The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is the recipient of a 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education. This is the first time UCI has been named as a HEED Award recipient.

The Health Professions HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses. This year, 43 honorees were selected and will be featured in the December 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“This recognition is further proof of the tremendous momentum we have on the UCI campus toward realizing our aspiration to be a national leader of inclusive excellence. I am honored to be a part of this effort,” said Terrance Mayes, EdD, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for UCI’s Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences. “Our goal is for our campus population to reflect the rich diversity of our community and greater society in many ways, including: race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, physical and mental abilities and life experiences.”  

Under Mayes’ leadership, the School of Medicine has engaged in extensive outreach and recruitment efforts, including an annual Open Medical School, which is a unique open house event for students in middle school through college interested in the field of medicine. The school also offers mission‐based programs focused on areas of healthcare for which a specific need has been identified. Included among them is the Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME‐LC), established in 2004 as a five-year, dual-degree MD/Master’s program and developed to provide specialized training for future physicians who are committed to careers in public service, and the Leadership Education to Advance Diversity‐African, Black and Caribbean (LEAD‐ABC) program, which is intended to develop physician leaders to address the healthcare needs of the African, black and Caribbean communities. Also, the School of Medicine is an active participant in the UCI Chancellor’s ADVANCE Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Academic Diversity, which aims to promote an inclusive culture for faculty and graduate student excellence.

In addition, the School of Medicine financially supports and actively mentors 12 student interest groups focused on diversity issues and social justice, and participates in the UC-HBCU initiative, an effort to increase the number of scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities completing UC academic doctoral programs.

Most recently, the School of Medicine developed a Resident and Fellows Scholars Academy (RFSA), addressing the need to create an internal pipeline of diverse faculty. RFSA offers a unique framework to encourage academic careers among medical residents and fellows (clinical and postdoctoral) from underrepresented backgrounds. The broad goal of the Academy is to increase the diversity of medical school faculty, with a particular emphasis on faculty at UCI. 

“Diversity and inclusive excellence are core values that invigorate the mission of UCI’s School of Medicine to discover, teach and heal,” said Michael J. Stamos, MD, dean of the UCI School of Medicine. “In promoting excellence in biomedical sciences in Orange County and beyond, the school’s faculty, students and staff members advance a model of health, healing and well‐being that is culturally sensitive, focused on the individual and responsive to our community.”

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