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, medical student Mary Moya-Mendez tells us what motivates her passion for helping other students who are the first in their family to pursue higher education. We also share recent EDI-related news stories, resources, and coming events.

EDI Spotlight: Mary Moya-Mendez

Students who are the first in their family to pursue higher education or are from a low-income background encounter many challenges and barriers, such as not being able to pay for study materials, find mentors who understand their experience, or feel a sense of community. Also, without family members who have gone to medical school or college themselves and can offer guidance based on experience, students are often left feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Fourth-year medical student Mary Moya-Mendez, MS, MHS, knows of such challenges firsthand.

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In this month’s EDI Spotlight, Moya-Mendez shares what motivated her to get involved with a Duke organization aimed at helping students with a first generation and/or low income (FGLI) background navigate medical school and describes how she “finally felt at home in medical school” after being paired with a mentor who shares a similar background.

News and Resources

New Latino/Hispanic Employee Resource Group Seeks Committee Members

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the School of Medicine is forming a new staff-focused employee resource group to support Latino and Hispanic staff. In an effort to launch later this year, the group seeks to create a committee to initiate planning efforts. Staff who identify as Latino or Hispanic and their allies are invited to join this committee. If interested, please email [email protected] by Aug. 24.

What You Can Do to Help Your LGBTQI+ Colleagues and Loved Ones

In a follow-up to last month’s EDI Spotlight, Dane Whicker, PhD, offers tips for how you can make a difference for LGBTQI+ people at Duke on your own, within your unit or workplace, in inclusive one-on-one interactions, and while navigating other situations.

Call for Applications: Restorative Justice Pilot Program

The Office for Faculty, in partnership with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, is now accepting applications for a pilot program that will provide training and support for implementation of Restorative Justice interventions in the School of Medicine. Applications are due August 7.

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Colorful Mural Highlights Duke’s Commitment to Community-Engaged Research

Neighbors, community health exhibitors, and local vendors gathered at a Duke research site on July 8 to celebrate the unveiling of a mural that symbolizes the mission of the Research Equity and Diversity Initiative (READI). READI seeks to improve health and advance health equity by making it easier for community members and researchers to work together on relevant health research.

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LATIN-19 Executive Team Honored with 2023 Medical Alumni Association Award

The LATIN-19 (Latinx Advocacy Team and Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19) executive team has been recognized with the Medical Alumni Association’s 2023 Transformational Leadership Award. A diverse team of Duke faculty and community advocates created LATIN-19 in March 2020 to advocate for and bring awareness to the needs of the Latinx community in North Carolina during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Black Patients Less Likely to Fill Prescriptions for Newer, Safer Urinary Incontinence Drugs

A recent study led by Northwestern Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine shows Black patients are less likely to fill prescriptions for newer, safer urinary incontinence drugs compared to white patients, potentially raising their risk for dementia. The stark racial differences suggest a pattern of prescribing that may result in Black patients lacking access to the highest quality treatment to manage an overactive bladder.

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Leadership Program Spurs Transformation in Lupus Care

A new multi-disciplinary team-based care model at Duke is changing lives for patients with lupus. The integrated care team addresses patients’ medical and psychological needs to improve outcomes, especially for Black women, who statistically have higher rates and worse outcomes from the disease.

Fall Duke P.R.I.D.E. Trainings Open for Registration

Duke P.R.I.D.E. Training is the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s (CSGD) signature educational program aimed at increasing awareness of issues impacting those with marginalized sexual orientations, romantic orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. All members of the Duke community, including students, staff, and faculty, may attend. The first training will be held on Sept. 12.

Call for Applications: Duke Health Disparities Research Curriculum

The Duke CTSA and the Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity (REACH Equity) are pleased to announce a call for applications for the Health Disparities Research Curriculum (HDRC). The HDRC is designed to increase knowledge and skill in the design and conduct of health disparities research. Application deadline is August 7.

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National Health Equity Grand Rounds

Breaking Down the Ivory Tower: Building the Health Care Workforce America Needs

August 8 • 2-3:30 p.m.

Join the American Medical Association for this virtual quarterly series that looks to deepen understanding and shape the national discourse around health inequities.

National Chats for Change Transformational Tools Workshop #8: Leveraging the Role of the Change Sponsors (leaders)

August 16 • Noon-1:30 p.m.

Join the Icahn School of Medicine and other colleagues for the National Chats for Change 2023 Transformational Tools Workshop Series. These workshops are open to anyone invested in transformational, anti-racist, and systemic change at their institutions.

5th Annual URiM Family Barbeque

September 16 • 2-5 p.m.

Forest Hills Park, Durham

Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) faculty, trainees, students, and their families are invited to join the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for this family friendly, fun-filled event.

Save the Date: Duke Sexual and Gender Minority Wellness Symposium

September 18-19

Virtual panels and on-campus events will be offered. Panel topics will include transgender-centered reproductive health justice and gaps and opportunities in adolescent transition care.

Pride: Durham, NC

September 23

Pride: Durham, NC serves as the annual celebration of community, family, pride, and activism in Durham and across the state.

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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