Dec. 15, 2021 — The UF College of Medicine is a 2021 recipient of the Alpha Omega Alpha Award for Excellence in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Medical Education and Patient Care. The distinguished honor is bestowed upon medical schools annually by Alpha Omega Alpha, or AOA, the honor medical society.
The award recognizes medical schools and their associated AOA chapter that demonstrate exemplary leadership, innovation and engagement in fostering an inclusive culture that transforms the ideals of inclusion, diversity and equity into successful programs that support medical student, residents, fellows and faculty diversity in service to the community.
Dean Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., said the award reflects the collective efforts of students, faculty and staff to create a medical school environment in which diversity and inclusion are championed.
“The UF College of Medicine has long supported an Office for Diversity and Health Equity that is integrated within the fabric of the medical school,” she said. “The office serves all medical students, residents, fellows and faculty, and it is vital in the delivery of several pipeline programs.”
Some of the programs the Office for Diversity and Health Equity administers is the Health Care Summer Institute, a program designed to stimulate and cultivate interest among high school students in health professions; the Summer Health Professions Education Program, or SHPEP, a free summer enrichment program focused on improving access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions; and the Minority Mentoring Program.
Koch said the college also aims to ensure everyone is trained in an inclusive environment that promotes cultural humility while addressing health care disparities, social determinants of health and structural racism.