Neurology Diversity

“Diversity and Inclusion are core values at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Our vision is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment that guides and transforms our approaches to healthcare, education, research and community partnerships.”                            -Office for Inclusion and Culture Development, URMC

The Department of Neurology ascribes to the values of the University and Medical Center.  To provide strategic vision and leadership, the Department of Neurology has instituted a Diversity Council that meets quarterly to work on initiatives aimed at addressing issues related to diversity and inclusion in the field of Neurology, ensuring equitable treatment of all people, and creating a culture that intentionally includes all voices.

Blanca Valdovinos Dr. Blanca Valdovinos is the Associate Chair of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in the Department of Neurology.  She attended Cornell University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then attended the University of Rochester for medical school where she also completed her neurology residency and movement disorders fellowship. She is the Director of the UR Medicine Spanish Language Neurology Clinic where she sees movement disorders and general neurology patients. She specializes in Parkinson’s disease and is the co-director of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at the University of Rochester. She grew up in a large Latinx community and is passionate about giving back to her community. Her work focuses on addressing health disparities and she believes that every patient should receive high quality medical care regardless of their race, ethnicity or language. She completed the Diversity Leadership Program from the American Academy of Neurology in 2021.

Her work and projects include:

  • Directing the Spanish Language Neurology Clinic
  • Leading the IDEAS Council meetings
  • Implementing social determinants of health initiatives
  • Encouraging community engagement across our department
  • Mentoring residents and fellows

IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Antiracism and Social Justice)

The Neurology Diversity Council has overseen a number of working groups to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the department. In May 2020, in response to the impact of COVID-19 on patients of color and in response to racial strife in our country and in Rochester, we expanded the scope of the council. We renamed it the IDEAS Council and specifically sought to incorporate principles of social justice and anti racism into departmental missions. IDEAS meets monthly and is open to all members of the department, which currently has representation from faculty, staff, nursing, trainees, advanced practice providers and clinical research coordinators. The meeting is a forum to discuss challenges, opportunities, develop initiatives and to attempt to work towards creative problem solutions.

If you have questions, comments or are interested in participating in any way, please contact the of the IDEAS Council: Blanca Valdovinos.

The IDEAS Council currently helps coordinate the work of the following working groups: