Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Highland
Promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion is a core tenet of our IM Residency Program. We provide education, mentoring, and support to develop structural competency and literacy for our residents. Our faculty recruitment and development aim to ensure that all faculty support our trainees and our community. In 2020, our Program Director initiated the formation of the GME DEI Task Force to advance system-wide effort to improve DEI efforts and better support our house staff. In addition, we also launched a Black Lives Matter Curriculum Group to re-evaluate our curriculum, patient care practices, invited speakers, and retreat workshops to ensure that we are advancing equity and inclusion throughout our program and our hospital.To ensure inclusion in our residency program, we have an established Housestaff Diversity Committee that sends representatives to national meetings to recruit highly qualified, diverse applicants. Our efforts are apparent in our current class of residents: 45% are underrepresented in medicine and 79% are speak a language other than English. Of our most recent graduates, 59% are members of underrepresented minority groups and 59% now practice in areas of unmet medical need. As a Program, we are committed to reflecting, growing, advocating, and learning how to better incorporate DEI into our residency, our patient care, and our lives.
Resident BLM Statement
Human life has intrinsic value. Black life is not the exception. The unconscionable killings of unarmed Black men and women is a public health emergency. These killings, an extension of America’s 400 years of systematic dehumanization of Black people, are an affront to our values, our oath, and our mission. As physicians in a health care system that has participated in this dehumanization, we have a grave responsibility to be part of over-turning it. Now more than ever physicians must be compassionate, informed, receptive, and vocal for the voiceless. We must breathe life into the legacy of those who have been rendered breathless: those like Emmitt Till, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tony McDade and countless others.
As physicians, our practice has historically been guided by the ethical tenets of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice. Today we must broaden the scope of these tenets to protect Black lives.
Autonomy. Our respect for autonomy is a natural extension of our respect for human life. We reject the pervasive, traumatic notion that the lives of Black people are less valuable than those who are white, privileged and of means. In order to help our patients make sound, informed decisions about their health, to help them exercise their autonomy, we have a responsibility to build an environment that is physically and psychologically safe from bias so that we can provide the kind of guidance that cultivates health and well-being for all.
Non-maleficence. The callousness with which Black people are killed is a salient violation of the principle of non-maleficence. Institutional racism, although more nebulous in form, is almost as damning in practice. Our responsibility as healers is to speak out against brutality and injustice perpetuated by society at large while engaging in concrete ways to de-institutionalize racism in healthcare through education and policy changes.
Beneficence. We healthcare workers of all colors stand together in passionate conviction that we can contribute positively to the health of our most vulnerable patients not just by prescribing medications, performing procedures and not even just by listening. The present climate of inequity and injustice renews our commitment to advocate for the most marginalized of our community. From such advocacy comes empowerment; empowerment combines our respect for autonomy with our commitment to beneficence, non-maleficence and justice.
Justice. In order for there to be justice in healthcare, there has to be vertical, not horizontal distribution of resources; currently the most vulnerable have the least. Because healthcare exists within the larger context of society, the distributive justice we seek is inextricably tied to civil and legal justice.
When we together in action and voice embody the edict that Black Lives Matter, we will honestly be able to say that All Lives Matter, and we will finally become a more just and healthy society.
Graduate Medical Education
DEI Statement & Committee
Dear GME Community,
We, the GME leadership stand in support of Black Lives and in defiance of the endemic and structural racism that continues to brutalize persons of color and tears at the very fabric of who we are as a nation. We recognize and name the racism that exists in our community, in our institution and, indeed, in ourselves, both conscious and unconscious. Further, we own the responsibility to act, moving past platitudes toward real, systemic change and a path forward to redress the noxious effects of racism within the GME community. Below is a list of initial steps and commitments generated by the GME committee members and staff. This is only the first step in what will be a continued and concerted effort on the part of all of us. Right now, it is hard to see past the medical, social and spiritual crisis we are all facing. This is where our deep engagement in a community marked by caring, self-reflection and mutual respect can not only help get us through but propels us forward to a better future.
We will redouble our efforts to recruit and train physicians of color. We will empower these physicians to become leaders within our specialties, locally and nationally.
We will seek to increase available funding for diversity recruitment and outreach efforts.
We will strongly advocate for a system-wide structure/leadership designed to promote: Workplace Diversity, Equity of Care, Workforce Development, Integrated Community Partnerships and Inclusive Leadership Development.
We will create a GME Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Social Justice Matters/Social Determinants of Health
We will continue our educational efforts focusing on matters of social justice and the recognition/remediation of the social determinants of health
We will reach out to our community and grassroots organizations to promote health literacy, to build up our youth mentoring pipelines to health careers, and to strengthen our role as a safe haven in the face of any medical or social threat.
We will reach out to law enforcement to cease the use of tear gas and other harmful crowd control measures used against protesters.
Implicit bias training is not enough. We commit to intentional anti-racism in our teaching, in our practice, and in our purpose.
The AHS GME committee: Drs. Snoey (Chair), Subramanian, Wills, Palmer, Cadra, Pierce, Tornabene, Duong, Levy, Hussain, Kumar, Robinson, Goodson, Rusoja, Sherpa, and
A. Bitar, K. Coelho
GME DEI Committee Charter
This committee includes housestaff, administrative staff and faculty across the residency programs at Highland. The DEI committee will create a structure to support ongoing institutional change with a focus on promoting policies and actions across residency programs that address structural oppression, including the structural racism that continues to marginalize and harm communities of color, especially Black and Latinx communities. In doing so, this committee will help further the mission that brought us all to Highland: to provide high quality and equitable care to our community and to create a training environment that promotes inclusion and belonging for all residents, especially those who have historically been excluded.
Specifically, the Committee will:
Review the compositional diversity of housestaff and faculty within accredited training programs annually.
Review, develop, and implement strategies, initiatives, and programs for recruitment of diverse housestaff , administrative staff, and faculty, especially those from historically marginalized or oppressed communities.
Develop and implement training materials for housestaff.
Support community outreach and additional activities related to health inequities.
Periodically review local demographic and epidemiological data to ensure that we are meeting the specific needs of our communities.
Review, develop, and implement strategies, initiatives, and programs to support our current housestaff and faculty, including culturally attuned programs for historically marginalized or underrepresented groups in medicine.
Align with institutional efforts to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity.