Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
UNC’s collective mission is to improve the health and well-being of the people of North Carolina. We cannot achieve this unless our workforce reflects the diversity of the state we serve, and access to quality care is equitable for all North Carolinians. This noble mission and years of well-intentioned hard work have not spared our family medicine department and residency programs from the societal challenges of health inequities among the people of the state and a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion among our faculty, trainees, learners, and staff.
Over the last two years, numerous events have brought the striking health inequities in our nation and state into the spotlight. The global COVID-19 pandemic, the murders of unarmed Black civilians in several high-profile police shootings, political turmoil, the attack on our nation’s capital, rising mass shootings, and drastic supreme court rulings have all further exacerbated health inequities. These events have brought about much needed awareness of long unaddressed systemic racism and oppression in America and have spurred the department to reflect on our mission of caring for all the people we serve, from patients to employees, and to reconcile the discrepancy between our stated ideals with the reality of our department’s history and current workplace community.
In response to these crises, the School of Medicine (SOM) and the Department of Family Medicine, have reconfirmed their commitment to making systemic changes to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice and support marginalized communities—within our department, the SOM, the communities we serve, and across the state.
The UNC SOM Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) was established in February 2017. It provides coordination, oversight, and leadership of the UNC SOM’s diversity and inclusion programs and leads efforts to build a diverse faculty and inclusive environment that values and respects the contributions of all members of the community. The SOM Office of DEI uses a framework with the 5 dimensions below and integrates this framework across the school’s units and departments with inclusive excellence plans that include goals, initiatives, action items, metrics, due dates, and accountability.
You can read more about the SOM Office of DEI, their programs and initiatives, and their strategic plan here: https://www.med.unc.edu/inclusion
As part of the SOM Forward Together Strategic Plan and DEI Path Forward, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been instrumental in helping to shape our departmental and residency program DEI strategic plan and initiatives. Our department has developed a strategic plan (2021-2026) to address disparities and create equity in healthcare, education, and research, by creating an inclusive culture that is collaborative and respectful. The plan can be found at https://go.unc.edu/FM-DEI-StrategicPlan. This document will be used in conjunction with ongoing work with DEI stakeholders to institute administrative action to continue moving us toward a more inclusive and equitable department. Supporting and training a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state helps us meet our mission to improve the health and well-being of the people of North Carolina.
The Department of Family Medicine has developed its own 2021-2026 DEI Strategic Plan. to complement and further the efforts of the UNC School of Medicine. The department views this as a living document as we continue to understand more about the changes required to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our institution.
UNC Family Medicine DEI Leadership Team
The UNC Department of Family Medicine is committed to a work environment of inclusiveness for all where everyone feels valued and engaged, with opportunity for personal and professional development. The department is committed to a faculty that better reflects the population of the state we serve. This means we are purposeful in recruiting diverse faculty from racial and ethnic minority groups, diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and those who are underrepresented in sexual orientation and gender identity.
The UNC Department of Family Medicine is committed to a work environment of inclusiveness for all where everyone feels valued and engaged, with opportunity for personal and professional development. The department is committed to a faculty and residency that better reflects the population of the state we serve. This means we are purposeful in recruiting diverse residents and faculty from racial and ethnic minority groups, diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and those who are underrepresented in sexual orientation and gender identity. We strive to integrate equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice into our curricula, structures, training, and the educational culture of our department. Our hope is to foster a patient care and learning environment where everyone feels engaged, respected, valued, and safe in all spaces.