About the CU PM&R Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


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:

  • Supporting DEI initiatives at PM&R to promote more inclusivity within the department.
  • Advancing DEI at PM&R by highlighting ongoing education and training opportunities, or sponsoring educational programs to promote diversity.
  • Advising PM&R leadership concerning inclusive employee and trainee recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion efforts within our department.


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.

Members of Committee:

  • Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, FGSA, FAPTA (Chair)
  • Zachary Arcona, PsyD
  • Catharine Johnston-Brooks, PhD
  • Alison Colbert, PhD
  • David Coons, MD
  • Scott Laker, MD
  • Adele Meron, MD
  • William Niehaus, MD
  • Zachary Noriega, MPA

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).


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PM&R and the ASPIRE Challenge: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Staff

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:


  • Preparation of STEM faculty to be more inclusive and effective in their teaching, research mentoring, and advising
  • Effectively recruiting, hiring, and retaining underrepresented STEM faculty and transforming practices
  • Developing and supporting policies, and resources to support these efforts

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.

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month Student Highlight

Get to Know: Javier Gonzalez Plazola

Black History Month 2024 Resident Spotlight

Get to know Dr. Adedayo Balogun

Winter Heritage, History and Identity Observances:

Learn more about holidays, heritage, history, and identity observances, and corresponding events throughout the year.

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
February: African American/Black History Month

February 20-26: Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week

Winter Health Awareness:

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
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

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