October 25, 2017

Reception promotes inclusion for new faculty, trainees, students

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In celebration of Global Diversity Awareness Month, the UAB Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Dean’s Council on Graduate Medical Education (DCGME) Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion held its annual reception welcoming new faculty, residents and medical students on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The lobby of the Wallace Tumor Institute filled with the sound of conversation as new and existing members of the UAB medical community gathered to network and converse.

“The reception was an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to gather and celebrate the diverse and inclusive nature of our university,” said Latesha Elopre, M.D., who, along with Marquita Hicks, M.D., run the diversity and inclusion initiatives within the DCGME. “Our intention is to promote and foster an atmosphere of acceptance and collegiality to strengthen our UAB community.”

Among the UAB leaders attending the event were Selwyn Vickers, M.D.; Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH; Deborah Grimes, R.N., J.D., and Anthony Patterson, MSHA. Marquita Hicks. M.D., and Latesha Elopre, M.D., welcomed the evening crowd.

“Each of you brings something unique to UAB,” said Elopre. Grimes, UAB Health System’s first Chief Diversity Officer, echoed this sentiment. “You are key to helping our diversity grow,” Grimes said, “and our strength in diversity is essential to the quality of our institution, as well as to providing high quality patient care.”

Originally designed as an event to welcome new residents, the DCGME reception expanded in recent years to include new faculty and medical students. It provides a critical platform for members of these groups to be introduced to one another and to lay the groundwork for important networking relationships.

“We are a very diverse institution,” Hicks said. “But because we are also a large institution, sometimes it’s difficult for faculty, residents and students who are under-represented minorities to connect with one another. This reception is an opportunity for students to be inspired, as they see the residents and faculty that they aspire to be, and for faculty and residents to meet and enjoy the company of people they wouldn’t necessarily encounter in their day-to-day work.”