By Chris Carmody
Nov. 17, 2022 | LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has again been chosen as a recipient of the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
UAMS is among 63 recipients that will be featured in the magazine’s December issue. The university first received the INSIGHT Into Diversity honor in 2021.
The national award recognizes health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. UAMS received the additional honor of being named a “Diversity Champion,” having scored in the top tier of all HEED Award winners.
“To be recognized as a champion for diversity is a testament to the time and effort that UAMS and the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI) have invested in creating programs for the benefit of our faculty, staff, students and patients,” said Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPA, the vice chancellor for DDEI. “This award reflects UAMS’ position as a national leader in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.”
HEED Award recipients go through an application process that includes questions about their recruitment and retention of students and employees, leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion. Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said the publication rigorously reviews each application and maintains a high standard for the institutions it chooses.
UAMS’ application highlighted its student- and employee-led organizations that work to make the campus a more inclusive place for veterans, individuals with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community. It also noted DDEI’s commitment to making health care careers attainable for students across Arkansas, especially those from underrepresented or underserved groups. The division’s outreach initiatives serve children from kindergarten through 12th grade as well as students in undergraduate programs.
“These initiatives have thrived because of the support we’ve received from members of the UAMS community,” Gittens said. “It’s the leaders, faculty and students who make it possible for us to continue cultivating an environment that’s inclusive for all individuals.”UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,240 students, 913 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 11,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.