LEADERS Women Leaders EY
Jillian A. Rose-Smith, PhD, MPH, LCSW, HSS

Jillian A. Rose-Smith

Excellence in Motion

Editors’ Note

Dr. Jillian Rose-Smith provides operational leadership for HSS’ Ambulatory Care Center and plays an integral role in the Hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Service Plan. Since 2005, Dr. Rose-Smith has had oversight over Charla de Lupus (Lupus Chat)® and LupusLine®, nationally recognized peer support and psycho-education programs for people with lupus and their families, where her team reaches out to diverse populations to provide culturally tailored interventions. Dr. Rose-Smith is a member of the Disparities Research Committee at HSS. She is a service leader who has volunteered with the ACR/ARP over the past ten years as an invited member of ARP’s Practice Committee, Marketing Committee, Executive Leadership Committee, COIN, a collaborative to advance health equity, and most recently was nominated to ACR’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. She has been an invited speaker and podium presentor at ACR/ARP national conferences; EULAR; Office of Minority Health’s Leadership Summit; the Movement is Life National Caucus on Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Health Disparities; The American Hospital Association; and the Greater New York Hospital Association. Dr. Rose-Smith has received numerous awards and recognition for her work, including being chosen as Crain’s 40 under 40 leaders in healthcare, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visionary Award, ARP Distinguish Educator’s Award, the Wholeness of Life Award and the Emerging Leader Award. She earned an MSW from Columbia University – Columbia School of Social Work, an MPH from George Washington University – Milken Institute School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Education degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.


HSS (hss.edu) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery. HSS has a main campus in New York City and a growing network of related facilities. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. HSS is the official hospital for a number of professional sports organizations and teams.

Will you provide an overview of your role and areas of focus?

I am the Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement, Diversity and Research, and I also provide operational leadership for our Orthopedic Ambulatory Care Center and our Department of Social Work Programs. My foremost priority is working to enhance access to care and optimizing quality outcomes for patients who are often underserved and marginalized in our communities. I work in innovative ways to leverage patient partnerships as well as the skills, passion and experiences of our clinicians and employees to co-create interventions and training that allows us to embrace our value of diversity and ensure the care we provide is provided through a health equity lens.

Additionally, I work as a leader in our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to help foster a culture of inclusion, dignity, respect and belonging for all employees. We are invested in working across the HSS enterprise to ensure we are listening authentically to our workforce and creating channels where their voices can be heard and what’s valuable to them can be considered and included as we live our commitment to becoming a better organization every day.

How critical is it for HSS to be engaged in the communities it serves?

HSS, as the leader in musculoskeletal health, has a legacy of service to the community. The founders of this institution were concerned with serving those who were poorest and most vulnerable and providing them care they wouldn’t otherwise receive. With that as our legacy, how we show up for the community is paramount. We sit here in New York City, one of the wealthiest cities in the country, yet one in which many people, disproportionately people of color and those with low socioeconomic status, have some of the worst health outcomes. To be able to create access portals for the communities who need us most to know that we’re available for them is critically important to our mission.

Over the years, we have strived to deepen our relationship with the communities around us. We have conducted several needs assessments to understand the needs of the community and tailored programs to meet those needs. We now have partnerships with organizations and other hospitals in Washington Heights, Chinatown, the South Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and beyond, to help reach patients and their loved ones in those neighborhoods, helping to provide care, support, and education, even if they aren’t coming to HSS for treatment. We’re providing education to local primary care physicians, illness specific psychosocial support groups and community members to address mental health and illness management, and engaging with schools and churches as a way to meet people where they live and work.

Will you discuss HSS’ commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce?

HSS is a place where you can come to thrive professionally in an environment that I like to describe as excellence in motion. With the leadership of our new People Officer, like many organizations we are reshaping our strategic approach to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse talent pool. We are on a journey to create new partnerships with institutions such as Howard University College of Medicine, while positioning ourselves to attract the best and brightest diverse candidates from all top institutions. We are also committed to marketing in diverse markets and more recently have targeted LGBTQIA+-specific publications to invite diverse candidates to consider HSS as a place to work.

Do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

When I joined HSS, we had more women who were in leadership positions than I had experienced in the healthcare industry. That was a strong signal that this would be a good place for me to learn and grow. As a woman in leadership, I have leaned heavily on characteristics that come naturally to me like empathy, inclusion, multitasking, openness, active listening, open communication and flexibility under pressure. Women are great for business and there is research to back that up. Women bring unique perspectives, skills, passion and diversity to our decision-making, operations and the impact we can have. It’s important that we continue to build in structures and policies that support women leaders in the workplace and look to position diverse women for the top spots in our industry, while actively dismantling structures that present barriers to their success.