Under the leadership of Dr. Julie Freischlag, our first woman CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity will continue to build upon these efforts to achieve excellence in inclusion and health equity for all. In September 2021, Jakki Opollo, PhD, was named Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.
This office will work collaboratively with various departments and groups within our organization such as the Women In Medicine and Science, the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, CTSI Programs in Community Engagement, and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity as well as our community partners to uphold our Diversity Core Value to Honor Individuality and Protect the Dignity of All. This core value is demonstrated through creating an inclusive environment for our staff, faculty, trainees, students, patients and families.
The Year of Inclusion Council developed goals and strategies that focus on critically examining what and how we do things, and understanding opportunities to do things differently, specifically in ways that are more inclusive.
We know that the best way to have a lasting impact is to create systems, policies and practices that live on.
With this in mind, the goals of the Year of Inclusion focused in three areas that we continue to use today:
- Elevate the voices of those who have been traditionally underrepresented. We recognize that there are many voices that need to be heard. Formal structures through Affinity Groups (similar to employee resource groups) as well as a Staff Council will provide opportunities for leadership and voice into the organization.
- Educate to provide opportunities to develop new and enhance existing skills and abilities. As a learning health system, we want to prepare people to know how to do better by giving them an opportunity to know better by learning.
- Energize refers to the way that we can motivate and inspire people to become agents of change and advocates for inclusion within their areas of influence through professional development and education opportunities, reward and recognition, highlighting and sharing examples of what others are doing to demonstrate that we all must play a part for institutional changes.