I am inspired by how our faculty, staff, residents, and fellows continue to work tirelessly during the pandemic in both clinical and research settings to insure that we provide the best possible care to our patients, take care of each other, and continue to make important contributions to the public discourse, while at the same time publishing important research findings. Remarkably, many division members have been doing their work while also caring for older adults in their lives and/or their children. We are proving to be a very resilient group!
But, much as the burden of the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately harmed African American, Latinx and Native American communities, the horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others who died because of brutality from police or others has caused great suffering and pain for many in our division who experience the day-to-day impact of racism in their lives. Although we may feel powerless to influence the larger forces over the centuries that have created the deeply ingrained structural racism in our nation, we do have great power to bring respect, compassion, humility, and a willingness to learn from each other every day at work. As I think back to our beautiful “Seat at the Table” holiday display, I am reminded of our incredible diversity and the love that we can all share with each other as we try to thrive during this most unprecedented and sad time. It is these thoughts and the privilege of having all of you as colleagues that give me hope.
Thank you for all that you do, and be safe,
Introducing Department of Medicine Office of Introducting Department of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (DOM EDI)
TheDepartment of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (DOM EDI)supports the Department in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for students, residents, fellows and faculty in the context of scientific excellence, outstanding scholarship and innovation and the highest level of compassionate, high-quality care for our patients. To do this, we focus our efforts on open conversation, sharing ideas, data, and knowledge to build a thriving and inclusive community that fosters the success of us all.
We recognize and support our amazing staff that support our divisional and departmental efforts, while they are not under our direct purview.Keith Norris, MD, PhDserves as the Vice Chair for EDI and leads the EDI team, which includes Associate Vice Chairs,Teresa Seeman, PhDandChristina Harris, MDas well as Program Manager,Cristina Punzalan, MPHand Program Coordinator,LeeAnn Nerpio.
The Team is currently conducting theListening Tourto connect with each Division Chief, Program Directors and Faculty Leaders to understand their unit issues, values, and goals related to EDI. We also take the opportunity to brainstorm strategies to improve and enhance EDI in their division. The Team has also conducted events related to the current issues of our communities. Shining the Light was held on April 23 for residents, fellows and some faculty to discuss disparities in COVID-19 mortality and community narratives. On June 1, the team conducted a virtual Healing Circle for our DOM community to come together to process, connect, and heal. 120 residents, fellows, and some faculty attended. Tanishia Wright, Director of Community Healing and Trauma Prevention Center at Martin Luther King, Jr Community Hospital facilitated the session.
We are also working on a recruitment tool kit for resident/fellow recruitment days as well as a training module that provides an EDI orientation for incoming clinical faculty. We have been active in writing op-eds, commentaries and more with housestaff and faculty and are active with many departmental and institutional EDI peers, as well as the UCLA-Drew Chapter of the Student National Medical Association in many events to support the Black Lives Matter efforts for justice and equity. We are also addressing COVID-19 hatred against Asians and COVID-19 health disparities as well as the underlying health inequities that lead to them.
At this link, please see our official departmental statement but much more is coming soon.
Please stay tuned for more to come from DOM EDI in our monthly newsletter and website launching this month! Contact us at email@example.com.
Reduce SARS-CoV-2 Spread During Civil Protesting: Recommendations
A multi-campus group led by GIM's Dr. David Eisenmanhas authored a timely recommendations bulletin which was circulated to media and stakeholders:
Civil unrest over George Floyd’s murder during this SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will increase community transmission of this highly contagious virus and contribute to increased incidence of morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19. Any large gathering creates risk for transmission. This risk impacts all participants in protests, including protestors, law enforcement officers, journalists, and bystanders. While many have urged protestors to wear facemasks to reduce virus spread, no specific, written safety recommendations for these activities have been developed to mitigate risk or to plan for an outbreak among anyone who attends, as well as their household members...
In the piece, he argues that the priority for organizations must be to have a plan for when a customer or employee tests positive for Covid-19. Dr. Emily Martin was interviewed by Reuters Health regarding a newJAMA Oncologyletter, "Trends in Provision of Palliative Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy Among Hospices in the United States, 2011-2018," for an article, "US Hospices Offering Less Palliative Chemotherapy and Radiation" She commented, "The study does highlight the need for improved tracking of palliative cancer therapies in U.S. hospices and further investigation into the drivers of treatment utilization."
TheIris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Education & Research Center assisted the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in gathering information from community development stakeholders in Los Angeles to help the Fed better understand how COVID-19 is impacting LMI communities, women and minorities.
The information collected by the Center was compiled with data throughout the state to directly inform the Fed’s community development efforts and how they might be able to best leverage their role in support of partners in responding to the needs of vulnerable communities. The Center surveyed fourteen of our community partners about the issues faced by their clients and how our community partners responded to the needs.
Some of the challenges identified included clients that did not want to use public transportation to get to facilities for services that are offered for fear of coronavirus exposure. Clients only had emergency funds for three months. Domestic violence calls increased. Breastfeeding mothers no longer had access to in-person lactation specialists or support groups. The impact of eligibility for health coverage from a reduction in wages and hours was of great concern. Housing and food insecurity were ongoing challenges. Anxiety and mental health concerns increased. Services provided by outside professionals for inmates at the Century Regional Detention Facility, Women's Jail in Lynwood were suspended.
Examples of responses to the needs included assistance with rent, food, and utilities. Staff hours for crisis counseling increased and more supportive services were offered. A tenants rights hotline extended its hours of operation. Phone calls to clients to check on their well-being and connect them to resources was initiated. Remote 24 hour crisis counseling was made available with online chat lines for domestic violence victims. Helping families and children with online school resources was also provided.