The School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) celebrated an active and exciting academic year in 2016-2017.

With an eye toward increasing and maintaining recruitment and retention among women faculty, the Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) continued its active support of the endeavors of the UAB Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). Through monthly lunch lectures, as well as special networking and recruitment events, AMWA served both as a focal point for women faculty and also as a mechanism for advocacy and activism.2.3.17 UAB Diverstiy Fair web res dms 41

Women faculty who earned promotion during the year were celebrated in October, at the annual celebration of Women in Medicine and Science. Issues confronting women were discussed in a special lecture and lunch featuring Valerie Montgomery-Rice, M.D., on March 22, which coincided with the School of Medicine’s celebration of International Women’s Day.The ODI facilitated the continued growth and activities of department-specific women’s groups, such as Women in Emergency Medicine, and Women in Surgery, which held its annual program in April.

Moving forward, the ODI will continue to put forward women faculty as candidates for the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, in which UAB has always enjoyed strong representation. The ODI will also facilitate the development of junior women faculty through a series of workshops, and continue to interface with the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.

Intentionally building a climate of diversity and inclusion was a crucial goal of the Office for Diversity & Inclusion in 2016-2017. To this end, the ODI continued to support the UAB School of Medicine Visiting Scholars program, developed more meaningful academic partnerships with Morehouse School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, and began to explore areas of deeper collaboration with these schools.

Minority faculty were recognized and celebrated at the annual minority faculty reception in February 2017, followed by Diversity Grand Rounds the following day, which featured Dr. John Ruffin.

February 2017 also witnessed the launch of the first annual Diversity Fair, a multicultural celebration which featured food from all over the world, provided by the departments of the School of Medicine. Performers, including musicians and spoken word artists, were featured next to visual artists, and stunning displays which celebrated the diversity within each department of the UAB School of Medicine. More than 500 people attended this landmark event, which will become a regular annual celebration.

Dr Vickers Fouad and Montgomery RiceIn response to needs identified in the Diversity Engagement Survey, as well as Department Strategic Plans, the ODI has developed implicit/unconscious bias training for search committees, which is available by request.

The ODI is currently in the process of developing a “Toolkit for a Healthy Workplace,” which will provide essential resources to all departments within the UAB School of Medicine as they continue in their endeavor to cultivate inclusive excellence.