Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at a Departmental Level: Building a Committee as a Vehicle for Advancing Progress

Katherine A. Lingras, M. Elizabeth Alexander, Danielle M. Vrieze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Academic Health Centers (AHCs) across the nation are experiencing a reawakening to the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Such work impacts both employees and patients served by healthcare institutions. Yet, for departments without previously existing formal channels for this work, it is not always apparent where to begin. The current manuscript details a process for creating a committee as a vehicle for championing DEI efforts at the department level within an AHC. The authors present a six-step model for forming a DEI Committee and progress monitoring measures to remain accountable to identified objectives. In each step, the authors provide examples of their work with the goal for readers to tailor and apply each step to their own departments’ DEI efforts. The current paper also identifies lessons learned with regard to barriers and facilitators of department-level DEI work. Reflections and next steps for DEI work beyond the proposed model are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-379
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number2
Early online dateSep 16 2021
StatePublished - Sep 16 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Some of the events were supported by Internal Small Grants from the University of Minnesota Office of Equity and Diversity (e.g., Campus Climate Microgrants) and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (e.g., Disruptive Innovation Projects). These funds were used to compensate training/event speakers for their time and talents.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Climate
  • Departmental initiatives
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Inclusion


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