Accomplishment Recognition WashU Nephrology News

Nephrologist Will Ross Honored as Alumni Endowed Professor of Medicine

Will Ross, MD, MPH, is Washington University School of Medicine’s newest Alumni Endowed Professor in Medicine.

Congratulates to Will Ross, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, and Associate Dean for Diversity for Washington University School of Medicine, who was recently named Alumni Endowed Professor of Medicine.  Dr. Ross was honored for an excellence in patient care, teaching, research and commitment to health equity.  The Alumni Endowed Professor of Medicine is one of the highest honors awarded to a WashU faculty member. 

A Yale University graduate, Ross earned his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine.  He completed an internal medicine residency at Vanderbilt University and a renal fellowship at Washington University (1990).  He received a master’s degree in Epidemiology at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

Ross joined our division in 1996, after first serving as Director of the hemodialysis unit and then Vice President of Medical Affairs at the for­mer St. Louis Regional Medical Center.  He is an accomplished clinician and researcher and is a long-time promoter of cultural diversity throughout the WashU medical center.

For more than two decades, Ross has focused on minority healthcare advocacy and the elimination of healthcare disparities.  He is co-founder of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence, which aims to ensure that all patients have equal access to high quality health care.  He served on the task force that created the Washington University Institute for Public Health, and is co-director of the MD/MPH program.

Ross worked closely with the incoming first-year medical students as part of the Washington University Medical Plunge (WUMP) program, which he founded. During orientation week, WUMP introduced the students to St. Louis history, the subject of health disparity and the patient population with whom the students interact.  Ross is excited that WUMP has now been fully incorporated into the new Gateway Curriculum and will be a longitudinal experience for the students.

Ross with first-year medical students. Photo: Outlook Magazine

As founder of the Saturday Neighborhood Health Clinic and co-founder of Casa de Salud Latino Health Center, Ross helped redesign local access to health care for the underserved.  He is also a founding member of the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet health professions high school in St. Louis.

Ross’ passion for the elimination of healthcare disparity extends beyond St. Louis.  He promotes health equity nationally and globally through his collaborations with the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Centers for Disease Control, and public health officials in Ethiopia, Haiti, and South Africa.

Please read more about Ross’ accomplishments in the 2021 WashU Nephrology Spring Newsletter, the Department of Medicine’s News Hub, and in the excellent 2018 feature article in WashU’s Outlook magazine “Leading with empathy:  The transformative influence of a doctor who hasn’t forgotten his past.”