College of Medicine Task Force Works to Increase Diversity and Inclusion
As part of the university-wide effort to create a welcoming environment for all OU community members, in March 2019, the OU College of Medicine formed the Diversity Alliance Task Force. Since then, the task force – made up of students, residents and faculty members – has met once a month to work toward its overarching goal of enhancing diversity within the college, ultimately resulting in better health care for all Oklahomans.
Dr. Robert Salinas, assistant dean of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at the College of Medicine and member of the task force, said the college is committed to promoting diversity at all levels.
“The Diversity Alliance Task Force allows for a space where medical learners and faculty can create a unified voice in addressing the need for more students and faculty from diverse backgrounds,” said Salinas. “The task force values the promotion of excellence in inclusion to sustain the richness of a diverse student body as we aim to develop a health care workforce that is reflective of the community that we serve.”
The task force operates on five core values:
Access, Equity, and Success: Increase access, equity and success by attracting, retaining and ensuring the success of all students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds to an environment where all have the opportunity to thrive at the university and beyond.
Community: Create equitable and collaborative partnerships to better work together within and outside the university toward shared goals.
Education and Learning: Enhance and increase learning development through promoting diversity in the formal and informal curricula.
Sustainable Transformation: Engage in continuous individual and leadership reflection and collaboration through education to build a supportive psychological and behavioral climate supportive of all students, faculty and staff as well as campus stakeholders.
Accountability: Measure and evaluate progress toward realization of the vision for equity, diversity, excellence and inclusivity. Identify and remove barriers to achieving this vision.
These core values drive the work of the task force so that everything it does continuously fosters excellence.
Currently, the task force is collaborating with the OU Health Sciences Center Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association to plan a Black Lives Matter discussion panel.
By Mackenzie Scheer
Article Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020