Tracey Conti, M.D., a 16-year veteran of the UPMC McKeesport Family Medicine Residency, has been named chair of family medicine at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. As chair, she will ensure equitable, high-quality care for the more than 50,000 patients who visit UPMC family medicine facilities throughout the region.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Conti as the new chair of family medicine. Dr. Conti will bring a passion for whole-patient centered care to her new role within Pitt health sciences that will enhance our training for the next generation of family medicine leaders. I look forward to seeing the collaborations across Pitt and UPMC develop under her leadership,” said Anantha Shekhar, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences at Pitt.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Conti earned her medical degree from Temple University. She completed her residency and fellowship at the University of Maryland and joined the Department of Family Medicine at Pitt in 2001. During a rotation at UPMC McKeesport, Conti realized McKeesport is where she wanted to practice.
“I fell in love with UPMC McKeesport and the community,” she said.
Conti focuses on caring for historically underserved communities. In her new role, she’ll continue breaking down health disparities and providing care to those who need it most.
“We need to meet our community members where they are,” Conti said. “We know that Black patients are seeking primary care from the emergency room more than they are from primary care doctors. That’s an access issue. We need to develop trusted individuals in our communities so that we can decrease this disparity and so that our patients can live longer, healthier lives.”
Conti is clearly one of those trusted individuals. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her team have worked to establish over 500 vaccine clinics in communities with less access to health care. These clinics provided information about the vaccine and how to protect yourself from the virus.
As a family medicine physician, Conti is in a unique position to build trust with the community. Not only does she treat the whole family unit, including grandparents and grandchildren, but she also sees a wide variety of illnesses that require specialty care.
“Family medicine is rooted in primary care,” Conti said, “but the key elements are providing continuity and comprehensive care for that individual and their family across the spectrum. It’s really about caring for patients in their entirety.”
Family medicine and primary care physicians can be difficult to find and retain. As chair, Conti hopes to grow the number of primary care physicians by creating a centralized home for the eight UPMC family medicine residency programs that can expose students to the breadth of care this specialty provides.
Conti also hopes to continually improve the quality of care across UPMC family medicine practices by establishing a practice-based research network to share clinical expertise and experiences.
When not practicing medicine, Conti can usually be found with her seven children — six boys, one girl— and her husband. She was notified of her new appointment the day after celebrating her 26th wedding anniversary.
“It’s been a very celebratory week,” Conti said. “Diversity in the workplace is incredibly important, and I think it’s great for moms, Pittsburghers and the community to see that if you put in the work, you can achieve your goals. I’m very excited by all the opportunities that lie ahead.”