CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- For the seventh year in a row, the University of Virginia School of Medicine has been recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
INSIGHT into Diversity magazine has awarded the school its Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.
The magazine focuses on diversity n higher education, and UVA's School of Medicine is one of 35 health professions schools to receive the award for 2018.
“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT into Diversity.
The UVA School of Medicine has a range of diversity initiatives, including the Summer Medical Leadership Program to prepare college undergraduates from underrepresented groups for medical schools and leadership roles in medicine and partnerships with community groups to improve access to care for local Latino residents through the Latino Health Initiative.
Diversity and inclusion efforts at the School of Medicine and across the UVA Health System for the past year have focused on how to respond when health care providers experience prejudice or bigotry while at work.
“We have a duty to take care of people regardless of beliefs, but we have a duty to everyone who works here, and to our other patients, to create an environment that is respectful,” said Margaret Plews-Ogan, MD.
She is a faculty member of the UVA School of Medicine who helped form the Committee on Responding to Discriminatory Behavior, which is made up of more than 30 faculty, staff, medical students and medical residents.
This committee created messaging throughout the UVA Health System reflecting the commitment to inclusion and developed training to help team members respond when experiencing or witnessing acts of prejudice or bigotry.
It created a 90-minute workshop for faculty, supervisors and manages including short films based on events that have been experienced by health care providers so participants can discuss how they would respond in similar situations.
The workshops began taking place earlier this year in the UVA Department of Medicine and will be held throughout the UVA Health System in the next year.