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Medical Equity Curriculum

Medical EquityEquipping our trainees, faculty, and staff with TIDES principles and implementing intentional strategies to foster representation of the communities we serve and diversity in our recruitment, promotion, and retention efforts.

Drs. Cupertino and Marjorie Arca will implement a cultural competency”  curriculum to develop and maintain cross-cultural skills. The curriculum will incorporate with experiential real-world initiatives in diverse communities. We aim to enhance the department's skills and knowledge in addressing language barriers with our patients. Furthermore, we will innovate skills building with community leaders of agencies and coalitions to create a unified front in disengaging health disparities and developing a strong health careers workforce.

Health Equity Grand Rounds:

The Department of Surgery has established the Health Equity Grand Rounds Series which allows the medical community to explore the importance of racial, gender, and cultural factors’ impact on health practice and health disparities.

  • Carolina Solis Sanabria, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., Program official in the Division of Clinical and Health Services Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH) spoke on "NIMHD, Diversity, and Surgical Disparities", December 8, 2022


  • Eliseo Perez-Stable, M.D., Keynote speaker at the "Better Together - Equity, Anti-Racism and a New Way Forward Conference", October 14, 2022. 

Dr. Eliseo

Dr. Perez-Stable meeting with community partners​


Eliseo J. PĂ©rez-Stable, M.D. is Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He oversees NIMHD’s annual budget to advance the science of minority health and health disparities research. NIMHD conducts and supports research programs to advance knowledge and understanding of health disparities, identify mechanisms to improve minority health and reduce health disparities, and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities in community and clinical settings. click, for more information

  • Brown bag summer series. The series this year is Healing the Healer, because we are all carrying very emotional loads ourselves yet we all have little time for ourselves. Please see the series excerpt in the link below. The first speaker of the series, Ruth King, is a therapist, author, and educator who facilitates a mindfulness practices utilized when one is feeling overwhelmed or stressed within social environments, gun violence, and social injustices.  For more information, click here

  • Shane Wiegand, M.A., Co-Lead of the Antiracist Curriculum Project at Coordinated Care Services Incorporated will speak on September 31, 2023.

Shane WiegandShane Wiegand is the Co-Lead of the Antiracist Curriculum Project at Coordinated Care Services Incorporated, previously he was a fourth-grade teacher at the Rush- Henrietta Central School District. He is also a board member at City Roots Community Land Trust and Connected Communities, and an adjunct faculty member of the URMC School of Medicine and Dentistry. For his work with PathStone, he was named as one of Rochester Business Journal's Forty Under 40 in 2021. He and his wife live in the Beechwood neighborhood of Rochester.




  • Jim Thrasher, Ph.D., M.A., M.S., Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Arnold School of Public Health to speak on "Policy and communication innovations to reduce tobacco use and unhealthy eating across the Americas:  Where do we go from here?", October 6, 2023.

Jim ThrasherDr. Thrasher is a Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education & Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.  With training in anthropology, policy, communication, and behavioral science, his research agenda aims to develop, evaluate, and enhance communication and policy interventions that most effectively address tobacco use and unhealthy eating – behaviors that increasingly account for much of the preventable disease burden around the world.  He primarily focuses on communication and policy interventions because of their potential for broad public health impacts, including among disadvantaged populations and across diverse sociocultural contexts.  His highly productive research program (>350 peer-reviewed publications) has been funded by grants from a variety of foundations and federal agencies around the world.  In recognition of his research productivity and influence on science and policy, he received the World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day Award in 2016.  He recently finished a 6-year term on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which provides information and recommendations to the FDA Commissioner regarding the regulation of tobacco products.  Results and future directions from his four current NIH-funded R01s will provide the focus for this talk.

  • Jerome Underwood, M.B.A., President and Chief Executive Officer of Action for a Better Community will be presenting in the fall. 

Jerome UnderwoodJerome Underwood's life's mission of the eradication of poverty and the ultimate goal of societal self-sufficiency continues to be a fueling force in all that he does, thus merging his personal and professional life into one.To learn more, click here 



Student Mentorship: 

Paula Cupertino, PhD recently mentored three Latino, women who are pre-med students and they worked on a project looking closely at smoking cessation interventions aimed at improving surgical outcomes in cancer patients. In addition, the students were able to identify effective smoking cessation strategies for hospitalized patients.

Owen Owen Tolbert

Owen Tolbert has been with the COE team since the summer of 2022. Since joining, Owen has helped with community outreach efforts in the office, and helped with the preparation of the annual COE Community Cancer Action Council Retreat. Aside from these tasks, he has been working on a literature review for a project in the office, and hopes to continue working with researchers in the COE office. Owen is a Biology and Economics major at the University of Rochester, and will be attending UR for Medical School. Outside of his academic interests, Owen has lived in the Rochester area for the past 16 years and is excited to contribute to work that will better health outcomes in the city.

Daniela  Daniela Matute

My goal is to go to medical school and become a surgeon well-rounded with basic science, community-based interventions, and health disparities research.  I’m a 3rd-year student from Venezuela pursuing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, on the pre-med track, at the University of Rochester.   Since 2022,  Dr Cupertino has mentored me on health disparities research project to assess the integration of smoking cessation in lung cancer surgical care. I am also very enthusiastic to be part of Dr, Cupertino" community-based interventions to alleviate health disparities in the Latino community. Expanding my experience and knowledge in basic sciences, I am a research assistant at the Carney lab, studying how the auditory system encodes speech sounds and how we understand sounds, even in noisy backgrounds.