It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI)! This office is responsible for managing and directing diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives across UC Davis Health: School of Medicine, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis Medical Center, and Practice Management Group. The foundation of the OEDI is in alignment with the University of California Diversity Statement that states:
“Diversity should…be integral to the University’s achievement of excellence….excellence that truly incorporates diversity…can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership.”
I am proud to announce that as of July 1, 2014, the new office framework will bring together the Office of Student and Resident Diversity and the Center for Reducing Health Disparities under the wing of the OEDI. This new partnership brings lots of promise and opportunities for innovation. This unity will ultimately strengthen our diversity and inclusion efforts throughout the health system. Both units have been recognized nationally for their robust programs, activities, research and outcomes. In addition, the OEDI will focus on four main areas: workforce development, institutional culture/climate and community engagement, multicultural education, and research. A map of services for each domain has been developed and can be accessed by clicking here.
Diversity and inclusion must be part of the way our health system goes about its work every day - the way it teaches, conducts research, provides health care, and engages with the local and regional communities it serves. Diversity, defined as mutual respect for human differences, is a fundamental core value. Inclusion is the act of recognizing, embracing and maximizing diversity to unleash innovation and creativity. It is the inclusion of diverse perspectives in our research, teaching, patient care and service that allows us as an organizational community to attain and sustain excellence. Inclusion brings new insights, new frameworks of understanding, and new approaches to strategizing and problem-solving that will allow any institution that embraces this concept to make more informed decisions in all that they do. Stated differently, diversity and inclusion are indispensable to our capacity to attain excellence. Diversity of representation and a culture of inclusion must be interwoven and inextricably linked.
“…diverse representation without a culture of inclusion spells disaster while an inclusive culture without diverse representation lacks credibility.” – Gilbert Casillas, Dell, Inc.
Finally, I would like to share a set of guiding principles that will help guide my future work as your Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion:
- I believe in the promotion of equitable treatment, access to services and opportunity, and advancement for students, staff, faculty and all people we serve. We must strive to identify and eliminate the barriers that have prevented historically underserved and under-represented populations from access and opportunity.
- I believe that a medical institution that is committed to diversity and inclusion has the responsibility to ensure that its learners, teachers, researchers and employees achieve the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to sustain an institutional climate that values and embraces inclusion, equity, and cultural humility.
- I believe in creating a learning and working environment in which each individual or group feels welcomed, respected, supported and valued.
- I believe that it’s our similarities that unite us, but it’s our differences that help us grow together. We must recognize that culture and traditions play an important part of our personal world view. Our commitment to high quality patient care, medical education and research propels us to honor and integrate the unique perspectives each person brings.
I would invite all of you to let us know how we can best serve your needs in the near future.
David Acosta, M.D., FAAFP
Associate Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion, and
Chief Diversity Officer, UC Davis Health
Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, UC Davis School of Medicine