When Jill Curtis isn’t seeing patients at the University of Utah’s Dermatology clinic, serving on the Dermatology Resident Selection Committee, or looking for innovative ways to advance her field, you’ll likely find her doing something with birds. It helps her feel in the present moment—so much so, that when asked about serving on the Board for HWI in 2018, she jumped at the opportunity to give up even more of her free time.
Known as an innovator by her colleagues, Jill was the first person in Utah to bring in-vivo imaging of the skin—a new technology to diagnose skin cancer without taking a biopsy—to patients. Her innovative nature is something she’s proud to bring to both the Dermatology Department at the University of Utah and to HWI. “I enjoy the bigger picture of things and thinking outside the box, so as Board Chair, I’m excited to look for new ways to address the most pressing raptor conservation issues,” she said.
Jill also serves on the Resident Selection Committee for the university’s dermatology program. Out of hundreds of applicants, she helps choose three individuals a year for the prestigious positions. She says the skills she’s learned have proved invaluable as a board member, guiding her in selecting HWI’s most recent Executive Director, Nikki Wayment, and in recruiting new board members, like Dr. Fidel Atuo, a noted international raptor biologist from Missouri.
Prior to her career in medicine, Jill lived around the world, from France to Switzerland to Tanzania. She was also an accomplished ski patroller in Colorado, Utah, and France, serving as the first American woman on the Tignes, France Ski Patrol.
“No matter where I’ve lived or what work I’ve been doing, I have had to work on teams with really different individuals and figure out a way to get along and get the job done,” Jill reflected. “I like to think that’s a big part of what I bring to the HWI Board of Directors. I’m a board member, a scientist, a donor, a volunteer, and a passionate supporter of raptor conservation, so I’m always trying to see a situation from each perspective.”