Welcome to another edition of Kaleidoscope, the newsletter for the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI).
Over the past few months, we have made great strides toward reaching people across the state, even while continuing to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team has demonstrated its ability to learn and grow even through challenging times.
Earlier this year, we started accepting applications for our new Pathways Academy, which is a community engagement program focused on preparing low-income K-12 students for educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, math and health sciences (STEM-H) disciplines.
We also began accepting applications for our Summer Research Internship, Pre-Health Scholars Program and Pre-Medical Summer Scholars program, all of which aim to assist rising high school juniors and seniors and college students interested in pursuing careers in research and health care. We look forward to meeting all our selectees this spring and summer.
In February, DDEI highlighted the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a virtual event featuring Arkansas Sen. Linda Chesterfield as the keynote speaker. The event also kicked off the annual UAMS Serves campaign, which encourages students and employees to seek out ways to give back to the community.
Additionally, DDEI was involved in organizing the inaugural Mentoring Excellence Awards, recognizing faculty members across the university for their dedication to helping their mentees throughout the years.
In March, members of our team formed the Maternal Mortality Awareness Planning Committee and hosted several virtual clinical and community discussions about the short film Toxic: A Black Woman’s Story. These discussions culminated in a distinguished panel discussion focusing on how health care providers and community members can do more to end health care disparity gaps and ensure Black mothers get quality care during and after their pregnancies.
Finally, UAMS was named a 2022 Top Performer in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equity Index. Obtaining a rating of 95 out of 100, UAMS was recognized as going beyond the basics in its policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care.
Thanks to all your efforts, UAMS and the Division for Diversity Equity and Inclusion are continuing to make an impact on the lives of all Arkansans.
Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences