University celebrates DEI efforts, looks to the future

November 17, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

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Last week, the university hosted a campuswide summit designed to give community members an opportunity to learn about the important work completed during the past year to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

“The summit [was] a way of making it clear to our community that diversity, equity and inclusion are part of the fabric of our community; that DEI is not a fad,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer.

Among the highlights of the week at Michigan Medicine was an appreciation event for the organization’s DEI implementation leads hosted by the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI).

The half-day event featured remarks from the organization’s leadership team, a keynote address by Neha Sangwan, M.D., CEO of Intuitive Intelligence, and a mini-grant awards ceremony that recognized individuals who are looking to make a difference in improving the culture at Michigan Medicine.

“Our DEI leads work so hard every day to support and promote an inclusive community that welcomes everyone at Michigan Medicine,” said David J. Brown, M.D., associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion and associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. “That’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to personally recognize them for their support in establishing a solid foundation for so many of our ongoing DEI efforts.”

A day to look ahead

As part of the event, Brown outlined the university’s DEI Year 2 plan, including its core objectives, measures of success and action plans before Sangwan took the stage for her interactive keynote address. Her speech emphasized one of the strategic priorities of the Year 2 plan: inclusive communication.

“When I heard that inclusive communication was defined as a priority at Michigan Medicine, I couldn’t wait to speak here,” Sangwan said. “Any organization’s success is measured by how well its individuals communicate with each other, regardless of their differences. That’s why this work is so important.”

The final part of the event rewarded employees who have identified plans to improve DEI at Michigan Medicine with one of 15 mini-grants.

In order to be considered for an award, each submission had to align with the Year 2 strategic goals and priorities and demonstrate how a clearly-defined DEI-related problem can be addressed through innovation and creativity.

Phyllis Blackman, director for OHEI, and Alfreda Rooks, director for Community Health Services, presented the recipients with awards in increments of up to $5,000.

“The shared interest in health, the future of health care and people — on every level — among these grantee winners is refreshing and needed in today’s climate,” said Blackman. “Through their vested commitment to promoting a community here at Michigan Medicine that we can all be proud of, they are upholding our shared values — and I am just so proud of each and every one of them.”

Congratulations to the following awardees. For more information and details of their projects, click here:

  • Daniel Shumer, pediatrics
  • Mariam Ayyash, OHEI
  • Jenny Murphy, Standardized Patient Program at The Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment
  • Sarah Filer, Alena Williams and Alison Nix, MHealthy
  • Ladele Cochran, Ypsilanti Health Center
  • Gracie Trinidad, Information Assurance
  • Elaine Reed, Gifts of Art
  • Christin Carthage, transplant center
  • Christina Vallianatos, human genetics
  • Fatema Haque, Heather Wagenschutz and Tu’Rone Elliott, medical students
  • Lauren Ranalli, Community Health Services, Adolescent Health Initiative
  • Juan Caceres and Stephanie Reyes, medical school
  • Chelsea Harris, M.D., surgery
  • Larry Charleston, M.D., neurology
  • Kyle McLain, pediatric endocrinology

Thank you to the mini-grant winners and everyone at Michigan Medicine who is working hard to improve the organization’s DEI climate!