emergency medicine residency training at the University of Cincinnati. He held positions of emergency medicine residency director, vice chair and acting chair at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He directs a January-term course on disaster preparedness in St Kitts and Nevis for University of Virginia students.
Dr. Martin founded EMCERT (Emergency Medicine Center for Education, Research and Technology) and established the School of Medicine Simulation Center and the Life Saving Techniques course for medical students at UVA using computerized human patient simulation. He is a principal investigator of the NSF-funded Virginia-North Carolina LSAMP, an eight institution alliance whose goal is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with STEM degrees. Dr. Martin is a founding member of the Board of Visitors at North Carolina State University, and he was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve on Virginia’s Secure Commonwealth Panel and as Vice Chair of the Virginia Tech Incident Review Panel.
Judy Pointer, MEd - Program Manager, Office for Diversity and Inclusion
As Program Manager, Judy Pointer provides key support to the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion. She also serves as a liaison between the Diversity Office and the SNMA(Student National Medical Association), the LMSA(Latin Medical Student Association) and the ANAMS(Association of Native American Medical Students) organizations at UVA.
Ms. Pointer provides insightful mentorship to students and is a member of both the UVA Diversity Council and the National Association of Medical Minority Educators. She actively attends and organizes the school of medicine’s participation in recruitment fairs at UVA and across the country. Ms. Pointer received her undergraduate degree in English from Fisk University and her master’s degree in Higher Educational Administration from Vanderbilt University/Peabody College.
Joyce Gray - Program Manager for SMDEP
With forty years of service at the University of Virginia in programs including African American Affairs, Student Academic Support, Strategic Programs, and Summer Medical and Dental Program (SMDEP), Joyce Gray has become the heart of the School of Medicine’s diversity programs.
Besides attending local and national recruitment events, Ms. Gray serves as program manager for the nationally recognized pre-med program for minorities and other students from disadvantaged backgrounds, SMDEP. Ms. Gray is a member of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators and participates in UVA's Executive Administrative Network. Joyce received her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Averett University.