Denise Rodgers, MD, FAAFP
Vice Chancellor for Interprofessional Programs
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Dr. Denise V. Rodgers is Vice Chancellor for Interprofessional Programs at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. She is also the RBHS Chair in Interprofessional Education at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where she is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Prior to these appointments, Dr. Rodgers served as the fifth and final president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. From 2006 to 2013, Dr. Rodgers led UMDNJ’s academic and clinical operations as Executive Vice President. She served as UMDNJ Chief of Staff from 2005 to 2006. From 1997 to 2005, Dr. Rodgers was Senior Associate Dean for Community Health at the UMDNJ- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Rodgers has spent much of her career working with poor, minority and disadvantaged patients and communities.  She currently chairs the steering committee for the Believe in a Healthy Newark culture of health initiative that was funded by RWJF/ New Jersey Health Initiatives.  She chairs the board of directors for the Greater Newark Regional Population Health Hub and is vice-chair of the board of the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition.  From October 2016 to April 2017 she served as interim director of the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness. Since January 2019, she also chairs the Newark Homelessness Commission.

Prior to joining UMDNJ, Dr. Rodgers was professor and vice chair in the University of California, San Francisco Department of Family and Community Medicine and director of the San Francisco General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. She also served as family medicine Chief of Service at SFGH. From 1994 to 1996 she served as Chief of Staff at San Francisco General Hospital. In this role she was also a member of the executive leadership team for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Dr. Rodgers received a Bachelor of Arts in psychobiology from Oberlin College and graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She completed her family medicine training in the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Dr. Rodgers is board certified in family medicine and is a diplomate of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Throughout her career she has received numerous awards including the STFM Recognition Award, the Lester Z. Lieberman Legacy Award for Humanism in Healthcare, and the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Award.  She is also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Presenting at the Nexus Summit:

In 2018, two educators and a sociologist reflected on the inaugural symposium of the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE) in an invited commentary in Academic Medicine. During the symposium, leadership noted that optimizing health care and clinical learning environments required improving interprofessional practice. But historically, physicians have not been at the interprofessional table to advance healthcare teams in practice.   The authors drew upon the classical Greek analogy of the Gordian Knot to describe the complex, “wicked”…