Columbia Nursing has made a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our educational goals, clinical practice, research, and programming. Based on community input, we made the following institutional updates within the past two years, all of which have either been implemented or are in development.
These are just a few highlights. This work is ongoing and requires a lifetime commitment to make and sustain changes that will lead to dismantling racist structures, facing and addressing our own biases, changing unjust policies and practices, and forging a social justice and health equity agenda.
- Added required Deconstructing Racism for Health Professionals course to the Masters Direct Entry Program curriculum. We plan to add two additional course options to satisfy the requirement.
- Established a racial literacy series for faculty.
- Adopted a syllabus statement that avows an inclusive and anti-racist mindset and respectful learning environment in all educational activities.
- Worked on an audit tool to help faculty critically evaluate their courses with the aim of identifying and eliminating racism and bias in their educational activities.
- Included research related to people of color in the clinical nursing curricula to inform students about the underlying mechanisms that allow health disparities to persist in our country.
- A task force has been formed to review our student admissions processes and how we can better support the success of all students at Columbia Nursing.
- Regular meetings for faculty, students, and staff to facilitate anti-racism presentations and open discussions are underway. So far, discussions have included the impact of the anti-racism movement, identity development theories, imposter syndrome, supporting the success of Black/Latinx students, and understanding LGBTQ+ appropriate/affirming language.
- The Student Council has added a Racial Justice Committee with the purpose of highlighting and dismantling racial injustices within and adjacent to Columbia Nursing. The Student Council remains focused on improving communication and supporting all Columbia Nursing students.
- Two new task forces have been created to better address increasing student diversity and retaining a more diverse student body.
- A student mentoring program has been established to support the needs of all students, including those from under-represented groups.
Recruitment and Culture
- Increased the number of tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty from under-represented groups in nursing. Within the last seven months, Columbia Nursing has hired eight diverse faculty members, including three research faculty, two clinical faculty members, two academic faculty members, and one simulation faculty member.
- Established a faculty mentoring program to support the needs of all faculty, including under-represented faculty.
- Administered a faculty and staff survey in November 2020 to assess the climate for living, learning, and working at Columbia Nursing. Currently reviewing and acting on the survey results as we seek to improve the school’s working environment.
- Hosted several events on implicit bias, civility and respect, social and environmental justice, and cultural and religious competencies, in order to foster a culture that values diversity, inclusion, and respect for differences among students, faculty, and staff.
- Developed an Anti-Racism Resources site on Canvas for students, faculty, and staff.
- The Center for Research on People of Color (CRPC) launched in 2020 as a multidisciplinary hub for research and educational programming that promotes health equity by encouraging investigators to expand the body of research related to people of color. The center’s interdisciplinary, racially, and ethnically diverse faculty members are devoted to exploring the health disparities that racial inequity and injustice cause and to identifying the ways that nursing can address them.
- The CRPC also supports scholars, especially those from under-represented communities, by offering mentoring, career opportunities, pilot grants, and an array of learning opportunities.
- Launched in June 2021, the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health is Columbia Nursing's most recent advancement in sexual gender minority (SGM) health. Other achievements include:
- The vision of our faculty practice, the ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Group has always been to provide culturally sensitive care to populations of individuals who have traditionally been considered underserved.
- It was established as the only practice in Upper Manhattan to offer a full range of LGBTQ+ specific services.
- Our house calls program serves elderly homebound patients in Washington Heights and Inwood. We provide comprehensive in-home primary care including chronic disease management and follow-up care after hospitalization.
- Our Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center hosted its third annual conference, the Innovations in Simulation Summit: Dismantling Structural Racism with and within Health Care Simulation, with over 570 registrants from 15 countries. Three panels of professionals emphasized the importance of creating a safe environment where students, learners, and practitioners can identify stereotypes, challenge racially-driven assumptions and biases, and enhance their cultural education, awareness, and humility.
- We purchased diverse manikins in different skin tones for the Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center.
- Expanded collaboration with Project Renewal men’s shelter to offer a health fair that will include blood pressure screenings, COVID-19 vaccinations, and naloxone trainings in Washington Heights.
- Received grant from the New York State Department of Health and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to partner with the Bronx Opium Collective to provide resources to outreach health care workers who are providing drug counseling, food, and wound kits for the homeless drug user population.
- Worked with P.S. 128 and Gregoria Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics, two schools in Washington Heights, to develop programming ideas including reading sessions with children, nutrition and fitness awareness and practice, and health screenings for children and families.
- Regularly collaborate on initiatives with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the National Association of Black Nurses.
- Participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Summer Health Professions Education Program and the New Jewish Home Geriatric Career Development Program, which prepare and encourage high school students to pursue the health professions and aim to build short- and long-term pipelines for under-represented students in nursing.
CUIMC Working Group
- The deans of the four Columbia University Irving Medical Center schools appointed a working group in July 2020 including members of each school to review ways to reduce the impact of racism in health care and the health sciences. View the working group's latest progress report.
Statements from Dean Frazier
- Dean Frazier's Statement on the Chauvin Trial Verdict (April 21, 2021)
- Dean Frazier's Message on Anti-Asian Bias (March 10, 2021)
- Dean Frazier's Message on Juneteenth (June 18, 2020)
- Dean Frazier's Message Denouncing Racism (June 1, 2020)
For questions or comments about our anti-racism efforts or to join any of our diversity subcommittees or anti-racism working groups, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.