Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Workgroup on Diversity, Inclusiveness and Healthcare Equity:
The University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is committed to a culture of openness, civility and respect, employing and training a diverse workforce (staff, residents and faculty), and providing equitable healthcare to any person in need of our expertise.
Studies have proven that the highest quality healthcare is delivered when the healthcare workforce is broadly representative of our society. However, a diverse workforce alone will not guarantee high-quality teaching, healthcare, or research. Nor will diversity alone ensure a positive and productive workplace culture. The keys to a successful workplace culture begin with recognizing and respecting the differences in backgrounds, experiences and needs of our colleagues and our patients. Only then can we begin to optimally address the critical issues that are encompassed by the term “social justice” - these issues include equity in hiring and training, as well as equity in access to high-quality healthcare.
While social justice has been an important part of the mission of UW Medicine since its founding, the effort to codify and focus these efforts goes at least as far back as 2010, when the Dean of the School of Medicine, Paul Ramsey, created the Diversity Strategic Planning Committee (DSPC). While diversity and inclusion are important moral values in and of themselves, adhering to these values and encoding them in our “departmental DNA” will result in a more collegial, productive and creative work environment and this should translate into more effective teaching, research and care of the public. This effort will ideally lead to a self-reinforcing enhancement of departmental diversity, and a department where any person can find care for any orthopaedic condition in need of our compassion and skill. To this end the Department has formed a Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup that includes residents, staff and faculty.
Our mission statement to guide these efforts is “The University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is committed to a culture of openness, civility and respect, employing and training a diverse workforce (staff, residents and faculty), and providing equitable healthcare to any person in need of our expertise.” I look forward to providing future updates on this important topic.
Howard A. Chansky, MD