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Vice Provost for Health Affairs: Kiki Nocella

UCR Hires Family Medicine Scholar as Vice Provost for Health Affairs

Kiki Nocella will help plan proposed medical school

(March 22, 2007)

Kiki Nocella has been appointed the founding vice provost of health affairs.Enlarge

Kiki Nocella has been appointed the founding vice provost of health affairs.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Kiki Nocella, a family medicine scholar, has been appointed the founding vice provost of health affairs at UC Riverside.

She will play a leading role in developing UCR’s medical school plans, while building research and health care delivery programs to improve the health of the medically underserved in Inland Southern California.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to be a part of an initiative that I believe will dramatically impact the health and well being of an entire region of people and populations,” said Nocella, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “Universities have a moral and ethical responsibility to bridge to communities through healthy partnerships. By doing so, universities learn as much, if not more, from the communities as the communities learn from the universities.”

During her tenure at USC, Nocella also served as the vice chair for finance and administration for the Family Medicine Department at the Keck School of Medicine. Prior to working there, she served as the divisional administrator for the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and as a fundraising executive and consultant to a variety of non-profit organizations.

“Kiki is an energetic and inspiring leader,” said UCR Chancellor France A. Córdova. “With her expertise in the physician workforce, residency program design, and financing of graduate medical education, she brings invaluable knowledge to the start-up of our medical school.”

Initially, Nocella will assist in building components of the business plan for the medical school and developing plans for UCR’s Center for Clinical Medical Education. She also will develop critical infrastructure for managing health-related fields on campus. Already, she has been advising UCR administrators in the development of medical residency programs.

“I see my upcoming role of one of service — service to the faculty of UCR; service to the communities of the Inland Empire; service to the rural and underserved populations; service to my colleagues; and service to the future medical students of UC Riverside's School of Medicine,” Nocella said. “My focus also will be one of building — building infrastructures, programs, teams and budgets.”

Nocella has worked with various rural hospitals and communities in California regarding their operations, governance, business development and medical workforce. She has also consulted for various academic medical centers and regional health systems on the intricacies of graduate medical education financing and residency program design. She has established and moved multiple family medicine residency programs.

Nocella completed her Ph.D, in public administration at USC. Her dissertation was on the characteristics of family physicians who trained in California and who practice in rural areas. For the past three years, she has been the principal investigator on two federal grants focusing on planning and implementing health information technology in a rural community of California. Her research grants will follow her to UCR. She teaches both in the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development and the Keck School of Medicine, and has lectured nationally and internationally on issues of rural health delivery, quality, and workforce.

A certified member of the American College of Medical Practice Executives, Nocella serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups, including Secretary of the Board of the California State Rural Health Association, Center for Health Justice, and the Board of the California Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. She also has served on multiple state-level rural committees and task forces.

Nocella will join UCR in her new position on June 1. Her annual salary will be $195,000.

In November 2006, UC Riverside’s preliminary proposal to establish a School of Medicine received initial approval from the UC Regents. The endorsement authorized UCR to proceed with planning for the school and submit a full proposal for final approval. The university has begun a national search for a founding dean for the school.



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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