Article courtesy of the University of Minnesota
Spurred by the unequivocal need to address inequities in healthcare and education, there have been a wellspring of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committees organized across departments in the University of Minnesota Medical School. Developing these committees to achieve actionable, measurable and impactful goals, however, requires a combination of strategy, passion and teamwork.
Thanks to work spearheaded by Katherine Lingras, PhD, LP, and Danielle Vrieze, PhD, LP, both assistant professors in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, a roadmap of best practices for setting up departmental DEI committees in academic health centers is now available.
The preprint of their paper (currently in press with the Journal for Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings), “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at a Departmental Level: Building a Committee as a Vehicle for Advancing Progress,” co-authored by Elizabeth Alexander, PhD, provides a framework for other departments to build similar programs. While many departments have established DEI committees within the last year, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences pioneered their own in 2017, led by co-chairs Drs. Lingras and Vrieze.
For this work, the department received the Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity, which honors exemplary DEI leadership and highlights units for transformational and sustainable change within the University of Minnesota.
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