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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

For the Department of Surgery, the racial reckoning of 2020-2021 and the global health crisis served as a stark reminder of the pressing need for change. Beyond its devastating impact on lives, health, and livelihoods, it brought to light glaring health disparities and inequities within communities.


The Department of Surgery believes that embracing diversity across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, age, and ability is essential to providing exceptional patient care and advancing medical knowledge. Our dedication to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) extends beyond mere acknowledgment to actionable initiatives aimed as dismantling system barriers and promoting equity in healthcare. Through ongoing education, mentorship, and community partnerships, we strive to cultivate a culture where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered.


As a group, The Department of Surgery developed our vision statement of “Improve Every Life” and our core values of Dedication, Excellence, Diversity, Integrity, Compassion, Advancing Innovation, Teamwork, and Exemplary Leadership. We recognize that achieving true equity requires continual reflection, dialogue, and collaboration. We remain dedicated in our commitment to creating a more just and inclusive surgical community for all.


Read more: CU Department of Surgery Adds Focus on Access to its DEI Strategy


There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Mission Statements




The Department of Surgery is committed to ensuring diversity among our faculty, staff and learners. We will maintain an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, and brings to life the department’s vision of Improve Every Life.



We are steadfast in ensuring that our faculty, staff and learners can thrive in an equitable environment. This commitment ensures unbiased care and eliminates discrimination in all forms and at all levels. This is essential to our success. It will be achieved by aligning our policies, practices and resources so that people of all races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and socioeconomic statuses have opportunities to thrive.



The Department of Surgery is dedicated to maintaining an environment of inclusivity where all members of our community feel valued and appreciated. We embrace the collective and individual talents, skills and perspectives of our faculty, staff and learners to foster a culture of excellence and innovation.

Heart shape created by multiple hands coming together


Disability inclusion is an essential condition to upholding human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. We believe that a workforce that includes people with disabilities is a stronger and more effective workplace and access for people with disabilities is central to the commitment to leave no one behind.

DEIA Leadership


Richard Schulick, MD

Richard D. Schulick, MD, MBA, FACS
Professor & Chair, Dept. of Surgery
Director, CU Cancer Center
CU Anschutz Medical Campus
The Aragón/Gonzalez-Gíustí Chair

Kia Washington, MD

Kia Washington, MD, FACS
Vice Chair, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Professor of Surgery
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
CU Anschutz Medical Campus

Brian Shimamoto, MA Ed

Brian Shimamoto M.Ed. (he/him) 
OED Manager / DEIA Specialist

DEIA Committee



Because faculty members have clinical work as well as research to pursue, their availability to commit to additional time outside committee meetings to support initiative group efforts to advance DEIA initiatives is limited. However, the faculty and trainee perspectives are vital to the work of the committee. Comprised of representatives from each division of the department, the advisory board ensures these diverse voices are represented and that information pertaining to DEIA is relayed to all divisions.

Central Administration

Jacqueline Pelle
Operations Manager

Joanne Penny
Director of Operations

Stephanie Farmer
Vice Chair of Administration
Director of Finance & Administration

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Joseph Cleveland, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Fred and Carol Grover Endowed Chair in Surgery
Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs


Brittney Reyes, M.Ed., MHA
Education Manager, General Surgery Residency Program

Kathleen Tuthill
Director, Office of Education

GI, Trauma, & Endocrine Surgery

Lauren Steward, MD, MHSA, MPHS
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Pediatric Surgery

José Diaz-Miron, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Brooke French, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery 

Surgical Oncology

Marta O’Grady, OD, FAAC 
Division Administrative Director

Transplant Surgery

Ivan Rodriguez, MD
CCTCARE Research Program Manager


Elisabetta Poli, MBA
Business Services Professional

Vascular Surgery

Rafael Malgor, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery


Comprised of any DOS employee or trainee who is interested in advancing our DEIA efforts and is willing and able to dedicate time to meet and work on DEIA initiatives. An effort is made to create a group as diverse as possible to ensure a variety of perspectives is heard and considered.

Abnet Hurst
Business Services Sr. Professional
Office of the Chair

Amelia Corl, MPH
Research Services Sr. Professional
Clinical Trails

Anna Massey
Business and Financial Analyst

Ioannis Ziogas, MD
Level II Resident
General Surgery

Jaimielyn Burke
Research Services Program Manager
Clinical Trials

Kristy Hawley, MD
Assistant Professor
GI, Trauma, and Endocrine Surgery

Lindsay Dyer-Kindy, PA-C
Senior Instructor
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery



Lindsay Engels
Project Coordinator
Office of Special Projects

Otto Thielen, MD
Level II Resident

Reed Weiss, DNP, AGNP
Senior Instructor
Surgical Oncology

Sarah Engels, MA
Learning & Development Specialist
Organizational and Employee Development (OED)

Tracey McDermott
Clinical Research Manager
Clinical Trials

Victoria De La Serna
Research Services Entry Professional
Surgical Oncology

Zach Eliason
Finance Specialist


CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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