MED Diversity week
MEDiversity Week: Securing Health Equity for All
This year’s MEDiversity Week theme, “Securing Health Equity for All,” will explore how University of Utah Health can develop policies, practices, and programs that move us closer to the goal of eliminating health disparities.

he mission of MEDiversity Week is to highlight the equity, diversity, and inclusion work within University of Utah Health; while addressing health care disparities, offering solutions for the training of our current and future providers, and hosting discussions on how to continually advocate for equity and inclusion in our daily personal and professional lives.

Throughout the week, events and discussions will focus on attaining equitable health outcomes for all patients, with an emphasis on those from historically marginalized populations. Featuring national speakers from a variety of disciplines, MEDiversity Week events will take a broad approach with the goal of dismantling bias in order to secure health equity for all.

October 31 - November 4

Connecting Reproductive Rights & Justice to Health Equity

October 31 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MDT | Virtual Webinar

The discussion will focus on the timely topic of reproductive rights and justice. How is access, or lack of access, to comprehensive reproductive health care and options part of health equity work? How do we thoughtfully consider the intersectionality of our patients in our role to provide equitable reproductive care?

Join WiHMS leadership as they moderate this Zoom discussion with guest presenters on Monday, October 31st at noon. Learn more..

Film Screening & Panel: “Meet Me Where I Am”

November 1 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm MDT | Alumni Hall

The ripples of health disparities last generations. Having survived the loss of his parents, a lifetime of racism, and substance abuse, Adolphus Nickleberry chose to rewrite his story with the help of a new clinic at the University of Utah. Acclaimed filmmakers Ross Kauffman, André Robert Lee, and Robin Honan captured his story on film. After the screening, join them, Adolphus, and his care team to discuss how meeting patients where they are, offers new hope.

Pizza will be served to attendees. Learn more..

Indigenous Health Lecture: Evan Adams, MD, MPH

November 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm MDT | Virtual Event

To honor Native American Heritage Month, please join Dr. Evan Adams, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Indigenous Services Canada, as he discusses Indigenous health and wellbeing. Dr. Adams is a Coast Salish actor and physician from the Tla’amin First Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada, also known for his role as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in the film “Smoke Signals.” Learn more..

MEDiversity Week Town Hall

November 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm MDT | Virtual Event

The MEDiversity Week Town Hall is a panel discussion that brings together equity, diversity, and inclusion leaders from University of Utah Health to share their experiences and expertise as health care professionals. Attendees will get an opportunity to submit questions online, and the panel discussion will focus on the pre-submitted questions.

This is a virtual event for University of Utah students, staff, faculty, and trainees.


  • Michael L. Good, MD CEO, University of Utah Health Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, University of Utah
  • Mary Ann Villarreal, PhD, Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; University of Utah
  • José E. Rodríguez, MD, FAAFP, Associate Vice President for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion; University of Utah Health
  • Sach Apte, MD, MS, MBA, Physician-in-Chief, Huntsman Cancer Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Valerie Flattes, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion College of Nursing
  • Donna Baluchi, MLIS, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Librarian
    Eccles Health Sciences Library
  • Julie Lucero, MPH, PhD, Associate Dean; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion College of Health
  • Bart Watts, DDS, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion School of Dentistry

Learn more..

MEDiversity Keynote: Daniel E. Dawes, JD: The Political Determinants of Health and How We Can Change Them

November 4 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am MDT | Virtual or SJQ Law Courtroom

Now, more than ever, political decisions (on both sides of the aisle) are affecting our social conditions and have become the root cause of our nation’s declining health. Reduced life expectancy, worsening health outcomes, health inequity, and declining healthcare options are the direct result of social drivers that include poor environmental conditions, inadequate transportation, unsafe neighborhoods, lack of healthy food options, and more. Drawing upon his new book, “The Political Determinants of Health” and firsthand experience shaping major federal policies including the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Daniel E. Dawes will guide attendees through the history of efforts to address these issues and the seemingly inseparable interconnection of politics and health. Dr. Dawes examines health through the political lens so we can begin to partner, build capacity, and create change. He also presents a novel non-partisan, multidisciplinary framework for addressing the systemic barriers that prevent the U.S. from becoming what it could be: the healthiest nation in the world. Learn more..

Friday Forum: Securing Health Equity

November 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm MDT | Virtual Event (register by Nov 3)

In the United States, we have looked at health equity through a racial lens because, in general, some racial groups have better health outcomes than others. Traditionally, we have compared our health outcomes to the White population in the United States, as in many cases, they have the best health outcomes. However, that is not always the case.

Health equity also has a leveling effect in the positive. When comparing developed countries, many wealthy territories with higher degrees of health equity enjoy better health outcomes than the wealthiest in the United States. In short, our tolerance for health inequality makes it so our best health outcomes are often worse than in other more equitable systems. So, seeking health equity is good for everyone, and benefits all of us.

At the University of Utah, we have various researchers who have been striving to answer the question, how do we secure health equity? Their work is bringing us closer to achieving that goal. Panelists will discuss successful interventions to approach health equity—and examine what securing it might look like in our country. Learn more..


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Leaders, experts, and educators who drive the University’s effort to create a safe and welcoming campus climate, University of Utah

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