The Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, faculty, staff, and its stakeholders continually participate in community outreach, speaker series, symposiums and implementation of health equity initiatives that reflect the vision and mission of the office to create a climate of equity and inclusion reflected in structures, policies and practices; the diversity of the UC Davis Health community; the attitudes and values of our members and leaders; and the quality of our interpersonal relationships. This frequently updated list provides a snapshot of activities and news throughout the year.

June 2021

President Drake announces Juneteenth a new UC holiday
Yesterday President Biden declared a federal holiday for Juneteenth, the day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This is an historic moment for our nation — 156 years in the making.
Full announcement

UC Davis and UC Davis Health recognized by Forbes as one of best employers for diversity in 2021
Dear Colleagues, Congratulations! Both UC Davis & UC Davis Health have been recognized by Forbes yet again as one of the best employers for diversity in 2021. This recognition reflects the hard work and dedication our staff puts in to creating a workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive of all people. In 2020, UC Davis Health ranked #101 amongst a list of 500 employers throughout the nation. This year our rank increased to #59, well ahead of Kaiser, which was the only other healthcare organization in California to make the list. Our improved ranking showcases that the efforts we’re making to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization is working.
Full article

May 2021

May 25, 2021

UC Davis Dateline: A Year of Action in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
UC Davis answers Chancellor May's call for collective effort, Vice Chancellor Tull describes a "doubling down" in programs and other resources, and departments and units recognize achievements reflecting on the past year.
Full article

May 19, 2021

UC Davis Health drops race-based reference ranges from a standard kidney test

Race-based reference ranges will no longer be part of a test routinely used to check a patient’s kidney health. UC Davis Health is one of the first in the nation to make the change to the estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR.

Megan Byrne, who graduated from the School of Medicine in 2020, helped inspire the elimination of race-based reference ranges from a test routinely used to check how well a patient’s kidneys are functioning. Presentation for Race and Health course spurs change for common test

In this Q&A, Bisrat Woldemichael, a fourth-year medical student at UC Davis School of Medicine, recounts how the candid and challenging Juneteenth conversation last year sparked action. Juneteenth discussion of health inequities helps lead to change for common test
Full press release

May 18, 2021

UC Davis Health among 78 institutions selected to participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers
Hosted by individual colleges and universities, and in partnership with AAC&U, TRHT Campus Centers pursue the shared goal of preparing the next generation of leaders and thinkers to break down racial hierarchies and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value. Each center implements its own visionary action plan, based on the TRHT framework, to promote racial healing through campus-community engagement. The AAC&U Institute on TRHT Campus Centers is designed both to support the ongoing work of existing centers and to provide an introduction to the TRHT effort for institutions interested in hosting a new campus center.
More information

National Nurses Week at UC Davis Health
In celebration of National Nurses Day check out Fox40's Healthy Minute, new Advancing Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Blog post written by Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, Ph.D., RN, CNE, FAAN, and join us in congratulating Asssitant Nurse Manager at UC Davis Health, and Secretary for the Capitol City Black Nurses Association Aron King, RN, M.S., on the recent publication of The Diaries of a Resilient Black Nurse!

May 4, 2021

MIND Institute honored by Chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts
The UC Davis MIND Institute received a department-wide award from the UC Davis Chancellor’s Office for its significant efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion. Recent efforts include grants, healing circles and outreach to the medically underserved.
News release and video

'An awesome change agent'
Victoria Ngo, a Health Systems and Community Leadership Postdoctoral Fellow at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, received the UC Davis Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community for her postdoctoral research.
News release and video

May 1, 2021 - 2021 Hibbard Williams Extraordinary Achievement Award to Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola
The award is intended to recognize a broad range of accomplishments such as public service or lifetime achievement that brings distinction to the university. The School of Medicine created the Hibbard Williams Award to honor exceptional contributions by faculty, academic staff and administrators that do not clearly fall into the categories of teaching or research. It is very easy to see that Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola embodies the very spirit of this award and we invite you to celebrate this momentous occasion with us!

April 2021

April 30, 2021 - UC Davis students launch COVID-19 vaccine clinic and administer 7,600 doses
The student-run Shifa Community Clinic decided to set up a vaccination site to expand access to the shot. The effort by UC Davis undergraduates and medical students has delivered more than 7,000 vaccine doses at a downtown Sacramento mosque.
Full news article

April 23, 2021 - NEW DEI Webpage - Caring for Our Community: Processing and Responding
Dear friends,
On Tuesday, Derek Chauvin was formally convicted for the murder of George Floyd. Prior to the verdict, Black communities grieved and despite the weight of such grief, they courageously marched to demand justice and humanity. Communities from across the country and from all cultural groups rallied around them in numbers unprecedented in recent memory. Full statement

Introducing the new Senior Director of Institutional Culture, Climate and Community Engagement
We are pleased to announce that Ceasor Dennis has joined the HEDI teams as the new Senior Director of Institutional Culture, Climate and Community Engagement. He brings to this role a wealth of expertise and leadership in addressing core issues of importance including social and racial justice, health equity and the social determinants of health. Mr. Dennis is also experienced in developing and implementing strategies grounded in transformative learning opportunities and programs that move organizations towards inclusion, equity, and growth. As the Senior Director of Institutional Culture, Climate & Community Engagement, Mr. Dennis is responsible for leading the efforts that will continue to transition UC Davis Health in becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist, and multicultural organization that values and actualizes health equity, diversity and inclusion, and integrates the Principles of Community across our tri-part mission. Mr. Dennis will be working directly with leadership and across educational and training programs to address our campus culture/climate, professional leadership and development, as well as community and stakeholder engagement needs. We are delighted to have him join UC Davis Health and our HEDI team.

March 2021

Latino vaccination initiative boosted by UC Davis Health partnership
A community partnership involving UC Davis Health is offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment at the Consulate of Mexico in Sacramento. The clinic is open to anyone eligible under health guidelines to receive the vaccine, but organizers at a news conference Monday stressed the need for Latinos to get inoculated. “Latinos, unfortunately and tragically enough, have been disproportionately represented in that they are 40 percent of the population of California, they have over 60 percent of COVID infections and close to 50 percent of deaths of COVID-19,” said Mexican Consul General Liliana Ferrer.
Full article

Be Heard! HEDI Blog - Accepting Submissions for Future Posts
The Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is now accepting Blog Article Submissions from students, faculty, staff, and community members that provide relevant and timely insight into topics related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for our readers.
Information and submission instructions

February 2021

Partnership with Opening Doors, Inc. one example of 'Anchor Institution Misson' in action
Anchor Institution Mission (AIM) for Community Health seeks to harness the advantages of being Sacramento County’s second-largest employer to increase community wealth-building and strengthen the social infrastructure for the communities in our vicinity. The areas surrounding the Sacramento campus have been underserved for decades; AIM is just one way UC Davis Health is working to reverse systemic/structural racism and discrimination, in close allyship with impacted communities.

To learn more, join us on Friday, Feb. 25 at the UC Davis Health Virtual Small and Diverse Supplier Expo. This event aims to promote awareness of small and diverse suppliers in the Davis and Sacramento areas and build understanding of how UC Davis departments can do business with them.
Full news release

COVID-19, Structural Racism, and Mental Health Inequities: Policy Implications for an Emerging Syndemic
Recent article published by Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H. to Psychiatry Online.
Full article

Alumni Couple Establish Endowed Chair, UC Davis’ 1st in African American Studies
Alumni and longtime university supporters Lois and Darryl Goss are creating a presidential chair in African American and African studies at the University of California, Davis, to provide sustained funding for teaching, research and outreach about the history and culture of communities of African descent around the world.
Full article

January 2021

Dr. David Tom Cooke featured in Black California Surgeon at UC Davis Health 'walks the walk' on virus vaccine by the Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Dr. David Tom Cooke says his choice to participate in a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine is like his grandmother’s decision to leave the Jim Crow South to work in California’s naval shipyards during World War II. She was determined to contribute even though the country didn’t recognize her as worthy of full rights.
Full article

December 2020

New Associate Dean for Diverse and Inclusive Learning Communities for the School of Medicine, Dr. Jorge A. Garcia, to start January, 2020
Dr. García is a distinguished faculty member, clinician, mentor, and a respected leader at UC Davis School of Medicine, most recently as Director in the Office of Student and Resident Diversity.  He has extensive expertise creating welcoming and inclusive learning environments that inspire and nurture students and trainees from all backgrounds to meet the health needs of the diverse communities we serve.  He shares and embodies our deep commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of education, science and health care. 
Full announcement

November 2020

Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola selected to serve on the California COVID-19 Vaccine Drafting Guidelines Workgroup
As part of California's initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, UC Davis School of Medicine, and Founding Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis Health, is among sixteen experts named to develop California-specific guidance for allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Full press release

Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Anchor Institution Mission webpage now LIVE!
Anchor institutions are nonprofit or public place-based entities such as universities and hospitals that are rooted in their local community by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, residents, and vendors.
Anchor Institution Mission for Community Health webpage

October 9, 2020 - UC Davis Campus Community Book Project (CCBP) announcement of program events
The UC Davis Campus Community Book Project (CCBP) is thrilled to announce our 2020-2021 program of events. In its nineteenth year, the book project focuses on the topic of mental health and features graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney. In support of our theme and selection, the Campus Community Book Project organizes a year-long program of lectures, panels, workshops, book discussions, film screenings, exhibits, performances, and more, which this year will be offered virtually via Zoom. We invite you to visit the Campus Community Book Project Events page and subscribe to our online calendar for up-to-date information on our programs and to register for events.

This year’s book project program reflects partnerships with nearly 40 campus and community collaborators. The Campus Community Book Project is especially proud to partner with First-Year Seminars, University Writing Program, and other departments and programs to encourage UC Davis instructors to teach the book project in coursework across the disciplines. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are all welcome to participate in the Campus Community Book Project. For more information on getting involved with the book project, or for any other questions, please contact us.

October 1, 2020

$3.7 million NIH grant awarded to UC Davis to offer free COVID-19 testing for Central Valley farmworkers
Four UC Davis research centers will share a $3.7 million grant to offer free COVID-19 testing for agricultural workers in the Central Valley, where the coronavirus pandemic has reached alarming levels, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced Wednesday. Farmworkers in four counties will benefit from free COVID-19 testing Farmworkers in four counties will benefit from free COVID-19 testing. The funding for the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center, Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), Center for Reducing Health Disparities and Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of a national strategy to improve COVID-19 testing for underserved and vulnerable populations.
Full Press Release


Disability Awareness Symposium and Accessibility Technology Fair
Save the dates! October is Disability Awareness Month and 2020 is the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This year, The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in partnership with the Disability Issues Administrative Awareness Committee (DIAAC) is hosting its annual symposium in the virtual world. Tune in from October 1-28 for vendor presentations weekly and a special Environmental Intolerances Awareness webinar.
Schedule of events


Partnership encourages Native Americans to pursue health care careers 
The UC Davis School of Medicine has joined with two other universities and a regional health board in a collaborative effort to increase the number of Native Americans practicing health care. The joint project, called Reimagine Indians into Medicine, or RISE, stands to substantially increase the total number of Native medical and health science students nationwide, which in turn can decrease health disparities and improve public health. “The UC Davis School of Medicine is firmly committed to reducing health disparities, and one of the most successful ways to achieve that is to matriculate more students from diverse backgrounds,” said Dr. Allison Brashear, Dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. “Studies show that students who belong to underrepresented minority groups are drawn to careers in medicine where they can care for underserved populations – which also happen to have the greatest health disparities.”
Read the full article


2020-2021 MIND Institute Diversity Awards
The UC Davis MIND Institute will fund several small grants (up to $1000 each) to UC Davis postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, medical students and undergraduates for research projects that address issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in the development, identification, care, and support of individuals with neurodevelopmental challenges and their families. The intent is to be quite broad and support all types of research that focus on the intersection of neurodevelopmental disabilities and issues specific to any group of individuals that is underrepresented, marginalized, discriminated against, or denied access to equal participation in our society.
Learn more

September 26, 2020 - Capitol City Black Nurses Association Scholarships
In honor of Dr. Kupiri Ackerman-Barger, Capitol City Black Nurses Association is recognizing her career dedicated to diversity and inclusion in higher level nursing education through the inagural Dr. Kupiri Ackerman-Barger African American Nursing Research Scholarship. Dr. Ackerman-Barger is a founding member of Capitol City Black Nurses Association and a huge catalyst in the creation of the organization. This scholarship is for graduate level nurses (i.e. MSN, NP, PhD) who are conducting or presenting nursing research/projects that has a focus/aim on African American health and the disparities that exist in the community.

The Capitol City Black Annual Scholarship, created for the purpose of mitigating financial hardship and to recognize the phenomenal community service work that many African American students complete, is for current nursing students who meet the application requirements upon submission. Student selection may range from Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) students all the way to Master prepared nursing student.

The Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with Capitol City Black Nurses Association, will sponsor the innagural Virtual Nursing Scholarship Event: Lifting As We Climb on Satruday, September 26th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


September 25, 2020 - Dr. David T. Cooke inducted as Associate Member in American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators
Congratulations to Dr. David T. Cooke, associate professor and section head of General Thoracic Surgery, who was inducted on September 25 as an associate member of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators! The American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™ was created to advance the science and practice of education teaching, learning, assessment, and scholarship across all specialties of surgery through innovation and promotion of the highest achievements in lifelong learning. The goal of the new ACS Academy of Master Surgeon Educators is to recognize and assemble renowned master surgeon educators who will work closely with the ACS Division of Education, to advance the science and practice of avant-garde surgical education and training. Members of the Academy are selected through a rigorous peer-review process and induction into this prestigious academy is a high honor. Congratulations, Dr. Cooke, on this prestigious and well-deserved honor!


September 21, 2020 - Mexican government recognizes Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola for improving lives of Latinos in the United States
Congratulations to Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, who received a prestigious award on September 21 from the Mexican government for his work advocating for the rights of Mexican nationals in the United States. The recognition – known as the Ohtli Award – is the highest honor granted by the Mexican government to individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the well-being of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and other Latinos abroad. The award was presented at the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento during a physically distanced, yet intimate ceremony attended by Aguilar-Gaxiola’s family, friends, coworkers, associates, consular staff and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Press release


September 10, 2020 - ACTIVATE will bring telehealth services to vulnerable, at-risk residents of California's Central Valley
The Accountability, Coordination, and Telehealth in the Valley to Achieve Transformation and Equity (ACTIVATE) is a two-year public-private pilot initiative to bring telehealth services to address the health needs of underserved, vulnerable populations in rural communities in response to COVID-19 in Merced County, California.

This initiative brings together researchers from the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society & the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) at the University of California, Livingston Community Health, the University of California CITRIS network, technology distributors, community-based organizations, and government agencies. ACTIVATE aims to reach populations who are vulnerable to the worst outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic with the technology, skills, and connections they need to access and utilize health care services.
Press release (internal only)


September 7, 2020 - Statewide project Share, Trust, Organize, Partner: the COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA) joins response to COVID-19 health disparities
This statewide project responds to a request from an NIH-Wide Community Engagement Effort to Partnering to Combat COVID-19 called CEAL: Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities. This $4.2 million, one-year STOP COVID-19 CA project is a joint effort of the five UC CTSA academic health centers plus USC, Scripps and Stanford CTSAs, as well as San Diego State University, UC Riverside, and UC Merced to catalyze and accelerate biomedical, clinical, and translational research across California by identifying shared challenges and developing system-wide solutions in the form of policy changes, new infrastructure, and standardized processes.

UC Davis is partnering with Radio Bilingüe, Lideres Campesinas, and the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities), three grassroots community-based organizations to focus on developing COVID-19 awareness and education to address misinformation and mistrust and coordinate culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging regarding COVID-19 that provide a framework for integrating multiple strands of messaging to build community engagement and factors that affect messaging efficacy in efforts to reach vulnerable Spanish-dominant Latino immigrants who are essential workers such as farmworkers.


September 1, 2020 - UC Davis Medical Center receives Healthcare Equality Index recognition for the tenth consecutive year
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC Foundation) released the 13th annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), scoring health care facility policies and practices in treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. UC Davis Medical Center was recognized for the tenth consecutive year by the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
National press release

August 27, 2020 - Employee Resource Group Leadership Retreat
The Offices of Campus and Community Engagement in Davis and Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion sponsored the 2020 Leadership Retreat, for Employee Resource Groups, opening with a heartfelt welcome by Dr. Hendry Ton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Drs. Vickie Gomez and Adrienne Lawson presented the Past Chairs and Officers with virtual certificates and rounds of applause and thanks for exceptional leadership. The retreat concluded with an engaging presentation: Aligning your Employee Resource Group/Constituent/Administrative Advisory Groups Goals with the UC Davis Strategic Plan for Diversity & Inclusion, by Laura Cerruti, an analyst in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Office of Campus and Community Engagement, which included a very intriguing question and answer or (Q&A) session.

August 28, 2020 - Center for Reducing Health Disparities to receive $2.3 million in grant funding
Training Promotoras/Community Health Workers using Culturally and Linguistically- Appropriate Research Best Practices is a joint project with the University of Michigan and the University of Florida to establish, in collaboration with promotoras/community health workers (CHWs), researchers, and other stakeholders, an innovative, robust, and replicable competency-based training in research best practices for CHWs.
Full press release

July 9, 2020

Hospital Earns James Beard Foundation Award for 2nd Year
For the second year in a row, UC Davis Health’s hospital café received a prestigious designation from The James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader. This recognition is particularly important because it aligns with and reinforces our Anchor Institution Mission. As Hendry Ton explained recently, “For us to truly improve the health of communities, we must continue to be more than the best provider in the region. We must also continue to improve access to care. And we must leverage UC Davis Health's resources to improve the economic vitality of underserved communities - essentially serving as an ‘anchor’ for communities buffeted by socioeconomic instability. This is the goal of our new Anchor Institution Mission - our AIM for Community Health Initiative. By developing and supporting jobs for local community members, partnering with local businesses, and purchasing and investing locally, we can help generate wealth that stays and grows within those communities.”
Read the full article


Preserve Our Legacy: Advancing African Americans in Nursing and Wellness
The Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is hosting the annual Preserve Our Legacy: Advancing African Americans in Nursing & Wellness Conference in collaboration with Yes2Kollege and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing on August 25, 2020 as a virtual event via Zoom and Facebook Live. The guest speaker is Dr. Monica McLemore, UCSF, associate professor in the Family Health Care Nursing Department, an affiliated scientist with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, and a member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her research is grounded in reproductive justice. There will also be a panel of nurses discussing their journey as a nursing student to a career in nursing.