Newsletter Spring 2021

Lisa Nicholas, MD, Named Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In response to the compelling need to address matters relative to racial injustice and inequality in the care of women, the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology established a task force to examine areas that contribute to health care inequities and disparities in medical education, patient care, research, and campus climate. 

Lisa Nicholas MD
Lisa Nicholas, MD, Associate Clinical Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology

The UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is led by Lisa Nicholas, MD, Associate Clinical Professor and Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Nicholas has long been an advocate for racial justice and health equity both in the workplace - in our clinical practice and in education for our trainees – and in her personal life. She is exemplary of the anti-racism efforts that the department, the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and the larger UCLA campus are committed to promoting. Dr. Nicholas, along with the task force committee members, is charged with providing recommendations and strategies that will lead to solutions to close the gap for health care disparities and the combating of racial discrimination. Her transformational change strategy is based on the mantra “change we can believe in.”

Dr. Lisa A. Nicholas has been a practicing physician devoted to obstetrics and gynecology for the past 30 years.   She has dedicated her career to providing quality healthcare to women of all ages regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status. Originally from Buffalo, New York, she earned her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine.  Dr. Nicholas then moved to California for internship and residency training at Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in South Central Los Angeles.  Her practice experience includes an 8-year association with The Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Center, previously located in the inner city of Buffalo, New York.  This health center was a major contributor of health services to the greater Buffalo community due to its mission of providing quality medical services specifically targeting the indigent and medically underserved population.  In 2010, Dr. Nicholas was appointed to the clinical faculty at UCLA in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While continuing a busy clinical practice, she has shifted her career emphasis to medical education driven by a desire to influence young physicians to practice compassionate patient care. 

As Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for UCLA OBGYN, Dr. Nicholas leads a 16-person committee comprised of faculty members, trainees and staff driven by a mission to guide departmental structures, policies, and practices to a) improve department workforce diversity relative to racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic status, b) promote and improve obstetrics & gynecological health and healthcare equity, c) promote research and d) engage the community. Current projects are already underway in the area of patient care through our involvement with the UCLA Perinatal Coalition, in education through our establishment of a Visiting Student Scholarship program for outstanding final year medical students from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as culture and awareness by exploring reproductive injustice through a departmental screening of Belly of the Beast, a documentary exposing a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons. 

Dr. Nicholas’ belief that “respect, fairness, consideration, and kindness will propel our society towards equity, excellence, and justice” is exemplified in all the work she does at UCLA.


For more information about the UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force