The following newsletter is provided by clinical associate professor Jeydith Gutierrez, MD, MPH, Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Internal Medicine.
I recently assumed the role of Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Internal Medicine. I feel humbled and excited for this opportunity. I have big shoes to fill after the departure of Dr. Nicole Nisly, who represented the department in this area. Dr. Nisly is nationally recognized for her efforts in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). She is a fierce advocate for human rights and during her time at the University of Iowa, she worked tirelessly to make patients, faculty, trainees, and staff feel welcomed in our campus.
Doctor Francis Peabody said in 1925, “One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.” In today’s politicized environment I think about this often. It is crucial to develop healthy spaces that foster that curiosity, to allow us to better connect with each other and understand the individual experiences of patients, providers, trainees and staff within our department. Connecting with each other’s humanity and allowing us to consider different perspectives, makes us stronger clinicians and community members.
With that in mind, I have given a lot of thought to what DEIB in Internal Medicine means. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the profound differences in experiences and health outcomes of various communities within our society. Furthermore, rural areas, including our communities across Iowa, are facing greater challenges with access to care than they did many years ago. It is timely to look at some of these health disparities and question the role that our department and UI Health Care can play in improving the health outcomes of all the communities that we serve. For this purpose, we want to hear from you!
We are conducting Listening Sessions on DEIB with each of the divisions. These discussions will likely take place during regular division meetings and will be facilitated by each division’s DEIB lead and myself. We are distributing a short survey prior to each session to allow for anonymous feedback and also welcome active participation during the listening sessions. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, and concerns regarding this topic, which will help us help us define the goals and scope of activities for the DEIB Committee and the department in this area. Thanks to the Divisions of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine and General Internal Medicine who hosted listening sessions this past month. Please be on the lookout for your survey, and we encourage you to join us for these listening sessions.
Please always feel welcome to submit your feedback, ideas, or suggestions here. We want to hear different perspectives and create spaces where everyone can have a voice.
Upcoming DEI Events and Opportunities
The Women In Medicine Series will host Heather Reisinger, PhD, on June 10 at noon. We are looking forward to hearing from her. Invitation to the next session or recordings of previous sessions on topics such as mentorship or career-management resources are available on request.
The Internal Medicine Residency program will be launching the Distinction In Health Equity (DIHE) track for Internal Medicine residents this July. Residents will participate in a longitudinal curriculum in health disparities and have opportunities for clinical experiences with underserved populations. If you are interested in participating as facilitator of sessions or mentoring residents, please contact Dr. Krista Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com).
The Latinx faculty council will host a family-friendly social event and gathering for faculty, staff and trainees who identify as Latinx on June 3, 4:30-7:30 pm at the Iowa City City Park Shelter #3. Some refreshments will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring a dish to share.
- Please check the Iowa City Pride site for a detailed list of events.
- The 2023 Iowa City Pride Festival will take place Saturday June 17, from noon until 10 pm in downtown Iowa City.
Juneteenth is a national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Some events in the community will take place in commemoration. Juneteenth 2023 Events & Parties In Iowa City.