2018 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity

Date Posted: Monday, January 22, 2018

Catarina Kiefe, PhD, MD – chaired an ad hoc workgroup on Underrepresented Minorities in Academic Health Sciences. They advanced the discussion of the lack of diversity and the current entities/activities poised to address it and made several recommendations to Executive Council. The Chancellor’s award was presented to Catarina and her workgroup at the Annual Tribute to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on January 22, 2018. Click here to read the full UMassMed article.

Chancellor's Award - January 22, 2018

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity was presented to the Executive Council Ad Hoc Working Group on Underrepresented Minorities in Academic Medicine. Convened in 2016, the group acted as the catalyst for a series of diversity summits, which have resulted in a solid infrastructure built at UMMS to achieve the full benefits of diversity. An implementation committee chaired by Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, continues to advance the ongoing diversity initiative.

Chair Catarina Kiefe, PhD, MD, the Melvin S. and Sandra L. Cutler Chair in Biomedical Research and chair and professor of quantitative health sciences, and Deborah Plummer, PhD, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, led the working group. Members are Jennifer Berryman, vice chancellor for communications; Vivian Budnik, PhD, the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair and chair and professor of neurobiology; Sonia Chimienti, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine; Robert Finberg, MD, the Richard M. Haidack Professor of Medicine and chair and professor of medicine; Maria Garcia, MD, MPH, professor of medicine; Mark Johnson, MD, PhD, the Maroun Semaan Chair in Neurosurgery and chair and professor of neurosurgery; Mary Lee, MD, the Stoddard Chair of Pediatrics and chair and professor of pediatrics; Brian Lewis, PhD, associate professor of molecular, cell & cancer biology; Joyce Murphy, executive vice chancellor for Commonwealth Medicine; Judith Ockene, PhD, MEd, the Barbara Helen Smith Chair in Preventive & Behavioral Medicine and professor of medicine; Michelle Pugnaire, MD, professor of family medicine & community health; Max Rosen, MD, MPH, chair and professor of radiology; Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, chair and professor of ophthalmology; Celia Schiffer, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and director of the Institute for Drug Resistance at UMass Medical School; Vijay Vanguri, MD, associate professor of pathology; and Robert Weinstein, MD, professor of medicine.

“This institution, like virtually every other medical school in the United States, aspires to increase the number of individuals from groups underrepresented in medicine. While the issue itself is well understood, it takes leadership, engagement, commitment and action to implement a multilayered response to a multifaceted problem,” Collins said. “This group’s ability to mobilize support; engage faculty, staff and students; and develop a concrete roadmap to measurable success is an example of what leaders do. The result is an infrastructure demonstrating the potency and power of diverse teams to generate more ideas, make positive changes and help to advance great institutions.”