Schools of Medicine and Nursing aim to boost diversity
Yale’s professional schools have continued to train faculty and staff in medical fields a range of diversity, equity and inclusion concepts.
Hedy Tung, Staff Photographer
At the Yale School of Medicine, diversity, equity and inclusion training is a requirement for faculty and staff across all departments.
Every department within the School of Medicine has a chair for diversity, equity and inclusion. In a similar vein, the Yale School of Nursing’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging also offers DEI training for faculty and staff.
Paris Lawrence, associate director of DEI training and development at the School of Medicine’s DEI office, gave the most recent training on inclusive searches for faculty and has been holding training throughout the School of Medicine.
According to Sangini Sheth, Director of DEI for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Lawrence is scheduled to give a similar training to the department’s residency selection committee this coming week.
Sheth explained that Darin Latimore, deputy dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the School of Medicine, held a similar training for the committee last year. This training was just one of many that occurred last fall in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, which included training focused on implicit bias, microaggressions and bystander training. Faculty within the department hired after this training are required to complete an interactive online course covering the same topics.
“I believe the [trainings offered last fall] help establish shared language, definitions and awareness and help to normalize upstander behaviors that aim to identify potential bias and intervene on acts of microaggression,” Sheth wrote to the News. “They are the beginning steps of creating an equitable and inclusive environment and communicating to the department that such an environment is a priority.”
This most recent training in inclusive hiring practices was selected because it aligns with the School of Medicine’s goals to increase diversity. Sheth explained that this training is an important step towards “breaking apart the structural factors that have typically disadvantaged women and underrepresented in medicine applicants in healthcare and many other sectors.”
The Yale Child Study Center at the School of Medicine held a DEI training on Sept. 28, which had 50 people in attendance. Linda Mayes, director of the Yale Child Study Center, was one of the attendees.
“Our work at the Center on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and restorative practices are a high priority for our community,” Mayes wrote to the News. “We want to create a culture that respects everyone’s talents and where all feel they have a voice in the directions of the Center. Growing and sustaining a diverse community is essential to our continued vibrancy in our research and clinical programs.”
Also in attendance was Carolina Rivera Parrott, director of the social work training program at the Yale Child Study Center. Parrott told the News she found the training to be effective and applicable to “advancing [the Yale Child Study Center’s] admission and recruitment efforts.”
Going forward, Parrott hopes that the training will be offered more frequently, as it “helped in providing useful tools and insight to consider as we begin our recruitment efforts.”
Angela Richard-Eaglin, associate dean for equity at the School of Nursing, explained that the school has held multiple trainings within the past year “in which participants gained critical frameworks and tools to understand how bias, power, privilege and oppression inform their allyship.” The School of Nursing also offers Cultural Intelligence workshops.
“[The Cultural Intelligence workshops] define and describe the importance of embracing differences, the impact of bias on outcomes, understanding how microaggressions impact individuals, work and class environments, and [learning] strategies for responding to and intervening with microaggressions,” Richard-Eaglin said in a statement to the News.
Paula Kavathas, vice chair for DEI in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and vice chair of Diversity for the Department of Immunology at the School of Medicine, said that within the Immunology Department, there is a working group on DEI formed by trainees in 2017. This group has a wellness subcommittee, a transition committee that aids new graduate students, holds a monthly journal club on the topic, and “has had a major impact on the department,” Kavathas said.
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Child Study Center Tara Davila explained that the goals of these DEI trainings go beyond the Yale community and extend to those who receive services from the School of Medicine. Specifically, Davila said that the Department of DEI at the Yale Child Study Center has a goal of “centering the experience of those who are coming to receive our services.”
“[The Yale School of Medicine] is seeking that anyone in the world can see themselves at Yale… [that] anyone feels like there is a place for them here, and that when they come [they know that] they are going to be supported and that their ideas are welcome,” Davila said. “We also see it in terms of the New Haven Community, that [the Yale School of Medicine] is seeing them and providing the most culturally humble care possible.”
In addition to trainings, the Yale Child Study Center also offers reflective monthly conversations on DEI or social justice topics that their faculty can participate in. Davila said that if the Yale Child Study Center is “really working towards transformational change, it has to be a practice, it has to be how we operate, not just a training a year.”
Latimore was named the first deputy dean for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the School of Medicine in 2016.