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DBT40 Honoree: Navin Vij

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Position: Physician Scientist and Academic Hospitalist

Employer: ChristianaCare

Age: 37

Ever since Navin Vij was diagnosed with a chronic hepatitis C infection in 2010, likely the result of blood transfusions he received when he was born prematurely, he has been inspired to use his own health journey to help people find purpose in their own medical experiences.

Vij is a physician scientist with ChristianaCare’s Value Institute, where he leads research initiatives to improve health disparities for vulnerable populations. As an academic hospitalist, Vij teaches clinical teams of medical residents and students how to deliver care to complex hospitalized patients.

The coronavirus pandemic has made Vij think about the question “What is ‘normal’?” and he has begun new community-based research to address the question of “Is ‘normal’ what we really want to return to?” for vulnerable Delawareans, who faced challenges in health care even before the pandemic.

Three years ago, Vij was recruited by ChristianCare, where he has analyzed how the health system treats vulnerable Delawareans, particularly people experiencing homelessness. He has published his academic research in the Delaware Journal of Public Health, and has written opinion pieces for USA Today, the Delaware News Journal, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His work has also been featured on WHYY NewsWorks’ “The Pulse,” StoryCorps, CBS News, Huffington Post, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

In 2015, Vij was selected for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed his master’s degree in health policy research.

Vij has served on the board of directors for HepAware, Caring Ambassadors, and the National Physicians Alliance. He has also served on advisory committees for the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable and the American Liver Foundation.

Vij has traveled to 25 countries, including Nepal, where he hiked the Annapurna Base Camp circuit in 12 days. He is the father to a 3-year-old daughter and has been married to his best friend for six years.

Born in Minnesota, Vij is a huge fan of the state’s sports teams, including the Vikings, Timberwolves and Twins. He can do a decent Kermit the Frog impression and will put sriracha on anything. 

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