Changing our culture: Introducing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A workplace that is truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive requires a change in culture. In an open letter to employees last month, executive leaders pledged to address racial inequality, beginning at University of Iowa Health Care.

DEI members 2020

Six members of the 27-member DEI Task Force are pictured here. Clockwise from top left: Joyce Goins-Fernandez, PhD; Li Wu, PhD; Jana Wessels, JD, MBA; Carlos Herriott, creative media specialist; Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD; and Adrian Silva, medical interpreter. See the entire DEI Task Force.

As part of this sustained, multi-year effort, leaders established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force.

Co-chairs Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine; and Denise Martinez, MD, associate dean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, say task force members are charged with implementing meaningful strategies that will make a measurable difference for all marginalized faculty, staff, and trainees, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color at UI Health Care.

Today we introduce the DEI committees and members. During the next year, you’ll see news, updates, and DEI team member profiles.

Patient-Initiated Identity Harassment/Health Disparities

This committee is co-chaired by Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO, UI Hospitals & Clinics, and associate vice president, UI Health Care; and Lastascia Coleman, ARNP, CNM, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Other members appointed include:

  • Lynette Cooper, DNP, ARNP, assistant professor in the College of Nursing
  • Katherine Imborek, MD, director of offsite primary care
  • Alex Nance, MHA, director of the Office of Patient Experience
  • Andrew Nugent, MD, clinical professor of emergency medicine
  • Stephanie Radke, MD, clinical assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology
  • Adrian Silva, hospital medical interpreter
  • Environment & Climate

Co-chaired by Pat Winokur, MD, executive dean, Carver College of Medicine, and Derrick Willis, MPA, director for Iowa’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, group members responsible for changing the climate at UI Health Care are:

  • Gerald Clancy, MD, professor of psychiatry
  • Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD, associate professor of internal medicine
  • Marta Van Beek, MD, MPH, chief of staff
  • Anna White, medical student
  • Aloha Wilks, Quality Assurance analyst
  • Li Wu, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology

Recruitment & Retention

This committee—co-chaired by Douglas Van Daele, MD, executive director, UI Physicians, professor of otolaryngology, and Kanya Ferguson, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology—will work to attract and retain a diverse workforce and student body population. The following members will help with that goal:

  • Keith Carter, MD, professor of ophthalmology
  • Curtis Chung, PMP, ITIL, director of Project Management Office
  • Joyce Goins-Fernandez, PhD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics
  • Carlos Herriott, creative media specialist
  • Lawrence Marsh, MD, professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation
  • Jana Wessels, JD, MBA, associate vice president for human resources
  • Michael Wright, PhD, associate professor of molecular physiology and biophysics

The task force has been given a deadline of Dec. 31 to deliver their recommendations, along with proposed metrics to measure progress.