School of Medicine Working to Embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into All Four Mission Areas

November 29, 2022 by

During a recent visit to UVA’s Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, Tracy M. Downs, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the School of Medicine and Melina Kibbe, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine, discussed the school’s goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dean Kibbe is passionate about creating a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, trainees, and medical students and throughout the school’s four mission areas. She is committed to fostering an environment that represents the population and neighborhoods served by the School of Medicine and UVA Health.

“To achieve our vision of ‘transforming health and inspiring hope for all Virginians and beyond’ it’s imperative to have diversity among the people that make up the School of Medicine.” ~Dean Kibbe

Dean Kibbe supports a strategy of leveraging diversity, equity, and inclusion to drive the missions of excellence in training medical students, the conduct of biomedical research, and delivery of quality patient care. In education, the school aims to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the curriculum and the learning environment. Dr. Downs agrees saying, “It’s important that diversity is visible to our students. They need to see individuals on the faculty who are representative of their own ethnic or racial background.” The school’s research goals include leading investigations that impact health care for all people and reducing disparities among populations. With respect to clinical trials, Dean Kibbe is committed to enrolling patients that represent the diverse communities served, which can ultimately improve patient outcomes. Dean Kibbe also emphasizes the importance of being transparent about the School’s efforts and progress with the work of incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into the School. She says, “We are working hard to be sure all the DEI information is on our School of Medicine website.”

From Dean Kibbe and Dr. Downs’ conversation, one thing is clear — the School of Medicine is truly committed to shaping a culture that embeds diversity, equity and inclusion into everything it does. From workforce diversity goals, including becoming the best place to work, to aspirations in all four mission areas, the School of Medicine is focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at UVA and in the community. Dean Kibbe and Dr. Downs hope the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts among faculty, trainees and students will have far-reaching implications outside Grounds.

“We feel strongly the responsibility for diversity and inclusivity belongs to everyone, not just those who come from under-represented backgrounds.” ~Dr. Downs

As the School endeavors to create a welcoming environment for all individuals, regardless of gender identity and expression, age, religion, nationality, disability, or other social dimension, Dean Kibbe invites the community to explore the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website.

Filed Under: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion