NEWS | June 28, 2013

New chief diversity officer for UC Davis Health System


David A. Acosta, previously chief diversity officer at the University of Washington School of Medicine, has been named associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at UC Davis Health System, effective July 8.

David Acosta David Acosta

In his role as associate vice chancellor, Acosta will lead diversity activities across all health-system operations, including the UC Davis School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis Medical Center and the physician practice group.

“I am delighted that David Acosta has agreed to lead our diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Thomas Nesbitt, UC Davis interim vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the medical school.  “With his wealth of experience, Dr. Acosta is well positioned to advance the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff – an essential undertaking to ensure that our institution provides the highest quality education and care and reflects the communities we serve.”

Acosta is a recognized leader in managing and directing diversity and inclusion programs. At the University of Washington’s medical school, he developed several key programs aimed at increasing the diversity of physicians and patient care.  These included:

  • A Rural Health Fellowship Program for Tacoma Family Medicine, an affiliated Family Medicine Residency program at the university’s School of Medicine.
  • A National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Cultural Proficiency in Medical Education at Washington, which received a Washington State Association of Multicultural Education award.
  • A Hispanic Health Pathway certification program for medical students interested in working with Hispanic communities.

As the inaugural chief diversity officer at UW’s School of Medicine, Acosta co-authored the diversity strategic plan and founded the Center for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“Diversity and inclusion should be the foundations for our interactions with each other, our patients and our communities, as well as for our research and education programs,” said Acosta. “I am proud to be part of UC Davis Health System, which is clearly committed to these fundamental principles. As associate vice chancellor, I will continue to nurture an institutional climate that values inclusion, equity, cultural humility and lifelong reflection.  

Acosta was first associated with UC Davis in the early 1980s when he served as clinical preceptor for the school’s medical and family nurse practitioner students at Lassen Family Practice in Susanville, Calif.

Acosta earned his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine and his undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in Los Angeles. He completed his residency training at Community Hospital of Sonoma County and a faculty development fellowship in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. 

He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Hispanic Medical Association, and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the National Association for Rural Medical Educators, among others. He serves on several committees at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), including one focused on holistic review of medical school applicants and another, the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion, where he serves as national chair. 

As associate vice chancellor, Acosta will receive an annual base salary of $240,000. Additional compensation information is available upon request.

UC Davis Health System is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country's best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1000-member physician's practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children's hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit