New Diversity and Inclusion Hub launched to address disparities in health care

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – an international leader in medical and scientific training, biomedical research, and patient care – today announced the launch of a new Diversity and Inclusion Hub, a groundbreaking initiative spearheaded by the Mount Sinai's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This endeavor – known as the DIH – will serve as an incubator for cutting-edge ideas, utilize the latest technology and data, and represents a first-of-its-kind effort among medical institutions to diversify the pipeline as a career path while using innovation and technology to address social determinants of health in our surrounding communities.

As medical and research institutions around the country look to solve inequities and mitigate disparities in health care, we hope this project will become a model for others nationwide. To close long-standing gaps, we all need to innovate – and we need to engage local stakeholders in the process. At the Icahn School of Medicine, we've taken many steps to ensure that diversity and inclusion remain a central part of our mission as an institution, and we're now building on that work. The DIH is a truly groundbreaking project, and I would like to thank Dr. Gary Butts, our Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, for spearheading it.

Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

We need to diversify medicine and ensure diverse participation in the innovation space in order to ensure quality care for underserved communities. Equity – be it for our staff, students, or patients – is vital to making our work a success. The Diversity Innovation Hub is a novel step forward in that effort. It's our hope that this will not only be a difference-maker for the neighborhoods surrounding Mount Sinai, but that it will meaningfully and intentionally further diversify our innovation and health care industries. No other medical institutions nationwide are doing this work, in this way, and we hope this will become a model for all to replicate.

Gary C. Butts, MD, Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy, and Community Affairs

As the DIH positions the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a continuing leader in the area, it will have several goals. First, it will aim to further the inclusion of people of color and women in health care innovation. Second, the existence of the DIH will allow the Mount Sinai community and its community partners to identify and use innovation and technology towards meaningful solutions in health care. Third, it will create a brain-trust to tackle problems and advance diversity and inclusion with innovative approaches on an ongoing and sustainable basis.

To accomplish those goals, the DIH will create a variety of design teams – one for students, one for trainees, one for administrative fellows, one for staff, and one for community leaders and stakeholders – designed to use the hub as an incubator for new ideas, identify resources, and consider new investments to advance health care. The first phase of the DIH, which launches on October 14, will provide mentorship, training, and networking opportunities for those students and staff.

In addition to trainings focused on issues such as health care tech and bias, a multi-layered fellowship program will be offered to medical students and will serve as an ideas accelerator for addressing social determinants in health for underserved communities. As students and their teams pitch ideas for closing social problems relating to equity, the best ideas incubated within the DIH will be connected with partners to support and invest in their concepts. The second phase of the program will lead to those ideas coming into fruition through pilot projects and demonstration work in various communities to address social determinants in health care.

Through the community design team, the DIH hopes to partner with key leaders and stakeholders in East and Central Harlem, Mount Sinai's surrounding neighborhood, like 100 Black Men of New York, Silicon Harlem, local business leaders and entrepreneurs, and others. By engaging local community leaders, the DIH will aim to identify gaps in local health care delivery– and identify technological or data-driven solutions to close them.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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