S12 Creating change: rallying a statewide department to embrace diversity, inclusion and health equity

Presentation Notes

Abstract presented at 2016 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference.


The University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine changed its name to formally include Community Health on July 1, 2015. While many faculty individually have shifted their clinical, teaching, and research focus to one embracing community and population health, a clear discrepancy existed highlighting the difference between individual intentions and a systematic and intentional state-wide departmental approach toward issues of diversity, inclusion, and health equity. A few faculty members with the support of the department turned an informal conversation regarding this discrepancy into a statewide departmental initiative. An initial “engagement” phase brought together faculty, fellows, residents, and staff representing clinical, educational, and research arms of our far-reaching department and produced a foundation of ideas upon which to act. This included chartering of a diversity committee tasked to develop an “action” phase. Through articulation of this committee’s vision and values, tasks were prioritized in a mindful, targeted, and purposeful manner. We will share with participants strategies used in our completed “engagement” phase and current and ongoing work in our “action” phase.

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Develop a model of intentional engagement in the area of diversity, inclusion, and health equity.
  2. Utilize tools and resources for engagement including an Equity and Empowerment Lens model.
  3. Apply population health data to create a departmental-wide movement from the bottom up.

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