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UM Pharmacy School Forms Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has formed a Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee to promote equity, diversity and inclusion throughout pharmacy education and the profession. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Committed to strengthening opportunities and a supportive atmosphere, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy has formed a permanent Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee.

The committee will promote an inclusive learning and work environment, evaluate school climate and develop proposed interventions, assess and support efforts in recruiting a diverse student population and employee workforce and work with the Curriculum Committee to prepare students to care for a diverse population.

“The School of Pharmacy is dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout pharmacy education and the profession,” said David D. Allen, the school’s dean. “This initiative builds on our core values, and I’m excited to fully support and empower this committee as we strive to raise awareness and improve health outcomes.”

Composed of faculty, staff, professional and graduate students, alumni, and preceptors, the committee will work collaboratively to ensure diversity and inclusion is woven into the fabric of the school’s mission, vision and strategic plan. The committee is planning to partner with the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and the UM Medical Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with others.

“Members of the School of Pharmacy community have been working on efforts within the school, as well as for the university and UMMC,” said Katie McClendon, assistant dean for student services in Jackson and co-chair of the committee. “The new committee structure will support those efforts as well as serve as a permanent structure to encourage continuous improvement. 

“We want to ensure all members of the School of Pharmacy ‘phamily’ are respected and welcome. We were intentional in including committee membership from multiple areas of the school and appreciate everyone’s willingness to serve.”

The school has also partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to host the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institute. Designed to support schools and colleges of pharmacy, the workshop will focus on critical areas of diversity and their impact on patient care. 

Attendees will hear keynote presentations, chats with experts and panel talks. Schools will benefit from the sessions as well as discussions with colleagues to develop their own EDI action plan.

The three-day virtual event will be Jan. 20-22, and registration is available at https://www.aacp.org/event/equity-diversity-and-inclusion-institute.

By Whitney Tarpy

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