Welcome to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage for the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
CU PM&R is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our clinical, academic, and service work. We recognize that diversity encompasses differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and political beliefs.
In alignment with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation's (AAPM&R) Diversity and Inclusion Statement, we strive to create a culture that is inclusive and respectful of all individuals, where all members feel valued, respected, and supported. This includes not just promoting diversity but also actively working to eliminate discrimination, bias, and disparities in our department.
Our department also follows the University of Colorado School of Medicine Diversity Plan, which aims to increase the diversity of the medical student body, faculty, and staff, and to foster an inclusive environment where all members feel respected and valued.
Our CU PM&R Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is dedicated to implementing these goals through:
Collectively, we will strive to ensure that our patients receive culturally appropriate, quality medical care. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable environment for our patients, faculty, and staff.
The committee is aided by the consultation of our Advisory Group, Krista Walker, PhD (DEI training consultation), and Olawunmi Ogunwo, JD, PHR (HR/legal consultation).
The INCLUDES project (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) is an NSF-funded initiative to promote the recruitment, hiring, and retention of STEM faculty from underrepresented groups.
The INCLUDES project has recently evolved into an alliance called, “Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty”. The NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance is broadly pursuing strategic goals focused on faculty:
The Aspire Alliance program assessment process aims to deepen our understanding about the strategies and conditions that support increasing inclusivity and diversity in STEM departments and programs (which includes medicine). The PM&R DEI Committee has recommended that our department engage in the Aspire Alliance program assessment process.
The resulting findings from the proposed Aspire Alliance Self-Study at PM&R should identify the factors that will help to inform what propels or impedes efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in our department.
This is a broad effort that will depend on our collective contributions. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has graciously offered to assist with this process over the next academic year. The committee will provide the report to the Department Chair and make the findings available to our faculty and staff. More updates will be provided soon about the process, the timelines, and our progress.
Bigger than us: "What if, after you got promoted, the idea of what a full professor looks like and contributes is expanded because of you?"
On October 25, 2023, the Department of Medicine hosted Kimberly D. Manning, MD, as their Grand Rounds Speaker. Dr. Manning is Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Professor of General Internal Medicine at Emory University. She recently penned a perspective article for The Lancet titled, "Bigger than us: "What if, after you got promoted, the idea of what a full professor looks like and contributes is expanded because of you?" Read the article here.
Get to Know: Dr. Adedayo Balogun
What made you want to pursue a career in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation?
As a medical student, I had a wide and varied interest in all of my different clinical rotations. I had a strong interest in the musculoskeletal system, and the neurological and neuroanatomy courses. When I was exposed to a PM&R rotation, it was the first rotation that I felt completely in tune with the physicians that were present. It helped address all of the most important aspects of a person’s healthcare, and took into account all aspects of a person’s experience when taking part in their care.
How has the CU PM&R residency program allowed you to pursue your goals?
This residency program has so far allowed me to cultivate my experience and independence in different rehabilitation settings and learn how to navigate the different barriers and challenges that patients face routinely. I've been exposed to many different versions of being a PM&R physician, and I have had the ability to explore these different areas in a way that I can prepare myself for life after residency.
What is your “why”?
My “why” is always to bring the best care to as many people that I can first and foremost. I want to be able to deliver that same care to people that have historically been overlooked, and taken advantage of as well. I aspire to provide patients that may not always feel seen or heard to understand that I’m taking their concerns to heart, and I understand the perspective that many of their other care providers may not. I also strive to be a positive example for others who may look like me or identify with me. I want to be more than an example, but a support system for those coming after me.
February is a month to honor and celebrate Black leaders. What does this mean for you?
Black History Month is an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the ways that black people have contributed to the world. We have been leaders for change and equity, leaders in science, health care, ingenuity and all aspects of life. Being a leader, to me is about being accountable. I think that having priorities, morals, and standards, and holding strong to those values is all that it takes to be a leader.
What leadership role(s) have you taken up and what impact have they had on you and your time in medical school or residency? As a medical student I took part in my school's Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter. As president of this chapter, we had a hand in reaching out to the community for other people to understand that becoming a physician was attainable, finishing school and going to the college opened plenty of doors, and providing support and guidance for undergraduate students that had an interest in going to medical school.
Being a physician inherently occupies a leadership role. As a physiatrist, we regularly take part in team meetings, where we discuss patients with PT’s, OT’s, RN’s, social workers, case managers, and speech therapists. Sometimes, being a leader is understanding how the team functions most effectively, other times it’s trusting your teammates to their expertise and simply providing an overall team goal for everyone to strive towards.
What words of encouragement do you have to share with future students of color pursuing careers in healthcare?
The words of encouragement that I have for those students would be to always show up and be yourself. You have a unique experience and perspective that matters, and never let fear of failure keep you from trying something that you are passionate about. Do your best to surround yourself with people that you admire and have similar goals as yourself. Not competitors, but people who will lift you up with them. These are the people that you’ll grow the closest to both professionally and personally.
December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
February: African American/Black History Month
February 20-26: Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week
December: National Safe Toys and Gifts Month
December 1: World AIDS Day
December 4-9: National Handwashing Awareness Week
December 4-9: National Influenza Vaccination Week
January: Cervical Health Awareness Month
January: National Birth Defects Prevention Month
January: National Blood Donor Month
January: Glaucoma Awareness Month
January: National Stalking Awareness Month
January: Thyroid Awareness Month
February: Low Vision Awareness Month
February: American Heart Health Month
February: Prenatal Infection Awareness Month
February: National Cancer Prevention Month
February: National Children's Dental Health Month
February: National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
February 2: Give Kids a Smile Day
February 4: World Cancer Day
February 7: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7-14: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
February 14: National Donor Day
February 13-21: National Condom Week
February 22: National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day
February 26-March 1: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
February 28: Rare Disease Day