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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

June 23, 2022

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In November 2020, Inginia Genao, MD, and other department leaders received the strategic plan prepared by the Barthwell Group, which included input from 67 faculty and trainees in addition to Diversity Committee members and department leadership. This report was presented at the November 9, 2020 faculty meeting.

The goals of the plan are:

  • Enhance recruitment and retention
  • Recognize the importance of DEI activities in terms of professional recognition
  • Increase long-term DEI education and professional development efforts
  • Ensure DEI accountability and transparency

In December 2020, in support of the strategic plan, the department leadership announced the creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Internal Medicine (ODEIM). As part of the new office, each section designated a vice chief of DEI. Three new staff were hired in support of the new office in the summer and fall of 2021. Johanna Elumn, MSW, PhD, associate research scientist, joined the ODEIM to assist with qualitative and quantitative research on our DEI-related activities. The new Program Manager, Cayetana Navarro, MBA, PMP, immediately began to support the work to restructure the overall department's Diversity Committee with the creation of individual working groups focused on specific areas of the strategic plan. Shivhan Allen joined the department as a senior administrative assistant in October 2021.

In July, the newly appointed vice chiefs met for the first time, facilitated by Doug McKinley, a leadership coach and clinical psychologist, to discuss how to move forward as a group supporting the department’s DEI strategic plan. Since September, the working groups have started to meet and map their mission, goals, and objectives. The search for staff representatives to further enhance this task has begun. They will join the two current members, Rebecca Cardone and Helen Siuzdak.

Working Groups

  • Innovation led by George Agyapong, MD
  • Early Pipeline led by Carmen Canales
  • Faculty Recruitment led by David Fiellin, MD, and Laura Whitley
  • Trainee Recruitment led by Jorge Moreno, MD, and Ricardo Avendaño, MD
  • Retention led by Lydia Aoun-Barakat, MD, and Rosa Munoz Xicola, PhD
  • Funding & Resources led by Jaimie Meyer, MD, MS, and E. Jennifer Edelman, MD, MHS
  • Data & Metrics led by Edward Manning, MD, PhD, and Johanna Elumn, MSW, PhD
  • PR/Marketing led by Hillary Drumm, APRN, RN, MPH, and Lauren Tobias, MD
  • Education & Scholarship led by Isabel Bazan, MD


In September 2020, a monthly department-wide message, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update,” was launched with support from the department communications team to keep the department informed about DEI activities. To further highlight the department’s DEI efforts, the monthly column “Voices of DEI” was created in May 2021 to give department faculty and staff an opportunity to share their thoughts on the importance of DEI.

In August 2021, Navarro launched a new diversity website with updates and all new content, including an intranet, a list of papers published by Yale faculty on DEI topics, and News and Events pages. In addition, all new sections were created for each of the working groups.

To support the communication, coordination, and collaboration of these groups with the broader at-large committee and the vice chiefs, a Microsoft Teams group has been created with individual channels for all the working groups.

Education & Training

The Section of Infectious Diseases launched its ID2EA curriculum at its November 16, 2020 section retreat with a presentation titled “Stronger Together.” The ID2EA team has designed their curriculum with trainings called roadstops. The section has completed eight roadstops to date.

The new Race, Bias, and Advocacy (RBAM) Distinction Pathway was launched in the fall term of 2021. This pathway includes a curriculum for PGY-2 residents to help them understand, combat, and reflect on racism and structural / cultural bias experienced through the health care system, medical education, and physician practice. In addition, residents will partner with the Greater New Haven community. RBAM is co-directed by Aba Black, MD, MHS, and Stephen Holt, MD, MS.

Recruitment and Looking Forward

On January 28, 2021, Yale New Haven Hospital’s Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME), Yale School of Medicine's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Yale New Haven Health’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Yale School of Medicine’s Minority Organization for Recruitment & Expansion and Diversity, Inclusion, Community, Engagement, and Equity co-sponsored the fourth annual recruitment dinner for future potential underrepresented in medicine (URiM) residents. Interested potential residents across 20 residency programs within the GME participated in the virtual dinner, which drew 370 participants. Efforts to increase total URiM residency matching like this event proved successful, with the incoming intern class rising from 11% to 24% URiM.

In April, the first Medical Morning was held on Zoom. Medical Mornings is an outreach series encouraging New Haven children in grades 6 - 12 to pursue careers in health care. Mahalia Desruisseaux, MD; David Smith, MD; and Heidi Zapata, MD, PhD, shared their pathways to their current careers. Participants were able to interact with these physicians and ask questions about their work and lives.

Collecting and analyzing DEI data for the department as well as individual sections has begun. This work will support benchmarking and efforts to focus on the greatest need going forward. In order to include fellowship applicants in our recruitment efforts, we launched virtually the inaugural Fall 2021 URiM Recruitment Dinner for Pediatric and Internal Medicine URiM fellowship applicants. This event was attended by 110 people, of which 47 were applicants. Our plan is to extend this event to other fellowship applicants across GME.

The fifth annual URiM recruitment event was in January 2022. The ODEIM team, in conjunction with the GME office and other collaborators, worked to make the virtual event more interactive.

Submitted by Julie Parry on June 24, 2022