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Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

WELCOME

Welcome to the Office of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion in the Academic Learning Environment. My current role as Assistant Dean, Director of Global Health, and Ophthalmology attending has allowed me to serve you in these capacities. CMS is where I went to medical school, and where I have held academic positions in the department of ophthalmology since 1993. Through the years I have served on many local and national commissions and tasks forces addressing healthcare disparities.

Now more than ever initiatives to increase our workforce to reflect the population, to increase diversity of ideas in our profession, and to help decrease systemic racism resulting from centuries of unequal treatment, and to educate ourselves by listening to the people for which we work needs to be intentional.

The events of the past few weeks have brought much shock, sadness, anger, and reflection to our nation. Sensitivity and cultural expertise/competency are skills needed as we educate our colleagues and communities.

All of us who go into medicine are motivated by wanting to make the world better. An important place to start is by addressing the gap in the kind of health care that exists for far too many people. Ours is a diverse population, and the rate of change is accelerating. However, culture and language affect people’s beliefs about health, healing, and wellness, as well as how they perceive illness, diseases and their causes. These differences impact the behaviors of people needing medical care and their attitudes toward health care providers. The providers themselves may be hampered in delivering care by their own cultural assumptions and limited experience with people of different backgrounds. Such things compromise patients’ access to care. To address the challenge, today’s medical schools must prepare new physicians to meet the future needs of our patients and communities. 

This department has a team of diverse individuals putting together programs to try to make sustainable changes in our environment. The Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) was one of the changes we made to monitor our goals in this space. DAC has members from committees and student representatives so that we can increase resources given to and communication regarding our efforts.

I hope you will reach out to this department with constructive solutions to the concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD '88
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learning Environment
Office of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI)
 

Team

Mildred M.G. Olivier

Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD '88

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learning Environment

Christina Rontell

Christina Rontell, MS

Coordinator, Diversity & Faculty Development

Carl Lawson, PhD, MPH, MA

Carl Lawson, PhD, MPH, MA

Interim Director of Learning Environment Diversity

Hector Rasgado‑Flores, PhD

Hector Rasgado‑Flores, PhD

Director of Diversity, Outreach, and Success