The University of Kentucky College of Medicine has received the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the UK College of Medicine will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

The University of Kentucky has received the HEED Award and has been recognized as a diversity champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity for the past five years. This is the first time the UK College of Medicine has received this award, demonstrating that UK’s institutional efforts have spread to the college level.

“The College of Medicine is honored to have its efforts recognized by such a prestigious higher education publication,” said Stephanie White, MD, MS, associate dean for diversity and inclusion. “Honors like these validate that our efforts are making a difference in our college, our campus, and our community. Our commitment to inclusive excellence will not waver as we continue building on our success. While we are just getting started, this acknowledgement demonstrates that our path and future will create the environment we all strive to learn and work in.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the UK College of Medicine for its work toward advancing inclusive excellence in medical education. Our examples over the past year demonstrate a college-wide collaboration and commitment to sustaining our momentum that extend beyond the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion including:

  • Appointing Health Equity and Advocacy thread leaders to integrate more inclusive educational components into the medical student curriculum
  • Expanding and elevating the growth of pipeline programs that support a diverse academic workforce.
  • Supporting a diverse academic workforce through a partnership with the National Center for Pre-Faculty Development.
  • Establishing opportunities for medical students, residents, and trainees to engage in Monthly Educational Webinars sponsored by Building the Next Generation of Academic Physicians.
  • Supporting excellence in the next generation of health care leaders. An example of success includes third-year medical student Kaylin Batey’s receiving of the prestigious Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship.
  • Ensuring accountability through the creation of an LGBTQ* Advisory Committee, Inclusive Education Advisory Committee, Departmental Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors, and continuing the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Pillar Work Group.
  • Expanding the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to ensure a stronger, more organized structure for promoting an inclusive environment. This includes the hiring of a director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as a director for inclusive research initiatives to help enhance the pipeline for basic science education and faculty recruitment.

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

More information about the 2021 Health Professions HEED Award, as well as a full list of recipients, can be found on

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