Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) alum Erine Raybon-Rojas, MD, ‘08 was always clear about her personal mission, long before becoming a pulmonary critical care intensivist. During her childhood, Dr. Raybon-Rojas recalls her father’s premature death from cancer and her own battle with asthma inspiring her to enter the field of medicine. While becoming a doctor was her calling, her experiences as a physician motivated her to work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine, for both healthcare professionals and patients.
Growing up in the Atlanta area, Raybon-Rojas witnessed poor health outcomes all around her, with many in her community unable to access care and lacking insurance. As a result, she has focused on patient care, graduate medical education, and community outreach in the areas of critical care medicine and pulmonary disease throughout her career, as well as championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare.
After completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and her MD degree at RUSM, she finished her internal medicine residency and a pulmonary/critical care fellowship training at Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University, where she also served at the pulmonary and critical care faculty. Since then, she has been a physician leader at Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) advocating for underrepresented and underserved patients in her community.
Currently serving as Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit Curriculum in Graduate Medical Education at Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) in Gainesville, Georgia, she is responsible for the education of physician residents from various specialties throughout the healthcare system who rotate through the intensive care unit. In addition, she also serves as Director for the pulmonology curriculum in Graduate Medical Education. Beginning in 2019, Dr. Raybon-Rojas has been serving as Chair for the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team at NGHS, creating a multi-disciplinary approach for the care of patients acutely suffering from pulmonary emboli and sequela. Her role also includes participation as principal investigator for the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team consortium registry.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has focused on the challenges of providing patient care and the expansion of medical intensive care services at hospitals within NGHS, providing leadership for multiple medical intensive care units, restructure of hospital units, and managing critical staffing to ensure patients are cared for.
During this critical time for the system, Dr. Raybon-Rojas pioneered the Provider Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce, a first for the health system. She continues to help ensure employees, patients and their families feel included and represented at NGHS. The taskforce is also responsible for education and actively manages cutting-edge research within the diversity, equity, and inclusion space, qualifying for grants for further investigative studies. Her work has had a positive impact on her community in the creation of a youth organization to mentor teens from underrepresented communities interested in healthcare careers. The activities of the taskforce also extend directly into resident education, as she also serves as Director for Diversity Equity and Inclusion for Graduate Medical Education for Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Program Director for the Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship.
Raybon-Rojas’ ongoing efforts continue to put patient care at the forefront. She now provides ongoing advocacy in her role as Vice Chair of Medicine at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Her multi-disciplinary pursuits advocating for patient care and graduate medical education allow her to wear the White Coat to make the world a healthier place for underrepresented communities and inspire the upcoming class of RUSM physicians.
The Summer 2022 RUSM White Coat Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 13, 2022 at 3:30 pm AST at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).