For the third consecutive year and fourth time overall, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. Each year, INSIGHT into Diversity — the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education — reviews applications for the HEED Award, evaluating how colleges and universities demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Receiving this award for a fourth time is validation of our hard work and commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Miller School,” said Nanette Vega, Ed.D., assistant professor of medical education and assistant dean for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. “The HEED award is a wonderful recognition of the work of many members of the medical school community over the past several years. I couldn’t be prouder.”
The Miller School, named the sixth most diverse medical school in the U.S., focuses on implementing long-term initiatives to create an equitable, inclusive learning environment and tackle inequities in the medical profession, patient care, and community health.
This summer, the Miller School Medical Scholars Program, a program that provides academic enrichment and career support for historically marginalized students interested in a health care career, welcomed 85 students to its four summer courses. The program concluded with the Student Training in Research and Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research Symposium, where the students shared outcomes from the seven weeks of hands-on, in-lab research. And this fall, the Miller School celebrated a memorandum of understanding with Miami Dade College to further expand opportunities for local minority students interested in becoming physicians.
More recently, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement launched a DEI Certificate for Learners Program. This comprehensive online certificate provides the development of the cultural humility needed to serve diverse patient populations. The course can be completed in about 15 hours, and 122 students at the Miller School have already enrolled.
The Society of Black Physicians and Scientists was also established to promote diversity, foster mentorship, and advance equity, while the Task Force on Racial Justice is strategically implementing inclusionary and anti-racist practices.
“It is our collective responsibility to nourish an inclusive learning community,” Dr. Vega said. “Our efforts will continue to build an inclusive environment that values and respects differences and honors the dignity and well-being of each of our community members.”