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Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research

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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access

To enhance CCDOR’s community with respect to its employees and working environment, CCDOR began three DEI workgroups during 2022. Each group has established leadership, membership, and goals.

The Diversity Workgroup members include Collin Calvert, Emily Campbell, Elisheva Danan, Alex Gowdy-Jaehnig, Adam Kaplan, Robert Orazem, Katie Sowerby, Naushil Sridhar, Gloria Wang and Gloria Yang. The Workgroup’s overall objective is to continue and expand CCDOR’s efforts to recruit and retain staff, investigators, fellows, and Without Compensation (WOC) staff from diverse backgrounds. The Workgroup has four goals: 1) develop and implement a plan for CCDOR to recruit and hire more diverse job candidates, 2) create and implement plan to retain CCDOR employees from all backgrounds, 3) identify and provide diversity educational opportunities and resources for CCDOR employees, and 4) review and revise DEIA statement biannually. To date, the Diversity Workgroup has engaged CCDOR stakeholders in the creation of a DEIA statement and completed a literature review to identify strategies to recruit and hire more diverse job candidates.

The Center for Care Delivery and Outcomes Research (CCDOR) strives to foster an inclusive and accessible work environment that honors its employees’ diverse identities, perspectives, backgrounds, values, and cultural practices. We believe that a diverse workforce enriches our research teams and the quality of our research to improve health and healthcare delivery for all. CCDOR is deeply committed to just treatment, equitable opportunity, accessibility, and cultivating a community based on respect for everyone. 

To achieve this, CCDOR encourages applicants of all races, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, ages, ancestries, religious practices, socioeconomic backgrounds, and various work experiences to apply for our center positions. CCDOR welcomes applicants with current or former military service.

The Equity Workgroup is co-led by Brittany Majeski and Ali Woodward-Abel. Members include Maylen Anthony, Lee Cross, Andrea Cutting, Patrick Hammett, Donald Lemon, Brent Taylor, Steffi Yang and Nick Zerzan. In December 2021, CCDOR conducted a needs assessment that covered several areas, including DEI. CCDOR employees expressed a need for more equitable opportunities, particularly for project staff. As such, the Equity Workgroup’s overall objective is to improve equity for CCDOR project staff (research assistants, study coordinators, and project managers) through transparency and shared knowledge. To move CCDOR toward this objective, the Workgroup’s goals are to 1) develop and disseminate a Career Development FAQ guide for project staff and their supervisors, and 2) develop a Project Staff Peer Advisory Program that would provide CCDOR project staff access to opportunities to connect with other project staff as a way to obtain professional development support, collaborate, and share knowledge. The workgroup disseminated the Career Development FAQ Guide in 2023 and launched the Project Staff Peer Advisory Program in Spring 2024.

Emma Bromley and Rachel Keenan co-lead the Inclusion Workgroup. Members include Leah Aamot, Erin Amundson, Mallee Argust, Allison Gustavson, Emily Hudson, Lisa Langestmo, Adrienne Landsteiner and Hanna Lefchak. The Workgroup’s goal is to co-design, implement, and sustain processes and actions to increase community, given the “new normal” hybrid workplace environment. After building a common base of knowledge and soliciting input on workplace values from across CCDOR, the Inclusion Workgroup has begun planning and launching multiple activities, including: developing a “buddy system” for new employees and fellows; hosting a variety of virtual and in-person, drop-in social activities – walk breaks, coffee breaks, chat & treats; and launching a lightly moderated MS Teams @ CCDOR Community channel to create a virtual ‘common space’ in CCDOR’s work environment that supports informal communication and connections across the center. 

CCDORians have also helped to spread DEI efforts beyond VA. Dr. Shahnaz Sultan was named the Vice Chair of the newly-created DEI Council in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Along with Associate Vice Chair Dr. Cuong Pham, Dr. Sultan is helping to lead the charge to build community and promote DEI-related work within the Department of Medicine. Faculty and staff from each of the Divisions have been selected to serve on the Council. Drs. Sultan and Pham (along with collaborators from other departments) recently receiving funding from the Office of DEI to better understand how DEI is valued in the promotion and tenure process. Initial work has focused on a systematic review of the published literature to identify modifications to the Promotion and Tenure criteria as well as a review of statements from a range of medical institutions to identify best practices or innovations.