One America - University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC): A Comprehensive Diversity Initiative

Program: University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC): A Comprehensive Diversity Initiative , Kansas City, KS
Contact(s): Alisa Lange, Diversity Coordinator: ( 913) 588-5080
Purpose: To promote diversity at KUMC

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Recognizing that diversity issues are of increasing importance in an academic setting, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kansas City Medical Center ("KUMC") started an inquiry into developing a comprehensive initiative to improve KUMC's approach to diversity issues that would also meet the center's educational and business needs. The Diversity Initiative that resulted was designed to address diversity issues from a personal, professional and organizational perspective. The Diversity Initiative has been in existence for over a year. The goal of the initiative is to create an interactive approach to addressing individual prejudices, while moving towards changing systems and practices.

Program Operations

Among the several activities that take place during the year as part of the Diversity Initiative program is The Intercultural Film series, which provides a monthly forum through which the KUMC community explores issues of culture, race and ethnicity which impact on personal and professional relationships, and the delivery of health care services. Each film in the series is accompanied by a discussion immediately following the screening. The discussion is generally facilitated by a member of the KUMC community who is culturally, ethnically, racially and experientially affiliated with the cultural issue. Students Educating and Advocating for Diversity (SEAD), another component of the Initiative, provides a venue for students, faculty and staff of any race to express their concerns, issues, and appreciation of diversity. SEAD's goal is to contribute to the development of a community respectful of cultural and individual diversity. Programs instituted by SEAD include "Awareness, Sensitivity and the Dimensions of Cultural Variation," and "What is an Interpreter? Bridging the Cultural Gaps." Global Network News, a monthly newsletter, ensures that all members of KUMC is kept aware of the Initiative's events and programs. It is also one of the main vehicles for sharing information about the various cultures represented by students, faculty, and staff at KUMC.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

No formal program evaluation has been done but KUMC has seen a growing interest and commitment by its faculty and students to the Diversity Initiative. KUMC also believes that the diversity programs help to students understand the diversity issues present in the medical profession.

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