Eight months after the URMC Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan was put into place, progress toward its goals can now be tracked online. The five-year plan, first announced last October, was created to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Medical Center, address inequities in patient care, and reduce health disparities in the Rochester community.
The website now includes an Our Progress page that, at a glance, shows the status of the plan's action items in a chart. Each of the plan's five pillars—build, recruit, nurture, exemplify, and engage—has its own chart, with more information available by clicking on each blue tab.
The website is an important part of assuring accountability and transparency and will be updated regularly. "From the beginning it was important that regular communication about progress be a priority," says Adrienne Morgan, PhD, the University's associate vice president for equity and inclusion and senior associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD). She adds, "Our partners want transparency and accountability and that's what we will deliver."
Some notable accomplishments include:
Build. Four cohorts of URMSMD/URMC leaders are currently enrolled in a six-month Enlightened Leader Learning Series. The virtual training sessions, led by Health Psychologist Jeff Ring, PhD, focus on developing trust, effective conflict management, commitment and accountability, recognizing implicit bias and addressing health inequities. At the conclusion of the training, each leader is required to work on a capstone project that can be operationalized.
Recruit. A faculty recruitment toolkit will provide departments resources to recruit outstanding faculty, and ensure recruitment efforts are in line with the Medical Center's commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to the toolkit, the Career Path Modernization Project remains on track to transform a four-decades old structure of job titles, descriptions, pay, and career paths. Updates include a newly expanded website with a glossary of terms to help understand the project along with community workshops and upcoming employee forums.
Kathy Gallucci, the University's interim chief human resources officer and vice president for human resources for the University of Rochester Medical Center says, "This project will give us the flexibility to attract, retain, and engage the very best employees. This work involves all of us and benefits the entire University system."
Engage. Efforts to make healthcare more accessible, reducing disparities through research, active listening, and collaboration with community partners are currently in progress. Currently, three critical working groups are actively identifying opportunities to ensure that these goals are met. Telva Olivares, M.D. has been named head of the health equity steering committee.
"Engendering trust during our patient interactions and in our clinical environments is essential to ensuring equitable outcomes. Perhaps more importantly, creating a caring and compassionate experience for our patients is solely dependent on our ability to meet our patients where they are and seek to understand their values, needs and expectations," says Michael Rotondo, MD, CEO, University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group.
Planning for how to maximize the plan's implementation during fiscal year 2022 has already begun. Check back here in August and October for more exciting updates!