graphic of a banner coming out of a cellphone reads, "Introducing MEDiversity Week"

Introducing MEDiversity Week

The Office of the Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OHEDI) is proud to host the inaugural MEDiversity Week, Nov. 2-6. This is the first of what will be an annual event series hosted by OHEDI, in partnership with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and a planning committee comprised of faculty, staff and students from all corners of University of Utah Health.

Inspired by the University of Florida School of Medicine, Dr. Michael L. Good’s previous institution, and the weeklong events that take place throughout the year on main campus, MEDiversity Week establishes an annual event series which will center health sciences academics and professions.

The mission of MEDiversity Week is to highlight the equity, diversity and inclusion work within University of Utah Health, while addressing health care disparities and offering solutions for the training of our current and future providers. Throughout the week, a variety of events that highlight the work being done on our campus to increase equity and inclusion in research, teaching and clinical practice will be available on digital platforms.

For example, we will have Michelle Miranda, Ph.D., from the Department of Neurology speak on her work to increase culturally sensitive neuropsychology practices. We will also have a retrospective look at the HIV/AIDS care provided by Professor Emerita Kristen Ries, M.D. and her partner, Maggie Snyder, RN, PA-C, to patients in Utah with a screening of their documentary “Quiet Heroes” followed by a Q&A session. Platforms for dialogue and education will also be available throughout the week, including a presentation from the Utah Physician Assistant Program (UPAP) on inclusion and equity practices. Daily questions on health disparities information will be featured on OHEDI’s Instagram stories to provide education and insight, as well as a chance to win prizes.

Good, senior vice president for Health Sciences, will host a town hall style presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to address the U of U Health community on forward progress being made to address systemic racism and inequities within health sciences units.

To honor the recognition of November as National Native American Heritage Month, the beginning of the week’s events will include a Community Read session on “Ramifications of Historical Health Disparities in the American Indian/Alaska Native Community” led by Franci Taylor, director of the American Indian Resource Center. There will also be a presentation on the Utah Diné Bikéyah Traditional Food Program run by the College of Health Masters in Nutrition graduate, Cynthia Wilson. Throughout the week, opportunities to donate to the Utah Navajo Health System’s COVID relief efforts will be made readily available on OHEDI’s social media.

We look forward to virtually gathering with you to continue learning how we can best move the work of equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism forward in our academic, clinical and personal lives.

Register for MEDiversity Week events here.