The University of Florida College of Pharmacy has received the 2021 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. It marks the first time the college has received the award, which is presented annually by the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
As a recipient of the Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the UF College of Pharmacy will be featured, along with 50 other recipients, in the December 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine. The UF College of Pharmacy is one of only three pharmacy colleges nationally to receive the honor and joins the UF College of Dentistry as a recipient of this year’s award.
“To receive one of higher education’s top awards in diversity and inclusion is truly an honor,” said Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., dean and distinguished professor. “It recognizes our college’s intentional and strategic commitment and support for diversity and inclusion and illustrates the hard work put forth by many people to cultivate a nurturing and welcoming campus environment for everyone.”
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the UF College of Pharmacy based on many strides made in recent years to become a more diverse and inclusive college. The following are among many efforts considered in the selection process:
- The college has embraced the use of a holistic admissions process, which is resulted in the diversity of the incoming fall 2021 Pharm.D. class reaching an all-time high with 41% of students from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds and 26% first generational.
- Students are exposed to a number of topics in the curriculum that increase their understanding of the importance of diversity, inclusion and health equity. In their first year, Pharm.D. students learn how the social determinant of health impact overall health.
- Multiple pipeline programs have been established that assist in the recruitment of underrepresented students. These programs include the UF Summer Health Professions Education Program, or SHPEP, the Research Training Opportunities for Outstanding Leaders program, or ReTOOl, the Summer Undergraduate Research at Florida, or SURF, program and the Keys to Success program.
- The college appointed John Allen, Pharm.D., as its first associate dean for diversity, inclusion and health equity in January. In addition, the college has committed to hiring new faculty with expertise in health disparities and added two new faculty in this area in the past six months.
- A highly engaged diversity and inclusion committee exists in the college, with faculty, staff and student representation. The committee works to promote an inclusive and welcoming environment.
“Receiving the 2021 Health Professions HEED Award is a monumental moment in our history and demonstrates our college community’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and health equity as central core values,” Allen said.
“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for school where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”
For more information about the 2021 Health Professions HEED Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.