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Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Launches Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Web Portal

August 05, 2021
by Abigail Roth

In late April 2021, Yale School of Medicine’s (YSM) Cushing/Whitney Medical Library (CWML) launched a new webpage that aggregates the library’s expanding diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) resources. The page currently has links to eight different collections of information, each of which was developed independently and many of which CWML librarians curate in partnership with various YSM departments.

CWML librarians have been collaborating with students, faculty, and researchers for years to develop webpages providing DEIB resources, such as pages focused on disability studies, LGBTQI+ health, and the history of race and disease in American medicine. However, Clinical Research & Education Librarian Melissa Funaro, MLS, MS, explains that starting in spring 2020, the library saw an increase in the requests for and creation of such content.

Dana Haugh, MLS, web services librarian & coordinator of marketing and communications, organized a CWML session to brainstorm about how best to address these requests. Haugh credits Funaro with suggesting the creation of the DEIB webpage. Funaro explains that as these resources began to proliferate, “it became clear there was a need to bring these pages together to create a jumping off page to these types of resources.” CWML’s decision to create the portal was validated when members of the Psychiatry Department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee asked about accessing DEI resources from a single page.

Funaro emphasizes the website is a work in progress, as the need for these resources will continue to grow and change. The CWML welcomes new content for existing webpages, as well as ideas for new resource categories. (Contact Research and Education Librarian Courtney Brombosz, MLS, PgDip, or department librarians, with ideas, questions, or concerns.)

A new DEIB resource developed last spring was the Race and Racism in Health Care webpage. In early June 2020, Max Jordan Nguemeni Tiako, MS, MD ’21, reached out to CWML’s Head of Academic Research and Education, Judy Spak, MLS, requesting a CWML webpage that gave researchers a place to start when researching race and racism, specifically as it related to medical education, health care disparities, clinical research, and health care technology.

With content help from Tiako and Anna Reisman, MD, professor and director, Program for Humanities in Medicine, the CWML was able to launch the webpage that month—and has continued to update it regularly as new scholarship and media becomes available. The page has grown to include curricula and syllabi, podcasts, bibliographies, data sets, information about how to search the literature, and thought leadership from the Yale community.

Brombosz, who manages the Race and Racism in Health Care page, explains that the CWML believes it “plays an important role in continuing the conversation of social injustice and this page attempts to highlight and provide easy access to the seminal works of scholarship on racism in health care.” She adds that while the page is not intended to be exhaustive or complete, “we hope it provides a solid foundation for those who are starting their research journey.” As of August 3, 2021, the page had been viewed 7,829 times since its June 12, 2020 launch.

Soon after the Race and Racism in Health Care page was created, CWML librarians began to receive requests for more tailored DEI resource pages, and they began collaborating with the requestors to build out the new pages.

Reflecting on the DEIB portal, Funaro notes that since DEIB resources are multifaceted, they must create resources that are multifaceted. “It takes a team of dedicated librarians, students, researchers, and faculty to make this happen,” she says, adding “we hope this page serves as portal to the multifaceted world of DEIB.”

Submitted by Abigail Roth on August 05, 2021