KUMC plans for diversity

July 19, 2012

Steven Stites, M.D.
Steven Stites, M.D. Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Acting Executive Dean, KU School of Medicine

Nearly all institutions - particularly those in the public sector - say they are committed to promoting diversity and cultural awareness in the workplace. I'm pleased to say that at KU Medical Center, this commitment is much more than lip service.

Through the years, the medical center has benefited from numerous diversity and professionalism activities specific to certain schools or departments. For example, in 1998 the School of Medicine established the Office of Cultural Enhancement and Diversity (OCED) to help broaden dimensions of diversity and cultural competency into the school's curriculum, research enterprise and delivery of health care.

The success of OCED and other programs is a key part of our strategic planning goal of Increasing Diversity, Cultural Competence and Professionalism across KUMC. It also goes hand-in-hand with two of my Five Rules: "Do the right thing" and "Ask questions, seek answers."

Today I'm happy to announce that KUMC is beginning the process of developing a new campus-wide initiative for diversity, cultural competence and professionalism. I have asked Dr. Karen Miller, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of the School of Nursing and School of Health Professions, to facilitate the development of a comprehensive, institution-wide plan to more thoroughly address this strategic initiative. It is critical that the plan be well-integrated, inclusive and progressive as we prepare for our new Executive Vice Chancellor and a new era of responsiveness to the diverse needs of students, patients, faculty and staff at KUMC.

In the coming weeks Dr. Miller will begin convening individuals and groups to come up with "best practices" in diversity, cultural competencies and professionalism for academic medical centers and higher education. I hope that you will participate in these discussions as we move forward to create our own "best practices" at KUMC.

On a related note, I wanted to take a moment to update you on our search for KUMC's next Executive Vice Chancellor. We are fortunate to have an extraordinarily talented group of candidates for the EVC position. We are in the process of bringing the candidates to the medical center for 36-hour 'whirlwind' interviews. Each candidate is meeting with representatives from the School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, School of Nursing, the KU-Lawrence campus and The University of Kansas Hospital. According to Dr. Edward Ellerbeck, who is leading the search for the new EVC, the candidates have been impressed with the strength of our education, research and clinical missions and have expressed excitement about ongoing opportunities for growth. I will keep you posted on the process in future editions of this newsletter.

Charity Stowers has received the 2012 Diversified Leaders in Health Care Scholarship award for her exemplary community service and academic achievement in health care administration. Stowers is pursuing a master of health services and administration degree from the School of Medicine.
The KU School of Medicine's Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) organization is pleased to announce the second annual 2012 Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D., Excellence in Medicine and Science award winners. The awards, in honor of KU School of Medicine alumnus Dr. Marjorie Sirridge, will be presented to Kim Templeton, M.D., Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Beth Levant, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. The award presentation will be at the annual WIMS conference to be held on Aug. 16, 2012.

Two OB-GYN physicians and KU School of Medicine–Wichita faculty members received awards from the OB-GYN class of 2012 residents. Dawne Lowden, M.D., clinical assistant professor, received the Rescue Award for her availability and willingness to help residents at last-minute notice and for her outstanding contribution to the OB-GYN residents. Jacqueline Morgan, M.D., clinical instructor, received the Helping Hand Award for her enthusiastic participation in resident education.

Last modified: Jul 19, 2012