Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Our Mission

To guide departmental structures, policies, and practices to a) improve department workforce diversity relative to racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic status, b) promote and improve obstetrics & gynecological health and healthcare equity, c) promote research and d) engage the community.

Areas of Focus

The Task Force identified five priority areas to create a culture of inclusion within our department and the broader community that we serve:

  1. Culture, Climate, and Awareness
  2. Patient Care and Affiliate Relationships
  3. Pipeline and Community Engagement
  4. Department Recruitment and Retention
  5. Research

JEDI Task Force Leadership

Lisa Nicholas

The UCLA OBGYN JEDI Task Force is led by Lisa Nicholas, MD, Associate Clinical Professor and Vice Chair of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. Dr. Nicholas has long been an advocate for racial justice and health equity both in the workplace - in our clinical practice and in education for our trainees – and in her personal life. Dr. Nicholas is exemplary of the anti-racism efforts that the department, the David Geffen School of Medicine and the larger UCLA campus are committed to promoting. Additional JEDI Task Force members include: Zain Al-Safi, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lisa Garcia, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Christina Han, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and MFM Fellowship Director, Christine Holschneider, MD, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Erica Oberman, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and Residency Director, Sandra Orsulic, PHD, Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Marketing and Innovation, Mya Zapata, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and Labor and Delivery Director, Kristy Fong, Medical Education Manager, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ukarjit Kaur, Project Manager, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Miller, Director of Academic and Staff Personnel, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology and Tracy Prinz, Marketing and Communications Lead, UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Current Efforts

Perinatal Coalition
Dr. Joia Creer-Perry, founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, meets with Dr. Mya Zapata, Dr. Lisa Nicholas, and Dr. Angela Chen to discuss strategies for dismantling structural racism in maternity care at UCLA.

Patient Care: Perinatal Coalition

Dr. Mya Zapata, Medical Director of Labor and Delivery, Dr. Lisa Nicholas, Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Dr. Angela Chen, Family Planning Chief, are lead members of the UCLA Perinatal Coalition tasked with developing strategies for dismantling structural racism in maternity care at UCLA. They are partnering with organizations such as National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) and California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) to roll out an EDI survey for postpartum patients, implement equity and safety rounds and develop focus groups regarding equity in the workplace.

Recruitment: Visiting Student Scholarship

UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology has established a Visiting Student Scholarship program for outstanding final year medical students from underrepresented backgrounds. The student scholar will spend a 3-week sub-internship on one of our High-Risk Obstetrics, Inpatient Benign, Complex Family Planning or Reproductive Endocrinology rotations. Two awards will be given annually.

Keren Darius from Howard University was our inaugural 2021 recipient of the OB/GYN Visiting Student Scholarship Award. Recipients for 2022 were Dalia Rahmon from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Cynthia Matsumura from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Culture, Climate and Awareness: Exploring Reproductive Injustice

The EDI Task Force arranged for a departmental screening of Belly of the Beast, a documentary exposing a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the film’s director and a department-wide discussion.

Pipeline and Community Engagement: Promoting Opportunities for Youth

UCLA OBGYN has established a partnership with Bridge Builders Foundation, a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that supports youth through mentoring, scholarships, educational programs and the teaching of life skills. The initiative will build on the foundation’s efforts to raise health awareness and promote career opportunities for African American and other minority youth. The department will work with Bridge Builders to provide a platform for interested high school students to get to know UCLA Health trainees and professionals through a virtual series of lectures, lab experiences and dialogues.

Research: Mini-Symposium

Disparities Symposium

Sandra Orsulic, PHD, Professor of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, organized the inaugural JEDI research symposium “Research in Disparities in OBGYN Care” focused on research on racial and socioeconomic disparities in obstetrics and gynecology care. Presenters included (from left to right in the photo) Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Leah Marsh, MD, Katherine Cotangco, DO, Marie Douglass, MD and Ava Mousavi, MS3. 


Dr. Kavita Vinekar, a family planning specialist who cares for patients at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, where she is the Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology, as well as at UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center, is author of the recently published Points of View article, Pathology of Racism — A Call to Desegregate Teaching Hospitals, in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Christine Holschneider, MD, Vice Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, is an author of Universal Social Needs Assessment in Gynecologic Oncology: An Important Step Toward More Informed and Targeted Care in the Public Safety Net published in the journal Cancer.

Resources for UCLA Faculty, Staff and Trainees:

University of California

UC Diversity
UC Diversity Efforts
UC Office of the President LGBT Directors

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 
Bruin X Seven-Part Implicit Bias Video Series
UCLA Committee on LGBTQ+ Affairs

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

DGSOM Health, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
DGSOM Diversity Affairs Office
DGSOM Anti-Racism Roadmap
DGSOM GME Subcommittee on EDI
Road to Residency 2020 
Reporting and Support Resources 
U-ACT: An Advocacy Collaborative
DGSOM Pride Alliance

UCLA Health

Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
UCLA LGBTQ+ Health Initiative
UCLA Gender Health Program