Story republished from U of U Health.
In late 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and what may be the greatest social justice reckoning of our time, the University of Utah Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (UHEDI) office helped select a team of leaders to champion equity work across 16 health care facilities and six schools and colleges. Together they’d lift and improve the institution as a whole, reducing disparities and fostering belonging.
They’re unlikely experts, highly skilled leaders in their respective fields—nursing, dentistry, infectious diseases, library science—with a deep connection to and understanding of the communities they serve. And they’ve got a unique goal in mind: to work themselves out of a job. It’s their hope that one day, equity work will be the work of all.
That’s why they’re weaving EDI into the fabric of everything University of Utah Health does, innovating our processes to start with equity, not end with it. Under their guidance, we’re revising curriculums, analyzing hiring practices and creating new standards of care to address inequities affecting patients of color. We’re facing the flaws within our institution head-on and asking: What issues are we grappling with? How can we make our students, staff, faculty, patients and community feel safe, valued and accepted? And what are we doing about it?
The work won’t ever be done, not entirely. But the goal itself is timeless: EDI everywhere, for all. These are the faces of that mission.
The original post features a Q&A with six leaders who are championing equity work across U of U Health. Each person addressed the following questions: How did your EDI journey begin? What barriers to access do you encounter most in your work? What projects or initiatives are you most proud of? What’s the most fulfilling part of this work for you? The most frustrating? How has this work impacted your perspective? What lessons have you learned that you can pass on to others? What’s your vision for the institution in five years’ time? What would you like to see changed?
Find out how everyone responded to each prompt here.