Robert Reaves

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Civic Involvement for Social Impact

Robert Reaves

(He, Him) is 29

Robert Reaves is a young professional and community leader that has made a difference in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Throughout his life, he has learned experientially about the importance of civic involvement and social impact.

Robert is the youngest senior-level leader at the nation’s largest single-campus medical school. As Director of Institutional Effectiveness at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, he is responsible for elevating the impact and reputation of the institution, leading people and processes to achieve excellence and supporting the school’s commitment to reduce health disparities and improve lives.

To sustain change and drive organizational excellence, he reengineered the school’s 40-member Curriculum Committee, created a C-suite Institutional Effectiveness Committee, senior-leadership Operations Committee and co-led the creation of a $500,000 department responsible for leading continuous quality improvement initiatives. His accomplishments impact 1,200 medical students, an equal number of employees, 22,250 alumni and patients in Detroit communities.

Robert is strongly engaged in non-profit pursuits that impact the greater community. He is a board member on the WSU Alumni Board of Directors, an Ambassador to the Michigan Opera Theatre and a board member and Jr. Board President of Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit. Robert is committed to combining clinical and community resources to identify gaps in healthcare and develop plans that help low-income and underserved populations. He recently created a partnership between the WSU School of Medicine and Ronald McDonald House Charity to launch a mobile medical unit that will deliver free pediatric healthcare services to over 3,000 Detroit children annually. This year Robert was recognized as a 2018 SEEN Changemaker.

An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Robert supports community engagement and on-going research initiatives at WSU business school’s Institute for Leadership & Diversity. His research focuses on creating awareness of unconscious bias and its effect on the representation of women, minorities and LGBTQ individuals on boards and top management teams in Michigan’s top 100 companies. Additionally, he developed the school’s first learning community program supporting leadership, teamwork skills and diversity appreciation and professional development to over 2,000 entering freshmen – most of them, the first in their families to go to college. Additionally, Robert established university relationships with a wide array of Detroit nonprofits that provide social services in the city and orchestrated the involvement of over 300 students in service-learning initiatives that ranged from teaching financial literacy in public schools, planting trees to beautify residential sections of the city, packing foods for one of the nation’s largest food distribution organizations and providing management support at free medical clinics servicing homeless and disadvantaged citizens.