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First woman of color elected as TMC chief of staff, Dr. Gayle Dean

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Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 00:16:18-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Medical Center has a newly elected chief of staff and she is the first woman of color to hold the position.

“I’m honored to, to be a voice,” said Dr. Gayle A. Dean.

Dean is an OB/GYN who’s been in the field for almost 20 years.

“She's so into her patients and she loves doing her job and she loves her work. I was so excited and I think she's gonna be the best person for that position,” said Sandruan Grant, a patient of Dean’s for the past seven years.

She is the first woman of color to hold the title of chief of staff at TMC.

“The first woman of color gives you the opportunity to set an example. Let people know that when they see myself in this role, that any aspirations that they have in their life for a future, for careers and or just life goals in general, that it is achievable,” said Dean.

Dean says she is a firm believer in representation: seeing someone in a certain role who you can relate to, and recognizing that you can ultimately achieve the same goal.

“The wonderful part of my role as an obstetrician is to bring life into the world. Me not having the opportunity to do that my own self, I am able to still leave my mark. And when I am no longer here on this earth, and even when I am still here, but when I'm no longer on this earth, that picture will be there,” said Dean.

She didn’t always see herself in this role. “Absolutely not,” Dean said while laughing. She explained a few years back when Dean was a department chair, she was walking along a hallway with the staff director and noticed there was little diversity pictured on the wall of those who held the chief of staff position before.

“I said, you know, they need some more women on this wall, and the people of color wouldn't be bad either. But I was not really referencing myself,” said Dean.

But the consideration of Dean being a candidate came about and in the process, she was reminded of that comment she made and was told they thought she would be a great fit.

Already having the reputation of being a voice, Dean says she’s honored to have a position in which she can stand up and speak up for issues concerning staff, in what she says, in a gracious but direct way.

“I really think that it takes everyone to make this hospital run from the people that clean the floors every day, clean our rooms, to the people that do the maintenance to the people that you know, to our nurses, to our physicians, to our administrators, to all the directors all everybody has a role and it's my job to also feel like that everyone has a voice,” said Dean.