June 06, 2018

Office for Diversity and Inclusion present at AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion conference

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ODI 2Over the first weekend in June, diversity and inclusion faculty and staff from academic medical centers throughout the U.S. gathered in New Orleans to discuss the most pressing issues related to the execution of their mission. The annual Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Diversity and Inclusion conference featured an array of well-qualified speakers and presenters and a wide range of workshops.

UAB School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) was selected to lead a deep-dive workshop at the conference, entitled “Diversity and Inclusion Programming in Academic Medicine: An Interactive Development Model.” Co-presenters Lori Bateman, Ph.D., Laura Heider, MBA, and Evelyn Jones, M.A., not only explained the historical development and operations of the ODI but also shared the most recent research available on diversity and inclusion within UAB. The workshop highlighted a new initiative for programming for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion: the Toolkit for a Healthy Environment.

This toolkit, entitled “The Common Thread: Find Yourself in Everyone,” is a collaborative educational initiative developed through a Health Services Foundation grant in conjunction with the School of Dentistry and the School of Health Professions. The resources for the toolkit, which are still under development and intended for use among all departments in the School of Medicine, can be found at uab.edu/TheCommonThread.

Under the direction of Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, senior associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion has been developing numerous educational initiatives, including the toolkit, to facilitate the creation of an inclusive culture at UAB School of Medicine.

Bateman, Heider, and Jones also presented preliminary results from a qualitative study regarding the barriers and facilitators to the advancement of under-represented minority and women faculty at UAB School of Medicine. Preliminary analysis of more than 60 one-on-one interviews indicate that perceptions of bias, inclusivity and discrimination are reliant, in large part, upon one’s demographic and have an impact on the way individual faculty members experience UAB.

Response to the workshop on the part of other schools was enthusiastic and suggestions for future collaborations followed the presentation. Hyacinth Mason, Ph.D, Assistant Dean for Student Support and Inclusion at Albany Medical College, wrote to Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, following the workshop.

Her note read, in part, “Your Office for Diversity and Inclusion team presented an incredible session today on their developmental model at the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development Conference. It was a full house and the presentation was chock full of practical and helpful information. We all left jealous of the obvious support they receive from their leadership.”