Congratulations to FCM for receiving the 2021 UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson's Departmental Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. FCM was selected from a highly competitive group of nominees. The award was presented at the Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony on August 11.
FCM embeds diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our mission statement: “Advancing the health of individuals and families from all backgrounds and cultures through innovation and leadership in education, research, community engagement, and the delivery of exemplary primary care.” Our first two core values are: “Diversity and Inclusion” and “Social Responsibility.” FCM has contributed sustained impact and value through intentional DEI efforts woven throughout all four of FCM’s mission areas--service, education, research, and community engagement--with the following areas of emphasis.
INSTITUTIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
FCM faculty serve on and/or lead COMT committees focused on advancing DEI. These include: UAHS Diversity Committee, Anti-Racism in Medicine Executive Committee, as well as multiple sub-committees), Shared Shelf Book Club; faculty advisor to student groups (e.g. Gay/Straight Med Student Alliance; MedCats for Developmental Medicine).
FCM commitment to engaging with marginalized communities: For the past 3 years, FCM has sponsored community service events (Community Food Bank). All FCM members are encouraged to volunteer. Additionally, individual units within FCM also sponsor service volunteer events (residencies, business office). FCM faculty volunteer their expertise in multiple community venues serving the underserved (e.g. migrant clinic, forensic evaluations for migrant asylum seekers, homeless clinic).
TRAINING: WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND FACULTY/RESIDENT DEVELOPMENT
De-biasing student, resident and faculty recruitment: FCM faculty championed incorporation of wholistic review of COMT applicants. In 2018, FCM residencies transitioned to wholistic review. This review includes consideration of the following factors: belonging to a marginalized group (racial/ethnic minorities, rural, LGBTQ+, disability), overcoming hardship/barriers (socio-economic, first-generation college). We actively recruit faculty who are diverse in their backgrounds and implemented implicit bias training for FCM leadership search committees, which now is extended to all search/selection committees (faculty and staff).
Education to acknowledge the value of diversity and inclusion: FCM faculty have founded and/or led COMT programs to expose trainees to diverse experiences and social marginalization, including curriculum threads and distinction tracks for UME and GME learners (e.g. Health Disparities curriculum, Rural, and Global Health Distinction Tracks). Faculty have also founded and/or led multiple health professional pipeline programs for undergraduate students, including Preferred Medical Admissions Pathway; AZ Indians into Medicine; Pathways to Success, BLAISER, Frontera. In FY21, 4 FCM grand rounds featured DEI topics: disability, LGBTQ+, women and substance use, sex-trafficking. FCM will host ODEI trainings for 3 Grand Rounds in FY22. Clinic providers and staff have engaged in training to acknowledge and address bias (e.g. SafeZone training, buprenorphine opioid use disorder treatment, integrated behavioral health services, refugee clinics).
RESEARCH & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Faculty’s research/clinical interests focus on issues of DEI. Promoting health equity/eliminating disparities is the overall theme uniting FCM research and community engagement work, e.g. Native American and Latinx health, equity for persons with disability, medical legal partnership, mobile health and COVID vaccine clinics, addictions, bias in artificial intelligence. Faculty partner with organizations throughout the state, including Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Community Health Workers Association, and other statewide entities that aim to improve the health of marginalized populations.