Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the RUSH Department of Family Medicine
While medicine is a calling of the highest ideals of service to others, the history of medicine in the United States is filled with innumerable examples of the abuse and discrimination of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Americans, women and people of all gender identities, people of varying abilities, religions, sexual orientations, immigration status, nationalities, and socioeconomic statuses. This is in addition to the structural barriers preventing those Americans from participating positively in the health care system as either healers or patients.
We believe that it is essential to begin by acknowledging that history of oppression and its legacy, which in healthcare manifests in gross discrepancies in life expectancies particularly of Black and Brown vs. White Americans.
The Department of Family Medicine is committed to being anti-racist and intentional about recognizing bias in our work, with the overall goal of addressing and eradicating the root causes of health inequities.
The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine believes optimal and equitable health care is a right. The department will advance primary health care for all, mindful of the need to dismantle years of systemic racism and bias that have contributed to health inequities.
Through the implementation of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ideals throughout all aspects of our work, the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine will become a leader in Academic medicine, conducting high quality, culturally responsive clinical care, research, education/ training, and community and patient engagement in family medicine in order to promote optimal health for all people within the communities we serve.
- We aim to develop a foundation of DEI ideals throughout the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine that will focus on reducing health disparities and the promotion of health equity through clinical care, research, education/training and community engagement.
- We aim to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the department in terms of faculty, allied health staff, trainees, clinical practice and research.
- We aim to engage appropriate stakeholders within the community, our patients served, our learners, department members and colleagues in order to hold ourselves accountable and maintain a culture of ongoing evaluation of our program and to disseminate findings and best practices on a national level.
Our Commitment to Action
1. Conduct education and training for faculty, staff and trainees related to cultural responsiveness, addressing institutional racism, bias, equity and health disparities/health equity. Mentor and train family medicine health care providers to become culturally responsive clinicians, educators, and researchers in the area of health disparities, health equity, diversity and inclusion.
2. Create equitable policies that support culturally responsive recruitment, retention and promotion of faculty, staff, medical students, and trainees with the purpose of enhancing the diversity, equity and inclusivity of faculty, staff, medical students and trainees.
3. Enhance clinical practice related to addressing health disparities, cultural responsiveness, equity and inclusion in the delivery of health care through education, policies and evidence,
4. Engage in high-quality research focused on health disparities, health equity, cultural responsiveness, diversity, and inclusion with specific emphasis on historically oppressed patient and community populations across the life span.
5. Partner with community organizations to support and create community and patient outreach and engagement activities and develop community resources related to addressing health disparities, with the aim of promoting equity in outcomes in family medicine.
The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine recognizes and acknowledges that we live and work in the land of the Peoria, Miami, Kickapoo, and Potawatomi Nations.
This land was the traditional territory of these Native Nations prior to their forced removal. The descendants of these Nations live on today, carrying the stories of their struggles for survival and identity. Healing requires that we keep this history in mind as we work to improve primary health care for all of the communities we serve.