By Sapana Panday, Chanise Reese-Queen and Kathleen Weis
Recently, the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions put together a new committee with the goal to cultivate an environment where everyone is welcomed and included, based on the firm belief that diversity is valuable and fosters innovation. Diversity also enables the organization to achieve its mission to support its members in providing high quality and equitable care for the patients and communities they serve. The Alliance also aims to support all members in their collaboration, training, education and advocacy efforts.
The Diversity, Inclusion and Access (DIA) Committee represents diverse segments of the society by addressing the issues and challenges they face in the continuing professional development field, as well as creating opportunities for career advancement and leadership positions.
The DIA committee will be spearheaded by Sapana Panday and Chanise Reese-Queen. The DIA has outlined the following actionable goals during its first year:
Goal 1: Research
- Understand our membership’s demographics and leadership needs.
Goal 2: Mentorship
- Expand the current Alliance mentorship program to better address issue of diversity, inclusion and access.
Goal 3: Education and Awareness
- Create, provide and link educational resources to help our members address issues of diversity, inclusion and access within the education they create, as well as within their organization.
In order to work toward these goals, the DIA has put together four workgroups with volunteers committed to addressing issues related to diversity, inclusion and access:
Research: This workgroup will be collecting metrics about the Alliance membership as a means to benchmark, track and inform future initiatives.
Mentorship: The goal of the DIA’s mentorship program is to serve as a resource for career and professional development, providing tools needed for a successful career path, attract and retain members from diverse backgrounds, foster professional growth and improve professional network, and assist mentees with gaining visibility within the Alliance community.
Education and Awareness: This workshop is working to accomplish two goals. The first is to create a repository of resources that would be relevant to members trying to create education that is both inclusive, and addresses issues of diversity and access. The second is to provide tools for members to justify the need for diversity and representation in their organization’s leadership, membership and the education they create.
Speaker Series: This workgroup will be identifying and recruiting relevant speakers for a monthly speaker series. The focus of these talks will be addressing health inequities in healthcare through CE and asking:
- What does implicit bias mean, and how does it affect patient care?
- How to design a course that addresses unconscious bias.
- How to have a difficult conversation about race.
- Bias in the hiring process specifically in academia.