Welcome to Equity Matters, a monthly newsletter from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Equity Matters is distributed to faculty, staff, and students in the Duke University School of Medicine. In this issue, physician assistant student Adriana DaCosta, MS, tells us about her community involvement and passion for EDI. We also share recent EDI-related news stories, resources, and coming events.

EDI Spotlight: Adriana DaCosta, MS

Adriana DaCosta’s experience as a student in the Duke Physician Assistant Program has opened her eyes to many things, among them the need for improved access to health care for Black and Hispanic communities. In this month’s Spotlight, DaCosta shares how she and other PA students are partnering with a local organization and the Duke Cancer Institute to offer CPR training and resources for historically marginalized groups at health fairs.

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The second-year student also tells us how the PA Program is preparing her to one day provide equitable care and offers insight into the role PAs play in addressing health inequities. We also learn about her immense love of dogs and sports.

News and Resources

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Join Duke Health in recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15 through October 15. Take a moment to learn more about the contributions and achievements of our Hispanic and Latino colleagues and honor the history that brings us to where we stand today. Visit Duke Health Now to learn more.

Leveling the Playing Field in Latino Dementia Care

Once a rising star in Uruguayan field hockey, Duke neuropsychologist María Marquine, PhD, now tackles health disparities, aiming to reshape how the nation's fastest-growing population receives Alzheimer's and dementia care.

Improving Health in Underrepresented Populations

In this video, Mary E. Klotman, MD, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, talks with faculty member Leonor Corsino, MD, MHS, about improving health access and care in underrepresented populations.

Faculty: Apply Now for 2024 Leadership Programs

The Office for Faculty is currently accepting applications for its 2024 Leadership Programs. Among them: the ADVANCE-UP program for early career underrepresented racial and ethnic faculty and the ALICE program for mid-career women faculty.

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Health Disparities Research Works in Progress Seminars

The Health Disparities Research Works in Progress seminar series, created by the Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity), is back for the 2023-2024 academic year. These interactive seminars and workshops feature talks from junior and senior faculty investigators about current research and projects in development. The series occurs on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. All are welcome to attend.

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National Chats for Change: Action vs. Rest 

October 4 • Noon-1 p.m.

Join colleagues from Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine as we unpack questions such as “Can rest be a form of resistance and an anti-racist practice?” We will explore ways to differentiate when it is time to move into action and when it is time to rest.

The Past as a Predictor: Casting the Post-SCOTUS Decision on the Future of Healthcare and Justice

October 4 • Noon-1:15 p.m.

Presented by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, this webinar seeks to breakdown the impact of the SCOTUS decision on efforts to diversify the health and legal education institutions that serve as critical pathways to meet the national needs to advance health and justice equity and continuing shortages in the workforce.

Pathology Book Club

October 5 • 4 p.m.

Duke South, Room 3114

Join the Department of Pathology for its fourth EDI Book Club meeting. The group will discuss Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. Email [email protected] to join or learn more.

Duke Latino Medical Students Association’s Hispanic Heritage Month Gala

October 5 • 6 p.m.

Trent Semans Center, Great Hall

The School of Medicine community is invited to join the Duke LMSA for its Hispanic Heritage Month Gala. Donations will go to Duke Heart for Honduras.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Somos Duke

October 6 • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Trent Semans Center, Great Hall

Join Duke Advancing Latine/Hispanic Excellence (¡DALHE!) for its first event. The event will provide a meaningful program, networking opportunities, and raise cultural awareness in support of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Discrimination and Harassment

October 10 • 10-11:30 a.m.

Smith Warehouse - Bay 6 B271

Kimberly Hewitt, Cynthia Clinton

Discrimination and Harassment: What do I do when I am confronted with a problem in my unit that might be discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct? is sponsored by the Office for Institutional Equity. Designed for staff, student, and faculty learners.

Creating Accountability Through Data

October 10 • 2-3:30 p.m.

Join this upcoming National Health Equity Grand Rounds virtual event to learn from experts as they discuss using data to advance health equity and identify the unique needs of historically excluded populations.

Black Men in Medicine: Moving Forward Together

October 12 • 5-6 p.m. 

Dennis O. Frank-Ito, PhD

These Zoom-based sessions provide a space for Black men in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and their allies to come together. Open to any faculty member, trainee, or student in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, of any race or gender, who supports the objective of the Black Men in Medicine Group.

Challenging Norms: Uplifting Anti-Racist Work to Transform the Landscape of Medical Education

October 13-14 • 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Led by Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine’s ART in Med Ed, this virtual conference will be a unique opportunity to present, discuss, and learn about anti-racist transformation in medical education.

Phillips-Winn Memorial Medicine Grand Rounds

October 20 • 8 a.m.

Trent Semans Center, Great Hall and Zoom

John Duronville, MD; Margaret Plews-Ogan, MD (UVA); Gregory Clarke Townsend, MD (UVA)

Join the Department of Medicine for the Phillips-Winn Memorial Lecture, “Stepping In For Respect: Upstander Training Nationally and at Duke.” Participants will gain insight on the incidents of bias and disrespect in the medical environment both at Duke and nationally.

Black Men in Medicine: Speed Mentoring

Oct. 24 • 5:30-7 p.m.

Trent Semans Center, Room 4067

The Black Men in Medicine (BMIM) Group introduces its "Speed Mentoring" event. Faculty, students, and trainees will engage with a group of accomplished faculty members. Open to any faculty member, trainee, or student in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, of any race or gender, who supports the objective of the BMIM.

Visit the Duke Events Calendar for a listing of EDI events across campus


For questions or story suggestions, email the EDI Team

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