Anita Afzali named executive vice chair of Internal Medicine

Internationally known gastroenterologist to join UC faculty in July

Anita Afzali, MD, has been appointed executive vice chair for clinical operations in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine, effective July 1. She also will serve as a professor in the Division of Digestive Diseases and associate chief medical officer for UC Health. Afzali currently is the Abercrombie and Fitch Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Anita Afzali standing

Anita Afzali, MD

As executive vice chair she will be the clinical leader for the Department of Internal Medicine and provide oversight for clinical operations within UC Physicians and UC Health. She will oversee the clinical components of the department that integrate with the College of Medicine, UC Physicians, UC Health, Cincinnati Children’s and Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Additionally, she will work with senior leadership within the department and at UC Health to increase clinical volume, provide administrative oversight for all advanced practice providers in the department and work closely with faculty of the college, clinical staff and UC Health to ensure safe and effective care is provided to patients across all internal medicine subspecialties.

“Dr. Afzali is an internationally renowned, board-certified gastroenterologist, public health professional, and health systems and programs redesign leader,” says John Byrd, MD, Gordon and Helen Hughes Taylor Professor and chair, Department of Internal Medicine. “An accomplished health care executive, Dr. Afzali has conducted extensive clinical research as global principal investigator in novel therapies and diagnostic trials. She is a respected innovator and expert in program development and health care operations, creating national programs, multidisciplinary and strategic partnerships, community engagement and entrepreneurship.”

Byrd added that Afzali will be the second in command in the department and “will partner with me to further accelerate the growth and impact of the entire team. I am truly thrilled to have an accomplished woman leader at this role in our department.”

“I look forward to working closely with Dr. Byrd and the incredible team and faculty of the Department of Medicine and entire UC Health system. I appreciate the opportunity to serve in these dignified positions,” Afzali says.

Afzali also currently serves as the medical director of Ohio State’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, which she founded. Her research has focused on clinical outcomes and risks of inflammatory bowel disease therapy, clinical trials and investigative drug study design.

Afzali received her medical degree from the University of Washington, where she also received her training in internal medicine and gastroenterology and completed an advanced fellowship in inflammatory bowel disease as well as a master’s in public health in epidemiology. She is in the process of completing another master’s degree in heath care management from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University. Afzali has been at Ohio State since 2017.