For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Virginia School of Medicine has received a national award for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
UVA is one of 24 U.S. health professions schools to receive the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a national publication covering diversity in higher education.
“Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” the publication said in announcing this year’s winners.
UVA’s diversity efforts include:
- Summer Medical Leadership Program. This six-week summer academic enrichment program brings together 30 college undergraduates interested in medical careers who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups in medicine. The main goal is to expose participants to the “real world of medicine” to prepare them not only for admission to medical school but to assume future leadership positions in medical field.
- Partnerships with local schools. The School of Medicine hosts a Poster Symposium each year at Charlottesville High School to introduce high school students – and future healthcare workers – to conducting medical research. As part of their projects, students visit the UVA Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and are mentored by UVA research scientists.
- Committee on Women. The committee promotes opportunities for mentoring and leadership for women throughout the School of Medicine, including an annual award honoring a faculty member for their leadership efforts.
- Latino Health Initiative. In partnership with groups across UVA and the Charlottesville area, initiative members work to improve health literacy, outcomes and access to care for local Latino residents. Ongoing projects include biweekly cardiovascular disease screening and education sessions, as well as training and empowerment for Latino community health workers.
“To receive this award six years in a row reflects the School of Medicine’s dedication and commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said David S. Wilkes, MD, dean of the UVA School of Medicine. “This is a great team effort. Our faculty, staff, and students consistently keep our core institutional values of respecting everyone at the forefront of what they do.”