For the third consecutive year, “INSIGHT into Diversity” magazine has recognized the University of Kentucky College of Medicine for its work toward inclusive excellence.

The Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award honors institutions “that successfully encourage and inspire a new generation of diverse students to succeed” through a commitment to diversity and inclusion. At the UK College of Medicine, this work is overseen by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI).

“Our continued recognition with the HEED Award from ‘Insight into Diversity’ is evidence of our progress as a college and University,” said Na’Tasha Evans, PhD, MEd, vice dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “We will use this acknowledgment to drive our work in the future.”

In the past year alone, the team has:

  • Continued its work to recruit diverse faculty through its new Dynamic Appointments in the Research Title Series (DARTS), an initiative providing support, mentorship, assistance, and professional development to enhance competitiveness for tenure-track faculty.
  • Hosted a pre-health conference targeted toward undergraduates and high schoolers to promote careers in health professions. More than 150 students from across Kentucky attended the one-day event. Several College of Medicine faculty, postdocs, and learners participated as session facilitators, panelists, or keynote speakers.
  • Worked in partnership with College of Medicine-Northern Kentucky Campus to provide the college community free access to CanopyLearn, a program teaching medical Spanish. The program will also be part of a new elective for medical students, available starting in the spring of 2024.
  • Unveiled its “Interconnectivity” mural in the Medical Center Library. The mixed-media painting explores the checkered history of medicine, the study of healing, and our shared humanity.
  • Collaborated with the Office of Medical Education and Office of Faculty Affairs and Development to develop an academic writing workshop series. Constructed as an eight-part professional development initiative, the series was created for trainees and early-career faculty interested in academic writing, particularly relating to academic medicine and medical education research.

In June, Dr. Evans joined the college as vice dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, a new leadership position established to develop programs and initiatives that encourage a community of belonging. The creation of the position also reflects the importance of this work in the college’s strategic plan. ODEI was previously led by Stephanie White, MD, MS, former associate dean for diversity and inclusion who became senior associate dean for medical student education in July 2022.

“INSIGHT into Diversity” is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.