Announcing Gina Solomon as the New Chief of the Division of Occupational, Environmental, and Climate Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Gina Solomon, MD, MPH, as the new chief of the Division of Occupational, Environmental, and Climate Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Gina will assume this leadership role on December 1, 2023.

Gina SolomonGina was born and raised in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown, majoring in Comparative Literature. She received her MD from Yale and completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at the Harvard program at Mount Auburn Hospital. She also completed a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at, and received an MPH from, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

While Gina has been a member of our faculty since 1998, she has had a multifaceted career – as an academic researcher, a primary care and occupational health clinician, an educator (she directed our Occupational and Environmental Medicine residency program from 2008-2012), and a policymaker and advocate. She served as a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council from 1996-2012, as deputy secretary for science and health at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) from 2012-2018, and in her current role of program director at the Oakland-based Public Health Institute since 2018. She has served on committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the EPA, the WHO, the CDC, the state of California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the UC Office of the President. Her research has focused on the impact of environment and climate on vulnerable populations – a focus that has led her to study the impact of threats as diverse as Hurricane Katrina, pesticide exposures, oil spills, and wildfires. She is currently leading a study of interventions to protect farmworker families from wildfire smoke in California’s Central Valley. She has been principal investigator on several major grants and author or co-author of about 100 manuscripts and book chapters.

Gina has received several awards for her work, including elected fellowship in the Collegium Ramazzini (an international honor society of occupational health leaders), both the Faculty Sustainability Award and an Essential Core Teaching Award from UCSF, and the Damu Smith Environmental Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association.

While not working, Gina enjoys hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding. She also actively participates in community initiatives promoting environmental conservation and public health.

Gina’s extraordinarily diverse career and interests make her a perfect leader for this multifaceted division, whose work includes programs and faculty at the SFVAHCS, ZSFG, UCSF Health, and UC Berkeley. To further extend its reach and influence, last year we added “Climate Medicine” to the division’s name and mission. Gina’s strong interest and experience in this area will help position the division for success in its own work and in partnership with a growing number of climate-related programs at UCSF and the University of California.

I want to extend my sincere thanks for Paul Blanc for his nearly 30 years of leadership of the division – he became the chief of the UCSF Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 1994, and then chief of the integrated three-hospital division in 2015. Under Paul’s tenure, the division broadened its research portfolio, enhanced its residency and other educational programs, and, crucially, took on a key role in managing the myriad occupational health challenges during the pandemic. He plans to remain on faculty and will continue his research after stepping down from his chief role in December.

I also want to thank the OECM division chief search committee and its chair, John Balmes. The committee did a superb job vetting a very talented pool of applicants.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Gina Solomon to her new role as chief of the Division of Occupational, Environmental, and Climate Medicine.


Robert M. Wachter, MD
Professor and Chair, Dept. of Medicine

Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine
Marc and Lynne Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine
University of California, San Francisco