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Statement from the Vice Provost for Health Equity

Health equity is defined as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Globally, this noble goal is impeded by many factors of a social nature, including equitable access to education, job opportunities, health care and science participation, among many others.

Established in 2020, the Office of Health Equity at the University of Massachusetts Chan (UMass Chan) works to mitigate some of these factors. Our office leads all aspects of the institution’s mission relating to health equity across all three schools: the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing. Our activities and goals align with the strategic goals of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Community and Global Impact within the UMass Chan strategic plan (IMPACT 2025).

Strategic Goal: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

The Office of Health Equity strives to increase diversity of thought, world views, and experiences within our clinical and scientific workforce and our teaching faculty. Diverse viewpoints promote academic and scientific excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and patient care. Additionally, faculty from groups underrepresented in medicine and biomedical sciences serve as vital role models and mentors to all learners. Our work includes initiatives aimed at improving faculty representation from all social groups, with particular focus on those who have been traditionally underrepresented in medicine and the biomedical sciences. We seek to provide a rich and inclusive environment to our UMass Chan community and our learners, who comprise the next generation of clinicians, scientists, and educators.

The Office of Health Equity fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion in faculty recruitment, career advancement, and long-term retention at UMass Chan through a portfolio of programs and strategies including pipeline programs, broad outreach, cluster hire initiatives, and compensation for health equity contributions. Our office also supports equity and inclusion in advancement opportunities for all faculty through mentoring and structured programs such as the Investigator Career Advancement Program (iCAP).

Strategic Goal: Community and Global Impact

The Office of Health Equity is home to the emerging Health Equity Collaborative, supporting the expansion and advancement of cross-disciplinary health equity research and scholarship across the three schools of UMass Chan. This collaborative, led by Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, will coalesce our faculty, learners, and surrounding communities to reduce health disparities experienced by disadvantaged local and global populations through generation and dissemination of research. This collaborative was established to support the greater institutional commitment to improving health equity on a local and global scale, and was possible due to a five million dollar institutional investment.

Our office is a central hub for promoting UMass Chan’s institutional goals around health equity. We collaborate with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Faculty Affairs, clinical and basic science departments, and the entire UMass Chan community to support a climate of inclusive excellence via programs, policies and practices that embrace and enrich all faculty, students, staff and administrators in accordance with our institution’s values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

circular portrait of woman with shoulder-length dark hair, wearing a gray blazer, standing in front of some foliage and smiling

 Dr. Milagros C. Rosal
 Vice Provost for Health Equity
 Imoigele P. Aisiku, MD Chair
 in Health Equity and Diversity
 Professor, Division of Preventive
 and Behavioral Medicine

Health Equity Faculty & Staff

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