“As medical and research institutions around the country look to solve inequities and mitigate disparities in health care, we hope this project will become a model for others nationwide. To close long-standing gaps, we all need to innovate – and we need to engage local stakeholders in the process. At the Icahn School of Medicine, we’ve taken many steps to ensure that diversity and inclusion remain a central part of our mission as an institution, and we’re now building on that work,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The DIH is a truly groundbreaking project, and I would like to thank Dr. Gary Butts, our Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, for spearheading it.”
“We need to diversify medicine and ensure diverse participation in the innovation space in order to ensure quality care for underserved communities. Equity – be it for our staff, students, or patients – is vital to making our work a success. The Diversity Innovation Hub is a novel step forward in that effort” said Gary C. Butts, MD, Dean for Diversity Programs, Policy, and Community Affairs. “It’s our hope that this will not only be a difference-maker for the neighborhoods surrounding Mount Sinai, but that it will meaningfully and intentionally further diversify our innovation and health care industries. No other medical institutions nationwide are doing this work, in this way, and we hope this will become a model for all to replicate.”
As the DIH positions the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a continuing leader in the area, it will have several goals. First, it will aim to further the inclusion of people of color and women in health care innovation. Second, the existence of the DIH will allow the Mount Sinai community and its community partners to identify and use innovation and technology towards meaningful solutions in health care. Third, it will create a brain-trust to tackle problems and advance diversity and inclusion with innovative approaches on an ongoing and sustainable basis.
To accomplish those goals, the DIH will create a variety of design teams – one for students, one for trainees, one for administrative fellows, one for staff, and one for community leaders and stakeholders – designed to use the hub as an incubator for new ideas, identify resources, and consider new investments to advance health care. The first phase of the DIH, which launches on October 14, will provide mentorship, training, and networking opportunities for those students and staff.
In addition to trainings focused on issues such as health care tech and bias, a multi-layered fellowship program will be offered to medical students and will serve as an ideas accelerator for addressing social determinants in health for underserved communities. As students and their teams pitch ideas for closing social problems relating to equity, the best ideas incubated within the DIH will be connected with partners to support and invest in their concepts. The second phase of the program will lead to those ideas coming into fruition through pilot projects and demonstration work in various communities to address social determinants in health care.
Through the community design team, the DIH hopes to partner with key leaders and stakeholders in East and Central Harlem, Mount Sinai’s surrounding neighborhood, like 100 Black Men of New York, Silicon Harlem, local business leaders and entrepreneurs, and others. By engaging local community leaders, the DIH will aim to identify gaps in local health care delivery– and identify technological or data-driven solutions to close them.
The DIH reinforces Mount Sinai’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and gender equity, which includes the creation of the nation’s first Dean for Gender Equity this year, the Racism and Bias Initiative launched in 2015, as well as the creation of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2014, which builds on 20 years of groundbreaking work by the Patricia S. Levinson Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs at Mount Sinai. This record has helped Mount Sinai earn the No. 1 Ranking in Diversity and Inclusion in the “Top 12 Hospitals and Health Systems” list by DiversityInc in 2017 and 2018. Earlier this year, Mount Sinai announced it had signed on to TIME’S UP Healthcare, developed a robust new organizational statement on diversity, began engaging in school-wide listening tours, and launched a new policy for medical and educational panels hosted at the School must include women and/or underrepresented groups.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai’s vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Medical Schools”, aligned with a U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s “Honor Roll” of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics in the 2019-2020 “Best Hospitals” issue. Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai West, and South Nassau Communities Hospital are ranked regionally.
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