Diversity should be a core element in the tool belt of our country’s health system and not just the end goal, the chief diversity officer for the Association of American Medical Schools (AAMC) said Monday, Sept. 26, during a special presentation on diversity at the UMKC School of Medicine.
Mark Nivet, Ed.D., spoke on “Diversity as a Valued Component of Health Systems Innovation.” He said that leaders in the health care professions have talked about the importance and value of diversity for years but that still hasn’t translated into overall change and success in achieving the ultimate objective of health equity for all people.(Listen to excerpts of Mark Nivet’s diversity lecture)
“The question I would ask is what’s the job you’re hiring diversity to do,” Nivet said. “Why do you want diversity? What is it that you think that diversity of your class, of your faculty, of your staff is going to do for you? Why is it so important to you? I think every institution needs to answer that question for themselves.”
Nivet said that diversity and inclusion, or including and making use of cultural differences within the health care institutions, should be tools used to address the broad array of health inequities.
“I think we are really high on using diversity to do what the mission statement of my organization (the AAMC) is and probably the mission statement of just about every health professional school out there is, and that is to improve health for all,” Nivet said.