The University of Florida College of Pharmacy has set a new standard for diversity and inclusion in pharmacy education, earning the INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award for the third consecutive year. The national honor recognizes U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The UF College of Pharmacy was one of only six pharmacy colleges to receive a 2023 Health Professions HEED Award and one of only 64 health science colleges nationally to receive the honor. The college will be recognized as a Health Professions HEED award winner in the November/December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine — the nation’s oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
“Earning the Health Professions HEED Award for the third consecutive year is a tremendous honor for the UF College of Pharmacy and recognizes our many efforts to create a college where all faculty, students and staff feel valued and respected,” said Peter Swaan, Ph.D., M.Pharm., dean of the UF College of Pharmacy. “Our commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all is essential to ensuring that the pharmacy profession reflects the diversity of the patients it serves.”
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the UF College of Pharmacy based on many strides made in the past year to create a nurturing and enriching environment where everyone can achieve their full potential. Major outcomes highlighted in the college’s application included:
- Continued success in cultivating an accessible and welcoming environment: According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the college is No. 2 in the nation for the number of graduates from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in pharmacy, or URiP.
- Developing a sense of belonging where all can pursue and achieve excellence: According to post-graduate residency data from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, in 2023, the college has a higher percentage of URiP students who successfully matched (30%) as compared to national figures (11%).
- Commitment to provide care to vulnerable and high-risk communities: In 2022, 81% of fourth-year pharmacy students had an advanced community pharmacy practice experience in a federally designated medically underserved area or community with substantial social vulnerability, accounting for over 50,000 hours.
- Developing innovative and cutting-edge methods to eliminate health disparities: This year alone, researchers in the college have secured over $2 million from the National Institutes of Health to study and treat health disparities in a variety of conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
“This award highlights the incredible strides our college has made to become more accessible to people from all walks of life,” said John Allen, Pharm.D., associate dean for accessibility, belonging and community health and a clinical associate professor in the UF College of Pharmacy. “It proudly reflects our ongoing journey and motivates us to ensure that all voices are continually heard and valued in our pursuit of excellence in pharmacy.”
According to Insight Into Diversity magazine, the Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions related 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. The magazine seeks to identify schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across campuses.
In addition to the UF College of Pharmacy, the UF College of Dentistry was recognized for earning a 2023 Health Professions HEED Award, and the University of Florida received a 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award. It is the second consecutive year that UF has been recognized among the top-tier universities committed to diversity and inclusion.