About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Behavioral Science

Why DEI in BSC

“The faculty, staff and students of the Department of Behavioral Science have a shared mission of encouraging diversity and inclusivity and promoting equity in health and community.  Our Department has committed to impact diversity, equity and inclusivity during the current academic year by establishing a White Coats for Black Lives Fellowship program for medical students and creating a new administrative role - Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The Director will serve as both the Chair of the Department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and as a College of Medicine Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador.” -Thomas H. Kelly, PhD, Chair, Department of Behavioral Science 

Mission Statement

Established in 2019, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is an action-oriented group composed of a diverse representation of six faculty members and two staff members from the Department of Behavioral Science. The DEI Council will provide leadership, accountability, and recommendations to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment within the Department of Behavioral Science. The DEI Council’s mission is grounded in broad principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to academic medicine, and more specifically behavioral science

Working Definitions

Diversity as a core value embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives and serves as a catalyst for change. In this context, the DEI Council is mindful of all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability, and age.

Equity is a condition achieved when everyone has the opportunity to attain their full potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially-determined circumstance.

Inclusion is a core element for successfully achieving diversity. Inclusion is achieved by nurturing the climate and culture of the institution through professional development, education, policy, and practice. The objective is creating a climate that fosters belonging, respect, and value for all and encourages engagement and connection throughout the department.

Thailandria Daniels

WCBL Fellowship Project Summary

The overall purpose of this research project is to understand and identify priorities to improve the occupational climate among physicians in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine with regard to their experience of stress, career satisfaction, and perceived diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI). We will compare and contrast stress, satisfaction, and perceived DEI of UK by physician race (i.e., white vs. non-white) and examine physician perspectives on strategies to recruit and retain more diverse physicians at UK.  To accomplish this, we plan to conduct a ~10-minute, one-time, anonymous online survey of 200 physician faculty at UK.  Physicians will be recruited through existing UK listservs. Results of this study will inform priorities for initiatives to improve career satisfaction and occupational wellness among UK physicians, particularly among underrepresented minority physicians. Results will also inform priorities for policy reform and program development to achieve a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. This research is not only timely, but essential for both the current and aspiring physician population.

Megan Stewart

WCBL Fellowship Project Summary

 Research has shown that Black women are three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than White women. Because Black women, on average, have more chronic conditions, physicians may need to spend more time with them to ensure they are not showing symptoms of severe pregnancy-related conditions. Enlisting certified nurse-midwives to bridge the gap between patient and physician may be beneficial. However, little is known about the acceptability of nurse-midwife care among African American women. To address this gap in the literature, this study will observe Black women’s acceptability of utilizing nurse-midwives as part of their care by examining their knowledge of and attitudes towards nurse-midwife care by conducting online surveys with Black women of childbearing age who are pregnant, have been pregnant, or plan to be pregnant. Participants will be recruited from medical clinics and community organizations in Fayette County (n = 75). Analysis will focus on examining (1) sociodemographic factors that are associated with greater knowledge of and the acceptability of nurse-midwife care; and (2) examining how women’s first-hand experience and awareness by word-of-mouth through their social networks of positive and negative interactions with medical providers are associated with the acceptability of nurse-midwife care.

Contact Information