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Episode 8: RUSM Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce
RUSM continues to strive for a just and inclusive environment for students and staff, free from racism, discrimination, prejudice, injustice, disparities and inequities. In this episode, you will hear about our Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, our institutional commitment, its impact on the curriculum, and steps to ensure the initiative stays strong.
Milena Garcia: Hi, Dexter. Thank you for joining us. We really appreciate you taking your time to come in this episode and talk about our Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. Let's take a moment to have you introduce yourself to our audience.
Dexter Francis: Oh well thank you for the opportunity. I've been at RUSM for almost two years now, and I work in the department of Student Affairs as the coordinator of campus programs. I'm also the facilitator of the diversity, equity, and inclusion Task Force evaluation. My involvement in the diversity inclusion space is as a result of my involvement and work with the SG and student clubs that are in the USA. I recognize that in spite of the representative diversity apparent in our student body and to some extent or colleagues and faculty, there was a need to bring our diverse community together in a meaningful way. One of my goals was to create a forum for discussion that would bring people together so that we could appreciate and be informed about or different experiences and life journeys.
What is the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce?
Milena Garcia: This is great. Sounds like a great initiative. Let's talk a little bit more in detail about what is our diversity inclusion Task Force, and who is all involved in this initiative?
Dexter Francis: And thank you for that, the task force is comprised of a group of faculty, colleagues and students charged by the provost of the RUSM to make recommendations to the Office of Approvals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.We have five of you from the clinical Medical Foundation sizes. The chair of the curriculum committee manager accreditation Dean of Student Affairs, you know, clinical sciences, president of ARIA, some alumni, HR
Milena Garcia: Chair of them?
Dexter Francis: Or engagement committee communications managers, director of equity and access as students from the clinical SJ basic sciences SG and clinical rotations and generally a well rounded representation of our lessons community.
Milena Garcia: Sounds like there's a lot of people involved in this initiative. This is great. It sounds like we're hitting it from different angles. What is the vision of the task force?
Dexter Francis: Well, are you trying to create a just an inclusive society reframe racism, discrimination, prejudice, injustice, disparities and inequities. In that regard, it is the vision of that area. Some will be a place where all employees and students experienced diversity and inclusion. And our recent graduates, a diverse pool of physicians culturally competent and equipped to mitigate health care disparities and inequities experienced by the margin. Most of our society. Important to the vision that we have for an inclusive, equitable climate and at RUSM we recognize that the really meaningful and sustainable changes within our institutional community and the wider society will only be realized when individuals embrace the significance of this endeavor and take ownership. We can make a difference, one person at a time.
What is RUSM’s Commitment to the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce?
Milena Garcia: And what is our institutional commitment?
Dexter Francis: We are committed to social justice which is founded on the principles of learning and advocating, therefore realizing our commitment of educating, listening, learning, studying and acting will ensure that we embark on a sustainable mission of social change intentionally and deliberately or resulting actions will be driven by empirical data and evidence. We want to get beyond this decades old fees to a place where change is reflected. And through advocating will be the vanguard for social justice and change. I will assume it is a medical education institution. And so we have an important role to play in ensuring that the next generation of physicians have the competencies to provide health care to patients as necessary for the demographic diversity of the population. And so help mitigate the public health concerns that result from disparities and inequities in the healthcare system.
Milena Garcia: And as an institution. We are committed at RUSM, we are all committed administrators, faculty, staff, now what do we expect from our students?
Dexter Francis: We expect our students to work towards creating an environment of inclusiveness, we expect our students to become competent positions where the drivers of social justice Rossies, as all students don't have a unique opportunity to experience a diverse community of students, faculty and colleagues. To a structured framework Rossies will have an opportunity to appreciate the value of diversity and to recognize and embrace diversity when they graduate and practice as physicians, they will demonstrate the qualities and competencies necessary to provide appropriate outfit alterations.
How Does the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce Impact the RUSM Curriculum?
Milena Garcia: And how does this initiative impact our curriculum?
Dexter Francis: The initiative does impact our curriculum, the curriculum of areas will evolve and incorporate evidence based best practices to ensure that our students are educated and acquire the competencies that they need. We will also incorporate the standards within the curriculum, as stipulated by and sometimes you're on the standards of the accrediting body.
Milena Garcia: What are some of the steps that we are doing to ensure that this initiative continues strongly?
Dexter Francis: By increasing diversity further, expanding the Presidio was human body faculty and colleagues, therefore, expanding diversity in the medical healthcare workforce and so mitigate disparities and inequities in healthcare outcomes for underrepresented minorities. By routine or systemic bias, we will ensure that all educational programs systems and processes are free from any implicit and explicit bias within all tissues. By communicating who will share our action plans and progress, while we leverage our platform to inspire internal, not external change and We will partner with organizations that share our values, so we can let it be addressed in this public health crisis and influence the healthcare industry. The progress of our students and alumni and the communities in which we live and work with these efforts anticipate creating an excellent teaching and learning environment for students and an increasingly Diverse, equitable and inclusive, environment, or community.
Milena Garcia: I love this. You named four initiatives: Increasing diversity, rooting out our systemic biases, communication and partnerships. This is great. And ultimately, what are our goals?
Dexter Francis: Ultimately our goals are to educate future physicians with competencies to serve the increasingly diverse population, to graduate exemplary students, drive social change and mitigate healthcare inequities and disparities in health care outcomes for patients. To have leaders who are inclusive, transparent and representative. To create a diverse, equitable inclusive and supportive environment at our lesson which is free from all forms of injustice, inequity and discrimination and were all members of the community know they belong and are appreciated for the differences equal opportunity.
Milena Garcia: Dexter. I really appreciate you coming on and telling us a little bit more about the diversity and inclusion task force. This is a lot of information and it's great to have you here to share the details with us. Do you have any last recommendations for our future Rossies as well?
Dexter Francis: Thank you for the opportunity to, I would like to encourage future Rossies that this is a unique opportunity to experience. I learned in a truly inclusive environment. So take full advantage of the opportunity that RSM provides and so look forward to becoming Rossi
Milena Garcia: Thank you. And we'll look forward to crossing paths with you. Also for everybody listening. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate your time. Dexter. Once again, thank you very much for joining us. And until then our listeners. Join us again for future episodes.
Dexter Francis: Thank you. Have a great day.