Conversations About Inclusion and Diversity

Celebrating a Champion of Health Equity: The Penn Medicine Community Health Fair Team

By Kya Hertz

In recognition of Black History Month, it is imperative to spotlight transformative initiatives that profoundly impact the communities we serve. The Penn Medicine Health Education and Screening Community Health Fair, a trailblazing initiative, a product of the Health Equity Project of the Department of Radiology (DOR) and its Radiology Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee (RIDE), stands as a testament to unwavering commitment and profound impact.

A Model of Excellence: Data-Driven Development and Collaborative Leadership

Despite advancements in cancer treatment, significant disparities continue to plague our healthcare system, with Black Americans facing alarming inequities in cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. These disparities are often rooted in social determinants of health. The Community Health Fair Team, a robust collaboration of over 100…

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Celebrating Black History Month: Present and Past Pioneers

By Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD, ML

Traditionally, Black History Month is a time when we celebrate lists of individuals who have overcome challenges and meaningfully contributed to the advancement of our society. There are many iconic individuals whose lives significantly enriched the societal aspirations for a better world.  As we all strive to achieve similar goals, there are barriers that we continuously face that may seem unresolvable.  Thus, taking time to consider the accomplishments of others, may infuse the necessary energy to endure the challenges we face in our professional and personal journey. 

This year’s celebration takes on added importance given the current state of our national culture and the geopolitical uncertainties which are actively impacting us globally.  As we review the narratives of heroes now…

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Reflections on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By Eve Higginbotham, SM, MD, ML

As we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King today, we find ourselves immersed in a world that is filled with conflict and hatred.  This context drives us to seek solace in the words of Dr. King, who shines as a bright beacon of hope and inspiration.  In the face of the increase in hate speech that plagues our society, particularly in the last several weeks, his teachings become even more poignant.  His words and actions offer a powerful antidote to venomous language that divides and dehumanizes. Dr. King exemplified the courage to break the chains of silence and confront the injustices that plagued society, leading us towards a path of redemption and progress.  Three quotes, highlighted as italicized…

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Building Bridges to A Place of Healing

By Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

 

 

 


As we welcome the new year, the team in the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity would like to extend a heartfelt message of solidarity and compassion.  We deeply value open dialogue as a means to discover and implement solutions that foster a healthier, more equitable community.  Over the years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to hosting sessions aimed at enhancing health and wellness for everyone, and addressing the existing disparities in healthcare.  The Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT) launched in July, 2020 sought to address the effects of structural racism and established a strategic framework to build a more inclusive community.  Departments, hospitals, centers, and other organizational units are deeply engaged in actions to work toward a more…

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Restorative Justice Practices as a Bridge to a Space of Healing and Sharing

By Jack Drummond

By Jack Drummond (Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity)

In the ever-changing and emotionally charged field of healthcare, it is becoming more and more evident that restorative practices are crucial, especially during times of profound healing and recovery. The Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity fully embraces this idea and strives to create a community that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable. We, as a community, agreed to the core values of respect, cultural humility, empathy and equity in Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT), we find ourselves leaning into those values, now more than ever.  To achieve the goal of ensuring cultural safety and security, we firmly believe that implementing restorative practices is essential in reaffirming principles of cultural security, community…

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Racism-Conscious Policymaking as an Alternative to Race-Based Policymaking

By Hoag Levins

An LDI Seminar Unpacks the Nuances of Racialized Health Care Policy and Practice

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Women in Medicine: Raina Merchant on Unique Ways to Transform Health Care

By Jack Drummond

Penn Medicine’s Chief Transformation Officer Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP, is at the helm of innovation efforts at Penn to make health care easier—utilizing technology to reduce administrative burdens and free employees to do more meaningful work. In her role, Merchant coordinates multiple projects from teams across Penn Medicine, from Information Services to Operations to the office of the Chief Medical Officer, and more.

“Penn is really focused on thinking about efficiency for health care workers across every spectrum, from clinicians to frontline staff to those who work behind the scenes,” said Merchant, who is also an associate vice president and director of the Center for Health Care Transformation and Innovation. “We’re trying to reduce repetitive tasks to make the…

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Introducing West Philadelphia High School Students to Careers in Neurosurgery

By Jack Drummond

By Jonathan Waller

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 4.2% of neurosurgeons are Black, with an even smaller representation of Black women at 0.6% from a 2018 survey. But initiatives across the country aim to increase diversity in neurosurgery and other medical fields.

At Penn, for example, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships partnered with Penn Medicine to develop the Educational Pipeline Program to encourage high school students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine to aspire to medical science careers.

The program works closely with the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Masters of Public Health Program, the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences & Management, and West Philadelphia high schools to provide mentorship and education for students while…

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Penn Medicine Pride: LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Equity in Health Care

By Jack Drummond

By Jonathan Waller

During this summer’s Philadelphia LGBTQ+ Pride March, staff from across Penn Medicine, along with their friends, families, and neighbors participated to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. By marching, they also helped to reaffirm Penn’s commitment to health equity, representation, and support for queer individuals who are employed by or receive care across the health system.

“Penn is a leading health care provider in the city of Philadelphia, so a lot of other entities look to us to lead the way,” shared Jenna Mechalas, MSN, RN, a Heart and Vascular Care nurse at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and chair of Penn Presbyterian’s PRIDE (Presbyterian’s Rally for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality) committee.

“Right now, when the LGBTQ+ community is experiencing…

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LDI: Sandy Schwartz Memorial Grand Rounds Eyes Clinical Impact of AI

By Hoag Levins

2023 Event Underscores Lack of Algorithmic Equity and Relevant FDA Regulations

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