Building a Dream Team to Change Medical Education in Southern Nevada
Meet Dr. Cheryl Brewster, Senior Executive Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Orange Theory fitness enthusiast, Dr. Cheryl Brewster, is a natural go-getter who rises at 5 am daily for her all-important workout. As a member of Roseman University College of Medicine’s Dream Team, assembled by Dean Joe Greer, MD, to shape new thinking at this emerging school of medicine, Dr. Brewster brought her go-getter attitude to Las Vegas, joining in June 2020 as Senior Executive Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Dr. Brewster, who relocated to Las Vegas with her son and husband, Luther, who is also a member of Roseman’s founding dream team, is charged with ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion for students as well as faculty and staff through policy development and proactive outreach.
“The opportunity to put in place policies that ensure everyone at Roseman – from students to faculty – are reflective of the surrounding community – is an amazing one,’ said Dr. Brewster. “The adage that Nevada is the land of opportunity couldn’t be truer. I am already experiencing the mantra of possibility here, and it is so exciting to work with local community stakeholders to build a College of Medicine that truly understands local community needs. I also appreciate the spirit of collaboration with other area schools of medicine. I have never seen a community come together like this to tackle the behemoth of healthcare. It’s impressive.”
Dr. Brewster is partnering with area colleges including College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College, to reach and connect with students exploring healthcare careers. She is also reaching out to area high schools to capture students, often from families where college is not the norm, to get them thinking about medicine as a possible career path.
“Historically underrepresented students, who are African American, Latinx or Native American, are essential to providing culturally competent care,” said Dr. Brewster. “Physicians who are bilingual and understand the local culture have a leg up on those whose community connections are limited. The Roseman model is all about creating formal pathway programs to create a systematic way of introducing, engaging and tracking potential students longitudinally to encourage their pursuit of medicine.”
That is no small feat, but Dr. Brewster, is up for the task. After receiving her doctoral degree from Columbia University, she did post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan. All her work has been with medically underserved populations and researching the social determinants of health as well as the health disparities associated with medically underserved populations. She spent a year in London where she completed coursework at the University of East London in the Gender, Sexualities and Ethnic Studies program that examined the interface and intersection of social divisions.
Regardless of where she calls home, Dr. Brewster is all about encouraging young people to think and act big by considering a career in medicine. Big opportunity. Big idea. Big deal. Dr. Brewster, welcome to Las Vegas, a city full of big possibilities.