A Message from Vice Dean Kevin Thomas, MD
Each month, we typically use this space to highlight individuals dedicated to creating a more equitable School of Medicine. However, because it has been nearly a year since my appointment as the inaugural vice dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past year. Where did the time go?
Since last November, we expanded our team in the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which now includes staff working in a range of areas, from research to strategy and planning, just to name a few. Among our many goals: increasing transparency in sharing diversity data and offering progress updates on the school’s anti-racism strategic plan. New EDI leaders have been appointed in several departments and divisions, and we have begun work to revamp the roles of our EDI leaders, with a particular interest in making sure we have staff members represented in these crucial roles.
Other notable EDI achievements include establishing a distinguished professorship that both honors the legacy of the late Dr. Onyekwere E. Akwari and supports a faculty member in the Department of Surgery who shares Dr. Akwari’s commitment to equitable and compassionate care.
We have done this all while building on a strong foundation that was put in place by dedicated team members well before I came on board. I look forward to continuing to work with them along with new leaders and with you to combat inequities that have existed for too long. I’m excited that we are all partners in this journey, and working together, we can develop a culture that fosters a sense of belonging and promotes equity.
In the meantime, please take a look at the video below to learn a little more about the changes we’ve made over the past year and our commitment to continuing this important work.